My Whole Grain Pie Crust

A simple (and more delicious) substitute to store bought frozen, pre-made crust.

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Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Dosha: Pitta, Vata

There are lots of pie crust recipes out there. But this is my tried and true, trusty, whole-grain one is mine.

I love it because it’s ridiculously flexible and versatile, not to mention straightforward. I use it whenever I’m making savory or sweet pies, or little handpies, and despite the rumors that pie crust is finicky, this one is ridiculously easy to make (and almost impossible to mess up.)

The rumors about pie crust being tempermental are true if and only if you allow the butter to get warm. In the recipe below, I suggest that you use a food processor fitted with the plastic blade attachment to make your crust (which protects the butter from the warmth of your hands and almost completely from your kitchen too.) I also suggest using ice cold butter, chopped into small pieces, and ice cold liquids (including 1 Tbsp of vinegar or vodka to reduce the development of gluten.)

The result is a lovely little crust that’s almost as easy as picking one up at the store and figuring out how to thaw it without it turning too soft on you. Only this one is packed with nutrients and ingredients you’ll recognize, which means that as if making a pie wasn’t already going to make you feel good and accomplished, the process of making the crust yourself will!

Recipe Notes

  • Make your dough ahead: I often keep a batch of this pie crust ready to go in the freezer for easy access. You can make and store your dough for up to a week ahead. This is a great way of making sure you’re ready to go when the opportunity for a delicious baked treat presents itself.
  • Ice cold means ICE COLD: The recipe for my whole-grain pie crust below calls for ice-cold water and frozen butter. This doesn’t mean “oops I forgot to freeze it.” Or, “whoops, that was lukewarm water instead.” If you don’t use frozen butter and water, your butter will be too warm. Then you’ll warm it more with your hands or with the food processor when you start to mix the dough. Then you’ll have nearly melted butter. Now, butter is made up of tasty milk solids, suspended in fat and water. When butter warms ups, the water starts to leach out. When cold butter bakes, this results in steam that makes buttery, flaky pie crusts, shardy croissants, and delicate crumb in cakes. When warm butter bakes, very little steam is created which makes for hard, textureless, even sad pie crusts and flat, droopy croissants. You want the perky happy ones. They look better on Instagram. : )

My Whole Grain Pie Crust

A simple (and more delicious) substitute to store bought frozen, pre-made crust.

makes 1 all-purpose pie crust


Active Time: 1 hour


Serves: pie crust


  • 3/4 cup unbleached whole grain flour
  • 2/3 cup whole grain wheat (OR spelt flour)
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain salt
  • 1/2 tsp evaporated cane juice OR granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (frozen, cut into 1/2" cubes)
  • 4 Tbsp ice water (or more)
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar (or vodka)


  • 1

    In the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flours, salt, and sugar.

    Add butter and pulse until coarse meal forms. Mix 3 tablespoons ice water and vodka in small bowl to blend.

    Drizzle over flour mixture; pulse quickly, until dough begins to pull together adding water if dough feels dry. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface – gather dough into ball being careful not to overwork or knead excessively; flatten into disk.

    Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour. Use with your favorite pie recipe in lieu of frozen, pre-made crust!

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