How to Make a Buttery Flaky Crust

buttery flaky crust

You know what I’m talking about, a buttery flaky crust on a slice of pie, get it right and it’s heaven. 

In the beginning crusts were usually hard, uninteresting, and not really made for people to eat

Crusts were originally the delivery system for the food being served.

The crust was a  way to preserve the food, or the baking dish itself.

Again, it appears that it was the ancient Egyptians who engineered the first pies.

They were rectangular in shape with very thick sides to hold up under many hours of cooking..

Thankfully the pie has evolved to a thing of beauty and delicious delight including, or in some cases especially the crust.

When to Use a Buttery Flaky Crust

Always I would say!

I would recommend that whether savory or sweet the goal for the pie crust should be buttery and flaky.

How to Make a Buttery Flaky Crust

One of the big keys to making a flaky crust is not to work the dough too hard.

The more you mix and knead the pie dough the more likely you are to have a tough pie crust

Also the water in a crust will contribute to forming gluten which is likely to be tough. 

Therefore you want just enough water and never too much.

Making a good crust is kind of the opposite of making a good loaf of bread

buttery flaky crust

You want to inhibit too much gluten creation in the pie crust. 

These are the reasons people will use liquids like vodka, or add some vinegar to their crusts.

Vodka will not help develop gluten and the alcohol will evaporate, and vinegar will inhibit gluten from forming.

I like to use a food processor to make my crusts in, and I like my crusts to be baked in a buttery goodness.

I rarely will use any fat other than butter when making a pie crust.

buttery flaky crust

I place the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until the flour resembles wet sand.

For my liquid in this recipe I use buttermilk because the high fat content will help the crust become super buttery.

I will also add some vinegar to inhibit gluten formation.

The most important thing is that I process just to the point the dough forms and no more.

Remove the dough, and make it into an oblong shape, place it on a lightly floured surface.

Either roll out each half with a rolling pin, or use your hands to shape the crust.

Tips for Making

  • The biggest tip is not to overwork the dough, this will always lead to a tougher crust.
  • Make sure not to overbake, this will cause the pie to become crumbly.
  • Don’t worry if your crust feels like it is just on the edge of crumbling.

buttery flaky crust

Buttery flaky crust cake close up

Buttery Flaky Crust Recipe

You know what I’m talking about, a buttery flaky crust on a slice of pie, get it right and it's heaven.
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Course: Basics, Sweets
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crust, Dough, Pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 double pie crust
Calories: 2803kcal


  • 1 cup Butter cold, cubed
  • cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼-½ cup Buttermilk cold
  • ½ tsp Vinegar


  • Place the flour salt and cold butter cubes into the bowl of a food processor, and process until the flour mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Add the vinegar.
  • As the food processor is running slowly add the buttermilk. Only add enough until the dough comes together then stop.
  • Remove and shape into a pie crust.



Calories: 2803kcal | Carbohydrates: 242g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 189g | Saturated Fat: 118g | Cholesterol: 495mg | Sodium: 4016mg | Potassium: 470mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5772IU | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 15mg

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