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Easy Hot Water Pie Crust

Jill Spencer has been an online writer for ten years. Her articles often focus on gardening.

This easy, tender pie crust recipe is perfect for many different pies.

This easy, tender pie crust recipe is perfect for many different pies.

Good Cooking From the Mountains

I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains surrounded by many remarkable women. One of the best of the bunch was Mrs. Eloise Pope.

In addition to being a great person, Mrs. Pope was an excellent cook. In fact, she was so skilled that in the 1990s, at 81 years of age, she could write with authority to Southern Living Magazine, taking the editors to task for their strict edicts regarding the making of pie crusts.

Ice water only? Careful handling required? "Not true!" she told them—and she knew what she was talking about! She made two, sometimes three dozen pies per week. (Oh my, were they good.)

To prove her point, Mrs. Pope submitted the recipe below.

It was published (in much fancier language) in the "From Our Kitchen to Yours" section of the magazine, and she became something of a local celebrity, at least among the Sunday School/Church Social/Mission Society/Garden Club set.

I still have a copy.

Southern Living called it "Water-Whipped Baked Pastry Shell." We just called it "Mrs. Pope's Hot Water Pie Crust."

Mrs. Pope's Hot Water Pie Crust

Tender, flaky and delicious


Rate Mrs. Pope's Pie Crust.

Practice Makes Perfect.

If your first attempts don't result in the perfect shell, keep trying. Homemade crust costs very little to make, and it doesn't take much time either, so ... keep at it! You'll eventually get it just right.


  • 3/4 C. shortening
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/4 C. boiling water
  • 2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt


With a hand mixer, beat the first 3 ingredients on medium speed until fluffy. Add flour and salt. Beat on low until the dry bits become moist and the dough forms.

Divide the dough in half, shape both pieces into balls and wrap the balls in plastic wrap. Chill for 4 hours or more.

Roll out the dough between two pieces of wax paper to form two 12-inch circles. One circle at a time, peel off the top sheet and invert over a 9-inch pie pan. Pull away the remaining pieces of wax paper, fit the dough into the plates and flute the edges. Then prick the dough with a fork.

Use the shells immediately or store them in the refrigerator. They'll keep for about a week.

Bake the shells at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned.

A Vintage Version of Hot Water Pie Crust

No mixer required. This recipe is in a yellowed copy of The Milton Garden Club Cook Book that belonged to my grandmother. It was written at a time when most women were referred to by their husband's names, and the majority of recipes end with Mrs. Paul Harshbarger, Mrs. Raymond Smith, Mrs. William H. Blenko Jr., and similar appellations.


Mrs. Pope used her own name. Here's what she wrote exactly as she wrote it. It appears right below her recipe for Raisin Pie:

"Water-Whip" Piecrust

Put 3/4 cup Crisco in mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup boiling water and 1 tablespoon milk. With fork, whip until smooth and thick. Sift two cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt onto mixture, stir into dough. Shape into two smooth balls. This will make two pie shells. Keeps well in refrigerator.

Mrs. Eloise Pope

Fluting? It's as easy as pie.

Here's Gin's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie in a pie crust made with vinegar.

Here's Gin's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie in a pie crust made with vinegar.

Using Gelatine

If you've never used gelatine before, don't be too weirded out by the clear gummy substance that you get when you mix it with water. When you stir it into the hot pumpkin mixture as you're making Gin's Chiffon Pumpkin Pie, it will dissolve thoroughly, giving the filling a silky texture.

Gin's Chiffon Pumpkin Pie

Good at Thanksgiving or anytime.

My paternal grandmother was born and raised in a small West Virginia town where she spent her entire life. The friends she had in elementary school were the same friends she had when she was in her nineties. Gin Crookshanks was one of those friends. My grandmother always bragged on her, saying she was "a beautiful housekeeper and a right fine cook." If you like pumpkin, you'll love Gin's Chiffon Pumpkin Pie. It's the best!


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 1/4 C. canned or cooked pumpkin
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatine
  • 1/4 C. cold water
  • 3 stiff-beaten egg whites
  • 1 baked pie shell


Beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until thick. Add pumpkin, milk, salt and spices. Cook in double boiler until thick. Add gelatine, softened in cold water, and mix thoroughly. Add remaining sugar and allow to cool. Then fold in stiff-beaten egg whites.

Pour into baked pie shell and chill thoroughly. Top with sweetened whipped cream if desired.

How to Use a Double Boiler

A double boiler (also called a bain-marie or water bath) is easy to use! Just watch the video below from Mahalo Baking. Although the instructor makes a distinction between a double boiler and a bain-marie, they really perform the same function. And either one works well if you're making Gin's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.

Pie Crust Making Equipment

Keep it simple. To make Hot Water Pie Crust, you'll definitely need a deep mixing bowl, wax paper and a rolling pin.

If you use the newer recipe, you'll also need a mixer that has two speeds. Or, you can follow the older version of Mrs. Pope's Hot Water Pie Crust and just use a fork.

Nine-Inch Pie Pans

A handy size to have in the kitchen. You can keep hot water pie crust in the refrigerator for about a week before using. Fit it into a pie pan, flute it and prick it with a fork. Then wrap it in plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Bonus Recipe: Mrs. Pope's Raisin Pie

It's goooood—and it's good for you! Like the vintage water-whipped pie crust recipe above, Raisin Pie appears in an old copy of the Milton Garden Club Cook Book.


  • 2 C. sugar
  • 1/2 C. margarine
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 3 eggs
  • well beaten
  • 3 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 C. raisins
  • 1 unbaked pie shell


Wash raisins in warm water and dry thoroughly. Cream sugar, margarine, cinnamon and allspice. Add well-beaten eggs, vinegar and raisins. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

More Tasty Pie Recipes

  • Pie Crust Made with Vinegar
    Vinegar Pie Crust is hard to ruin. You (or your children) can play with the dough as much as you like. It won't toughen up. If you make a mistake, you can wad it up and roll it out all over again. You can even patch it--no harm done.


Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 23, 2011:

Good luck with your pies, frogyfish. Have a great Thanksgiving! DF

frogyfish from Central United States of America on November 22, 2011:

I am always looking for 'easy' and will bookmark your hub. The crust in the video was so thin yet handled very well without tearing...interesting. I'll have to try your hot water crust for my pumpkin pie. Thanks for sharing.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 22, 2011:

Awesome comments, sagebrush mama. You ought to try the pie crust made with vinegar too, if you haven't made that kind before. With it, you may get your hands a bit messy, but it's even easier than the hot water pie crust & really flaky. I made a batch today (1 recipe makes at least two crusts) for an apple pie. Keep baking, girl! And thanks again for your comments. DF

sagebrush_mama from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound! on November 22, 2011:

Well...the good: the dough is really easy to make! Really easy! And no messy hands! I love this!

The "Needs Work" elements of my first effort with this recipe: 1. Don't use cheap Walmart beaters...they don't do well when things thicken up; 2. Will be more careful with flour measuring next time, and read the whole hub CAREFULLY...second batch was a little dry; 3. Will try waxed paper rather than parchment paper, which is what I had on hand, and which stuck a little.

The bad: Trying to make fancy leaves on the edge of a pie crust proved problematic...dd broke off pieces when she pulled the pie from the oven. Since the oven was really hot, and we wanted the next batch of pies to go in, we left the pieces til later...later came when we opened the door to find a small blaze. Nothing a little baking soda couldn't handle, of course, but the house is going to be airing out for a couple of hours! :)

The not burned pieces of crust that broke off made for perfect samples, and I must say that the flavor and texture is heavenly! I've never had such a tender pie crust, EVER!!! I will definitely be working on my technique, but this recipe is a keeper! Thanks, DF!!!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 14, 2011:

@ cgreen7090--Awesome! Thank you so much. You rock!

You're welcome, Guanta! And thank you for reading & commenting.

cgreen7090 from Tennessee on November 14, 2011:

Returned the favor by linking to 3 of your links. Happy hubbing!

Guanta on November 09, 2011:

Thank you so much for an excellent hub. I love the idea of making a simple and economical pie crust. I'm definitely going to try it. Thank you much.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 07, 2011:

Go for it, sagebrush_mama! Thanks for reading. DF

sagebrush_mama from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound! on November 07, 2011:

I'm going to give this a try...I always watched my Mom use ice water for her pie crusts, never dreamed of a boiling water version! Maybe I'll actually make a decent pie crust this year!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 07, 2011:

@RTalloni--Thanks! And thanks for stopping by.

@CJ Andrews--You better start making pies, boy. It's almost Thanksgiving! (Just think how much your family would love it.) Thanks for reading & commenting!--DF

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 07, 2011:

@ Rebecca M--That would be terrific! Thank you.

Chris Andrews from Norwalk, Ohio on November 07, 2011:

Interesting article, I make use of bain-marie's but didn't know the name. Nice to learn new stuff - I appreciate it and will have to make a pie soon now too.

RTalloni on November 06, 2011:

Congrats on Hub of the Day!! :)

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

Awesome, Sinea Pies! Thanks. Hope your readers enjoy the recipes.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 06, 2011:

Good job! I am soon planning to be publishing some of my Mom's favorite southern pie recipes (after the Holidays) and I would like to link this Hub for crust ideas if that's OK.Congratulations!

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on November 06, 2011:

Oh, I wish I could get my pie crusts to look so pretty. Thanks for the great recipes. I'm sharing this hub on my blog! My readers will love it.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

Hi jrport! Thanks for reading & commenting. That is a good video on fluting, and as you can see, it isn't hard. Like anything else, making a good (and a good looking) crust just takes a bit practice. Good luck to you! DF

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

Thanks, sharewhatuknow. Make a big pot of coffee or tea & have a fun, relaxing time in the kitchen. I think you'll like the chiffon pie. It's a nice change from a traditional pumpkin pie. Take care! DF

jrport on November 06, 2011:

I loved the video on fluting a pie crust! What a great idea! And, since I love pie, I'll try this recipe.

I enjoyed reading your Hub as it is well planned, easy to follow and offers a "novice" pie maker easy directions for making, what many people catagorize as a "painstaking" task at holiday time. Bravo! And Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks, jrport

sharewhatuknow from Western Washington on November 06, 2011:

What a great tip on how to make pie crusts. The pumpkin chiffon pie sounds wonderful, so with that being said, will attempt to make a one. I haven't made a pie from scratch in over 20 years. Great hub The Dirt Farmer, voted up.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

@ sidds123450 & randomcreative--Thanks, you guys! Glad you checked out the recipe.

sidds123450 on November 06, 2011:

Congratulations for your selection in "Hub of the Day".

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 06, 2011:

Great topic for a hub! Your crust is beautiful. Thanks for the recipes and detailed tips. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

DzyMsLizzy--Thanks for the vote, etc.! A delicious button would be great. I've been reading some good hubs by a very young hubber called cookie512 and would have hit it several times! Take care, Ms. L.

@wanzulfikri--Glad you like it. That's a real compliment, especially since you don't like recipes much. Thanks for reading & commenting!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on November 06, 2011:

Congrats on Hub of the Day! Woo-Hoo!

What a great bunch of recipes! (

...note to self...MUST bug HP about adding a "delicious" button....)

Bookmarked and voted up!

wanzulfikri from Malaysia on November 06, 2011:

A well thought hub and great recipe. Although I am not a fan of recipes still I am attracted to the hub. Great work

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

@Derdriu--Crazy, huh? Thanks!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

Thanks, MsDora! So glad you stopped by!

@Justsilvie & Gloshei--Of course! Butter! What was I thinking? Thanks, Silvie. Hope butter works for you, too, Gloshei.

Derdriu on November 06, 2011:

TheDirtFarmer: Congratulations for hub of the day!



Justsilvie on November 06, 2011:

Great Hub!

Tried the pie crust recipe and since they don't sell Crisco here I used Butter and it turned out fantastic also. The Pumpkin Chiffon Pie is next on my list to try out.

Gloria from France on November 06, 2011:

Thanks Dirt Farmer, will see if I can get here in France but I won't hole my breath.

Will let you know how it goes.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 06, 2011:

Congratulations! Well-deserved for an authentic, instructional, practical hub. Thanks.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

@ibbarkingmad--OMG, doublecreamy custard pie, pumpkin chiffon pie-- it sounds fantastic. I want to spend Thanksgiving at your house! Have fun & thanks for reading! DF

@trimar7--Thank heavens everybody isn't using pie crust from a tube. It's just not the same. Thanks for commenting!

@Debora--Thanks, girl. I'm amazed! Appreciate your comment.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

Hey, Gloshei! The shortening most people in the States use is probably Crisco. You could use lard, too, if you like the taste. Happy pie making! And thanks for commenting. DF

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on November 06, 2011:

Congratulations on having the hub of the day!

trimar7 from New York on November 06, 2011:

I can't wait to try these. I am always looking for great pie crust recipes. Great hub and thank you for sharing!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

@golden--Thanks you! Thanks for reading & commenting.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 06, 2011:

@homesteadbound--Like most things, making a crust just takes practice. Thanks for your comments!

Brian Middleton from Southern Utah on November 06, 2011:

I'm just gonna have to try this recipe this Thanksgiving. I'll show it off to my family with my Doublecreamy Custard Pie recipe I made up the other day! I;m excited to see how the family likes both!

Gloria from France on November 06, 2011:

These recipes sound great, thanks for sharing, already 'bookmarked' I have one question dirt farmer as I come from UK some of the recipe ingredients throw me. In Mrs Popes 'Hot water pie crust' what is shortening? haven't heard of that one.

I hope you can help me out here.

Good cooking.

Julz09 on November 06, 2011:

excellent information. That's quite interesting about the pie crust.

golden2484 on November 06, 2011:

good .......nice work

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on November 06, 2011:

This is a very comprehensive hub and is done very well. The pie crust you made int the picture is amazing. Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 03, 2011:

@Derdriu-- Sounds like you're going to have lots of company at Thanksgiving! Have fun baking--and glad you like the recipes. DF

Derdriu on November 02, 2011:

TheDirtFarmer: Thank you for the recipes to be used in preparing my Thanksgiving Thursday, Friday and Saturday desserts! The hot water crust really sounds scrumptious.

Voted up, etc.,


Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 02, 2011:

@Simone Smith--It does sound unlikely doesn't it? There's a good recipe made with vinegar, too. Now that's even weirder! Thanks for commenting! --Jill

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on November 02, 2011:

I've never heard of hot water pie crust before! This is fascinating!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 02, 2011:

Here's Mary's pie crust recipe from her mother. It's made with oil. Thanks, Mary615!


Mary Hyatt from Florida on October 31, 2011:

Interesting info on the pie crust. My family has used oil instead of shortening for many years, and that makes a very flaky crust. I wrote a Hub about it. Check it out when you have some time. I'm coming back to read the chiffon pie, sounds yummy!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on October 31, 2011:

Great, RTalloni. If anyone could make it healthier, I'm sure it's you! Thanks for reading. --Jill

RTalloni on October 31, 2011:

Thanks for sharing these recipes and tips. I wonder how this pie crust will turn out with coconut oil...if I get to try it I'll also try to let you know.

Bookmarked, voted up.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on October 31, 2011:

@moonlake--Awesome! Hope you enjoy them.

moonlake from America on October 31, 2011:

These sound good. I'll be keeping the recipes.

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