Pie crust is possibly one of the worlds most difficult things to make. That and oxygen. That seems super complicated, but luckily plants have oxygen covered. Thanks plants! Now I will eat you... muhahah.
Ehem, getting back to pie crust: every now and then over the last few years I have tried to make an Easy Vegan Pie Crust recipe. I tested other people's Easy Vegan Pie Crust recipes. I tried experimenting with techniques and ingredient ratios and every time I failed miserably. It would fall apart, look terrible, and become wooden when cooked. Not at all the Easy Vegan Pie Crust of my dreams... or even my nightmares, just completely un-rememberable...
Then genius struck! By genius I mean my Nana. My mom has used my Nana's pie crust recipe since... well since I remember existing. I asked my mom to send me the recipe, and it turns out it's basically an Easy Vegan Pie Crust recipe except for the milk which is a super-easy sub. I gave it a go, and hot dang, it worked perfectly! It was quick, all the tips and techniques were there, and it was easy as pie! (Yeah I nailed that pun, you know it.)
I guess you could consider this Easy Vegan Pie Crust recipe a family secret. Hopefully, Nana will be smiling down on me and cool with me sharing this slightly adapted version and praising her awesomeness. Yes? My spidey senses say yes.
That's how much I love you guys! I am sharing family secrets with you, because you're my family. Aww shucks, group world hug.
So why does this Easy Vegan Pie Crust recipe work perfectly where my other attempts failed? 3 reasons, the correct ratios of ingredients, and two super-secret tips that I swear made all of the difference. 1 tip from my Nana, and 1 tip from my Grandma. Now that's collaboration!
This Easy Vegan Pie Crust recipe turns out the perfect pie crust, easily and quickly. It's flaky and delicious without much effort. This recipe makes one pie crust, but if you want two pie crusts, feel free to double or triple the recipe as needed.
NEW VIDEO: I made a video for my Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie, and if you scroll down to the recipe card, you can watch me make this pie crust followed by the pumpkin pie, and topped with Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream.
For step by step photos follow along below ↓
Nana's Pie Crust Secret Tip:
Chill your tools! Put your bowl, fork or pastry cutter, rolling pin and anything else you might be using in the fridge or freezer (if they are freezer safe) to chill. Cold tools means the vegetable shortening won't melt and the pastry won't get too soft.
When you are ready to make your pasty, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut the vegetable shortening into cubes and sprinkle over the flour. Use a fork or a pastry cutter to slice the shorting into the flour.
Keep on forking the pastry until you reach a crumbly consistency like this. Now drizzle the plant-based milk over top, and use the fork to continue to mix the dough.
When the plant-based milk is mixed in and everything comes together like this, you are good to go. Don't over mix.
Grandma's Pie Crust Secret Tip:
Spread a clean tea towel over your work surface. Lightly sprinkle the tea towel with flour. You are going to roll your dough out on top of the floured tea towel. I promise it won't stick as long as you flour it. This just makes it much easier to pick up the pastry and get it in the pie dish in one piece.
Roughly gather the dough into a ball and put it in the center of the floured towel.
Roll your pastry out. You may wonder why there is a bottle in this picture, you see, I don't have a rolling pin, never have! So I always just use a glass bottle... and since I am wine drinker, I tend to have those lying around. If you have a real rolling pin, perfect! If not feel free to wash a round bottle and remove any labels and use that instead, they work just as well.
Lightly flour the rolling pin and roll out the pastry. If the dough starts sticking sprinkle some more flour across the surface of the dough.
Roll the dough into a rough circle that is several inches larger than than your pie plate to allow for room for the sides and edges of the pie crust.
Use the tea towel to help you flip the dough into you pie pan. It's ok if pieces fall off. Use a knife to cut around the edges and cut off any excess pie crust. If there are any holes, use some of the extra dough to fill them in. Pinch the sides to make a decorative crust. Voila! Nana's pie crust. Or should I say: Easy Vegan Pie Crust!
Tools I’m Drooling Over Right Now:
- This Really Cute Pie Plate $20 | 4.3 Stars our of 145+ Reviews
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- This Elegant Pie Server $8 | 4.3 our of 25+ Reviews
Easy Vegan Pie Crust
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour, (plus more for rolling)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ pound vegetable shortening, *see notes
- ¼ cup plant-based milk, (or more if needed)
To make the dough:
- Add the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Cut the vegetable shortening into cubes and scatter into the flour. Use a fork or pastry cutter to slice the vegetable shortening into the flour until you reach a crumbly texture.
- Drizzle the milk across the flour mixture and use the fork to combine. Mix until everything comes together and you will be able to form a ball of dough. Don't over-mix.
To roll the dough:
- Spread a clean tea towel over your work surface and lightly sprinkle flour over it. Scoop the dough into a rough ball, and put it in the center of the floured tea towel. Roll it out until you have a rough circle that is several inches bigger than your pie dish to allow room for the sides and edges of the crust.
To form the pie crust:
- Use the tea towel to help you flip the dough into the pie dish. If some pieces fall off that's fine. Use a knife to cut off the excess pastry around the edges. If there are any holes, fill them with some of the extra pieces. Pinch the edges to form a pretty crust.
To Pre-Cook Your Pie Crust (optional):
- Only do this if the recipe requires a cooked crust prior to filling it. Preheat your oven to 450F (230C). Pierce the crust all over with a fork. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400F and continue cooking until the crust is lightly browned, just a couple more minutes.
This is a great pie crust recipe. I love how quickly it came together and particularly love the tea towel trick - genius. I like a bit more sweetness to my pie crusts, so added a pinch more sugar than what recipe called for. I've found out the hard way if a crust doesn't roll out easily to add a bit more liquid. This time I messed up and added a little too much. Then added a bit more flour, kneaded for a minute or so, and back to just right - it rolled out and baked perfectly. Loved how forgiving this was. Very clever recipe, I'll be checking out the author's cookbook.
Sam Turnbull says
So happy you love it! 🙂
I see references to non hydrogenated vegan shortening; vegan butter; earth balance sticks; margarine; and so on and so forth. I need some clarification as I don't want to waste ingredients with any misunderstanding of EXACTLY what sort of fat we are to use. Wouldn't good ol' Crisco be considered a non hydrogenated vegan shortening as well?
My understanding is that coconut "oil" might be considered a non hydrogenated vegan shortening, but I doubt that it works well for a pie crust. Also, with Earth Balance, I don't see how that might work well, either.
So: Can you give us some brand names and the exact title of their product which will ensure a good result (assuming we take all your advice on cooling the tools, etc.)? Many thanks.
The reason for using NON hydrogenated shortening or butter is that Partially or just plain Hydrogenated oil of ANY kind contains TRANS FAT. Not an advertised fact, but it does. You see 0 trans fat on labels, because or FDA says it's not a high enough level to be considered a problem. Hydrogenation makes oils thicker and more like a spread, which makes it easier to use as or in a butter substitute for example. There are LOTS of things out there with NO hydrogenated oils. Just read the ingredients.
Hi 🙂 Newbie here and don't want to mess this up. The recipe calls for 1/4 pound of vegetable shortening. Am I correct to equate this to 1/2 cup? And do I need to look for sticks or just something like Crisco in a tub? Thank you so much!!
Sam Turnbull says
Sticks or in the tub will both work fine. 1/4 pound is actually equal to 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon. Enjoy!
Hi, I'm making this for some friends and I was wondering if substituting vegan butter for the shortening would work just as well!
Sam Turnbull says
Hi Celeste, I would recommend using my recipe for all-butter vegan pie crust. Enjoy!
I wonder how much this batch of dough weighs. I need to make 1 lb of dough for an empanada recipe. Also, does the dough freeze well for how long?
I use lemon vodka for pie crusts. The water or plant milk develops gluten which makes dough chewy (think bagels, artisan bread) but the alcohol brings the dough together without making it chewy or "tough". It all evaporates during baking anyway leaving tender crust. Experiment with that!
Joanne Parsons says
I had to add a couple tablespoons of cold vodka to make this recipe work. The alcohol burns off and it does something to the gluten to make it pliable and more durable.
This crust was amazing! Easy and delicious. I subbed earth balance salted sticks and forgot to decrease the salt. I'm glad I forgot because it turned out appropriately savory for my quiche. I wrapped the dough in plastic and rested it in the fridge for 30+ minutes before rolling it out on parchment paper. I used the plastic wrap as a barrier between the dough and my rolling pin and experienced zero sticking issues!
Mỹ Trần says
Hi Sam, I stumbled upon this blog today and found that one of their articles is written almost identical to this one of yours. Just wanted to let you know!
By the way, I love your pie crust recipe, I tried two other ones until this one works wonder for me, I use margarine though.
It doesn't say how long to cook it if you are using a top crust also for like an apple pie. How long do you bake for and what temperature?
Sam Turnbull says
It would totally depend on the pie recipe. Just make sure you follow the instructions for whatever pie recipe you are using. EnjoY!
Brittney Driver says
Looks good going to try today
Would I double this recipe so I can do a top crust too?
I haved baked your vegan pumpkin pie and crust numerous times,it always comes out wonderful.
It is a favorite for my whole family,vegans and others. Thank you so much.
Sam Turnbull says
Yay! SO happy to hear that! 🙂
I would like to try your pie crust but I don't use oil. I think this could be made with coconut cream?
I love graham cracker cracker crusts. Can one be used with your vegan pumpkin pie?
Sam Turnbull says