Why I Finally Quit Making My Own Pie Dough and Switched to Store-Bought

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

I know what you’re going to say: “But pie dough is so easy! But homemade is so much better than store-bought! But you’re a food writer, how could you?” I hear you. I even agree with you. I’ve made a few of those arguments myself.

But I’ve been wrestling with this for a long time and I just need to get it off my chest: I love pie, but I hate making pie dough. With a passion.

(Image credit: Danielle Tsi)

I’ve gone through all the stages of grief on this one. There was the denial stage, of course, where I forced myself to make pie crusts with a fake-it-until-you-make it smile on my face. Anger came next and involved a fair amount of cursing at piles of crumbly dough while shaking my rolling pin at the sky. Bargaining quickly followed, which in my case meant trying to wiggle my way out of any request for pies by offering other tasty treats in exchange (“Who needs pie when you can have adorable frosted cupcakes?”). And the less said about the depression stage, the better.

Then came acceptance. The realization that I just don’t like making pie crust, and that’s okay. It’s not that I can’t make a good one, but rather, in the famous words of Bartleby the Scrivener, “I prefer not to.”

For those of us who love being in the kitchen, I think we can easily fall into the trap of feeling like we must therefore love making and cooking everything. Running up against something that we expect to love, but then don’t, feels completely jarring. For me, that’s pie crust. For you, maybe it’s roast chicken or sandwich bread or Christmas cookies. Whatever it is, I think we all need to give ourselves a break. Consider it a form of mental tidying-up, a la Marie Kondo: if it doesn’t bring you joy, then let it go.

This is why I’ve started keeping store-bought pie crusts in my freezer. I still make my own crusts now and then, but for most occasions, I find a store-bought crust does the job just fine. The point is putting something on the table that I look forward to sharing with friends, and in the end, that’s what matters most.