Can you make pie crust ahead of time?

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Want to make some delicious pies for the holidays, but don’t think you can fit it all in? What about making the pie crust ahead of time?

There is always so much that goes into planning that Thanksgiving Dinner or Christmas Feast, right? 

And each year you see those amazing pie recipes with golden brown flaky crust on Pinterest or Instagram that you would love to serve to your family. 

crimping pie crust by hand

Why You’ll Love this Post

  • Convenient! – Advance prep makes every baker and cook happy! Reduce your stress when you make pie crust ahead of time.
  • Batch Friendly! – Since you’ve got all the ingredients and can see how easy it to make pie crust in a food processor, why not double the batch and freeze half for the next time you want to bake a pie?
  • So Easy! – Using a food processor to blend your dry ingredients can make the process even quicker. Imagine pulling out a ready-to-roll bottom crust from your freezer bag, taking some weight off your culinary shoulders.

Flaky pie crusts are art backed by science. All purpose flour, fat, and ice water are the basic ingredients. How they interact depends on various factors like temperature and method. 

The easy tips to make pie crust ahead of time.

Ingredients and Equipment

Pick up all the ingredients for perfect pie crust  right at your local grocery store:

  • All purpose flour: The backbone of our pie crust! Provides the structure and holds everything together.
  • Unsalted Butter: Brings that rich, mouthwatering taste we all crave in a pie crust, while also making it flaky and tender.
  • Ice cold water: Helps the butter stay solid until the pie hits the oven, so you get that melt in your mouth, flaky texture.
  • Salt – just a little, but don’t leave it out!
  • Plastic Wrap and Zipper Freezer Bags (large) 
A food processor with ingredients on a counter.

How to Make Pie Crust with a Small Food Processor:

  • Measure the flour, salt into the food processor bin and pulse the flour mixture a couple of times.
  • Add the cold butter, a little at a time and pulse until blended
  • Pour the ice cold water into the chute and pulse until blended
  • The homemade pie dough should stick together in your hand, but not be sticky
  • Wrap the dough into two separate disks and wrap in plastic wrap 
Flour in a food processor.

Measure Flour and salt in food processor and pulse.

Butter and flour in a food processor.

Add butter and water and blend on high speed just until blended.

A food processor with dough in it.

Pie Dough is ready!

A piece of dough on a cutting board with a knife.

Place pie dough on a rolling sheet.

Two pieces of dough on a cutting board.

Using a pastry cutter divide the dough into two.

Two cookies in a plastic bag on a table.

Wrap the pie dough discs in plastic wrap and follow the steps below.

1. If you are making pies within the next 24-48 hours:

  • Divide the pie dough into two (2) evenly shaped balls and wrap them well with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator – I usually just set them on a pie plate or dinner plate to keep them off the refrigerator shelves.
  • When you are ready to bake, take the pie dough out of the refrigerator and let it stand for about thirty (30) minutes. Not room temperature, but you want the dough to soften a bit so that you can roll it out. 

2.  Not baking right away? Pie dough freezes really well so anything beyond 48 hours: 

  • Put the pie dough that’s been wrapped in plastic into a zipper freezer bag and mark the date that you made the pie crust on the outside of the bag
  • When you are ready to bake, take out the number of pie dough balls you will need and defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
  •  If you are baking a single-crust pie you will need one pie disc, and if a double crust pie you will need two discs of pie dough because of the top crust. 

How to roll out pie dough

Ready to roll out the pie dough? Let’s get a few important pieces of equipment that will give you the best results!

  1. First off you need a really good rolling pin.
  2. Next step is a pastry cutter
  3. Parchment Paper and pie weights (if you’re blind baking)
  4. A plastic sheet on your work surface to roll out the pie crust on (we really love the DoughEZ system)
  5. And of course your favorite pie dish! Ceramic, pyrex, or tin, all three will give you a butter pie crust.  
A person using a rolling pin on a baking mat.

Lightly flour your work surface with all purpose flour. Be careful not to use too much as this will change the composition of your pie crust. Too much flour will make it tough and chewy, and we don’t want that!

Lightly flour the top of your pie dough disk and placing the rolling pin right on top in the center, start to roll away from you, applying a little pressure.

Turn the disk every time you roll, so that you can keep the round shape of the pie crust!

A rolling pin with a dough on top of it.

Gently roll the pie dough onto your rolling pin.

A rolling pin and a rolling pin on a baking sheet.

Using the rolling pin,unroll the pie dough onto your pie pan.

A hand is holding a pie crust on a cutting board.

Place the pie crust evenly across the dish.

When the pie crust is fully rolled out , roll it onto your rolling pin and gently drape it over the pie dish. Carefully unfold the remaining half until the crust is centered on the pie plate.

crimping pie crust by hand

Crimp the edges using your knuckles as shown.

Trim the excess dough with a pastry cutter, then crimp the edges and you are ready to go!

A fork is being used to cut a pie crust.

Dock the bottom of the pie crust with a fork a few times. This allows the crust to bake evenly and releases steam.

FAQS    

Will using a food processor give me flaky pie crust?

Mixing your dry ingredients in a food processor ensures uniform distribution. When these ingredients chill, the fats solidify, leading to a flakier final product. Interestingly, storing your dough at room temperature is not a good idea if you aim for that ideal texture.

Can you make pie crust ahead of time for a week?

Yes you can! Follow the steps in this post for making the pie dough and freezing it.

How long do you bake a pie crust that’s unfilled?

Well that depends of course. On the size of your pie dish for starters. A regular 9″ pie pan vs. a 12″ deep dish pie pan will make the difference. Be sure to follow your recipe instructions.

How to store pie crust overnight

If you aren’t going to bake your pies the same day you make the pie dough, simply follow the instructions above, by wrapping your pie dough in plastic wrap and then store it in the refrigerator overnight. Let the dough stand for about thirty minutes before you roll it out.

Can I make pie crust ahead of time and freeze?

Pie crust dough freezes really well, just be sure to wrap it in plastic wrap and then place the pie dough disks in a zipper freezer bag.

A rolling pin and a rolling pin on a pink mat.

What is Blind Baking?

Blind Baking is baking your pie crust before you add the filling. This usually happens with no-bake pie recipes, like our yummy chocolate pie and lemon meringue pie!  Sometimes pumpkin pie recipes call for a blind bake too. 

If your pie recipe calls for a pre-baked crust, prep your pie crust by placing a sheet of parchment paper on top of it and using pie weights.

Then you can proceed with blind baking as per your favorite pie recipes.

The easy tips can you make pie ahead of time?.

Where did I get my inspiration for this post?

If you’ve spent time here with me, you know how passionate I am about baking pies and flaky pie crust. I’ve baked so many pies, and I really want to share how easy it is to bake a pie.

When I helped my parents in their catering business, we always made pie crust ahead of time. It really helps with meal planning! 

And having pie crust in the freezer is just the best. You never know when you’re going to get that craving for a freshly baked pie!

A pie is sitting on a cooling rack.

Could this be the flakiest pie crust ever?

Freshly baked, our perfect pie crust is the star attraction for your favorite pie recipe. See how easily the slice of pie cuts and doesn’t stick to your pie plate! And that delicious buttery flavor is perfection. 

THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the Pie Lady Bakes community! We’re all about sharing easy-to-make vintage recipes that remind us of the ones our moms and grandmas used to make.

If you haven’t already, you can sign up for my weekly email newsletter using this link. It’s absolutely free, and you’ll never miss out on any of my new recipes.

See you soon!

Judy

★★★★★ 

If you’ve made this delicious pie crust or one of our amazing pie recipes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Be sure to give us a 5-star rating!

The easy tips to make pie crust ahead of time.

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Judy Kahansky is an experienced writer and baker, creating delicious desserts (including pie!) for over 40 years. She loves to take classic and vintage recipes and update them to fit the busy lives of her readers. When not baking, Judy and her husband Mark are passionate golfers, travelers and dog lovers, spending as much time as they can with their sweet pup Millie.

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