This is my mother’s recipe, and she still makes it today the exact same way she taught me decades ago. I love the simplicity of this recipe. For homemade pie dough, it can’t be beat. As easy as this recipe is, why use a store-bought pie crust? Now you can make your own!

1 cup cold unsalted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3-5 tablespoons ice water

Cut the butter into half-inch cubes and place in the freezer. Using a food processor, put the flour and salt into the processor. Add the frozen butter on top of the flour and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface. Knead for 10-15 seconds until it comes together in a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. (You can leave it in the refrigerator at this point for up to 3 days.)

When you are ready to use, roll out the pie dough on a floured surface until it is about 1/8th of an inch or slightly less thick. Cut a circle just over the size of your pie pan. Carefully transfer the pie crust from your surface into the pie pan. Pat the dough into the pan. Crimp the edges using the forefinger and thumb of the left hand and the thump of the right hand to make the triangle shaped crimps.

Hand pies: To make hand pies with sweet fillings, add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the dough. Also, after the initial kneading process, I will roll the dough out, then fold it over in layers and roll out again for three or four times to add texture and stiffness to the dough when held.

Written by Chef John O'Neil