How to Make Foolproof Flaky Vegan Pie Crust

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!

How to make vegan pie crust

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.

How to make vegan foolproof flaky pie crust

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.

How to Make Foolproof Flaky Vegan Pie Crust

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!

How to make vegan foolproof flaky pie crust

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.

How to make vegan foolproof flaky pie crust

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. 🙂

How to make vegan foolproof flaky pie crust

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.

Foolproof Flaky Vegan Pie Crust

Foolproof Flaky Vegan Pie Crust

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 1 pie crust

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Pour 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar into a food processor and pulse until combined, about 2 seconds.
  2. Add vegan butter and process until just combined. Add the shortening slices and pulse until dough collects in clumps, about 15 seconds.
  3. Add remaining cup of flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed (4 to 6 quick pulses). Empty mixture into a medium bowl.
  4. Sprinkle cold vodka over dough and stir until combined. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.
  5. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  6. 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.

Notes

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.

Enjoy!

Posted 1 year ago by Marly on Monday, November 16th, 2015 · Permalink

8 Responses to How to Make Foolproof Flaky Vegan Pie Crust

  1. Kimberly Delgado

    What temperature do i bake this?

    • Great question Kimberly! I added a note to the recipe to clarify this, but after you make your dough balls and refrigerate them, you should follow the instructions for the particular pie recipe you’re making. For example, my vegan pecan pie recipe indicates baking the pie crust first. But a typical pumpkin pie will ask that you pour the filling into an unbaked pie crust.

  2. So I’m gearing up to make the pecan pie later today – since it’s an open top pie would I halve this recipe? I’d make two pies, but we already have another!

    • Hi Thea! Yes, this recipe makes enough for two pie crusts so you may want to halve it if you’re only making the pecan pie. Alternatively, you’ll have a pie dough ball in the fridge. We have one right now and I’m itching to make some vegetable stew and put a layer of crust over the top for a quick pot pie. That will have to wait until after Thanksgiving…but doesn’t that sound so good!! 🙂

  3. Hi, have you ever frozen this dough? I really like the idea of making double the dough so I can save time for a pie at another time, and it would be great if I could freeze this too. I’m only asking because of the vodka in the recipe and wonder if it would be affected by being in the freezer.

    • Hi Amy. Yes, I have frozen this dough before and it works like a charm! What I do is follow the recipe through to creating dough balls and wrapping in plastic wrap and refrigerating them. Once the dough has firmed up, simply put the dough balls in a freezer bag (for added protection) and place in the freezer. Then when you’re ready to use it, place it out on the counter to defrost before rolling it. Good luck!

  4. Joyce Perkins

    I’m sure you covered this somewhere in your blog, but where do I buy vegan butter in stick form? I’m definitely making this once I solve the vegan butter issue. Also, do you use something like Crisco for the shortening? Thanks!

    • I typically use Earth Balance which you can find at most health food stores and I can find it at all my local grocer stores. I have yet to see it at places like Target or Walmart, but I’m sure it will be there soon enough. You can also use unsalted Fleischmann’s margarine. The salted variety has dairy in it, but not the unsalted for some reason. Earth Balance also makes vegetable shortening which is great, but otherwise you can use crisco for the shortening.