Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust

Perfect Pie CrustAs with any recipe by Ina Garten, the question is not whether the dish will be great: it will be.  Rather, the question usually is: “How much butter can I leave out, and still have a great dish?”

In this case, Ina called for twelve tablespoons of butter, which struck me as a bit much.  I consulted my Cooking Light Dessert book, and found a nearly identical recipe, calling for six tablespoons.  Being my judicious self, I simply split the difference.  And sure enough, I still ended up with a delicious and easy-to-make pie crust.  Perfect for an apple pie!

Kudos, again, to Ina!

Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: Family Style.

PREP TIME: 30 minutes of chilling
YIELD: Two 10-inch pie crusts

9 tablespoons very cold, unsalted butter
5 tablespoons very cold vegetable shortening (Ina prefers Crisco)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold water

Perfect Pie Crust


1.  Dice the butter.  Once diced, place it in the freezer.  Place the water and shortening in the freezer.

2.  Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Pulse a few times to mix the ingredients.  Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, or until the butter is the size of peas.  With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.

3.  Dump the dough onto a lightly floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4.  Cut the dough in half.  On a well-floured board, roll each piece into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge.  Turn and flour the dough, as necessary, to ensure it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust once ready!


4 responses to “Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust

  1. Ha, so true about Ina’s recipes. I’ll have to refer back to this next time I make a pie crust – my last (and first) one shrunk, and my friends said it was from too much butter.

  2. Barbara Hamilton

    Don’t make this crust. Refer to Ina’s recipe at Foodnetwork. I accidentally used this recipe instead of referring to Ina’s recipe and it was a major failure. Her recipe calls for 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 1/3 cup of shortening. This recipe did not roll out and cracked everywhere because it needs more butter/shortening. I had to throw it out….. you can’t add more butter after you add the water. Maybe this worked for Judicial Peach, but it didn’t work for me.

  3. I’m very sorry to hear that. My crust did turn out fine with the reduced butter, so I do feel comfortable stating that the healthier option will work. You are, of course, free to disagree and free to go with Ina’s original recipe.

  4. I’m using this recipe for a single crust pie. I’d love to know the blind bake temp and time.

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