Shaping Crusts

Dough should be rolled out to fit the pie pan or tart shell or to fit on top of fillings. It is easiest to work with a mealy/flaky dough if it is firm and chilled. Chilling keeps the fat firm and this helps to prevent stickiness.

Always work on a clean, flat surface. While wood or marble is best, silicone and parchment will work. Lightly-dust the surface, rolling pin and dough with flour before starting to roll. Remember to always work with a manageable-size piece of dough. Don’t try to roll out all of it at once. I find it is best, if making multiple pies/tarts, to roll out each one as I go. This keeps my dough chilled and easier to use. If making mini tarts, you could roll enough dough to make 10 to 12 at a time.

Always start in the center and work your way out towards the edges. Remember to lift the dough and rotate it from time to time. This will ensure that you don’t have it sticking to your surface, but also helps for a more even-rolled pie crust. If you notice sticking to the surface or rolling pin, dust will a little flour again. Be careful not to use too much flour, this can make the dough dry and crumbly.

Typically, a pie crust should be about 1/8 inch (3 millimeters) thick and about 2 inches (5 centimeters) larger than your pan. Roll your dough up on your rolling pin carefully and position it over the pie tin or tart mold. Unroll slowly, easing it into the pan. Gently press the dough into the pan and trim the edges. If you are covering the top of the pie with a solid crust, repeat the rolling process, making sure to roll it a little larger than the top of the pie. Use your rolling pin to help move the dough to the top of the pie. Seal the top crust to the bottom crust with egg wash or water. Crimp or design as desired. You can also make slits or designs in the crust to allow steam to escape during baking.


  • Place a tart ring or tart pan on a paper-lined sheet pan. Lightly-dust the rolling surface. Roll the dough to your desired thickness and make sure to have it about 1-1.5 inches (2.5-2.75 centimeters) larger than the ring.
  • Carefully roll the dough onto the rolling pin. Put the dough over the ring and unroll the dough.
  • Ease the dough into the tart ring/mold pressing to make a smooth edge.
  • Run a rolling pin over the edge of the ring/mold. This will trim the excess dough and give you a level edge. Dock the dough with a fork.
  • Cover the dough with a heat-resistant plastic, parchment paper or foil. Making sure to cover the sides and have extra over top. Fill the pan with rice or beans (baking weights).
  • Bake the crust with the weights for 10-15 minutes at 350° F (180° C). Remove the weights and paper/wrap.
  • Brush the baked crust with egg wash and return to the oven. Bake until golden brown and fully-cooked, approximately 10-15 minutes. Cool, fill as desired.