This easy pastry recipe is your BFF for pie season

Homemade apple pie in a beautiful pie crust nelea33/shutterstock

Basic Pastry

You can count on this versatile pastry recipe—it’s dependable, can withstand a little rough handling, and works for both sweet and savoury fillings.

2  3/4 cups all-purpose flour (675 ml)
1 tsp salt (5 ml)
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed (125 ml)
1/2 cup lard or shortening, cubed (125 ml)
1 egg
1 tbsp white vinegar (15 ml)
Ice water

1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter and lard or shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces.

2. In a measuring cup, beat egg and vinegar. Add enough ice water to make 2/3 cup (150 ml). Drizzle liquid over flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough comes together. Divide in half. Flatten into two discs. Chill for 30 minutes.

3. To shape, roll out each disc on a lightly floured surface to about 18” (3 mm) thick, flouring the rolling pin and surface as necessary.
Makes 2 pastry shells.


  • You can also make this in the food processor. You can refrigerate pastry for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 2 months (thaw overnight in the fridge).
  • You can also roll out pastry and fit it into pie plates. Stack, wrap well, and freeze.
  • Egg and vinegar tenderize the gluten in flour, making pastry that handles easily and won’t toughen if you overwork it slightly.
  • After combining flour mixture and liquid, if pastry is too moist, add a little flour. If it’s too dry, add water—a little at a time.
  • Pastry that uses butter alone will have a great flavour but will be less flaky and more temperamental than one made with a mixture of fats.

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