Cornmeal Pie Dough (Single and Double Crust Versions)

I love this dough for all sorts of pies, from double crust summer fruit pies to pumpkin and sweet potatoes pies in fall, pecan pies, chess pies – you name it.

The cornmeal does wonderful things to the dough: it makes the dough a real pleasure to roll, and adds a little crunch, too. It gives the dough an eye-catching gold hue, and the little bit of Crisco in the dough makes for a tender dough with a superior texture.

I prefer making this in the food processor, but it can be mixed by hand as well.

Cornmeal Pie Dough

Cornmeal adds a bit of crunch...a bit of color...and a measure of wholesome natural grain to this pie crust. Use it for double crust fruit pies or virtually any other pie. (SEE "NOTES" FOR DOUBLE CRUST RECIPE AND MIXING THE DOUGH BY HAND.)


  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons cold Crisco or lard, in several small pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold water, plus an additional teaspoon or two if needed
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar


  1. Combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt in a bowl; refrigerate. Scatter all of the fat on a plate; refrigerate. Combine the 1/4 cup water and vinegar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup. Refrigerate everything for 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer the dry ingredients to a food processor; pulse several times, to mix. Remove the lid and scatter all of the fat over the dry mixture. Pulse the machine 6 or 8 times, cutting the fat into small pea-size pieces.
  3. Position your measuring cup over the feed tube. Add the liquid through the tube in a 7- to 10-second stream, pulsing the machine as you add it. Once all the water has been added you will only need to process for another few seconds. The dough should come together in large clumps but not ball up around the blade. It may seem moister than other doughs, but if it's dry add another 1 to 3 teaspoons water. 
  4. Empty the dough onto your work counter. Gather the dough together and shape it into a ball. Knead it gently a couple of times to smooth it out. Put the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten the dough into a 3/4-inch thick disk. Seal in the wrap and refrigerate for about an hour before rolling. Makes enough dough for one 9- to 9 1/2-inch standard or deep-dish pie shell. (SEE "NOTES" FOR DOUBLE CRUST)


Cornmeal Pie Dough (Double Crust)

Double all of the ingredients and refrigerate them for 15 minutes prior to mixing the dough. Add the liquid in a 7- to 10-second stream, pulsing, until the dough just starts to form clumps. Proceed as for the single crust recipe. If you are making a double crust pie, divide the dough in half, making one half, for the bottom crust, slightly larger than the other. If you are making two pie shells, divide the dough equally. Form the dough into disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate.

To make the dough by hand: 

Refrigerate your bowl of dry ingredients. Mix by hand or with a whisk to combine. Add all of the fat; toss to coat with the dry mixture. Rub in the fat by hand, to break up the pieces. Using your pastry blender, cut the mixture together until you have small pea-sizes pieces of fat. Everything should look like it has been "touched" by the fat. Mound your dry ingredients toward the center of the bowl. Add half of the liquid, pouring it down and around the sides of the bowl. Mix well with your fork to distribute the water, then continue to mix until your dough pulls together. Pack into a ball and then gently knead, 2 or 3 times, on a lightly floured surface. Divide in half if making a double crust pie or two shells. Flatten into a 3/4-inch thick disk. Seal in plastic and refrigerate. 

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