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Food Processor Pie Dough

Yield: enough dough for one 9- to 9-1/2-inch single-crust pie

I’m an old-school pie maker—I learned how to do everything by hand—so I resisted the processor at first. Over time, however, I had to admit that it’s just plain easier and faster than the hand method, and the result is every bit as good.


  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) bleached all-purpose flour; more for dusting
  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbs. (24 g) cold vegetable shortening, such as Crisco
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 12 servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 150
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 90
  • Fat (g): 10
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 20
  • Sodium (mg): 100
  • Carbohydrates (g): 12
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Sugar (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 2


  • Dust a plate with flour. Put the butter and shortening in a single layer on the plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Refrigerate. Put the vinegar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup. Add enough cold water to equal 1/4 cup liquid. Refrigerate.
  • Transfer the flour mixture to a food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Remove the lid, and scatter the butter and shortening over the dry mixture. Give the machine 6 or 7 one-second pulses. The fat should be broken into a random assortment of pieces, from the size of split peas to large gravel.
  • Add the water through the feed tube, in a 6- to 7-second stream, giving the machine a series of 6 or 7 one-second pulses as you pour. When you’re done pouring, the mixture will still be crumbly, but if you press a handful of it together in your palm, it should hold together without falling apart. If it doesn’t hold together, pulse for another second.
  • Place two 18-inch-long pieces of plastic wrap on the counter, overlapping them the long way by about a third. Pour the dough mixture in the center of the plastic. Gather up and grasp the plastic on opposite sides. Bring your hands together to bunch up the mixture, then press down on the plastic to compact the dough. Move your hands around the plastic, and press again. Repeat several more times, until the dough is no longer crumbly, and then shape the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick disk.
  • Put the disk on a clean sheet of plastic wrap. Seal in the plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling. You may also freeze the dough. Slip the wrapped dough into a plastic freezer bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Variation: Double Crust

  • To make enough dough for a double-crust pie or two pie shells, double all of the ingredients, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. After you pulse the dry ingredients in the processor, add slightly more than half of the butter (about half of the total fat). Pulse 6 to 7 times, then add the rest of the fat and pulse 6 or 7 more times. Remove the lid, and then gently fluff the mixture with a fork to loosen it. Replace the lid, and add the water in a 6- to 7-second stream while pulsing the processor. Remove the lid and inspect the dough. If it seems overly dry or if it crumbles when you press some of it in your palm, add an additional tablespoon of cold water. Empty a little less than half of the mixture onto plastic wrap, as directed above. Shape the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Repeat with the remaining dough (the slightly larger second disk will become a bottom crust).


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • jimmyfox | 11/04/2019

    I have been baking pie crusts for ages. My husband bought me a Martha Stewart pie and tart recipe book back in the mid 80’s. Her recipe only used unsalted butter. I then went to Cordon Bleu. We didn’t make pies, but tarts and only used unsalted butter. Has my crust at times Shrunk a little? Yes. But I try and be careful to make sure I roll it well and bring it up to the rim. Even when I worked at Union Square Cafe, the pastry chef there only used butter. And her pies were great. And? She used some sugar. So does Martha. And so do I. Guess whatever works.

  • AlicefromBrooklyn | 09/10/2018

    I have tried many different recipes for pie dough. This one is great. I followed the directions exactly and used it to make an apple crumb pie. It was easy to handle, flaky, and held together. This recipe is a keeper.

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