The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Pie crust that holds its shape?

thursdaykay's picture

Pie crust that holds its shape?

Hi all! Does anyone have a solid pie crust recipe that holds its shape all through baking?

I currently use Four & Twenty Black Birds' all-butter crust recipe (link below), and it is my favorite by far. But when I flute/crimp my crusts, I find they always lose their shape during the bake, even after going into the hot oven after being frozen for a few hours.

Does anyone have any tips? I've tried making a half-shortening half-butter crust, which did hold its shape much better, but I really dislike shortening as the dough is so fragile to work with, and the baked crust disintegrates at the slightest touch. I also dislike shortening as an ingredient, and am at a loss at what else to try.

Any help would be appreciated!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


Benito's picture

I swear by Stella Parks “Bravetart” all butter pie crust recipe and switched to using it exclusively for all my pie pastry needs. Recipe here.  It is hard to keep the crimp and fluting during the bake, I have experienced the same thing with all butter crusts.  It sounds like you’re already doing what I do which is to freeze the pie a bit in the freezer.  Other than the freezer, the only other thing I do is when I crimp and flute, I really try to press the crust into the edge of the pie pan to try to get it to adhere to the pan.

I used to do the vodka butter shortening pastry as well and it certainly held the shape better, but it cannot compare with the flavour of an all butter pasty.


thursdaykay's picture

Thank you both!

semolina_man's picture

The recipe you linked to calls for water, cider and ice.  Try cutting total liquid (water+cider+ice) in half, or eliminate it altogether.  Then see how it works.  Water and ice are adding zero flavor, so if you like eliminate water and ice, and use half the amount of cider.  Or add even less lemon juice.  The cider is adding sugar and acid and water, there are other ways to do this with natural ingredients.   Water is part of the problem. 


Manufactured or machine made pie crusts use stiff dough, which is not a problem for machines with high power, torque and tonnage to press the crust.  Liquid and room temperature ingredients makes hand working easier, but can contribute to a crust that melts in the oven before it is cooked and is set. 

retired baker's picture
retired baker

try this.

8 oz butter

8 oz ap flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tbl sp sugar, more sugar if used for sweet goods. up to 1/3 cup

make a dry rub and add 1 egg.

should not be sticky to the touch.