Butter and Shortening Pie Crust

I’ve made a lot of pie crust. All-shortening crust: very flaky and crisp, but a devil to work with. All-butter crust: very flavorful, but tends to shrink. Butter & shortening crust: hello, beautiful. Combining the best of the all-butter and all-shortening crusts, it is flaky and flavorful and a joy to work with. It doesn’t crack or break easily. It doesn’t shrink, and it rolls out like a dream.

butter & shortening pie crust

butter & shortening pie crust

This recipe requires cold butter, shortening, and water – so get those chilling well before you begin. It also requires chilling in between steps, because if the fat melts, which it wants to do when you take it out of the fridge to work with it, the finished crust will not have those nice, flaky layers. Trust me: chill the dough.


What you need:

butter & shortening pie crust


  • 1 1/4 c. flour, plus extra for dusting the counter
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, cold, cut in small pieces
  • 3 T. shortening, chilled
  • 4-5 T. water, very cold


  • food processor
  • bowl and rubber spatula
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • plastic wrap
  • rolling pin

Time: 20 minutes prep, 1-12 hours chilling, 15 minutes resting, 40 minutes freezing

Freezeable: Yes. Wrap well in plastic wrap and put in a freezer bag.

Serves: Makes a single-crust pie.

Multiplying the recipe: This can be easily doubled, but more than that would be difficult.

Butter & Shortening Pie Crust:

In a food processor, mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the chunks of butter and pulse 5 times. Add the chilled shortening and pulse about 4-5 times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Put the mealy mixture into a medium bowl and add the minimum amount of water. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough until it starts to clump, adding water as necessary to make a ball of dough. (You may need to use your hands to squeeze the dough together enough to form a ball.)

Divide the dough in half and press each half into a round disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or up to two days).

When you are ready to roll out the pie crust, allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften enough to roll.



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