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Viola’s Never Fail Pie Crust and the Legend of Bob Andy Pie

Thanks for sharing!

A few months ago I asked my lovely daughter in law, Becky if she would share her late grandmother Viola’s recipe for Never Fail Pie Crust. As a result, Becky and her family graciously are allowing us that special privilege. Therefore, in today’s post, we are sharing not one, but TWO incredible recipes!

Thus, we present: Viola’s Never Fail Pie Crust and the Legend of Bob Andy Pie. (The following information has been provided by Becky & her family.)

NOTE: This recipe is best when using cold ingredients and pie dough is refrigerated until chilled. 

Viola Miller

My grandma, Viola Ruth Miller, gave me the EASIEST, foolproof, delightfully flaky pie crust recipe of all time!

My grandmother Viola has some serious street cred with pie-making. She grew up Amish and later worked for nearly 5 years at a pie pantry shop. I know everyone says their pie crust is easy…but trust me, this is the real deal. It’s not finicky if it’s over handled.

Viola Miller's Pie dough_balls[1]

If you mess up when rolling it out, you can start over because this stuff is like play-dough. It also freezes great for whipping up dessert in a pinch. The recipe comes from a co-worker she made drapes with back in the day. God bless you, sweet drape maker.

Viola Miller's crust_cookbook_pie[1]

However, this recipe wouldn’t be complete without filling it with Bob Andy Pie. My grandma is famous for this dessert in her circle of friends and kinfolk. Growing up, she baked on Saturdays, and roughly twice a month her family enjoyed this unique cream pie custard—spiced with cinnamon and cloves.


Legend tells us this pie was named after an Amish farmer’s two prize gelding workhorses. After a long day of working in the fields, he took a bite of this pie and said, “This is as good as Bob and Andy.”

However, it’s more than a good piece of pie to the Miller family. They equate the taste to memories, good times, and growing up. This particular recipe comes from Viola’s mother in law. So it’s no surprise that it’s my grandpa’s favorite dessert. He’s been enjoying it since childhood.

“You bet your booties…HOT Bob Andy pie!” said my dad, Ken Miller, as he reminisced about coming home on a weekend, and scarfing down this straight-out-of-the-oven dish with his siblings.

“It’s creamy, godly, and delicious,” he added.

Bob & Andy Pie Slice

My Aunt Krista describes it as the epitome of a sweet decadent dessert.

“It’s your basic, easy, home goodness you can make with stuff you have on hand,” said Krista.

My Uncle Ron would encourage you to indulge with a glass of milk or coffee.

“I could eat a whole one myself, and not be one bit ashamed,” said Ron. “There is birthday cake…but I always wanted birthday Bob Andy Pie!”

My grandma, Viola, had some classic lines. She liked to tell everyone to ‘not make a fuss’ over her for dinner, hosting, or fill in the blank. The truth is, she loved to turn around make a big deal with her generosity and hospitality for family, friends, and places she regularly volunteered. Do me a favor and make this a true blue Viola pie by making a ‘big fuss’ about the people in your life today! And of course…enjoy!

Written by: Becky (Miller) Speckhart 

Viola Miller's Never Fail Pie Crust 1

Last weekend I personally made Viola’s Never Fail Pie Crust and Bob Andy Pie. First of all, I can honestly say that the recipes truly are just as wonderful as Becky has described. The pie crust came together easily, rolled out beautifully, plus it really did feel like play dough! Furthermore, the dough was super forgiving, which is good because I always seem to need that essential element! 

Viola Miller's Never Fail Pie Crust 2

Viola’s Never Fail Pie Crust

Viola’s recipe for Never Fail Pie Crust is superb, yet uncomplicated! 

Bob & Andy Pie 2

The same is true for Bob Andy Pie! 

Bob & Andy Pie 4

Bob Andy Pie

Since I made my pie crust rather thick, it consequently did take longer to bake. One hour to be exact. Therefore, one recipe of Viola’s Never Fail Pie Crust will yield one top and bottom pie crust or two bottom crust. 

Bob & Andy Pie 3

Slice of Bob Andy Pie!

Bob & Andy Pie 2

In conclusion, Viola’s Never Fail Pie Dough recipe really does live up to its name! While there are many great pie dough recipes, this particular recipe is almost effortless to make. In addition, Bob Andy Pie is a creamy, decadent dessert and so it’s perfect to serve to family and friends. 

Viola Miller's Never Fail Pie Crust 2016

A good pie can turn an ordinary meal into an extraordinary feast so I suggest that you keep this recipe in a safe place. Why? Because you will probably be making it often! Also, remember that this pie crust freezes well and therefore it’s a great “make-ahead” recipe. 



2090 cal


47 g


336 g


72 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info
Viola Miller’s Never Fail Pie Crust and the Legend of Bob Andy Pie

20 minPrep Time

40 minCook Time

1 hrTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


    Viola Miller's Never Fail Pie Crust
  • 3 C flour
  • 1 1/4 cup of shortening
  • 5 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar (cider vinegar will work too)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Bob Andy Pie
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs, yolks separated from whites
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 heaping Tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


    Viola Miller's Never Fail Pie Crust
  1. Cut shortening into flour & salt, blend until flour is moistened.
  2. Combine egg, water, & vinegar, add all at one time to flour mixture.
  3. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured working surface, or between two pieces of waxed paper.
  5. Place upside down pie pan onto rolled out dough.
  6. Flip dough and pie pan right side up, fit dough to pie pan.
  7. Trim excess dough from sides.
  8. Crimp edges.
  9. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or fill with pie filling and bake accordingly.
  10. (Recipe makes top and bottom crust or two bottom crust)
  11. Bob Andy Pie
  12. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves.
  13. Add melted butter, beaten egg yolks, and sweet milk. (May use one can Milnot evaporated milk and add enough whole milk to make a scant 3 cups.)
  14. Beat egg whites, just until stiff peaks form (do not over beat)
  15. Fold egg whites into milk mixture.
  16. Pour into 2 unbaked pie shells, stirring constantly so spices do not settle.
  17. Bake in a preheated 400 °F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
  18. Finish baking at 325 °F approximately 30 to 45 minutes, or until center is barely still "jiggly”.
  19. (May take longer to bake if you make crust on the thicker side and/or if you have a deep dish style of pie pan.)


This pie crust freezes well so you can make it ahead of time.

Bob Andy Pie & Never Fail Pie Crust 2016

Finally, “Thank You” Becky, and family, for allowing us to share these incredible recipes! We hope we have honored your grandma Viola’s legacy and paid her the tribute she deserves. 


More great recipes: 

Pecan Pumpkin Pie (1)

Rhubarb Pie 4

Frozen Butter Pecan Pie

Butternut Squash Pie

Thanks for sharing!

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Karen May 20, 2020, 9:44 am
    I made this last night for a quiche recipe and it turned out fantastic. This is my new "go to" recipe for pie crust. My only suggestion is that make sure all ingredients are very cold before cutting in. Also let pie dough rest in fridge - to get nice and cold prior to rolling out or you will have a melty mess on your hands. I even put my marble rolling pin in the fridge. Fantastic!! Thanks
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy May 20, 2020, 11:49 am
      Hi Karen, Yay! We are so happy that you like this recipe and we appreciate you stopping by and sharing your suggestions with us. I'll go back and add them to the post. Have a wonderful day! Linda
  • Annette Heck August 10, 2018, 6:03 pm
    I made this pie today. I used the wax paper and it worked pretty well. The texture of the crust was great, but though i cooked it almost an hour, the crust was falling apart when I cut it. How do i fix that?
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy August 11, 2018, 8:32 pm
      Hi Annette, I'm not sure why your crust was falling apart but here are a few links that may help explain what happened and how to fix the problem: 1) https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/baking-sos-how-rescue-10-common-pastry-problems-richard-burr 2) https://food52.com/blog/14789-kitchen-rescue-how-to-fix-10-common-pie-problems#crumbly 3) https://www.bustle.com/articles/98684-7-pie-dough-and-crust-mistakes-youre-making-when-you-bake-and-how-to-avoid-them Hope this helps! Linda
  • Gail C. June 11, 2018, 6:56 pm
    My sister was given this no-fail pie crust recipe when her husband was participating in a heart healthy diet study for the University of Iowa in the 1970s. Her instructions included the suggestion to use a pastry cloth & rolling pin cover dusted with flour when rolling out the crust. Works great! I would think the dough would stick to wax paper. It does freeze great so I always have a few crusts in the freezer.
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy June 11, 2018, 8:24 pm
      Hi Gail, Wow, that's so interesting that the University included this recipe in a heart-healthy diet study. The suggestion to use a pastry cloth and flour-covered rolling pin is a great idea. That would really work well. I've never had any problem when rolling pie dough out between waxed paper, although you can add a light dusting of flour on the surface if needed. I also like having a few frozen crusts in the freezer, especially during the holidays. Thanks for stopping by and leaving us a message. :) Linda
  • Jody Harris December 11, 2017, 11:42 am
    Hi! Thank you for these recipes! Is sweet milk... the same thing as sweetened condensed milk... or is it just evaporated milk in a can??!
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy December 12, 2017, 12:28 pm
      Hi Jody, We are so glad that you stopping by and thanks for letting us know that you enjoyed the recipes for Viola's Never Fail Pie Crust and the recipe for Bob Andy Pie! From what I've read, "sweet milk" is actually just regular whole milk. Apparently, in older cookbooks, they used the term to differentiate between cultured products such as buttermilk and sour cream. Thanks again for stopping by! Enjoy! Linda
  • Tammy November 26, 2017, 9:44 am
    I always have a problem with my crust shrinking below the top of the pan. Does this happen with this recipe, or do you have any special tips for this?
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy November 26, 2017, 12:02 pm
      Hi Tammy, I always try to allow a little extra dough to hang around the edge of the pie pan before I trim the dough. That way I have plenty of dough to "pinch" to make a pretty edge and it helps prevent the crust from shrinking too much when baking. I also make sure that the dough is snug against the pie pan (around the edges and bottom of the pan) and make sure there aren't any pockets of air between the dough and the pie pan. If you are baking a pie crust without any filling, be sure to take a fork and poke the dough a few times to keep the pie crust from bubbling up when it bakes, (I bake mine at 350 degrees F). I don't seem to have any problems with the crust shrinking when I do these things. Hope these tips help you! Linda
      • Dot Carpenter January 19, 2018, 1:53 pm
        I've been using this recipe for more years than I can remember. It is nothing new.
        • Blessed Beyond Crazy January 19, 2018, 2:40 pm
          Hi Dot, Yay, we are so happy to hear that you have been using this recipe for years. That just goes to prove what a fabulous recipe it really is!!! While this recipe may not be a new to you, there are some people who haven't tried it (or even heard of it) before. I was one of them. I personally had never tried this amazing pie crust/dough recipe until my daughter in law shared it with me. We are so glad you stopped by and confirmed that it's a keeper! Have a wonderful day! Linda
  • Claire October 11, 2017, 6:08 pm
    Hi can i use this recipe for a meat pie too?
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy October 11, 2017, 9:08 pm
      Hi Claire, I don't see why not. I would certainly give a try. Please let me know how it turns out if you do try it. Thanks, Linda
  • Barbara Remsen September 24, 2017, 4:02 pm
    What size egg for the pie crust?
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy September 24, 2017, 10:17 pm
      Hi Barbara, I used one large egg in the pie crust. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Enjoy! Linda
  • Jody Barker December 31, 2016, 10:20 am
    Beautiful pie! How do you crimp the edges?
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy December 31, 2016, 10:51 am
      Hi, Jody! My mother (a former Home Economics teacher) taught me to just pinch the edges with my fingers. It's really easy to do. I use the tip of my left index finger to serve as a "mold" and then pinch the pie dough (using my right index finger and thumb) as I move around the edge of the pie pan. Hope that helps you. :) Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any other questions. Linda
  • Larry October 30, 2016, 8:06 pm
    Ok I made this crust today. Major fail. It looked good and rolled out fine. When I went to pick it up it would just fall apart. What did I do wrong
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy October 30, 2016, 8:41 pm
      Hi Larry, Oh, I'm sorry to hear that you had a problem. Hmmm, did you roll out the dough between two sheets of waxed paper? If not, I would suggest that you try that next time. Once the crust is rolled out between two sheets of waxed paper, I peel off the top sheet of waxed paper and place my pie pan upside down onto the dough. Next, I carefully and quickly, flip the crust and pie pan over all in one movement. Once the dough has settled into the pie pan, I peel off the remaining piece of waxed paper and finish adjusting the dough into the pan. I then trim off the excess dough around the edges. Here is a picture tutorial of another great pie crust recipe. You can see exactly what I am talking about by looking at this post. http://blessedbeyondcrazy.com/homemade-pie-crust/ Please let me know if you have any questions. I'll be glad to help you in any way that I can. The only other thing I can think of is that perhaps your dough was a little too "rich" (too much grease). That could also cause your dough to fall apart as you try to move it into your pie pan. Hope I've helped you. Have a great day! Linda
    • Ros January 8, 2017, 3:20 pm
      Larry, you have to make sure the water is ice cold, otherwise the mixture won't hold together and it will get greasy, and fall apart. I put ice cubes in my water then i mix it in the flour/shortening mixture. Good luck!!
  • Margaret October 29, 2016, 4:16 pm
    Was white or cider vinegar used in the pie crust?
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy October 29, 2016, 6:30 pm
      Hi Margaret, That's a great question! White vinegar is preferred, although if you only have cider vinegar on hand it will work as well. I'll go back and add that note in the recipe in case anyone else is wondering that same thing. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you like this recipe as much as we do! Linda
  • Angela Robertson October 26, 2016, 11:40 am
    Can lard or butter be substituted for the shortening? And would it be a 1-for-1 substitution?
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy October 26, 2016, 6:52 pm
      Hi Angela, The recipe for Viola's Never Fail Pie Crust recipe does actually call for shortening, however, if you are referring to using shortening in the Bob Andy Pie recipe I would probably stick with using the butter. Although having said that, I don't think it would hurt anything other than perhaps change the flavor. Please let us know if you try it and how it turns out. Good luck! Linda
  • gwen October 26, 2016, 10:16 am
  • Denise September 3, 2016, 9:32 am
    What type of flour is the best to use for this recipe?
  • William Clark August 29, 2016, 2:32 pm
    I was already to try your recipe when I noticed you left out the listing of the ingredients for the filling. You start out with mixing flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, but not how much.
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy August 29, 2016, 8:23 pm
      Hi William, Hey, I just went back and checked on this particular recipe and the ingredients are all there, as well as the directions. Because of the particular recipe card plugin we use, I was unable to highlight the name of each recipe. All of the ingredients (and the amounts) for the Bob Andy Pie are listed directly underneath the pie crust ingredients. If you look closely, you will see the title: Viola Miller's Never Fail Pie Crust. If you scroll down you will also see the title: Bob Andy Pie with all of the ingredients for the filling there. Same is true for the directions. First the directions for the pie crust is listed, then the directions for Bob Andy Pie. Unfortunately, we are unable to insert two separate recipe cards in one post. Otherwise I would have done that. Hope this help! If possible, I would suggest that you print out the recipe and highlight each separate recipe title. Sorry for the confusion. Please let me know if you need further assistance. I'll be glad to help you any way I can. Hope you enjoy this wonderful pie! Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a note. Linda

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