How to Make Homemade Pie Crust Without Freaking Out

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Want to make a homemade pie crust for the holidays this year? You can totally do it — without freaking out.

How to Make Homemade Pie Crust Without Freaking Out | Good Cheap Eats

Some of my fondest memories are those spent with my Gramma John, my dad’s mom, baking. She had a special second kitchen in her basement where she baked. It was like a dream come true the first time I visited her. Two kitchens?!

Clearly, my California girl had never seen such a thing. She wasn’t rich, but after years of preserving and baking, she had a special set up in her basement so that weather didn’t interfere with her efforts.

I have an especially keen memory of making peach pies with Gramma John one summer. I learned two things:

  1. I don’t like cooked peaches.
  2. I can make a homemade pie crust if I use the pat-in-pan recipe.

I remember fumbling to get the crust just right; Gramma’s adept hands made quick work of smoothing out the edges and making it look right. She had the touch, I tell you. Eventually, I got the hang of it, and it was life-changing.

I learned to make a Lemon Meringue Pie from scratch when I was ten. I used Gramma John’s Pie Crust recipe for the base. After a disappointing experiment with a boxed filling, I taught myself how to make the lemon curd on the stovetop. For years that was my signature dish to make for holidays.

It wasn’t until a dozen years later that I ever touched a rolling pin. Gramma’s way just worked.

How to Make Homemade Pie Crust Without Freaking Out

How to Make Homemade Pie Crust Without Freaking Out | Good Cheap Eats

Today, I go back and forth between two different recipes: this simple roll-out pie crust recipe and Gramma John’s Pat in the Pan Pie Crust.

If you’re looking for a homemade pie crust this holiday season, either of them will work super well. Unless I’m making a top crust, I usually rely on Gramma’s. It’s easier, I have the measurements memorized, and I don’t have to wash the rolling pin. My kids have been helping me make pies since they were toddlers since this way is so easy!

Don’t be afraid. You can totally do this!



Favorite Homemade Pie Recipes

While you’re at it, consider these pies for your Thanksgiving feast:

Now fess up, do you make homemade pie crust or do you buy it?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. Stephanie M. says

    I make my own. Years ago, when I was just learning how to bake, I would buy either the frozen pie shells or the refrigerated kind that you unfold. Once I started making my own, I never went back. I see in the picture, you use your food processor to make your dough. I also use that. Making dough is not hard; you just have to practice and know when the dough is pliable enough for rolling or if it needs more flour or a little more ice water. And, of course, the rolling surface always has to be kept floury or when you pick up the dough, it will break. I just keep picking up the dough as I roll it and add more flour to the surface and to the pin. Then I carefully pull back the dough from the surface and place in the pie pan.

  2. Donna says

    I love your Gramma John’s piecrust. I use it all the time! So easy!

    • She would be so proud! She passed away 15 years ago right before Thanksgiving. Her legend lives on. 😉

  3. What a brilliant idea! I’m not a pie crust maker. Since it’s my heritage, I often make pulled apple strudel instead of pie, and the rest of the time, I rely on others to bring the pie, but I could totally handle this kind of pie crust! The only other that I’ve tried that doesn’t give me hives is the oil based crust in the King Arthur cookbook. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Felicia says

    I’m a “from scratch” pie crust maker too!

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