Tips for the Perfect Pie Crust

The two imperatives of Thanksgiving pie crust are make it tender, and make it flaky. Those things don't happen by accident though. These tips from our Test Kitchen range from the best way to transport your rolled-out dough from counter to pie dish, to how to roll a rectangular sheet. Amy Wisniewski leads the way to the perfect holiday-meal ender.

Keep Things Chill


The key to producing flaky,tender pie crust is starting with very cold fat and super-frigid ice water. For pointers, check out our quick video tip on How to Ensure a Tender Pie Crust.

Eyes on the Corners


For a large apple galette, a sheet of focaccia, or pan pizza, you need to roll out a reasonably rectangular sheet of dough, but how to do that when you're starting with a round disc? The answer: Roll from the middle to the corners, and in no time you'll achieve the ultimate shape-shifting trick. Watch this quick video tip, How to Roll Rectangular Dough, for visual coaching.

Work That Pin


Rolling out the dough is only the beginning—you've still got to transfer that sheet of pastry to your pie dish. The easiest, least traumatic way to do this is by using your rolling pin as a transport device. Simply roll the dough onto your pin like it's a pig in a blanket, then unroll into the dish. Check out this quick video tutorial, Transporting Pie Dough.

Give It a Break


Recipes tell you to let your pie dough rest for at least 30 minutes, but do you really need to? The short answer: Duh. Letting your formed or rolled pie dough rest gives the gluten a chance to relax, and the moisture to distribute evenly throughout the dough—two ways to ensure your pie will be flaky, tender, and memorable in a good way. Watch this quick and emphatic video reminder, Why You Should Rest Pie Dough.