The Best Pie Crust Ever

Pie, that great dessert that makes mouths water. And good pies have great pie crusts. Crusts that are tender, rich and flake off your fork.

Use this easy recipe, then stand back and accept the compliments as you serve your favorite pies---blueberry, pumpkin, chocolate, meat, pecan, strawberry, lemon, apple...the list goes on and on.

This pie crust recipe was developed by Lena Bartholomew, one of the two best cooks I have ever known. She used it in her catering business and then adapted it, and sized it down for family use.

Don't worry about working the dough too much and making it tough, as happens with most pie crust recipes. For some reason, that doesn't happen with this one, as long as you don't add a ton of flour when you are rolling it out. So pull out the rolling pin and pans and got to it.

Lena Bartholomew's Best Pie Crust Ever

3 3/4 Cups Flour

3/4 Cup Water

1 3/4 Cups Shortening

2 teaspoons Salt

3/4 Cup Flour (for batter)

Blend 3 3/4 cups flour and the shortening together until you have little lumps no larger than a pea. You can do this with an electric mixer or by hand. In a separate bowl make a batter using 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup water and the 2 teaspoons of salt. This doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, but mix it until it is about like pancake batter.

Mix the batter into the flour and shortening mixture using a dough hook, or your hands.

Pinch off enough for a bottom or top crust and roll it out. Bake according to the recipe you are using for the filling.

(recipe copyright 2010 by Lena R. Bartholomew. All rights reserved. Used by permission)


This dough is pliable and easy to work with. Roll it out quite thin (less than 1/4" thick) and you'll end up with twice the number of pies than you would if you make it thick.


When rolling out pie dough, form the ball of dough into a flat circle. Sprinkle the counter with a little flour before putting the dough down. Also rub a little bit of flour onto your rolling pin. Then roll the dough out from the center to the edge, going back and forth to keep your circle shape. Add a light sprinkling of flour to keep it from sticking and flip the crust over and roll it all around again, always from the center out to the edge. I usually flip it at least twice while I am rolling it out.


To lift the pie crust without breaking it, fold the circle in half, then pick it up and place in the pie tin or on top of your pie.


If you are covering a big surface such as a 9X13 pan for a meat pie, roll the pie dough into a rectangle shape and then roll it up onto your rolling pin. Place the rolling pin on one end of the dish and unroll the dough across the top. Cut vent holes in the top crust with a pair of kitchen shears.

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