Grandma’s Flaky Oil Pie Crust

Grandma’s Flaky Oil Pie Crust


There a few recipes that my Grandma makes that, when I was teenager, I decided I better master while she was here to teach me. The most important of these, was her amazing pie crust. I have baked over one hundred pies, easily, and this crust is just flawless. It’s not QUITE fool proof, so read on to see where you need to stick to the recipe to get good results.

If you aren’t sure what to put IN your crust, I use this recipe for apple pie, like this recipe right here. I also use it for quiche! If you like, you can sub in whole wheat flour for a quiche crust. It tastes great with the regular crust also. You can use this crust for pot pie, or to make pie crust cookies (okay, really that’s just what I do with the left-over crust, but the kids love them), or tiny pies in a muffin tin. This is the only recipe I use, I just jazz it up differently depending on the flavor profile I need.

Start with a bowl, you only need ONE for this, which is great because I hating getting extra things dirty! Add your flour and salt (and cinnamon if you’re using it, or seasonings if you you’re making a savory crust). Mix it with a whisk.

Next, add the canola oil. This is important: DO NOT USE OLIVE OIL. I have tried and it DOES NOT WORK. It adds a ‘taste’ and it doesn’t set. It stays with weird pie-shaped mush like you made it out of play dough. Mind you, everyone still ate it, but I considered it a fail. Use canola oil or vegetable oil.

Once your oil is well mixed in, add your ice water. Again. This will make or break your crust. It has to be ICE WATER. I put water in a glass and add ice cubes before I start the crust so that it’s nice and cold when I need it for this step. I have tried just very cold tap water and it doesn’t work. Add your literal ICE WATER and mix with a fork. It will go from slimy looking to stiff.

This one is darker because it is a cinnamon crust

When your dough is all stiff and forms a ball, you’re ready to roll it out! Pull it into two even halves and roll one out flat between two pieces of wax paper. You can roll them both out and store them in the fridge if you want them to be more cooperative. They’ll firm up a bit. If you want to make pretty pie tops with shapes or patterns, definitely chill the rolled out dough.

You can store the dough in the fridge, so I often make extra and store it for something else later in the week. Once you’re put it into the pie tin, you can also freeze it. I haven’t tried freezing it rolled out, but it would probably work. If you try it, let me know how it works!

This recipe results it amazingly flaky crust that about melts in your mouth. So flaky! It also doesn’t leave a greasy feeling in your mouth like some lard-based crusts do.

Grandma Gloria’s Oil Pie Crust

Bethany Shaw, adapted from Gloria Lewis’ recipe
This is a handed down recipe for flaky, perfect, pie crust using oil and ice water.  It’s perfect for any pie, as well as egg quiche.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course baked, crust, Dessert, dough
Cuisine American
Servings 1 top and bottom crust


  • 2 cup white flour Can use whole wheat for a quiche crust, but either works
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup canola oil do NOT use olive oil, it will NOT work!
  • 1 tsp cinnamon optional; for a cinnamon crust
  • 5 tbls ice water MUST be ICE water


  • In a bowl, sift flour with salt. If you are doing a cinnamon crust, add that now, too.
  • Add oil, mix with fork until well blended.  Do not attempt to use olive oil, it will not set.  It stays mushy no matter how long you bake it!
  • Measure in 5 Tbls of ICE WATER.  Cold water is not good enough, must have ICE in it.  Blend with the fork, it will change texture and become a stiffer dough.
  • Split the ball of dough in to two half-balls.  Roll one ball between two pieces of wax paper until it is large enough to fill your pie tin.
  • Peel off one wax paper sheet and set the pie crust down into the pie tin, crust on the bottom.  Press the crust into the pan and gently peel off the wax paper.
  • Trim the excess crust off the edge around the tin with a knife.  Put the excess aside.
  • Add your pie filling. Check your pie recipe to see if you have other steps here.  If this is a pie that does not need a top, stop here!  If this is a pie getting a top, repeat the process above to roll out and drape on the top crust.
  • Trim the excess off the edge, put it aside.  Press a fork all around the edge to seal the crust.  Add some air vent holes around the top of the pie with a knife.  Feel free to add a decoration with the excess crust dough.
  • Bake following the instructions for your pie.  Let cool, serve!


For a pie that requires a pre-baked crust, bake this crust empty for about 20 minutes, then add your filling.
For a quiche, consider using whole wheat flour.  You could also add seasonings to the dough during the first step.
Any excess dough can be rolled out, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and baked for 10 minutes.  Cinnamon and Sugar crust never lasts long.  You can also roll it up after adding the cinnamon and sugar, and cut it into little crust-cinnamon rolls.  Kids LOVE it.
This dough will keep in the refrigerator for several days if you wrap it tightly in wax paper.
This dough will freeze nicely, I put my pie all the way together, then fit it into a freezer bag and freeze it.  When it’s time to bake, just bake it normally and check to make sure it’s warm through the middle.
For cinnamon crust, I usually sprinkle sugar in the bottom before adding my filling.  You can also add sugar directly to the mix when you add the cinnamon.
For personal pies, split the dough up evenly and press it into a muffin pan.  Bake until firm and lightly browned around the edges.  This works great with pumpkin pies.
Keyword crust, oil crust, pie, pie crust

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