Easy Pie Crust Recipe | Dairy-Free + Vegan

Easy Pie Crust Recipe | Dairy-Free + Vegan

Pastry in pie dish

When it comes to prepping dessert for a big event, an easy pie crust recipe is very helpful. However, while the world remains obsessed with dairy, not much attention is paid to recipes for vegan pie crust. Well, we’ve got you covered. Our easy pie crust recipe delivers a tasty flaky result with dairy-free ingredients! Read on for a bunch of tips to help you nail this recipe the first time! Also, check out our neat trick to make the method even easier – mixing the pie crust ingredients in a food processor!

How to make Vegan Pie Crust

Ingredients in food processor to make pastry

Be Cool

An easy trick for creating great pie crust is to chill all your recipe ingredients before you start making the dough. That means:

  • Use ice water.
  • Leave the dairy-free/vegan butter in the fridge until you need it. Also, cut the butter into small cubes.
  • If your kitchen is especially warm, also chill the dry ingredients, bowls, and utensils!

The intention here is to keeps the dough cold. This trick stops the vegan butter from melting while you prepare. Instead, the fats will melt into the pastry while baking, leaving you with a flaky, buttery texture.

Mix it up the Easy Way

Ingredients combined in food processor

To mix the dough, mix all the pie crust ingredients together and dump them into a food processor. That’s right! We like to keep things simple and easy, and this technique works just as well as mixing by hand. Just make sure you are careful!

You need to mix the dough together quickly using short pulses. While you’re pulsing, watch the dough and stop mixing as soon as it begins to form larger clumps. Then, remove the dough and form it into a ball. Finally, place the dough ball into a bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel, and rest/chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Make some Flaky Layers

Pie pastry dough on floured pastry board

Our next tip helps give your crust some flaky layers. After the dough rests, turn it out onto a pastry board (marble is nice and cold!) or clean surface dusted with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry out flat, and then fold the dough in half. Roll it flat again and repeat this process until you’ve flattened and folded six times.

Prep-ahead Tip: at this point you can form the dough into a ball and wrap it up. Then, you can store it in the fridge and finish the pie over the next couple of days.

Time to Bake a Pie!

Now you’re ready to form the pie crust. Place a piece of parchment paper or a silicon mat on the pastry board/counter, and top with the dough ball. Roll the dough out one more time into a round shape a couple of inches wider than the pie dish. Pick up the parchment paper/pastry and flip the pastry circle over and then carefully push the it down to form the bottom and walls of the pie. Make sure you get pastry into all the corners!

Pastry being rolled into pie dish

OK! We’ve reached the end, the pie crust is now ready to bake – we hope you agree on how easy this recipe is! All you need to do is pour in your filling of choice and cook according to the needs of your specific pie.

On that note, are you looking for some easy, tasty recipes that use this pie crust? You might like The Plant Riot’s favorite Pumpkin Pie or Pecan Pie recipes. Otherwise, this crust should work with almost any vegan pie filling you can find. Experiment!

Some Troubleshooting tips

Here are some additional ways you can make sure you get a perfect pie crust. Thanks to Food52 for the inspiration for this section.

Texture Problems

Tough, hard or chewy: this usually means the pastry didn’t form into flaky layers. There are a few reasons this can happen:

  • The ingredients were not cold enough.
  • The dough was overmixed – you should still see lumps of unmixed butter when you’re finished mixing.
  • There wasn’t enough water and therefore, insufficient steam to puff up and flake the pastry during baking.
  • Too much water was added, which leads to toughness. You should add the ice water slowly and stop once the dough starts forming large clumps. Don’t let it form into a single mass.
  • More care may be required when mixing the pie crust in the food processor. Make sure you do the mixing using short pulses. You may need to pulse up to 20 times. Stop mixing as soon as the dough starts clumping together.

Sticky: This problem usually occurs when you’ve added too much water. Remember to add the ice water slowly (one tablespoon at a time) to avoid putting in too much. If the dough is only a little sticky, you can just add a bit more flour. However, if the stickiness is extreme you need to start again.

Crumbly: if the dough starts to crumble when you form it into a ball, add more water one tablespoon at a time.

Too soft: when the dough is too soft it can be difficult to form into a crust. You may be able to fix this by putting it back in the fridge until it’s firmer.

Baking Problems

It shrunk: this problem usually happens when the dough isn’t rested in the fridge long enough before baking! Resting allows the gluten in the flour to relax so it doesn’t tighten up in the oven.

Soggy bottom: this can happen when the filling has too much liquid. For example, if you’ve made a fruit mixture for the pie, try draining any excess liquid from it first. Alternatively, you might need to blind-bake your pie crust before you add the filling.

It’s not browning: for this problem, you can either cook it longer or try brushing the pie with a vegan egg-wash substitute to help it caramelize.

Did you bake a sweet treat using this easy vegan pie crust recipe? If you did, please let us know with a comment and rating. Every bit of feedback helps make The Plant Riot even better!

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