The Joy of Finding a Flakey Pie Crust

If I could only keep one cookbook, it would be the JOY OF COOKING .. the JOY of finding the perfect recipe for a flaky pie crust!

Amazing to have a cookbook published in 1936 endure eight different revisions and still be the go to cookbook over 80 years  later.  Makes me believe that “Grandma’s” pie dough recipe must have come from this same cookbook!

Pie dough seems to be a challenge for most cooks including bakers.  We tend to shy away from making a crust from scratch as it will be too tough, or like cement.   Technique will take a few times to achieve a flaky crust .. but who doesn’t mind some extra pie after dinner for dessert.

Tips from the Pro …

  • Keep your butter or shortening in the FREEZER and cut into the flour in the frozen state.
  • Add ice cubes to your measuring cup of cold water .. or keep in the fridge until ready to add to your recipe.
  • Don’t over mix the dough!   Mix to combine the flour, but you should still see butter/shortening pieces in the dough.  This is what makes the “flaky” crust.

This cookbook also has an amazing reference section, know your ingredients, featuring equivalents and conversions of measurements.   

DID you know ..

  • that 4 tablespoons equals ¼ cup or 2 ounces
  • 1 ounce equals 28.35 grams.  

Pie Pastry

Course: Dessert
Keyword: pie
Servings: 3 double crusts


  • 5 cups cake & pastry flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb lard or vegetable shortening; COLD
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 egg, large beaten


  • MIX together flour and salt in a large bowl.
  • Cut in lard with a pastry cutter or gently with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.
  • Gradually add enough water to make dough cling together.
  • Gather into a ball and divide in half. Shape each ball into a flattened round on a lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
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5 Replies to “The Joy of Finding a Flakey Pie Crust”

  1. I’m a nervous crust maker! I’m quite a pro at many things but always shy away from pie. But I’m going to challenge myself to try a few crusts before my rhubarb is ready to harvest. It helps to know I will get better with practice!

  2. Thank you for the tips and the recipe Christine. Although my comment is months behind the posting of your blog this recipe is perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend!
    I too love The Joy of Cooking and agree it is a keeper.

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