Oh, pie there!
I couldn’t help myself with that one. I get a little flaky this time of year.
Oh, there I go again! Look, I’m not the only one with pie on the brain. It just comes this time of year. So I’m celebrating by kicking off Vegan Pie Week. And, you know, one of the most important parts of any pie is the pie crust. I guess that’s not rocket science. But the really tricky part is making that pie crust in a way that results in a flaky crust, suitable for any custard. That flaky part is where things can get kind of complicated. What I’m sharing with you today is my trusted, favorite recipe that I’ve been using (and refining) for years. Follow along as I show you how to make foolproof flaky vegan pie crust. You won’t regret it!
The first thing to remember when you’re making a flaky pie crust is you want to use as little liquid as possible.
And second, why is it so admirable for pie crusts to be flaky, but it’s not such a great thing for people? It’s one of the wonders of the day, if you ask me.
But back to pies…
There are lots of different kinds of pie crusts. For example, I made a gingersnap pie crust for my Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Hazelnut Cream last year. That was pretty tasty! And I’ve also used things like Golden Oreos to make a pie crust for this crazy good Vegan Banana Cream Pie.
The pie crust I’m talking about today is the more traditional kind of pie crust. I’ve been using (and adapting) this pie crust recipe over the years and it produces a flaky crust every time! But it includes a kind of controversial secret ingredient.
I like to use a food processor to make my pie crust. It makes it a little easier to get the vegan butter evenly distributed throughout the flour.
The first thing is to combine the flour, salt and sugar in the food processor and give it a few pulses to combine.
Then I add equal parts vegan butter and vegetable shortening. It helps if these are both cold. After a few pulses, the fat is equally distributed throughout the mixture.
For you whole wheat fanatics, I’ve made this crust using both all-purpose (unbleached) flour and whole wheat pastry flour. It works both ways. So you can replace the flour below with 100% whole wheat pastry flour or some combination of the two and still achieve a nice, flaky vegan crust.
Bring on the pies!
As you can see from the photo above, making a vegan pie can drive a person to drinking. I mean, that is vodka in the photo.
But don’t worry, I’m not actually drinking that vodka at 2 in the afternoon. I try to wait until after 5 for that kind of thing. 🙂
No, I’m actually using the vodka in the pie recipe. I learned about this trick on 101 Cookbooks. Heidi recommends including a little vodka because it helps make the pie crust flakier. Because the vodka adds moisture to the pie crust dough, allowing it to be malleable enough to work with while you’re preparing it, but bakes off in the oven. That way it leaves you with a nice, flaky crust.
Vegan Pie Perfection!
I used a cinnamon-infused vodka for this recipe and it added a little extra flavor to the crust too.
Once your dough is ready, divide it in half and wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes. That chilling step is important because it helps the dough firm up and makes the rolling out process much easier.
Shawn and I put together a fun video to show you how to make foolproof flaky vegan pie crust in 30 seconds! It’s vegan pie crust making in high speed.
I happen to think fluting the crust is my favorite part of making my own pies. In fact, I like it so much that sometimes I’ve even flute my pizza crusts too.
I’m a fluting fanatic. I may need help. 🙂
That’s our post for How to Make Foolproof Flaky Vegan Pie Crust. Use the recipe below to make your own and stay tuned because there’s some pretty fabulous pie recipes coming your way this week.
- 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) vegan butter cut into slices
- 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening cut into pieces
- ¼ cup cold vodka
- ¼ cup cold water
Pour 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar into a food processor and pulse until combined, about 2 seconds.
Add vegan butter and process until just combined. Add the shortening slices and pulse until dough collects in clumps, about 15 seconds.
Add remaining cup of flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed (4 to 6 quick pulses). Empty mixture into a medium bowl.
Sprinkle cold vodka over dough and stir until combined. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.
Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
From this point, follow the directions for your pie recipe. Some pie recipes will require pouring the custard into an unbaked pie crust whereas others will require baking the crust prior to pouring in the custard.
I used a cinnamon-flavored vodka which resulted in a nice added touch to the finished pie crust. If you choose not to use vodka, simply replace that with cold water, but use as little as possible.