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Last Updated on October 28, 2020 by Chenée Lewis
Homemade all-butter pie crust is a truly magical thing. For many years in my baking I used store-bought pie crust, and I still don’t have anything against store-bought crust if time is a factor. But if you have a stand mixer or food processor and a few minutes to try it out, this pie crust is actually super easy to make yourself, and totally worth it.
For this all-butter pie crust recipe you’ll either need a food processor or a stand mixer. A food processor works more quickly, but I’ve found that a stand mixer can do the job too! The key is to make sure that the bowls and attachments stay cold, and NOT to overmix! Pie crust can be intimidating, but once you try this easy all-butter pie crust you’ll be making homemade pie crust every time!
Break out that vodka!
If you’ve got a bar cart with a little spare booze, this is your moment! Half of the liquid in the dough is vodka, and you might be wondering why…
Vodka evaporates more quickly, which allows those flaky bits to form more easily in the oven, and because it replaces water, there’s less water to promote gluten development in the dough. The alcohol cooks off, and because vodka is basically flavorless, there’s not impact on the flavor of the crust. The result is a tender, flaky all butter pie crust that is much more forgiving than a typical all-butter crust.
If you don’t have vodka, you can use any spirit with at least 40% alcohol, like tequila, rum, or whiskey, but just be aware of the flavor that your spirit of choice might produce in your crust. Although to me, a pie crust with hints of bourbon or rum sounds very interesting!
- all-purpose flour – be sure to measure your flour correctly — either using a food scale to measure out 160 grams (my recommendation), or use the spoon-and-level method.
- sugar – you can omit sugar if you’re using this recipe for a savory recipe like chicken pot pie, or my Heirloom Tomato Galette with Herbs.
- salt – Just a bit of salt helps to add flavor to this all butter pie crust!
- butter – Your butter should be very cold. I like to take the butter straight from the fridge, cut it into ½-inch cubes, and then pop it into the fridge for about 15 minutes to get it extra cold. If you use salted butter, cut your salt down to ¼ teaspoon.
- ice water – Again, it should be icy cold! I like to let some water sit in a cup with a few ice cubes in it, and then measure my water from that cup.
- vodka – this is the most important ingredient to get that flaky texture! What you’ll do is add vodka to bring the dough together and allow it to be pliable, but because vodka doesn’t affect gluten formation as much as water does, your pie crust will remain flaky.
For this all butter pie crust recipe, you’ll need either a stand mixer, a food processor, or a pastry blender. Once the dough comes together and is chilled, you’ll also need a rolling pin to roll it out and place it into your pie pan.
Once you’ve made this flaky all butter pie crust recipe, you’re ready to make some pie! Try my Brown Butter Black Bottom Sweet Potato Pie for an incredible spin on a fall and holiday classic!
Or you can also use this flaky all butter pie crust recipe for savory treats! I use this pie crust for my Breakfast Quiche with Leeks, Bacon, and Asparagus and in my Heirloom Tomato Galette with Herbs.
And don’t forget — for those pie dough scraps be sure to whip up a batch of my Pie Crust Cookie Twists!
Equipment you may need
- Cube cold butter into ½-inch cubes and place in freezer for 15 minutes to chill.
- Measure your flour (with a kitchen scale, if you have one) and add to bowl of food processor or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. You can also just add it to a large bowl if mixing with a pastry blender.
- Add your cubed butter straight from the freezer, and pulse, or mix on the lowest setting, or cut with pastry blender until butter is incorporated into flour in small, pea-sized lumps.
- Add in your cold water, and mix to incorporate. Then add vodka as needed to allow dough to come together.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and, with floured hands, form into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours, or overnight.
- Roll out onto a floured surface with a floured rolling pin until it's 12 inches in diameter. Carefully roll onto rolling pin to transfer into your pan.
- To transfer to pie pan, wrap pie crust gently around floured rolling pin, hold rolling pin above the edge of the pie pan, and gently unroll. Press crust lightly into pan and crimp sides.
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