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Aunt Elsie’s Flaky Pie Crust

This shortening pie crust is super flaky and tender.  The secret to flaky pie crust is cold shortening, resting the dough and not overworking it.  Follow these tips for a perfect pie crust!!

Okay, let me tell ya one of my favorite things to talk about besides pie itself…..pie crust.  I’ve played with pie dough since I was a little girl helping my mother, and I’ve made a lot of different kinds of pie crusts, but I will have to say that I keep going back to my favorite recipe when it comes to a flaky pie crust….the one my Aunt Elsie gave to me many years ago.  Aunt Elsie used to bring fresh blackberry and raspberry pies to our family reunions with the flakiest thinly rolled pie crust.  I’m not sure what I loved the most, the crust or her wonderful pie filling.  Needless to say, I pestered her for the recipe and she so sweetly obliged.  No offense to my own mother’s pie crust that I grew up eating and loving…my mother always made a thicker and more sturdy type of pie crust.

I sometimes make this crust and add some fresh herbs, if I’m making something such as a Chicken Pot Pie.  Now don’t get me wrong….there are lots of different kinds of pie crusts out there, and in my opinion, different pie crusts go with different pie fillings.  We’ll have that discussion a little later.  Anyhow, when I’m looking for a thin flaky pie crust, Aunt Elsie’s pie crust is my all time go to.

Why use vegetable shortening in your pie crust?  Vegetable shortening is 100% fat.  This means there’s very little water in it, resulting in less shrinkage and a flakier pie crust.  The more dough shrinks, the less flaky it is.

Pie crust is not hard to make.  The secret to flaky pie crust is in the mixing, chilling, and resting…

When you make the pie dough, start with very cold ice water and very cold shortening.  Cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles small peas, before adding the ice water.  Once you add the ice water, mix it only until the dough just comes together.  Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes before forming it into a disc, then refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Once the dough is chilled, pat the disc out with your hand until it is slightly flattened, then roll it out with a rolling pin, dusting the rolling pin as needed.  Always roll the dough a little bit bigger than the size of your pie dish.

Make sure to not stretch the pie dough.  Stretching the dough will cause shrinkage when the dough is in the oven.

Happy Pie Making!


Aunt Elsie’s Flaky Pie Crust

  • Author: Cindy Gibbs @ My Country Table
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pie shell 1x


Solid Crisco shortening make this pie crust ever so flaky!



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting the work surface.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Crisco solid shortening, very cold.  I place it in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • 67 tablespoons ice water


  1. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and mix together. Add the Crisco shortening and cut it into the flour using a pastry blender or fork, until it’s the size of peas.
  2. Add the ice water and mix only until the water is incorporated into the flour and you can form the dough into a disc. Do not overwork the dough, or it will result in a tough pie crust.
  3. Place 1/2 of the dough at a time onto a lightly floured work surface. Form it into a disc and slightly flatten it with your hand. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
  4. Roll the dough out very thin on a piece of floured wax paper or a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a circle that is big enough to fit across the bottom, up the sides and at least one inch over the edges of your pie dish. Place the dough in a pie dish. Flute or crimp the edges as desired. Bake as directed on your pie recipe.


If you are baking an empty pie shell for a cream or refrigerator pie, follow these steps…

Roll out pie dough and transfer to a pie dish.  Trim edges and crimp or flute as desired.  Place the pie shell in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Meantime, preheat an oven to 425 degrees.  Once the pie shell is chilled, prick the bottom and sides of the pie shell with a fork.  This is called docking the pie shell.  This keeps the pie shell from puffing up in the oven.  Place a piece of foil or crumpled up parchment paper in the bottom and up the sides of the pie shell.  Fill the shell with dried beans or ceramic pie weights.  Place the pie shell on the bottom rack of the preheated oven.  Immediately turn oven temperature down to 400 degrees.  Bake until the edges of the crust are starting to take on a golden hue, about 10 minutes.  Remove the pie shell from the oven and remove the pie weights and foil or parchment paper.  Return the pie shell to the oven and bake until the bottom of the pie shell has turned a golden brown.  This will take about 20 more minutes.  Allow the pie shell to cool before filling.


  • This pie crust recipe is enough for two shallow 9″ pie shells or one deep dish 9″ pie shell, with some extra dough left over.  I use about 2/3 of the dough for a deep dish pie.
  • Category: Pies

Keywords: pie crust, flaky, flaky pie crust, crisco pie crust,