King Arthur's Pie Crust

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King Arthur's Pie Crust

star rating (8) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

A medium-flake crust can be used for main-course dishes or, by adding the optional sugar, for sweet fillings or even tart shells. Our recipe makes enough for a double-crust 9-inch pie. You can easily substitute whole wheat pastry flour for an equal amount of your unbleached white. Start with about 1/2 cup until you find a ratio you like. Whole wheat pastry flour produces a crust with a "bite" and a hearty flavor, which is great with savory fillings and is a wholesome alternative for sweet fillings, too.

2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) Round Table Pastry Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (8 1/2 ounces)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 cup shortening (3 1/4 to 5 7/8), lard or butter (4 to 6 ounces)
4 to 7 tablespoons (2 to 3 1/2 ounces) tablespoons ice water

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar if you're using it.

With a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingertips, cut or rub half of the fat into the flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Then take the remainder of the fat and cut or rub it in until the largest pieces are the size of a dime, or flattened peas.

Sprinkle the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, over the flour/fat mixture. With a fork, toss the mixture that you've just moistened and push it to one side. Continue until the dough is just moist enough to hold together. Then gather it into a ball (a bit like gently packing a snowball), cut it in half and flatten the halves into two disks. If you're making a double-crust pie, make the piece for the bottom crust slightly larger, since it has to fit down into the pie plate.

Wrap the two pieces of dough and put them in the refrigerator to give them a rest for 30 minutes or more before rolling them out.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 6, May 1991 issue.


  • star rating 09/16/2014
  • beths228 from KAF Community
  • I made this with my scale measuring the flour by weight. After assembling my chicken pie I refrigerated it until baking later in the day in a hot 425 oven. It was the flakiest dough I've ever made!! I also used the shortening and no sugar! Thank you!
  • star rating 12/23/2013
  • Mary from Saint Clair Shores, MI
  • I made this dough for a savory meat pie appetizer and used white whole wheat flour. I can't agree with the glowing reviews from a couple of the writers . . . The dough was impossible to work with, it crumbled and split, and stuck like mad to the rolling pin. I became so frustrated with the dough that I made less than half of the appetizers, threw out the rest of the dough and made something else with the filling. Of the ones I made, I found the flavor of the dough overwhelmed the filling. Sorry. Can't recommend.
    I am sorry to hear you had difficulties with this recipe! However, the recipe as written will not work well with a whole wheat flour. This type of flour will require much more moisture in comparison to the flour(s) called for. Also, whole wheat will impart a stronger flavor. Jon@KAF
  • star rating 05/13/2011
  • anyasmifya from KAF Community
  • Great Recipe! I used it for quiche. After I let the dough chill it seemed a little too dry and crumbly so I added a bit more water. It came out perfectly.
  • star rating 12/01/2010
  • Sarah d from KAF Community
  • while easy to mix together, this did not give me enough dough for a double crust, and was very difficult to work with when trying to lay it in the pie dish. I think i will go back to my old piecrust recipe.
  • star rating 12/11/2009
  • Lynn from Bristol, CT
  • I used this recipe (with whole white wheat flour and butter) to make my very first crust for tonight's turkey pot pie. Making the crust was so easy and such a lot of fun -- who needs refrigerated pie crusts?
  • star rating 11/25/2009
  • Leigh from South Royalton, VT
  • Used butter in the two step technique taught in the pies & rolls class - turned out gorgeous!
  • star rating 12/25/2008
  • from
  • Outstanding crust. Substituted white whole wheat flour and it worked great.