I turned a few apples into filling and wanted to make hand pies, but I didn’t want to deal with making pie dough. Oh no! It almost happened to me—we call it Pie Anxiety.
Making pie dough can and should be simple. So, if you’re into doing things the hard way, try this (what I used to do after years of proper training), otherwise let the food processor do the work and get on with the fun part—filling your pies and popping them into the oven!
Amy's Perfect Pie Dough (the easy way)
makes enough for a 9-inch double crust pie or about 8 6-inch hand pies and some decorations
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter If using regular butter like Land of Lakes which is salted, cut back additional salt to none or just a pinch
- 4 tbsp Crisco or other non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tall glass of ice water, you will use 6–8 tablespoons, as needed for the dough to come together
Egg wash for baking: 1 egg + 2 tablespoons milk or cream
Measure flour and salt into food processor. Add the butter and shortening chunks and pulse until mixture is uniformly crumbly.
From glass of ice water, measure out 4 tablespoons and sprinkle over the crumbly dough. Pulse a few times to incorporate. If mixture seems dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse just until the mixture begins to form a ball.
Turn out onto lightly floured work surface and pat into a couple inch-thick round. Cut in half then flatten each half into disks about an inch-thick. Wrap each in plastic or parchment and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Roll dough disks into a bottom and top crust (for a big pie) or cut 4 circles from each for hand pies. Cut decorations from remaining scrap and bake with cinnamon sugar or a dab of filling.
Brush surface of pie with egg wash: 1 egg + 2 tablespoons milk or cream. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
I like to bake pies somewhere between 400 and 425° to get a nice, crispy crust. Hand pies are usually done in 25–30 minutes, big pies take longer and usually involve some hot oven time then some 350° time, refer to your favorite recipe since it all depends on your filling.
Recipe Notes / Tips
Make ahead note: you can store the dough rounds in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Any longer and the flour will start to discolor. You can freeze the dough rounds, well wrapped in a freezer bag, for up to 2 months. When you want to use them, set in refrigerator overnight to thaw.
- For hand pies: roll the dough thinly and use a 5-inch diameter bowl or big yogurt container to cut circles. Roll each circle a bit thinner, aiming for about 6-inches in diameter. Add a couple tablespoons filling in center, dot with butter, fold over into half-moons, crimp, cut decorative steam vents, then bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan for about 25-30 minutes at 400°F until the crust begins to brown.