If you want to learn how to make a super flaky easy vegan pie crust, then you will get all the tips and tricks!
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to make a super flaky easy vegan pie crust, then you’ve come to the right spot.
Whether you are new to baking or just new to pie making, getting the perfect flaky crust is a work of art. Pretty much literally.
You want your pie crust to be easy to make, while having that perfect flaky crust, and still be fairly quick to make.
If I’m right, then you are going to find the best vegan pie crust recipe right here.
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Why You’ll Love Vegan Pie Crust
One of the best things about this delicious homemade pie crust dough is that it only needs 5 ingredients. It’s super easy to bring together into the best pie crust you’ve had, vegan or not!
We all know that the most delicious vegan pie crust is flaky. No, we aren’t meaning crispy. We want actual flakes that crumble a bit when you take a bit of it. That’s exactly what this recipe was designed to do!
We love this recipe because you can use use the dough recipe as a premade vegan pie crust or blind bake it. You can even make this a frozen pie crust if you need to make ahead and save for later!
You can also make this recipe with or without a food processor.
No matter which was you choose this vegan pie crust is versatile for your needs.
Flaky Vegan Pie Crust Ingredients:
Gather your ingredients!
Below are notes about the ingredients before we get into the full recipe located lower in this post on how to make vegan pie crust:
- Flour – We are using all-purpose flour for the recipe. It will provide the best results for your pie dough
- Sugar – Sugar will help to enhance the flavor of the pie crust. If you are making a savory pie at the end (for example, for vegan quiche), then you could cut the sugar amount in half.
- Salt – Also helps to enhance the flavor of the over pie crust, but without it, your pie crust will also taste flat, so we do not recommend omitting this ingredients
- Vegetable Shortening – we are using Crisco, or vegetable shortening for this recipe. For best results, you want to make sure it’s cold before using
- Ice Water – You want to make sure it’s actually ice water and not just cold water as the temperature can vary greatly between the two
Substitutions and Variations:
- Flour – We have not personally tested gluten free flour with this recipe; however, theoretically the same recipe should work with a 1:1 gluten free flour blend that contains xanthan gum. Otherwise follow instructions as written for a gluten free vegan pie crust. We do not recommend using a single flour like almond or coconut flour.
- Sugar – You could use coconut sugar or another granulated vegan sugar; however, we wouldn’t recommend swapping with a liquid sugar
- Vegetable Shortening – You can replace with a high fat vegan butter sticks. Do not use spreadable butter for this pie crust. You want me make sure that your first ingredient is oil and not water and make sure you freeze your butter before making the recipe
- Ice Water – You can also use ice cold non-dairy milk if you’d like a bit more flavor
Step by Step Instructions
Start by adding all your dry ingredients in a medium to large sized bowl. This is going to be your flour, salt and sugar. Give this is good whisk together.
Add in your cold vegetable shortening. Then, using a pastry cutter or two forks, you want to combine with your dry ingredients until you have a sand like texture.
Add in your ice cold water and then combine until you have a dough. It will be shaggy looking. You are wanting it to hold together but not be overly wet and you should see pieces or streaks of your vegetable shortening.
Wrap your dough in cling wrap and place into the fridge to chill.
We are recommending that you chill your dough because it helps to hydrate all your flour as well as making sure that when you roll out your dough it’s the perfect temperature to get the flaky crust.
Roll out your dough to be 1-2 inches larger than your pie plate. If you are using smaller pie pans for individual pies, you will want your crust to be ⅛ inch thick.
We like rolling our dough out onto parchment paper because it makes the flipping easier.
Gently set your pie pan on top of your dough to make sure that you have rolled it out enough.
Gently place your hand under the parchment and towards the middle of your dough and the other hand on top of the pie pan and together flip your crust.
Very carefully pull your parchment paper away from your pie dough.
Gently push the dough to make sure it’s touching at the bottom and around the sides.
Fold over any edges to make sure that they uniform. Then you can leave like that or you can make designs into your crust.
If you are doing a top layer, you can just leave as is.
The end result is the perfect super flaky vegan pie crust every single time!
Vegetable Shortening vs Vegan Butter Vs Oil – What’s Best
To get the best vegan pie crust results, you need to add a fat to the dough, but what fat is best?
We prefer using vegetable shortening because it has a higher melting temperature and will lead to a flakier crust. It’s also easier to work with when making pie dough.
Vegan butter is not only more expensive, but can cause issues depending on the brand. The pro of vegan butter is that is leads to more flavor than using standard vegetable shortening.
If you want to use vegan butter, you want to freeze it prior to adding. You also want to make sure that you use vegan sticks of butter and not spreadable vegan butter or margarine.
Still, depending on the brand you get moisture levels may vary so you may need way more or way less water to get the right consistency.
Make sure that oil is the first ingredient and not water.
If you are wanting to use an oil, we’d only recommending making a pie crust with coconut oil.
If you want or don’t mind a coconut flavor, use unrefined coconut oil. If you don’t want the coconut taste, use refined.
Coconut oil is a pure fat so there’s no need to worry about moisture levels like with the various vegan butter brands; however, it does melt faster so you will want to make sure that you freeze it in tablespoon size chunks prior to adding to your dry ingredients and keep your dough chilled throughout the process.
If you are looking for something that is inexpensive, still has a butter flavor and easy to work with, you best option with be Butter Flavored Crisco (Vegetable shortening).
Tips for the Perfect Vegan Pie Crust:
- Don’t handle the dough too much – overworking your dough will lead to a tough and dense crust that is not flaky.
- COLD COLD COLD! You want your ingredients, especially your fat and water to be as cold as possible. Chilling your bowl and baking utensils can also help.
- Try not to use your hands. Your body temperature is warm and will start melting the fat in the pie crust. It’s ideal not to use them, but we are chilling the dough after making.
- Flip using parchment paper! Many people roll out their pie dough directly on the counter and then roll onto the rolling pin to get into the pie pan. We’ve found that rolling on our parchment paper is easier, especially for first time bakers.
- Use a Food Processor – the less you handle the dough the better. A food processor can help you reduce the amount of time you’re working with the dough
- Measure don’t Scoop! – For the best results every single time, you want to make sure that you are using a digital scale and measuring out your flour by weight and not by scooping.
Frequently Asked Questions:
You’ll want to make sure to use a gluten free 1:1 flour blend with xanthan gum. Vegetable shortening usually contains soy bean oil as well, so you will want to follow the tips suggestions in this post for making a vegan pie crust with non-dairy butter instead.
Yes! Once you cling wrap your pie dough you can leave it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze for up to a month. If you are going to freeze, I highly suggest that you place the cling wrapped dough in a freezer safe bag or container.
You can also place your dough into your pie pan first and then without baking store in the fridge or freezer for the times above. Do not add any pie filling to an uncooked pie crust. Thaw before baking.
Yes. If you want both a top and bottom layer of pie crust, double this recipe and then before rolling out, use a bench cutter or knife to cut in half.
Typically no. Most pie pans are non-stick or easy release. Plus, the amount of oil in pie crust usually means that it’s fine; however, if you are nervous about it or unsure of your pie pan, then you can lightly spritz.
There are a few things you can do to prevent this.
One make sure your dough is chilled and you work quickly.
You can freeze your rolling pin while you wait for your dough to chill.
Move your rolling pin forward only and then rotate your crust.
Avoid pulling back on your rolling pin.
Lightly flour your dough and your rolling pin but avoid over-flouring as this can lead to less hydrated dough and in turn less flaky.
If nothing else is working, then place a sheet of parchment paper on the top as well and then roll out.
What are vegan pie recipe ideas I could make?
Pies are just so good, especially for the holidays. Here’s a few ideas for how to fill your crust:
- Vegan Caramel Apple Pie
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Pie
- Traditional Vegan Apple Pie
- Vegan Blueberry Pie
- Vegan Pecan Pie
- Traditional Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- Vegan Coconut Cream Pie
- Vegan Sweet Potato Pie
- No Bake Vegan Chocolate Pie
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Super Flaky Easy Vegan Pie Crust
Without Food Processor
- In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk together. Add vegetable shortening and using a pastry cutter or 2 forks combine together until crumbly and sand like texture. Pour in ice cold water and vanilla. Stir with a spatula until a shaggy dough ball forms.
With Food Processor
- In a food processor add flour, sugar, salt and pulse together. Add in the shortening and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like sand. With the processor on low add in the water and vanilla and keep the mixer going until a dough ball begins to form.
Once Dough Ball Formed
- Place dough ball in the cling wrap and place in fridge for 1-2 hours to hydrate the dough and chill.
- Very lightly flour a large sheet of parchment paper. Lay dough down. Flour a rolling pin and roll out dough until 1-2 inches bigger than your pan. *Pie dough should be roughly ⅛ inch thick for best results
- Gently place pie pan upside down on top of dough and slide one under the parchment paper and keep your other hand on the pan and flip simultaneously. Gently remove the parchment paper and press dough gently down into pan.
- Fold over any edges to create a smooth and uniform top. Pinch or design the edges however you want. Place in fridge for 30 minutes prior to filling or baking.
Blind Bake Your Crust
- To bake for a recipe that calls for a pre-baked or blind baked crust – preheat oven to 350°F(176°C). Brush non-dairy cold milk across your crust and edges. Dock your crust by poking a fork through your crust on the bottom and sides only.
- Place parchment paper over pie dough gently and add in pie weights or dried beans. For a blind baked crust cook for 10-12 minutes. For a fully cooked crust bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool before filling.