Introduction: A Quick Pie Crust

Picture of A Quick Pie Crust

When you want pie, you want pie. My Grandmother's no-chill pie dough is a quick pie crust recipe which yields delicious results FAST.

I got home late and needed to whip together a quick meal for a dinner party. I made a no fuss chicken dinner and used this crust for a quick apple pie the other day. The whole meal took a little over an hour to prepare, and was quite tasty!


Step 1: The Recipe

Picture of The Recipe

My Grandmother's no-chill pie doughis delicious, easy, and quick because you don't need to chill it for a couple hours before rolling out!

This recipe requires:

2 1/2 c. Flour
1 c. Shortening
1 Tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 egg + 1/2 c. cold water

Step 2: Make Your Dough

Picture of Make Your Dough

Sift 2 1/2 c. flour with 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt in a bowl.

Add 1 c. Shortening. (see tip below for measuring shortening)

My Grandma uses lard, but I am substituting shortening for this pie dough which works just as well and will keep much longer on a pantry shelf.

Using a pastry cutter or a large fork, fork till chunky.

Take a liquid measuring cup. Add 1 egg (best if at room temp). Add cold water to egg until mixture measures 1/2 cup. Use cold water only as it helps bind dough and keep dough solid when handling. Mix Egg and water together with fork.

Fork water and egg mixture into the dough.

Kneed dough together. Take loose dough and put in an old pillow case which I set aside to use only for baking (make sure you remove any lint from pillow case corners. I usually do this with pillow case inside out). Kneed dough in pillow case until a nice dough forms

Set dough aside to prepare filling.

**Measuring Shortening Tip:

A quick trick to measuring shortening to save mess when dealing with greasy stuff is to take measure it in water. Take a liquid pint measuring cup. Add one cup of water and drop shortening in. Add enough shortening until water measures at 2 cups. (You are measuring by displacing water). With spoon, grab shortening out of measuring cup and discard remaining water. In this way, you don't grease up a measuring cup and makes for an easy clean and saves time!

Step 3: Roll Out Your Dough

Picture of Roll Out Your Dough

The pie dough recipe is enough for two pie crusts. Cut dough ball in half to prepare your crust.

Make sure to flour your surface and your rolling pin and roll out your pie dough. Change angles while rolling to keep it the same thickness throughout. Keep your pie pan handy so you can test to make sure the dough is rolled large enough for your pan.

When your crust is the right size, roll dough around rolling pin and gently transfer dough to pie pan. Pat dough down into contours of pie pan.

Pie Rolling TIP:
Use a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with flour, roll out pie dough. I like rolling on parchment because you can spin it around easy to change your angle and you can lift the edge of the paper to ease your dough onto your rolling pin when you need to move rolled dough into the pan. Parchment paper is not expensive and found at every grocery store. It has many other handy uses in the kitchen so is always good to have around.

Step 4: Finish Crust

Picture of Finish Crust

Add your pie filling.

If you are making a crust top for your pie, repeat previous step to get your dough rolled out. Using a pastry brush, brush on egg mixture to help top and bottom crusts join.

Once your top and bottom crust are together or if you only need a bottom crust: Cut off any excess pie dough around the edges, leaving about a half an inch for decorative pinching.

Decoratively pinch to finish edges and make your crust very pie-like.

Brush remaining egg mixture on pie crust and your pie is ready for oven.


Here is a blog post of how my pie turned out.


MiniCitrus (author)2017-10-19

Just wanted to say that I used this recipe for the holidays last year, and I’ll use it again this year. It’s so easy, fast, and versatile! It’s not overly complicated or sweet, which takes the stress off of getting good food made and enhances the tastes of the filling. For anyone looking for a great crust recipe, try it.

PamelaA34 (author)2016-07-24

OMG, I'm never buying a pie crust again. I bought frozen (expensive!) pastry dough sheets for my blueberry pie cause I'm lazy and when I opened it it was moldy. I was so angry. So, I went online to find a quick pie crust I could make easily with stuff I had in the house and this one showed up. It is so forgivable and easy to work with. OMG. I've made lots of pie crusts and it is always tedious and never turns out all that well. I think the egg is what gives it the required structure in the way of protein so it doesn't fall apart. So easy to work with. I did lattice-work on top of the pie and it was a breeze. Thank you so much. You have my gratitude forever!

Melody12345678 (author)2016-06-26

I wanted to make pastry without having to spend ages chilling it this recipe has been really helpful.

LoRo8 (author)2015-12-30

This is a very good and fast recipe! I had to use half shortening and half margarine. I used it to make chicken pot pie. As you can see in the pic. I didn't bother trimming the excess pie dough - I just rolled it up and into the oven it went.

CosmicBrambleclaw (author)2015-11-28

awesome instructable :D I was planning on making a apple pie myself last night but the Martha Stuart crust recipe I ended up using was a bust, and I couldnt find my chill-free recipe I used on my very first apple pie (my last one) but yours worked like a charm :D bookmarking this beauty for all my pie needs from now on :)

clairens (author)2008-11-01

may I ask what shortening is? I mean if you live in a non-english speaking country, what kind of chemical, or material should you be looking for? :) (is it like butter, or like whipped cream, or..amm, i don't know.. )

Robbob76 (author)clairens2008-11-03

Shortening is similar to lard (fat). The most common brand is Crisco.

clairens (author)Robbob762008-11-04

ahaaa!! okay, thanks. Now I understand.. it is an interesting term though..shortening.. :) fat is actually a shorter name than shortening :D but now I see you wrote "similar" not "the same as" fat..okay. :)

CynicalStick (author)clairens2008-11-04

It's not really like lard (although lard is gross too). It is an oil (soybean) that has been hydrogenated. It's a plastic fat (one molecule away from actually being plastic) and is very difficult for our bodies to process. It isn't really something that should be used for food purposes , and it leaves a nasty film in your mouth anyways. Butter is a little more expensive, but your arteries and your taste buds will thank you.

Sorry, I don't mean to be contradictory or mean, but I have a degree in biotechnology and you've been misinformed.

Crisco (today) is actually vegetable lard, made of saturated triglycerides. It's almost like the butter version of vegetable oil. To make it, you simply break the carbon-carbon double bonds of vegetable oil into single bonds, adding Hydrogen atoms. This makes the structure smoother and less kinked, resulting in molecules that nest closer to each other, forming a solid white Crisco mass.

Triglycerides are nothing like polycarbonates, polyesters, polyethylenes or any of the chemicals we traditionally think of as plastics. In fact, the chemical structures differ quite drastically, with triglycerides being made up of three long fatty acids connected to a glyceride backbone and plastics being made up of single or branching strands of repeating units, usually containing six-carbon rings.

In addition, triglycerides and plastics are both generally thought of as a single molecule, like water or iron. To say that a fat is "one molecule away from ... plastic" is like saying that the Golden Gate is one bridge away from being the Brooklyn Bridge.

All this isn't to say that fully hydrogenated triglycerides are a health food. They are a lot worse for a person than other fats, but they are not "very difficult for our bodies to process" at all. Butter, on the other hand, has quite a lot of cholesterol mixed in with its triglycerides. Cholesterol is what really builds up in your arteries, and avoiding eating too much is a very important part of developing a healthy diet and lifestyle.

I hope this has been helpful, though organic chemistry is a very difficult topic. Remember not to fall into the naturalistic fallacy and assume that anything natural must de facto be better than anything altered by chemistry. Aspirin is a chemically altered version of the salicylic acid we originally found in tree bark, but it's a very safe and effective anti-inflamatory.

I wish Instructables had a like button, I'd spam it so hard for your comment

as a student studying Nutrition Science at NC State University, I can say that you are absolutely right (incase anybody was doubtful)

Wow, I had to create an account just to say thank you. Even though you wrote this 5 years ago I'm sure it's informed many of people. I can't stand it when people say things on the Internet and act as it were fact. Someone once told me to use peanut butter to clean my leather couch! And even put it up on Pinterest! Anyway I can't wait to make this crust!

adawn4 (author)zoundsPadang2011-08-15

please be my friend !!!!

So, butter, there you go!!! I am from Brazil and I love sweets. I will try this pie for the weekend. if everything goes right, it may feature at Christmas Night or New year's Eve. Thanks for posting. ;D

ClayOgre (author)Claudia Moema2009-01-25

You ain't had good pie crust until you've had it made with lard. There's no comparison with any other sort of oil in a pie crust. Lard kinda gets a bad rap. But it's relatively inexpensive, and it does have some monounsaturated fat in it. However, watch out, there are some brands of lard that are hydrogenated. Armour brand, I believe, is hyrdrogenated. I usually buy Field brand lard, which isn't. I keep a small bucket of it in the fridge and use it primarily for making home made biscuits and pie crust once or twice a year. I also have a cake recipe which I occasionally use melted lard in. The lard makes for an especially moist cake.

Forkable (author)ClayOgre2009-01-26

Thanks for your comment! I agree, there is no flakier crust then lard. The one thing I've never been sure of is how long lard stays good for in the fridge? Its one of the reasons I keep shortening on hand. But its true compared with the hydrogenated crap, lard is not that bad for you. I guess lard:shortening is the same as butter:margarine.

ClayOgre (author)Forkable2009-01-27

Doing a google gave conflicting answers. Looks like anywhere from 9-18 months. 2 years if frozen. I know that the Field brand lard I buy, if left out on a hot day will turn somewhat liquid. I have kept mine in the fridge for as long as a year and not had any problems.

Forkable (author)ClayOgre2009-01-27

that sounds really good. I should keep some around.

Ginchi1730 (author)clairens2009-03-23

Shortening is Lard. At any rate it used to be. These days I imagine that they can make it with vegetable oil. You would probably know it as Crisco. Hugh

sislong (author)clairens2008-11-11

shortening is like butter ,lard ,solid vegetable oil

baltamirano made it! (author)2015-09-20

This pie crust is amazing. I used lard and a tad bit more flour because it was sticky. It tastes awesome.

peepmoo made it! (author)2015-08-30

I used softened butter instead of shortening and I skipped the pillow step. I also made the pie filling before I made the pie crust, and I didn't pre bake the crust, but the pie turned out awesome and everyone still loved it! Thx

naroqueen (author)2015-06-15

should I bake the bottom crust empty first then put the filling or can I just bake the complete pie altogether with its filling?

Oddgothgirl (author)naroqueen2015-07-16

I baked it with filling and all without prebaking. turned out great. I baked it @ 350 for 30 minutes and then I left it in there as the oven cooled and it was poifect.

Oddgothgirl (author)2015-07-16

omg! My family said that they wanted home made apple pie and I had never made a homemade crust by myself before. This crust was crazy easy, but I skipped the pillow case step, well because I don't have one. It turned out so good...I made hand held pies, and they were fantastic!!! This is my new recipe for any pie, sweet or salty...THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

SylviaC1 (author)2014-11-15

Can this dough be used in a Black and Decker Shell Maker Machine? Has anyone tried it? How did it come out?

SylviaC1 (author)2014-11-15

How long should I bake a pumpkin pie using this crust? How long should I bake an apple pie with top crust? Thank you.

urbanveggiegirl (author)2014-09-16


I had guests coming over like NOW and I needed pie crust fast thank you for sharing:)

MrsKase (author)2014-06-02

Hello. I wanted to just say I love this recipe so much it has become my house recipe for pie crust. I replace the shortening with organic coconut oil and it works beautifully. Thanks so much for a recipe I can finally bake quick pies for my family and I bake a pie almost every week for our breakfast now. I am baking this right now as a pumpkin pie actually, I have so far made shoe fly pie and cherry pie and apple rhubarb pie and blueberry pie with this crust. Thanks so very much.

saintrod (author)2013-10-29

This pie crust is great! I made a chicken pot pie last night and didn't have time to chill dough for hours, so this recipe came in handy. The dough was easy to roll out, and it came out really light and flaky. I baked my pie @ 425 degrees for 35 minutes. ;)

car crash heart (author)2013-07-12

It's an amazing recipe! But when I made it, it was about 100°F out and the shortening melted so it had to be refrigerated. You should warn people about that. It came out perfectly regardless!

plasiewski (author)2011-10-29

I used this recipe to make a turkey pot pie and it came out fantastic! I added some rosemary, thyme and a splash of cream sherry to the mix, great flavor and tender. Thanks Grandma!!

lozartist (author)2011-01-27

What temperature do you normally set your oven to?

ladycroft108 (author)2011-01-02

This recipe is great!!!
I made a savory pumpkin quiche for New Years Eve dinner, and it turned out perfectly light and flaky. Your grandma is a genius :)

zoundsPadang (author)2010-10-10
I made a pumpkin pie with this recipe (Instructibles) and put it in this crust and it turned out WONDERFULLY. I garnished with Irish whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

This is possibly the best no-chill pie crust I've ever made. It's not terribly hard to work with and you definitely don't need to kneed it in a pillow case. I was able to build a crust without a rolling pin (though one would have been handy.) Thanks a bunch!

islander_circe (author)2009-07-26

Why are you kneading the dough in an old pillow case? Is it simply to cut down on the mess or is there some other purpose?

I_am_Canadian (author)2009-05-09

How long to you cook it for a no-bake filling?

Forkable (author)I_am_Canadian2009-05-09

15-20 minutes maybe. Bake until the crust is golden brown. Just keep an eye on it.

I_am_Canadian (author)Forkable2009-05-09

'S what I figured... It came out great!

nagutron (author)2008-10-22

Nice instructable. Here's a pic of how I arranged the top crust of the last pie I helped someone make.

Forkable (author)nagutron2008-10-22


canida (author)2008-10-22

That shortening-in-water trick is priceless! Pie looks excellent, too. ;)

Forkable (author)canida2008-10-22

I'm glad someone out there uses shortening. I don't always, but its good to have around in a pinch. I was preparing myself for a comment about trans-fats.

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