Recipe: Art of the Pie Dough

For those who would like recipes that you can print at home, I found a nifty plug-in that will allow me to do that for you. It will take a bit of time to get them all done but hopefully you’ll find it worth the wait!

A chubby disc ready for rolling. Photo by K Cline

A chubby disc ready for rolling. Photo by K Cline

For the first one, I’ll start with the pie dough that I have taught with great success to thousands of people who come to my Art of the Pie Workshops. And yes, if you prefer an all butter crust, 14 Tablespoons will be just fine.

Recipe: Art of the Pie Basic Pie Dough
Recipe type: Pastry
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Total time:
This is the Basic Pie Dough that I have taught to thousands at Art of the Pie workshops across the country. For more information on workshops please visit
  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • *8 Tbs of Kerrygold or other salted or unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces
  • *8 Tbs leaf lard
  • 6-8 Tbs of ice water (This is an average but sometimes the dough takes more.)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • *(For ALL BUTTER dough use 14 Tbs of Kerrygold or other salted or unsalted butter for your total fat)
  1. Put all ingredients but the ice water in a large bowl.
  2. With clean hands, blend the mixture together until it looks like coarse meal with some lumps in it that looks like cracker crumbs, peas, and almonds. The lumps make flakey pies.
  3. Sprinkle ice water over mixture and stir lightly with a fork.
  4. Squeeze a handful of dough together. Mix in a bit more water if it doesnʼt keep together.
  5. Divide the dough in half and make two chubby disks about 5 inches across.
  6. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.
  7. Take out one disk and put it on a well-floured board, pastry cloth, parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  8. Sprinkle some flour onto the top of the disk. Thump the disk with your rolling pin several times.
  9. Turn it over and thump the other side.
  10. Sprinkle more flour onto the top of the crust if needed to keep the pin from sticking and roll the crust out from the center in all directions.
  11. When it is an inch or so larger than your pie pan, brush off the extra flour on both sides. Fold the dough over the top of the pin and lay it in the pie pan carefully.
  12. Donʼt worry if the crust needs to be patched together; just paint a little water where it needs to be patched and “glue” on the patch piece.
  13. Put the filling in the pie and repeat the process with the other disk.
This recipe will make one double-crust pie or two single-crust pies for 9" pie pans. Leaf lard is available at some butcher shops, farmers markets and also by mail-order. *If you prefer an all-butter crust, use about 14 Tablespoons of Kerrygold or other salted or unsalted butter for your total fat. It will take about 5-7 minutes to put the dough together. Minimum chill time is 20 minutes but 1-2 hours is great. After chilling, dough discs may be frozen for up to 1 month. Be Happy and Make Pie!


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  1. says

    Go Kate Go! I just discovered a similar plugin– makes things so easy, and now I can start my Kate McDermott Awesome Pie section in my three ring binder. Kate where do you buy your leaf lard? I forgot. Thanks! Tom on Vashon.

    • says

      So sweet! I’ve been getting it at Dietrich’s Meats in Pennsylvania. Sea Breeze is on the island and usually has it at the Seattle farmers markets, too. You may want to give them a call and pick some up.

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