How-to Roll Out Pie Crust

A finished pie crust.

There’s no denying it…pie crust can be tricky. And, with all the premade, pre-rolled pie crusts available these days why would anyone want to mess around with making and rolling out a good ol’ fashioned pie crust?

One of the primary reasons is because fresh pie crust made without dough stabilizers and preservatives is significantly tastier than cardboardy store-bought crust. Another reason is you can control the thickness of your final crust.

Below are a few pointers to help make rolling pie crust less elusive and much easier. But before we begin, make sure you have a freshly made batch of pie crust.

How-to Easily Roll out Pie Crust

Hitting pie crust with a rolling pin.

1. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and unwrap the plastic wrap. Place the pie crust on a lightly floured counter. Use the end of your rolling pin to gently hit the dough a couple times. This will help flatten the dough without the friction caused by rolling.


rolling pie crust from the center.

2. Begin rolling out the dough. Always start each pass with the rolling pin in the center of the dough and roll away from you. Repeat this several times as you work your way around the dough, rolling in several directions. Be sure to keep the counter lightly floured as you go and occasionally flip the dough over to roll on the back side and prevent it from sticking to the counter. Try to roll the dough as few times as possible to get the right size.
Do not roll the dough by rolling the pin back and forth in long, sweeping motions. This will overwork the dough and cause unnecessary friction…leading to overworked dough and tough pie crust. Plus, this tends to produce oblong instead of round pie crusts.


pie pan sitting on top of crust

3. When the dough looks like it is getting close to the right size, you can quickly see if it is large enough by setting a pie pan on top of the crust. You will want the dough to extend about 1 to 1-1/2 inches beyond the pan to allow for an edge crust.


pie crust folded over a rolling pin

4. When the dough is large enough, you can place it in the pan. At this point, it will be very easy to tear or stretch the dough. The easiest way to place pie crust in a pan is to gently fold the far end of the crust over the rolling pin. This will allow you to pick up the dough without the risk of fingers tearing or poking through.
Once the crust is draped over the rolling pin, just slide it over your pie pan and lower it into place.


triming off excess pie crust.

5. Once lowered into place, make sure the pie crust is centered in the pan. Use a paring knife, kitchen shears or scissors to trim off any large overhanging pieces. At this point, you will want the crust to overhand by about 1/2 to 1-inch.


Finished pie crust.

6. If you are making a pie which requires only a bottom crust (such as Pear or Pumpkin Chiffon Pie)…you’re set. Just gently roll in the overhanging dough to make a nice crust. If you are making a pie requiring a top crust, fill the bottom pie shell and set the pie pan aside. Roll out your second crust and lower it on top of your filled pie. Now, all you have to do is pinch together the two crusts and crimp/shape it in any fashion you would like.

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