How to Make Foolproof Flaky Vegan Pie Crust

Here’s my handy guide on how to make foolproof flaky vegan pie crust! Because mastering a delicious pie crust is crucial in making delicious pies. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that complicated. I use a secret ingredient to make the flakiest pie crust ever!

How to make 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!

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.

Flaky Vegan Pie Crust

But back to pies…

There are lots of different kinds of pie crusts. For example:

See? Lots of pie crust options. Of course, 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.

The ingredients for a vegan pie crust are in a food processor
Pour the dry ingredients for your vegan pie crust into a food processor.

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.

Vegan butter and vegetable shortening have been added to the mixed flour in a food processor.
Add vegan butter and vegetable shortening to the mixed flour ingredients.

Is Shortening Vegan?

Be sure to read the labels to make sure your shortening is vegan. However, most shortenings are made from vegetable oil, but it’s always good to double check. Basically, shortening is a fat that is firm at room temperature. It’s perfect for creating a flaky crust!

I add both vegan butter and vegetable shortening to my pie curst recipes. It helps if these are both cold, so I keep them in the fridge. Chop up the vegan butter and shortening into cubes and then add to the flour mixture. After a few pulses, the fat is equally distributed throughout the mixture.

A food processor is full of crumbly pie crust mixture. A glass of ice water and bottle of vodka sit next to it.
After mixing the fat into the crust, the pie crust is still course and crumbly.

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 do you make flaky pie crust?

I use a secret ingredient to make flaky pie crust. The trick is to minimize the amount of moisture you use, but still have enough to roll out the dough. My favorite trick requires alcohol, namely vodka!

As you can see from the photo above, making a vegan pie can drive a person to drinking. I mean, yes, 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.

A white bowl shows half of the pie crust mixture with a red spatula. The other half of the pie crust dough has been shaped into a ball and wrapped in plastic wrap.
Divid the pie dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap and chill before rolling.

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, sometimes I even flute my pizza crusts too.

I’m a fluting fanatic. I may need help. 🙂

A pie crust fresh from the oven with the fluted edges nicely golden.
A pie crust fresh from the oven with the fluted edges nicely golden.

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.

How to make vegan pie crust

Foolproof Flaky Vegan Pie Crust

Learn how to How to Make Foolproof Flaky Vegan Pie Crust with this quick and easy recipe with accompanying video and even a few step-by-step photos. This will provide crusts for 2 9-inch pie crusts.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan Flaky Pie Crust, Vegan Pie Crust
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings or 1 pie crust
Calories: 185kcal
Author: Namely Marly

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

  • 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.

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!

Updated by Marly · Permalink