Foolproof Pie Shells Recipe

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"I received this recipe from my 94-year old sister. She suggested using egg, cold water and cider vinegar to keep the crust moist. If they eat all the crust of my pie, then I know it was good!"
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling
MAKES:32 servings
Quick Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling
MAKES: 32 servings


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-3/4 cups shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Nutritional Facts

1/8 of pie shell equals 157 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 7 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Whisk the egg, water and vinegar; gradually add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide into four portions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to fit a 9-in. pie plate. Transfer pastry to pie plates. Trim each pastry to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute edges. Fill or bake shells according to recipe directions. Yield: 4 pie shells.
Originally published as Foolproof Pie Shells in Taste of Home October/November 2008, p74

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Reviewed Sep. 25, 2010

"easy and delicious! Makes 4 shells."

Reviewed Apr. 11, 2010

"This is the best pastry shell I have ever made."

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