Nothing says comfort food quite like a homemade pie. Light and tender, it’s the perfect envelope for any pie-filling goodness! But what can make a sweet apple pie or a savory chicken pot pie even better? A flaky and flavorful sourdough discard pie crust, of course! Just as delicious, my grandma’s knock-out pie crust recipe got a bit healthier with the added bonus of sourdough flavor.
I was raised in a family of passionate home cooks, especially on my dad’s side. They didn’t live in the same state as my family growing up, so traveling to see them always was a special event. Our stays were packed full of quality family time and delicious food. But no matter how much we ate, there was always room for dessert – especially my grandma’s homemade pies.
When it comes to my grandma’s hand-crafted pies, every single one of them is heavenly. Coconut, strawberry rhubarb, dutch apple, mixed berries – you name it, she made them and all are mouth-watering! What made each pie stand out was the buttery, flaky crust. The perfect amount of saltiness to make the sweetness of any pie pop. And flaky enough to make you want to break off another piece of the crust just to snack on it.
With my love for sourdough, I thought it only natural to take my grandma’s fabulous pie crust recipe and give it a tiny makeover. Buttery, flakey, and irresistibly good, adding my own sourdough starter makes for the perfect pie crust for any kind of pie!
Pin for Later!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
- This sourdough pie crust recipe is perfect for sweet or savory pies.
- Forget running to the grocery store for a frozen pie crust, this recipe can be whipped up in a food processor in no time at all.
- Make ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer for a super convenient crust.
- Great way to eliminate waste and use up your growing sourdough discard.
- Now this recipe uses sourdough discard, which won’t ferment like an active sourdough starter. But my thought is, some fermentation from the discard is better than a regular pie crust without, right? Yay for pie and gut health!
- This recipe is for a double pie crust. Use both for a top crust and bottom crust or use one and freeze the other.
All-purpose flour: I use all-purpose flour for this recipe, but if you have pastry flour on hand, even better! Swap out for even amounts.
Butter: To make butter pie crust, you can’t forget the butter! It is crucial to keep the butter COLD! I cut my butter into large chunks straight out of the freezer to ensure it is cold enough.
Lard: I know having lard in your pantry isn’t common these days, but my grandma swears by it! It has a higher melting point than butter, so it doesn’t melt in the pastry as quickly as butter – which is what you want. This means you don’t have to work as cautiously when making the dough.
If you are in a pinch and don’t have lard, I have replaced it with equal amounts of shortening or extra butter. Remember to put the lard in the freezer so it is COLD!
Salt: Any unrefined salt will do, but my favorite is Redmond’s unrefined salt for some extra minerals!
Baking Powder: Having baking powder in a pie crust isn’t too common, but it really should be. As a natural leavening agent, the baking powder gives this pie crust recipe a tiny boost to lighten and expand the crust, making beautifully flaky layers.
Sourdough discard: I find sourdough discard that is about 24 – 48hrs old works best for this recipe, however, you can use even older discard for a more tangy taste.
Ice water (optional): Depending on the discard you use, you might not even need ice water. Only add if the pastry dough doesn’t form after mixing.
To make ice water I just pour water and add a few ice cubes to a bowl. Pour 1 tablespoon at a time into the dough and mix. It shouldn’t need much liquid to form a dough ball.
Items You May Need:
How to Make Sourdough Discard Pie Crust Dough:
Before you begin this recipe, measure 1/3 cup of lard in a measuring cup and place it in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to chill.
Next step, put 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp baking powder in the food processor.
Cut 1/2 cup of cold butter into cubes. Place the butter and smaller pieces of lard in the food processor.
Mix on dough or low setting until the mixture looks crumbly, about 15 seconds.
Add 1/2 cup COLD discard to the food processor and mix until the dough forms.
**If the dough doesn’t come together after mixing for at least 30 seconds, then you will need to add ice-cold water. Keep adding tablespoons of ice water (one at a time) and mixing for short increments until the dough is formed.
Once the pie dough is formed, remove the dough from the food processor and roll it into a ball.
Cut in half with a bench scraper or a sharp knife. Roll into two smaller dough balls and flatten with your hand.
Cover it with a piece of plastic wrap (you know, cling wrap!) and put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
How to Roll Sourdough Discard Pie Crust Dough:
Pull the dough out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature (about 15 minutes).
Unwrap the pie dough and place it on a lightly floured surface.
With a floured rolling pin, roll from the center outward. Then turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat rolling.
After rolling the dough full circle, add more flour to your work surface – you don’t want the dough to stick!
Sometimes I flip the dough to the other side and continue to roll it out until it is nice and thin, about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Using your rolling pin is the best way to maneuver your pie dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Simply roll your dough onto the rolling pin and unroll in the dish. Easy!
Storing / Freezing the Dough:
This pie crust can be used after just 1 hour of chilling in the fridge. Not ready to bake? No problem. It keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To freeze the dough, keep it wrapped in cling wrap and place it in a freezer bag to freeze for up to 3 months.
How to Use this Sourdough Discard Pie Crust Recipe:
- This buttery sourdough pie crust is the perfect recipe for your favorite pie – sweet or savory pie fillings!
- Sweet pies – like your grandma’s sticky apple pie or your aunt’s classic pumpkin pie
- Savory pies – like your mom’s comforting chicken pot pie
- Quiche – like my cheesy cast iron quiche with my sourdough pie crust recipe!
- Hand pies
Frequently Asked Questions:
What kind of flour is best for sourdough pie crusts?
For this recipe, I used all-purpose flour, but pastry flour is another great option. These two types of flour are the best for pastry making because of their low gluten content. Less gluten equals a flakier, more tender, and light pie crust. So skip the bread flour for this recipe.
Why do ingredients have to be cold for a pie crust?
It is important to keep the butter, lard, and sourdough discard as cold as possible while creating the pie dough because our goal is to not melt the butter. Instead, we want the butter to burst in the oven while baking. This is how we get all those light, flaky layers in a delicious pie crust.
If the butter melts in the dough before being baked, it can lead to a tough and unrisen pie crust.
Do I need to blind bake this homemade pie crust?
I would suggest following the recipe that you are trying to bake. If it does call for blind baking, it is quite simple! Roll out the pie dough and drape it on your pie plate. Lay parchment paper on the dough and pour the pie weights on top and bake for the recommended time. If you don’t have pie weights, dried beans or rice are great alternatives.
Can this sourdough pie crust dough be made without a food processor?
Making sourdough crust in a food processor is so simple, but if you don’t have a food processor, don’t fret! With a few extra steps, this recipe can be made by hand.
Place dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add the large pieces of butter and lard to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter and lard until pea-sized. Pour in the discard and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. If needed, mix in ice-cold water until dough is formed. You may need to use your hands to form the dough into a ball.
Other Sourdough Recipes to Try!
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (240g)
- 1 tsp salt (6g)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder (3g)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/3 cup lard (60g)
- 1/2 cup sourdough discard (140g)
- ice cold water (optional) (1 Tablespoon at a time)
How to Make Sourdough Discard Pie Crust:
- Before you begin this recipe, measure 1/3 cup of lard in a measuring cup and place it in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to chill.
- Next, put 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp baking powder in the food processor.
- Cut the 1/2 cup of cold butter into cubes. Place the butter and smaller pieces of lard in the food processor.
- Mix on dough or low setting until the mixture looks crumbly, about 15 seconds.
- Add 1/2 cup COLD discard to the food processor and mix until the dough forms.
- Cut in half with a bench scraper or a sharp knife. Roll into two dough balls and flatten with your hands.
- Cover it with a piece of plastic wrap (you know, cling wrap!) and put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
**If the dough doesn't come together after mixing for at least 30 seconds, you may need to add ice-cold water. Continue adding tablespoons of ice water (one at a time) and mixing until the dough is formed.
How to Roll Sourdough Discard Pie Crust:
- Pull the dough out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature (about 15 minutes).
- Unwrap the pie dough and place it on a lightly floured surface.
- With a floured rolling pin, roll from the center outward. Then turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat rolling.
- After rolling the dough full circle, add more flour to your work surface - you don't want the dough to stick!
- Sometimes I flip the dough to the other side and roll it out until it is nice and thin, about 1/8 inch thick.
- Using your rolling pin is the best way to maneuver your pie dough into a 9-inch pie dish! Roll your dough onto the rolling pin and unroll in the pie plate. So easy!
- This pie crust can be used after just 1 hour of chilling in the fridge. Not ready to bake? No problem! It keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To freeze the dough, keep it wrapped in cling wrap and place it in a freezer bag to freeze for up to 3 months.
- All-purpose or pastry flour is best for this recipe.
- I tend to use discard that is 24-48 hrs old. If you are looking for a more sour taste, you can use older discard.
- No lard on hand? Swap out for even amounts of shortening or more butter.
- This sourdough discard pie crust recipe can be made by hand. Look above for step-by-step directions.