Making Pie Pastry

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes a

    10 in

    tart shell

Appears in

When making pie pastry, it is important that the fat is chilled so that it remains firm during mixing.


  • 2 cups/250 g flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar (for sweet pies)
  • cup/75 g cold unsalted butter
  • cup/75 g shortening or lard
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • ¼ cup/60 ml cold water (more if needed)


  1. Sift the flour with the salt, and sugar if using, into a bowl. Add the butter and shortening and cut into small pieces with a pastry cutter or two knives, using one in each hand. Rub with your fingertips until the mixture forms fine crumbs, lifting and crumbling to help aerate it.
  2. Make a well in the center of the mixture, add egg yolk if using, and water. Mix quickly with a knife to form crumbs. If they are dry, mix in 1-2 tablespoons more water. Press the dough together with your fingers. It should be soft but not sticky.
  3. Work the dough lightly with your hand for a few seconds to form a rough ball. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until it is firm. Knead and roll as for pâte brisée.