Grandma Irene's Famous Pie Crust

  • , by Ann Gregg Gerstner
  • 7 min reading time
Grandma Irene's Famous Pie Crust

In honor of Pi-Day and family, I bring you one of my family’s most coveted and prized possessions - my Grandma Irene’s Pie Crust recipe. 

Irene’s parents came from Bohemia (now Czechia). She met my Grandpa Albert (who was also originally from Bohemia) and they lived on a large farm in South Dakota. Their life was full of hard work, but also full of goodness. They raised eight children, and made time for family in their own, special ways, including delicious baked treats they shared together at the enormous kitchen table! 

I’m proud to be Irene’s granddaughter, and I’m happy to share this recipe with all of you.

A small note: The details of this recipe are explained by my mom, Carol, who is an incredible baker and cook. Her recommendations come from baking in her kitchen and using the same oven for the past 40 years. So. You may find you need to adjust things slightly to match the needs of your own kitchen. 😊

Grandma Irene’s Pie Crust

Prep Time: 20-30 min. 

Bake Time: Depends on single or double-crust  

Wait Time: 1-12 hours

Yield: 1 double crust & 1 single crust

Note: You have the option to combine your decarbed cannabis directly into your pie filling. Or, if you choose to substitute lard* with butter, you could use cannabutter in this recipe instead. 

*You can combine decarbed flower with any fat, so cannalard is an option, too! :)

This particular recipe was not written originally as an elevated recipe, and it does use lard its key ingredient. Now don’t panic - lard really does make for an amazing finished pie. The flakiness and taste are second to none and will get you rave reviews at any potluck you go to. My mom makes this recipe to this day and without fail, her pies are the best pies on the table. Hands down. 

If you’d rather substitute butter for lard, up the amount just slightly as butter contains a bit less fat than lard. For each cup of lard, substitute 1 ¼ cup butter. 

Switching to butter gives you the option to use CannaButter. If you’d like to do this, pop over to our Decarb Process first, and then use our easy-to-follow CannaButter recipe, and you’ll be all set.

I hope you love it! This recipe has been in my family for at least 3 generations, if not more. The card pictured below is written by my Grandma Irene (I love her handwriting) and is probably 40 years old! 



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  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup lard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 5 tbsp. water


  1. Mix flour, salt, and sugar together
  2. Work in lard or butter with fork or cutter
  3. Beat the egg, vinegar, and water together
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture 
    1. Note, Irene writes: “Add to first mixture - doesn’t get tough.”
  5. Separate the dough into three balls for each of your pies - 2 bottom shells and 1 top. 
  6. Set the dough in a bowl and cover with cling wrap. 
  7. Place the dough in the fridge for an hour, or as long as overnight. 
  8. When you are ready to, roll out the dough.

For Double-Crust Pie:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350℉ or 375℉.
    1. Carol says most recipes call for a hotter oven. However, she says if she gets busy working on something else, the pie will suddenly be burnt.
    2. To avoid this, my mom suggests watching the pie carefully. She says to turn it occasionally so that edges don’t burn and so that sides bake evenly. (This may not be necessary with newer oven models, but it works well for her. Her pies come up golden and beautiful every time.)
  2. Lay the bottom shell over the pie pan and form the dough to the pan.
  3. Prepare your pie top by rolling it out.
    1. If you plan to create a decorative top, cut the design out while it’s on the counter. It’s easier this way, and your design won’t stretch out of shape.
  4. Add your filling.
  5. Before laying the pie top over the bottom shell, wet your finger in water and run it around the edge of the bottom shell. The added moisture will help seal your pie’s top and bottom together more securely.
  6. Lay the pie top over.
  7. Use your fingers to crimp the sides together all the way around.
  8. If you haven’t added decorative cuttings, cut vent slits into the pie top.
  9. For a more golden finish, whisk 1 egg together with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water or milk. Brush the wash over the top of your pie.
    1. For more gloss and less color, whisk together 1 egg white with 2 tablespoons of water or milk.
    2. If you want to be like Carol, my mom brushes her pie top with milk and then sprinkles sugar over it so that it sticks lightly and creates a sparkly finish.
  10. Place in the center of the oven. Bake approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  11. You will know when the pie is done when the middle part puffs up. 

For Pie Shell Only:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350℉.
  2. Lay your bottom shell over the pie pan and form the dough to the pan.
  3. Shape the edges.
  4. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the pie shell multiple times so that your shell will not puff up during the bake.
  5. For a more golden finish, whisk 1 egg together with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water or milk. Brush the wash over the edges and shell if desired.
    1. For more gloss and less color, whisk together 1 egg white with 2 tablespoons of water or milk.
  6. Place it in the center of the oven. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
    1. Again, some sage advice from Carol is to check your pie crust frequently and stay nearby. The shell will not take long to bake.

*If you are making a pumpkin pie, similar to the double-crust pie, you will know when it’s done when the middle of your pie puffs up. The center of the pie is the part that will take the longest to bake. 

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