The infamous pie crust that nobody ever believes is vegan. I’ve dabbled here and there with other crust recipes but never seem to get them just right so I always come back around to this one. It’s flakey and soft, but still holds up well beneath a dense fruit filling.
A few things before you get started. Always make sure your butter and shortening are cold. You want the fats to spread so that you get nice little pockets that cook evenly in the oven. You can read all about pie dough science online.. but we won’t go into it here. Use ice cold water. I recommend putting about 1 cup of water in a bowl with some ice cubes to set aside before you get going. Pastry cutter vs food processor. I’ve had success using both. This tutorial uses a pastry cutter but feel free to pulse the dough mixture in a food processor a few times if you feel like washing another dish. You’ll want the mixture to be crumbly, closer to a “sand” texture than you would achieve with the pastry cutter. Transfer to another bowl before adding water. Vodka. You can sub half the water for vodka if you are looking for something a bit flakier. I do not recommend using vodka if you are going to handle the dough a lot (ie: a criss cross patter, braided dough, etc). It is a nice addition if you are doing something simple like pumpkin pie and looking to step it up a notch.
Note: This recipe does include vegan butter as a substitute, I typically use Earth Balance. If you are looking for a recipe that does not include shortening or butter subs, I don’t have one yet (sorry!) I have not developed my own coconut oil crust but have had success with this one.
Servings: 2 pie crusts, 1 covered pie
Time: 2 hours, including bake time
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cane sugar
- 1/2 cup COLD vegan butter
- 1/2 cup cold shortening
- 1/2 cup + 3-4 tsp of COLD ice water
- 1/4 cup cold vodka (optional, see note above)
- Measure out butter and shortening and place in the fridge for ~15-20 minutes. This step is absolutely necessary, especially during the summer months when it gets hot out. Next, place 1 cup of water in a small bowl with a few ice cubes so that the water is cold before you get started. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Cut butter and shortening into small pieces and incorporate into the dry mix. I use a pastry cutter, but fingers or a fork will also suffice. You can also use a food processor, just be sure to not over mix the dough. A few pulses is MORE than enough.
- Start with 1/4 cup of cold water, pouring around the edges of the bowl. Use a fork to push the outside mixture inward towards the center, rotating the bowl as you go. Repeat for the remaining 1/4 cup of water, or substitute 1/4 cup of cold vodka here. Add the remaining 3-4 TBSP of cold water as needed. You want the dough to be moist enough to stick together, but not so wet that it is difficult to handle. If you find that it’s too wet, just add another TBSP of flour and mix thoroughly. Separate dough into two balls, cover, and place in fridge for at least 20 minutes. Note that you can refrigerate your dough for up to 3 days before using so feel free to make it ahead of time.
- Remove dough from fridge and roll out onto a clean, dry surface into a sheet about 1/4″ thick. Sprinkle the surface lightly with flour prior to rolling else it will get stuck to your counter. If you are not planning on covering the top of your pie, you can either half this recipe, bake two pies, or freeze the remaining dough. For purposes of this how to, I’ve halved the recipe. Roll the dough out from the center, rotating the direction slightly as you go.
- After you have achieved your desired shape, lift the crust from the counter. You may have to give it a little nudge with a spatula if you didn’t have a lot of flour underneath. Place crust into your pie tin and gently push against all sides of the pan. You can crimp your edges using your fingers, a fork, or not at all. Just be sure to remove any loose hanging edges from the crust so they don’t burn in the oven.
- If you have a very “wet” filling, I would pre bake the crust for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F before adding your filling. Else, add filling to pie shell and bake at 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes. Be sure to throw a crust protector over the outside around the 20-25 minute mark to avoid burning the crust. If you are using a frozen fruit filling, increase bake time by 10-15 minutes but DO NOT pre bake.
- Allow pie to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!.