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The Surprising Secret to a Super-Flaky Pie Crust


If you’ve ever made pie from scratch then you probably know that one of the secrets to a super-flaky pie crust is very cold butter. But getting it evenly incorporated is easier on paper than in practice – it’s all too common to end up with pockets of butter throughout your pie crust, all while the dough has warmed up from the effort. Once again, the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen has come to the rescue with a super simple kitchen hack that will take your homemade pie crusts to the next, unimaginably flaky level.


Watch our video to discover the surprising secret to a super-flaky pie crust. (Hint: it finds another use for a common kitchen tool.)


How to Make Super-Flaky Pie Crust

No time to watch a video? Here are the Cliff Notes:

  • The secret? A cheese grater! Take frozen butter and grate it with a cheese grater.
  • Put the grated butter in the freezer for another 15 minutes to make sure it’s nice and cold.
  • Using a fork, scoop the butter into your flour – touch it as little as possible to keep the temperature down.
  • Since the butter is grated, you don’t need to use a pastry cutter to incorporate it! Simply use your fork to mix it in.
  • Then, incorporate ice water – as little as possible – to moisten your dough. Mix it in 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough has just come together.
  • Flatten your dough into a disc and refrigerate for about two hours (can you tell that keeping cold is key?).
  • Roll out your pie crust, transfer to a pie pan, and fill and bake according to your pie recipe.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and marvel at the Instagram-worthy golden, flaky crust you’ve created.

So next time you are making homemade pie crust, ditch the pastry cutter and grate your butter instead. Swap in this technique with any pie crust recipe.

Find Thanksgiving table ideas, essential tools and dozens of recipes at the Williams Sonoma Thanksgiving Headquarters.

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About Mary Ellen Bellusci

Mary Ellen Bellusci is a longtime resident of Baltimore, Maryland... A foodie, traveler, writer, and pursuer of happiness.