All About Pie Crusts

Troubleshooting Pastry

If your pastry is crumbly and hard to roll:

  • Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
  • Toss the flour mixture and water together just a little more, or until evenly moistened.

If your pastry is tough:

  • Use a pastry blender to cut in the shortening or lard until well mixed and all of the mixture resembles small peas.
  • Use less water to moisten the flour mixture.
  • Toss the flour mixture and water together only until all of the flour mixture is moistened.
  • Use less flour when rolling out your pastry.

If your crust shrinks excessively:

  • Mix in the water only until evenly moistened.
  • Let pastry rest for 5 minutes if it is hard to roll.
  • Don’t stretch pastry when transferring it.

If the bottom crust is soggy:

  • Use a dull metal or glass pie plate rather than a shiny metal pan.
  • Patch any cracks in the pastry with a pastry scrap before adding the filling.
  • Make sure your oven temperature is accurate. If the temperature is too low, the bottom crust won’t bake properly.