Learn how to make a flaky and delicious pie crust using shortening and a food processor. Our step-by-step guide will help you create a foolproof crust every time! Perfect for making pie crusts to freeze, so no more store-bought pie crusts!

This easy homemade pie crust recipe will yield the perfect pie crust every time. What pie recipe are you going to make first?! Homemade Blueberry Pie with lattice crust, everyone’s favorite Upside-Down Apple Pecan Pie, easy Meyer Lemon Pie, or a holiday Pumpkin Pie are all great places to start.

unbaked pie crust with crimped edges in a white pie plate next to a wood rolling pin

Why We Love This Pie Crust Recipe

I featured this shortening pie crust recipe as a guest post from my friend Shaina back in 2011. It still makes the best pie dough today, just as it did over a decade ago!

  • Even novice bakers have success with a food processor pie crust.
  • Easy-to-follow, step-by-step recipe instructions
  • Helpful tips and notes with pictures
  • Using a food processor distributes ingredients more evenly
  • Removes the guesswork out of making pie crusts
  • Golden, flakey homemade pie crust you made yourself!
homemade pie crust in a white pie plate with a rolling pin and black and white towel next to it

Things To Know When Making Homemade Pie Crust

We all know that person who turns out perfect, golden pie crusts “in their sleep.” Just remember, all of them started from ground zero. Not one of them made a perfect pie crust without making a homemade pie crust! 

Arguably, the most crucial pie component is a golden, flaky pastry crust that highlights your pie filling. You can have the best apple pie filling in the world, but it’s noticeable if your pie crust is lackluster.

A pie without crust is, well, hardly pie. The beauty is that a homemade pie crust doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be rather easy, especially with a food processor pie crust, and you barely have to get your hands dirty! 

The art of making pastry pie crust is in the doing, over and over. There is a bit of precision involved in making a shortening pie crust, but once you get past that, you’ll be well on your way to turning out successful pie crusts each and every time.

Baker’s Note: Pastry pie crusts can be made with various flours and shortenings. You’ll find staunch advocates of any of them: vegetable shortening pie crust (like Crisco), all-butter pie crust, lard pie crust, or a combination of these fats.

shortening pie crust ingredients on a counter

Ingredients For Homemade Pie Crust With Shortening

For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • All-Purpose Flour – carefully measured. If you don’t have a food scale (333.33g), use the “fluff,” spoon, and level method.
  • Granulated Sugar – only if making a sweet pie crust. Sugar can be omitted based on preference or dietary needs.
  • Salt
  • All-Vegetable Shortening – divide shortening into ¼ tablespoon-sized pieces and chill.
  • Water – put a glass of water with ice in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Strain out any remaining cubes.

How To Measure Flour Properly: Did you know THE WAY you measure flour matters? The most precise way to measure your flour is by weight using a digital kitchen scale. 1 cup of flour weighs 125 to 130 grams. If you don’t have a scale measure your flour by scooping flour with a spoon into the cup. Don’t use your measuring cup as a scoop, as it packs the flour down and gives a different measure.

Equipment Needed

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How To Make Pie Crust In A Food Processor

With the food processor pie crust method, the food processor does the work for you! You can use your preferred shortening, Crisco, butter, or lard, but the key is in the “cold.” Aiming for uneven butter chunks rolled into thin flat sheets of fat, creating light, flaky layers.

When you are making this recipe, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

  1. Measure and chill the pie dough ingredients accordingly, then add the flour, sugar, and salt to the food processor and pulse to mix.
  2. Evenly distribute pieces of cold shortening around the bowl and pulse 3-4 times, looking for pea-sized chunks.
  3. Sprinkle in 4-5 tablespoons of water and pulse a couple of times. Add one tbsp, pulse once, and continue until the dough looks moist enough to hold together.* 
  4. When your pie dough is finished, gently wrap it as a disc and let it chill. (You can make pie dough a day or two in advance or freeze it for up to a month.)
  5. When ready, remove one pie dough disc at a time, rolling* it into a circle a little bigger than the pie plate. Transfer the pie dough to the pan and press into place without stretching. Refrigerate while rolling out the second disc. 
  6. Fill your homemade pie crust according to your recipe.

*A good rule of thumb is to continue adding water until a small clump of the pie dough will hold together without crumbling apart.

Professional Baker’s Note: Rolling a homemade pie crust with shortening between two pieces of parchment paper prevents it from sticking, avoids working the dough too much, and keeps the flour and shortening ratio. Viola! Tender, flaky, golden pie crust!

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • The best tip for a flakey, melt-in-your-mouth pie crust is to reiterate the importance of properly measuring the flour. Pie crusts made from scratch recipes are carefully calculated with flour:fat:water ratios. 
  • Skip a learning curve and bless yourself with a good food scale to measure ingredients by weight instead of volume. The difference is crazy once you start using it.
  • Okay, tied for the “best tip” about making pie crust is cold, cold fat throughout the process. Besides the tender flake factor, firmer fat means less sticking while rolling out the dough. (Plus, adding less flour and overworking.)
  • Chilled pie crust ingredients mean the fat will take longer to melt while baking, producing those flaky pockets of crispness. Chill pie crust for 30 minutes; an hour is optimum.
  • If you “live” in a warm kitchen, you can go as far as chilling your bowls and equipment. Using a cold marble pastry board helps to keep the pie dough/shortening cold while it is being worked. (FYI, marble pastry boards are effective but should not be used as a cutting board.)

Professional Baker’s Tip: If your crust feels warm to the touch once it is rolled and crimped, re-chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

close up of unbaked pie crust in a pie dish.

How To Store Homemade Pie Crust For Later

I know someone who spends an afternoon rolling out half a dozen homemade pie crusts. She forms them into disposable pie pans, lays plastic wrap over each one, and freezes. Once completely frozen, they are nested together and pulled as needed.


You can keep a wrapped pie crust ball/disc in the fridge for up to 3 days and roll it out when ready.


A food processor pie crust is perfect for making ahead and freezing as a portioned pie dough discs or rolled and formed into a pie pan. Use your from-scratch pie crust within 3-4 months. When you’re in the mood for Homemade Blueberry Pie with a lattice crust, thaw the pie crust overnight in the refrigerator before filling.

baked pie crust in a white dish

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a food processor make better pie crusts than a pastry cutter?

The “yea’s” have it! Pulsing with a food processor will cut almost-frozen butter quickly and more uniformly into flour than by hand. Also, seeing the consistency of your pie dough makes a huge difference in avoiding overworked gluten strands. (Even diehards, who can make shortened pie crusts “in their sleep,” have jumped on the food processor bandwagon.

What blade is best for making pie dough in a food processor?

The standard s-blade will help you create the flakey, golden crust you want. While many food processors have a blunt dough blade included or available, the shorter arms are better suited for recipes with over 3 cups of flour.

How do you keep a pie crust from being soggy?

You can keep a pie crust from getting soggy in several ways. Blind baking, pre-baking before filling, or brushing the crust with beaten egg or corn syrup to “seal” the crust are great methods to keep it from getting soggy.

unbaked pie crust in a pie dish with text overlay saying how to make pie crust with a food processor

Originally posted in November 2011. UPDATED May 2023. We spiffed up this post with more info and new photos.

unbaked pie crust with crimped edges in a white pie plate next to a wood rolling pin

Perfect Pie Crust With Shortening

Yield: Makes two 9 inch pie crusts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Learn how to make a flaky and delicious pie crust using shortening and a food processor. Our step-by-step guide will help you create a foolproof crust every time! Perfect for making pie crusts to freeze!


  • 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (for sweet pies)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-vegetable shortening (butter flavored, if desired), cut into 1/4-tablespoon-sized pieces and chilled
  • 6-10 tablespoons ice-cold water


  1. Add the flour, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse lightly until mixed. Add in cold shortening pieces and pulse just until crumbs start to form, 3-4 pulses. You should see a mixture of pea-sized crumbs and small crumbs.
  2. Sprinkle the first 4-5 tablespoons over the crumbs and pulse twice. Add in water a tablespoon at a time until the flour appears slightly moistened. Try to avoid using all the water, and only pulse once in between each tablespoon addition.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into two discs. Wrap each disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. When time to make your pie, remove the crust discs from the refrigerator and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on top and flour a rolling pin. Roll the disc into a circle, being careful to work quickly and not handle the dough too much. When the dough is approximately 1-2 inches larger than the pie plate, transfer the dough to the plate and gently press into place. Try not to stretch the dough, as this disrupts the fat pockets that give pie crust its flaky texture.
  5. Fill and bake as directed for your pie.

FOR BAKED FILLINGS (apple, pumpkin etc.)

  1. Add filling to unbaked shell.
  2. Use the second crust to create a top crust or lattice.
  3. Bake according to your pie recipe.

FOR UNBAKED FILLINGS (pudding, strawberry creme etc.)

  1. Line your cold unbaked crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights of choice (beans, rice, or granulated sugar - recommended by Stella Parks at Serious Eats)
  2. Bake bottom crust at 350° F for 45-50 until just starting to brown for pies that need additional baking, like blueberry pie - or 1 hour until even brown and crisp for pies that need no further baking, like cream pies
  3. Cool completely then add filling.
  4. Store the other half of dough for another time if needed. Freezes wonderfully.


If you don't have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter and a large bowl.


Roll out half a dozen homemade pie crusts and form them into disposable pie pans, lay plastic wrap over each one, and freeze. Once completely frozen, they can be nested together and pulled as needed.

Refrigerate - 

You can keep a wrapped pie crust ball/disc in the fridge for up to 3 days and roll it out when ready.

Freeze - 

A food processor pie crust is perfect for making ahead and freezing as a portioned pie dough discs or rolled and formed into a pie pan. Use your from-scratch pie crust within 3-4 months. When you're in the mood for pie, thaw the pastry overnight in the refrigerator before filling.

RECIPE written by Shaina Olmanson (Nov 9, 2011)

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

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unbaked pie crust photo collage