Flaky Piecrust

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes a


    deep-dish pie or open tart

Appears in

Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years of Recipes and Reflections from the Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant

Welcome to Claire's

By Claire Criscuolo

Published 2014

  • About

This recipe for delicious, flaky crust calls for organic, trans fat-free shortening, so you can enjoy your next pie or quiche with less guilt. Our customers do: We’ve been voted Best Quiche by the readers of Connecticut Magazine many times, and I’m sure that our lovely crusts contribute to this honor.


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling out dough
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons organic trans fat-free shortening (I like to use Spectrum® brand), chilled in the refrigerator for 1 hour
  • 6-7 tablespoons ice-cold water


  1. Measure the flour, salt, and baking powder into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Cover and pulse 5 times. Using your fingers, scoop out 15 small pieces of the cold shortening and scatter them over the flour. Cover and pulse about 10 times until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the cold water evenly over the mixture, cover, and pulse eight to ten times until the mixture comes together.
  2. Remove the cover. Using your hand, squeeze the dough between your fingers; if it holds together, it’s ready. If it’s too dry and it crumbles, add another tablespoon of cold water, cover, and pulse another two to three times. Remove the dough from the processor and fold it over two to three times, kneading two to three times. Form into a 6-inch disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least an hour until firm or overnight. This lets the gluten relax, making it easier to roll out.
  3. Before rolling, let the dough sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, until it softens slightly. Dust a countertop lightly with flour. Unwrap the dough. Using a rolling pin lightly dusted with flour, “whack” the dough several times, first in a horizontal direction, then in a vertical one, to form a circle. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle, adding a bit more flour if the dough sticks. Try not to add too much flour, or the dough will be dry.