This nutty Pecan Pie Crust is made from an all-butter pie crust with pecans added to the dough. It is very easy to make, and can be used for traditional single-crust or double-crust pies, as well as hand pies and homemade pop tarts.
A homemade pie crust is always the secret weapon to the most delicious pies! You might think making homemade pie crust is too complicated, but actually it’s quite simple. Adding pecans to the crust adds a subtle nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with Autumn pies.
This recipe will show you just how easy it is to make a delicious pecan pie crust at home. If you’re still skeptical, allow me to convince you.
- It takes just 6 ingredients to make this pecan crust recipe, and that includes water and salt!
- You can make it using a food processor, a stand mixer or by hand.
- Change the flavor by switching the pecans out for any other type of nuts.
- Use it in any recipe that calls for a regular pie crust.
Table of Contents
Ingredients and substitutions
As always, you can find the full ingredient list and quantity in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Flour – I use all-purpose flour for all of my recipes. However, for a pie crust or any pastry recipe, you could use pastry flour as well.
- Pecans – Finely ground roasted pecans are added to the flour mixture to create this pecan pie crust. If you have raw pecans, you can simply toast them in a frying pan over medium heat until brown and fragrant. You can easily replace pecans with any other nuts to change the flavor of this pie crust.
- Sugar – I like my pie crust on the sweeter side so I used granulated sugar to sweeten it. Brown sugar will also go well in this recipe.
- Butter – unsalted butter is used. Make sure it is cold. If you use salted butter, be sure to omit all of the salt called for separately in the recipe.
- Salt – a little bit of kosher salt is used to enhance flavor.
- Water – use iced water to hydrate the pie dough and to bring it all together. You want to make sure it is cold so the butter doesn’t melt. You could use some type of alcohol, such as vodka, to replace some or all of the water. Alcohol inhibits gluten formation and will create a flakier crust in the end.
How to make pecan pie crust
Processing the pecans
Finely ground roasted pecans in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade or a blender. But make sure you don’t go too far and end up with pecan butter.
Tip: If you don’t have a food processor or blender, you can also do this by hand with a sharp knife, but you need to make sure to chop the pecans very finely.
Making the pie dough
If you’re already using a food processor, switch out the metal blade for the plastic dough blade, leaving the ground pecans in the bowl. Add flour, sugar and salt to the pecans and mix until evenly distributed. Some of the pecans may stick to the bottom of the bowl, so use a spatula to scrape them off the bowl and mix them well.
Tip: I find that mixing the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl by hand with a whisk gives a more even mix. But if you don’t want to wash an extra bowl, it’s totally fine to just mix it in the food processor bowl.
Add cubed, cold butter straight from the refrigerator to the flour mixture in your food processor. Pulse to mix until butter pieces are no smaller than pea and bean size. Drizzle in cold water while mixing. When you see the dough start to clump up, it is ready.
Tip: Add only as much water as needed to get the dough to form. If you add too much water, the dough will be too soft and sticky.
Line your working surface with a piece of plastic wrap and dump the dough on to the plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to gather the dough into a ball and shape it into a disk.
Tip: Using plastic wrap to form the dough will prevent the need to add extra flour in this step.
Now let it rest at least one hour in the fridge or overnight if you are preparing your pie crust ahead of time.
Rolling out the pie crust
When you’re ready to make the pie crust, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it into a circle about 2” larger than your pie dish. Use flour to prevent sticking.
Tip: If the dough has been refrigerated for a few hours, it might be too hard to roll out right away. You could let it sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes or beat it with your rolling pin to flatten it. This will help make it easier to roll out.
Place the pie dough into the pie dish and trim off the excess, leaving a bit of dough hanging over the side. Flute the edges to form a decorative rim.
Tip: To transfer the sheet of pie dough onto the pie dish, you’ll want to roll it up onto your rolling pin. For this step, it is useful to have a longer French style rolling pin. Place the rolled up pie dough over your pie dish and unroll it to cover the dish. If you roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper, you can simply flip it over the pie plate.
Baking the pie crust
You can use this pecan pie dough in any pie recipes that call for homemade pie dough. Just bake it according to the recipe instructions.
If you’re using this pie dough with a custard type filling like a chess pie, you will need to par bake it first before adding the filling to prevent the crust from going soggy. Once you form the pie crust in the pie plate, refrigerate or freeze it for 10-15 minutes before baking.
To par-bake the crust, dock it, or poke the bottom and side of the pie crust using a fork, line the crust with parchment paper and pie weights, I use dry beans. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 425°F with the weights. Remove pie weights and add filling, continue to bake according to the recipe instructions.
If you’re making a pie with no bake filling or a cream filling, you will need to blind bake the crust. The process is exactly the same as par-baking but once you remove the pie weights, you will continue to bake the crust for 5-10 minutes longer to completely cook it.
Other methods to make the dough
The recipe instructions are written using a food processor but you can absolutely make this pie dough using a stand mixer or by hand. In this case, you’ll need to chop the pecans finely using a blender or a sharp knife.
Make this by hand:
- Use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the butter into the flour mixture, or simply use the tips of your fingers to press the butter into the flour mixture the way you would when making scones.
- Then sprinkle in iced water and press the dough together to form a ball.
- Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
Make this using a stand mixer:
- Use the paddle attachment to beat the butter into the flour mixture until evenly distributed.
- Then drizzle in iced water and mix on low speed until the dough starts to pull together.
- Turn out on a piece of plastic wrap and gather into a ball, then flatten into a disk, wrap it up and refrigerate.
If you want to see process photos of these two methods, check out the post for my all-butter pie crust. There are detailed instructions and step by step photos.
More baker’s tips
- Scaling the recipe – this recipe makes 1 batch of pie dough, enough for a single crust pie. If you’re making a double crust pie, make sure to double the recipe.
- Add just enough water – the amount of water you’ll need may vary between 2 – 4 tablespoons depending on the type of flour you use or even the weather. Too little water and the pie dough will be too dry, and won’t stick together. Too much water and the pie dough will be too wet and sticky. Drizzle just enough water to form clumps of dough that stick together.
- Cover the crust – when par-baking, make sure the parchment paper is large enough to cover the entire crust including the edges so the edge doesn’t burn.
- Use pie shield – once par-baking is complete and the parchment paper is removed, make sure to use a pie shield to cover the pie edge so it doesn’t burn.
This pecan crust is not an all nut crust. It is a nutty variation of an all-butter pie crust that includes pecans, flour, butter, sugar and salt.
This crust is not gluten free. If you want to make this gluten free, you can try using all purpose gluten free flour. However, I have never tried making pie dough with gluten free flour before so I cannot guarantee the result.
For sure! You can use any type of nuts, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, etc. to replace pecans in this recipe. I’ve used macadamia nuts in pie crust before and it’s delicious.
No, I never grease pie pan before adding pie crust, no matter what type of crust I’m making. There is typically enough butter in the pie crust already. And when you bake the crust crispy, it should release easily from the pan.
- Refrigerator: you can store unbaked pie dough in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Freezer: it will also last in the freezer for several months.
Tips for freezing pie dough
When freezing pie dough, make sure to double wrap before putting it in a freezer bag to prevent the dough from absorbing freezer odor. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight before using.
You could also shape the pie dough in the pie dish ahead of time and store the whole thing in the freezer. It is best to use a metal pie dish if you’re planning to bake directly from the freezer. Ceramic pie dishes will crack from extreme temperature change from freezer to oven.
If you don’t have a metal pie dish, you could refrigerate or freeze the pie crust in your pie dish until it is hard enough to easily pop out of the dish. Wrap it really well and freeze until needed.
Pie recipes to try with pecan pie crust
📖 Recipe card
Pecan Pie Crust
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (167 g)
- ⅓ cup pecans (38 g)
- 2 rounded tablespoon granulated sugar (31 g)
- ¼ rounded teaspoon kosher salt (2 g)
- 5 ounce unsalted butter (cold & cubed)
- 2 – 4 tablespoon cold water
- Make the pie dough: Toast pecans in a skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, ground toasted pecans finely in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade.
- Switch to the plastic dough blade. Add flour, sugar and salt to the food processor bowl. Pulse to mix. You may need to use a spatula to scrape the pecans off the side and bottom of the bowl.
- Add cubed cold butter to the flour mixture. Pulse several times until butter is about pea and bean size. Variations in size are okay.
- Turn the food processor to “on” position and drizzle cold water over the dough mixture through the water hole, as soon as the dough starts to pull together turn the food processor off. You may need to stop the food processor in between and get a spatula to mix up the flour at the bottom.
- Turn the dough out on a working surface lined with a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a disk. Wrap well and rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Shaping and par-baking/blind-baking: Take the disk of pie dough out of the fridge and roll into a circle about 2” larger than your pie dish. Use extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter and roller.
- Carefully place the dough over the pie dish, lightly press the dough into the bottom and side of the pie dish, let the excess dough hang over the side.
- Trim some of the excess dough if necessary to create an even edge, leaving just enough to fold under and create a fluted edge.
- Cover the pie dish with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated or freeze for 15 – 30 minutes.
- Once the pie dough has hardened or frozen solid, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Dock the bottom and sides of the pie dough with a fork.
- Place a large piece of parchment paper over the pie dough, place pie weights on top or pour dry beans on top to fill the whole pie crust. Make sure the parchment is large enough to cover the edges of the crust entirely.
- Bake pie crust for 25 minutes with pie weights or beans.
- At this point you can remove pie weights and parchment paper.
- Fill the pie crust with whatever filling you’re using and continue baking according to that particular recipe instructions.
- Or continue baking the crust to completion, an additional 5 – 10 minutes, to be used in pie recipes that don’t require further baking of the filling, such as cream pie.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
- This recipe is written using the food processor but you can make this pie dough using a stand mixer or by hand. Refer to the FAQs section for more details.
- The amount of water you’ll need may vary between 2 – 4 tablespoons depending on the type of flour you use or even the weather. Too little water and the pie dough will be too dry, and won’t stick together. Too much water and the pie dough will be too wet and sticky. Drizzle just enough water to form clumps of dough that stick together.
- When par-baking, make sure the parchment paper is large enough to cover the entire crust including the edges so the edge doesn’t burn.
- Once par-baking is complete and the parchment paper is removed, make sure to use a pie shield to cover the pie edge so it doesn’t burn.
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