This homemade dough is great for pies, pastries and tarts. You can also omit the sugar and use it for pot pies. This simple, made-from-scratch recipe produces a flaky crust every time.

Things You'll Need

Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.

Add the shortening with a pastry blender (or two knives) until the mixture is uniform; it should be fairly coarse.

Sprinkle the water into the mixture one tablespoon at a time while tossing lightly with a fork until all of the water has been added.

Work the dough into two firm balls to make two pie crusts (or whatever size you like). Press each ball of dough into a flat circle with smooth edges. Cover them with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.

Roll each ball of dough ball into a circle, about one-eighth inch thick, on a lightly floured board. Gently ease the dough into the pie plates, being careful not to stretch the dough.


  • Allowing the dough to chill before rolling helps to keep the dough flaky.

  • Adjust the size of the dough balls as appropriate to whatever you’re using the dough to make.