Flaky Pie Dough Recipe

Prep Time Cook Time Serves
1h15m Makes 2 (9-inch) pie shells

This is the pie dough I like to use when making a North American style pie, such as pecan, pumpkin or apple pie. It uses vegetable shortening so the pastry is lighter and flakier, not dense and sweet like a sweet shortcrust pastry that you would use for a more traditional French style tart. I have tried all butter doughs and I also tried making this style dough with 50% butter and 50% vegetable shortening. However, I think the best flaky dough uses 100% vegetable shortening.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup cold vegetable shortening (I use Crisco brand), cubed
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 tablespoons cold milk


Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Using two knives, a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the shortening into the dry mixture until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.


In a measuring cup, combine the water and milk. Add the liquid a little at a time to the flour while mixing with a fork. Keep adding liquid until a dough comes together and forms a ball. You may not need to use all of the liquid. Form the dough into two disks and wrap each in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before using.


The dough can be made up to two days ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

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