Perfect Flaky Piecrust

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

During my early days as a pastry chef, the perfect piecrust seemed to elude me. When I complained to my grandmother, she offered me her prized recipe, which had served her well over a lifetime of baking. It is always falky and tender and I’ve been using it ever since. A touch of vinegar helps prevent the formation of gluten, which toughens piecrust. This recipe makes four 9-inch crusts; extras freeze beautifully.


Make-ahead note:

The crust can be refrigerated up to 1 week or frozen up to 1 month; defrost overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Taste and Texturerich

Type of Dishpie


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the shortening and mix with a fork or pastry cutter until crumbly.

  2. Combine the egg, vinegars, and water, add to the flour mixture, and mix until the flour is moistened. Divide into 4 portions, shaping each into a disc. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 week.


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