The baking frenzy has begun. With my hands, up to my elbows, coated in flour for a wedding I’m baking for this coming weekend, I decided to share what I’m making over at Simple Bites today.

A whole wheat, naturally sweetened, apple pie.

I had so much fun with this post. It was a rainy, drizzling sort of day which made being indoors delightful.  With a warmed spirit, no errands to run and good music playing in the background; it made for a sweet baking day.

While taking pictures for Simple Bites I decided to pull out my flip camera and dedicate a post on my blog for a buttery, rich, flaky pie crust.

Once you see how simple a pie crust can be to make at home, head on over to Simple Bites to learn how to make a naturally sweetened, apple pie filing.

A traditional French Pâte Brisée.

There are many posts explaining how to make a pâte brisée; however, I thought a short and fun video, followed by the recipe, will help in illustrating how simple it really is.

You see, there really is nothing to it.  The secret is to keep everything cold in order to prevent the butter from warming itself and incorporating into the flour.

Tips for a perfect crust every time

  • Mise en place, have everything out ready to go, (except your butter, don’t bring out your butter until your ready for that step)
  • Store your flour in the refrigerator
  • Do not over process the dough
  • use ice water
  • Allow your finished dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour

For my pie crust, I grind my own whole wheat grain using soft white wheat berries.  This is what you would find at the store called Whole Wheat Pastry Flour.  In my opinion, store bought whole wheat flour does not compare to milling your own grain at home.  It’s much heavier and in my opinion, gritty.  If you do not grind your own grain, I would suggest using an unbleached all purpose white flour.

Ingredients for a two crust pie:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 6-10 tablespoons cold water (This is quite a gap in measurements, however, since I use freshly milled grains, it’s much lighter and I only need around 5-6tbls of water.  If you’re using store bought flour, you will most likely need anywhere from 8-10tablespoons)


1. In a food processor combine the flour, salt and sugar.  Blend to incorporate.

2. Cut the butter in small pieces, making sure to not handle it too much.  Your hands will give off quite a bit of heat and it’s important to keep your butter as cold as possible.

3. Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse 6-8 times or until the mixture resembles a coarse grain. Do not over process.

4. Add 1 tablespoon at a time of water and pulse. Continue to do this until the dough just begins to hold together without being wet or sticky.  Again, do not over process.

5. The dough should not stick together in a ball-shaped form.  It should just begin to hold.  Once you’re at this stage, empty the dough “pieces” onto the counter and shape quickly into a rounded ball.  Divide into two balls.

6. Quickly shape each piece into a disc and wrap in plastic.  Do not overwork.

7. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.

The dough will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or frozen for up to a month.

Do you make your own pie crust at home?  What’s your favorite recipe?

36 Responses to Pâte Brisée – A Simple Pie Crust Recipe with Video

  1. Danelle says:

    Have you tried this crust with lard? I usually do half butter, half lard.

    I agree, super easy. When I learned I could use the food processor, my kitchen became a pie factory.
    Danelle recently posted..Farm Art and all the bits of the summer winding….

  2. Katie says:

    I think I may need to make some pie now. I believe it will have to be fig pie since that’s what I have a lot of right now. :)
    Katie recently posted..Make Your Own Yogurt

  3. Nicole says:

    Diana – loved the video and what a beautiful pie! I recently bought a flour mill and have started experimenting with freshly ground pastry flour. I’ve been looking forward to pie season and this video and your recipe over at Simple Bites makes me want to go out in search of apples right now. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait a while before it’s apple season here :-)
    Nicole recently posted..Zucchini and Tomato Gratin

  4. Debbie T says:

    What a lovely video, and yes, you make it look so easy. For some reason, I am intimidated by pie dough, well, that and it’s so high in calories/fat, but I might have to just bite the bullet and make a pie, or at least SOMETHING with pie dough! sweet or savory?
    Debbie T recently posted..136 – Low, probably TOO Low

  5. Nuarss says:


    I’m from Spain and I want you to know your blog is really nice.
    Sorry but I don’t know how to speak English very well.

    Best regards.
    Nuarss recently posted..Tarta: Mousse de dos chocolates

  6. Bring some of that baking over here! Love this! I am a huge fan of pate , and this takes it over the top.
    Belinda @zomppa recently posted..Conor’s Beer-Battered Rings: Photo of the Day

  7. Love the video!! It would be great if you would do a video showing how you grind your own flour, too.
    Sue/the view from great island recently posted..Spiced gingerbread pears

  8. IAMSNWFLAKE says:

    mmm, yummmy! I’ve so in the run this past week, I’ve hardly set a foot in the kitchen so I’m missing the homemade delights. I’m now tempted to run to the grocery store and get baking.
    IAMSNWFLAKE recently posted..Estilo Pilar ¿2011?

  9. Love the video, DIana.

    You are right the food processor makes it really easy.
    You pay look lovely.

    You are going to share some of those wedding pictures, right?

    I can’t wait to see all the pies together.



  10. Fun video Diana. I never really liked making crust but then again I always make it by hand. I think the food processor is the way to go. Beautiful pie.
    France @ Beyond The Peel recently posted..Insanity Style Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

  11. Verena says:

    Oooh this is amazing! I love pies but I don’t make them very often as they are such a lot of work.. I’ve never even thought of using a food processor! :D Thanks so much for sharing! :) *runs into the kitchen*

  12. quigley says:

    Diana thank you so much for this easy to follow recipe! I recently turned forty and , can you believe it, have never baked a pie! Well, the other night I mustered up my courage and had a go – SUCCESS! I have a flour mill and mixed wheat and rice flour, with wonderful results. I’m posting a photo of the pie, with gratitude (and a link) to you, on my blog – many many thanks!!! xx
    quigley recently posted..Chicken Tuesday

    • Diana Bauman says:

      That is so awesome!! Thanks for letting me know and I’ll definitely check out your post. So cool that you used fresh ground rice flour as well. I’ll have to try that out :D

      • quigley says:

        Hi again – the pie is up on the blog – have a look when you have time, but no pressure, of course! I am blogging from Australia, so, I am sorry for the delay (time zones, you understand) – thanks again and looking forward to continuing to connect on your blog – It’s wonderful! xx
        quigley recently posted..Bakin’ Pie – Apple Pie

  13. Julie says:

    Your recipe says 2 sticks of butter but yet your video looks like you only add 1 stick of butter — which is it? I think I just messed it up if it was only supposed to be one!

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  17. [...] making a simple pâte brisée, I added about half a cup of freshly grated pecorino romano cheese to the [...]

  18. jack says:

    This is North American pie crust, not traditional French pâte brisée. Pâte brisée is made with room temperature butter and mixed by hand to let the butter melt into the flour. Anybody looking for authentic pâte brisée should check youtube. There are many excellent recipes and methods there.

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