This traditional Amish Pie Crust recipe uses basic pantry ingredients to make a flaky homemade pie crust. This never fail recipe is easy for beginners and is the perfect base for your favorite sweet and savory pies!
I love to pull inspiration from a variety of sources when I’m making food for my family (and food to share with you here!). I love flipping through an issue of Cook’s Illustrated or a vintage cookbook to see what kind of flavors and techniques I can be inspired by.
One source of recipes I love to reference are Amish and Mennonite style recipes (like Amish cinnamon bread or these sweet and sour refrigerator pickles). There are often passed down for many generations and can be made with bare bones ingredients. This appeals to my love of old-fashioned cooking and my frugal side.
So when I recently was adapting a recipe for Amish pumpkin pie, I knew I wanted to share a recipe for an Amish pie crust as well. This recipe was adapted from the popular Mennonite cookbook “More with Less” as well as several Amish-style recipes.
The thing that shocked me the most? How close it ended up being to my classic butter and lard pie crust! It turns out, there is a formula for successful pie crusts. I say if it’s not broke, don’t fix it! This recipe is basically the same but with the addition of a few tablespoons of sugar. This is a common ingredient in Amish style pie crusts, so I didn’t want to leave it out. Overall, the crust itself isn’t at all sweet, and can still be used for savory applications such as pot pie.
Reasons to Love This Recipe:
- It’s easy to make with just a handful of basic pantry ingredients!
- A versatile pie crust that can work for both sweet and savory pies.
- Makes enough for 2 single crusts. You can use both at once to make a double crust pie (like apple pie) or freeze one for later use.
- Uses just 6 ingredients, making it both simple to make and easy on the budget!
- Flour: You’ll need about 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour – either standard or unbleached. Use whatever you have on hand!
- Butter and/or Lard: For this recipe I recommend that you use half butter and half lard, but you can totally use all butter if you prefer. Just make sure whatever you use is thoroughly chilled.
- Sugar: This isn’t a sweet crust, but a little bit of sugar adds the perfect touch.
- Salt: Just a bit of salt is added, but if you plan on using unsalted butter add a bit of extra salt to compensate.
- Ice water: It’s imperative that you keep everything nice and cold when making pie crust. I recommend preparing a bowl of ice water just before you get started.
Equipment and Tools:
How to Make an Amish Pie Crust
Before you get started, make sure to prepare a bowl of ice water. I like to fill a medium or small bowl with ice and add in about 1 1/2 cups of cool water. Then it has the opportunity to chill as you make the pie dough.
Once you’ve prepared a bowl of ice water, add the flour, salt and sugar to a medium sized bowl. Whisk everything together until mostly uniform.
Then add in the cold cubed butter and lard, and cut the fat into the flour mixture using a pastry blender (or a food processor if you prefer).
Continue blending the fat and flour together until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-size (or smaller) bits of butter and lard.
Begin adding some ice water to the mixture, starting out with several tablespoons and mixing after the addition to moisten the flour.
Add the ice water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, and mix after each addition.
Keeping adding the water and mixing until the dough begins to pull together into a solid mass. Then gently knead it together with your hands.
Place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap it tightly.
Chilling the Dough
Place your wrapped dough ball into the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours, although overnight (8 hours) is preferred. This ensures the dough is firm and easy to roll out.
If you want to make the dough in advance and freeze the ball, you can absolutely do that! Just place the wrapped ball in a freezer bag and freeze until ready to use. Then thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
Rolling the Dough
Once your dough has chilled for at least 2 hours, you’re ready to roll it out. Divide the dough ball in half and place it on a lightly floured countertop.
Roll the dough out using a rolling pin, rotating it a quarter of a turn and flipping it as needed.
Once you’ve rolled out a rough 12″ circle, you’re ready to fit it into the pie plate. Drape the dough into the plate and press it into the bottoms and sides using your hands.
Trim the edges of any excess dough (any that sticks out more than 1″ from the edge) and fold the edges under.
Flute the edges of the pie crust using your fingers for decoration, or leave it plain if preferred.
How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust
Depending on the particular pie recipe you are using, you may need to blind bake or partially bake the crust. Blind baking is when the crust is throughly browned and cooked so it can be used with an unbaked pie filling. Partial baking is done often to prevent the bottom of a crust from becoming soggy with a heavy liquid pie filling.
How to Partially or Fully Bake an Empty Pie Crust
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Use the tines of a fork to dock the crust all over the bottom and up the sides of the dish.
- Place a piece of parchment paper inside (crinkle it first) and fill it with pie weights. If you don’t have pie weights you can use old dry beans instead.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are beginning to brown.
- Remove the parchment and allow it to cool if you are doing a partial bake.
- If doing a full blind bake, return it to the oven if for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the bottom is just beginning to brown.
- Remove and cool, or fill as directed in your recipe.
Storing and Freezing
In the fridge: You can keep your wrapped pie dough in the fridge for 3-5 days. For the best results, form it into discs to make for easy rolling.
In the freezer: Amish pie dough freezes very well. Just wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. You can freeze it for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling out and using as directed in your favorite pie recipes.
More Amish Recipes
More Pie Crust Recipes:
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup cold butter, cubed
- ½ cup cold lard, cubed (or additional butter)
- Ice water
- Add the flour, salt, and sugar to a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine.
- Prepare a bowl of ice water by pouring 1 ½ cups of cool water into a bowl filled with ice cubes. Set aside.
- Add the cold lard cubes and the cold butter cubes to the bowl of flour and salt.
- Use a pastry cutter to cut the fat into the flour, blending until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Once the mixture has even, pea-sized crumbs (or smaller), begin adding the ice water a few tablespoons at a time. Start with 4 tablespoons, and mix gently with a silicone spatula.
- Add the ice water 1-2 tablespoons at a time, and gently mix, until the dough comes together in a mostly solid mass.
- Use your hands to bring the dough together, and mold it into a large disc or ball.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, but overnight is preferable.
- When you’re ready to roll the dough out, cut the dough in half and roll it into a circle on a lightly floured surface.
- Fit the dough into a pie plate, tucking the edges under and fluting the edges for decoration. Pierce the bottom and sides of the crust with the tines of a fork.
- Fill the pie or blind bake, according to your recipe instructions.
Yield: This recipe makes enough for 1 double-crust pie, OR 2 single-crust pies.
Blind baking or Partial Bake: Preheat the oven to 375ºF and place a piece of parchment paper over the crust fitted into a pie plate. Add pie weights or old dry beans to the center, spreading the weights or beans out so they weigh down the center of the pie. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are beginning to brown. If you only need to partially bake the crust, you can remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool.
If doing a full blind bake, remove the parchment and return to the oven if for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the bottom is just beginning to brown. Remove and cool.
Storing or Freezing: Keep your pie dough wrapped in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for 3-5 days, or transfer to the freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before rolling and using.
Lard Substitute: If you would like to make your Amish pie crust without lard, feel free to substitute the cold cubed lard for additional cold cubed butter in the same quantity. You could also substitute the lard for cold shortening.
Bake Time: If you don't have a recipe you're using, a good rule of thumb for pie baking is to start off at 375°F for 20 minutes, and then the rest of the baking time at about 350°F (about 30-50 minutes for most pies). This ensures a nice, golden crust while still having a fully baked inside. Cover the edges with a pie shield OR a ring of foil.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 113mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.
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