Small Pie Crust

Who’s baking pies this weekend? If you raised your (virtual) hand, then I’m with you.

I never thought that I’d be interested in making a pie that serves only two people, but that’s changed. When it’s just me and my husband, a small pie is the perfect dessert for 2. I’ve been making my mother-in-law’s pie crust recipe for over 12 years and it’s never failed me. I love it so much that I simply cut it in half to accommodate the smaller version that I’m sharing today. You only need four ingredients and I promise you it’s super simple to make. If you want a normal size recipe instead, then I’ve got you covered. Admire these pretty pictures and then head on over to the post for that recipe (Click here for the homemade pie crust recipe).

To start this adventure, make sure that you have a 6 inch pie plate. I have two of Emile Henry HR Ceramic mini pie dishes and love them. My husband prefers baking in metal pans and recommends the Fat Daddio Aluminum pans or the RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel pans. Right now small pie pans are difficult to find so don’t forget the option of the full sized pies is still an option, and comes with a bunch of leftovers.

Step 1, whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl that is large enough to get your pastry masher down into the bottom.
Step 2, mix in the shortening until the dough is crumbly. I prefer using a pastry blender to mix the dough at this stage, but a fork will also work. The key here is to make sure that the shortening is cold, like straight from the fridge.
Step 3, add very cold water to the flour and shortening mixture. I store the water in a mixing bowl with ice to keep it as cold as possible. Using very cold water will help keep the shortening solid.  Mix everything together. I like to switch to a fork at this point because I feel like I have better control over the mixing, as I do not want to over mix. The goal is to use just enough water so that the dough comes together.  The dough should be able to stick together if you press the pieces together.  It should not fall apart.  And that’s it! You’ve got homemade pie crust (sort of). Well, the “hard” part is done. Easy peezy.

At this point, you do have to let it chill out in the fridge for 30 minutes. Chilling the dough helps the gluten set and the fat (i.e. shortening) stay solid. This means that it will be easier to roll out and you’ll get a flaky crust.

I love this King Arthur rolling mat. The silicone mat sticks to your counter and is kind of like a cheat sheet for measuring your pie crusts. It’s a bit pricey, but if you’re a perfectionist like me then you’ll thank me. I’ve used it so much over the years and think it’s well worth the investment.

So… which pie are you going to bake?

Small Pie Crust Recipe
(Makes 1 layer of pie crust for a 6 inch pie)


  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening, chilled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water, very cold


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  2. Add the shortening and mix with a pastry blender or fork until the dough is crumbly.
  3. Add in 2 tablespoons of very cold water and mix with a fork (not the pastry blender any more if you used it on the previous step) until the dough is moist and comes together.  Add more cold water a few drops at a time, if needed.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Flour your rolling surface.
  6. Using a rolling pin, start rolling from the center and work your way out.  Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough and on your rolling pin if the dough is too moist, i.e. it sticks to your rolling pin.
  7. Roll out the dough to fit in your size pie plate.  For example, today I am using a 6 inch pie plate and I rolled out the dough about 8 inches in diameter to allow for enough dough to go up the sides of the pie plate.
  8. Carefully lift the dough off of the surface.  Use a spatula to help get it started if it’s a bit sticky.  Gently lay the dough into the pan and gently press the dough into the edge of the pan taking care to avoid poking holes in it or tearing it.
  9. Cut off any excess dough that hangs over the pie plate edge.
  10. Poke holes in the crust with a fork if the type of pie you are making requires a pre-baked crust.
  11. Fill the pie with the desired filling and bake according to the directions of your pie recipe.

Adapted from: My mother in law

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *