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Nov 8, 2011 12:27 PM

Parve pie crust - Homemade

Does anyone have a parve pie crust recipe? I generally use Oronoque, but I would like to make my own.

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  1. This is a great recipe (just substitute Earth Balance sticks for the butter):

    2 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      I haven't seen the EB sticks in awhile, but I haven't shopped at Whole Foods lately. Are they still available in "regular" markets?

      1. re: DeisCane

        Here's a list of stores - including Fairway and Trader Joe's (but not every store will have every product):

    2. You can use Fleishmann's, or Mother's.

      But while I do understand the impulse to make your own, and you can certainly save money this way. Prepared pie crusts are, IMHO, one of the truly great time and labor savers.

      You can also bring the Oronoque to room temp. sprinkle with just a drop of water, and re-roll to fit any pie pan.

      If you do decide to make you own, know that a food processor makes short work of cutting gin the shortening.

      Butter does make a delicious pie crust. I do wonder what a lard crust would taste like. I have heard that lard is vastly flakier than anything achievable with butter or margarine. Is there any kosher fat that would make a crust as flaky as legend holds lard crusts to be?

      2 Replies
      1. re: AdinaA

        Rumor has it that suet (raw beef fat) makes a crust that is similar.

        1. re: AdinaA

          Julia Child recommended making a crust with half butter and half shortening. Butter for the flavor, shortening for the flakiness. That is still my all-purpose, go-to dairy crust. All vegetable shortening will give you the flakiness, but not so much the flavor. I'm sure there is a reason why lard is considered the gold standard for pie crusts (combination of flavor and flake, I guess), using butter-flavored shortening seems like a very reasonable option to me.

        2. As a vegan, i've tried and made many versions of a pareve pie-crust. This recipe from 100 Best Vegan Recipes is the one I've found best. (There are recipes with eggs that are as foolproof, but why add eggs when you can do without them?)
          2 1/2 cups flour
          1/2 tsp salt
          1 tsp sugar
          1 cup cld margarine cut into chunks (most vegans use Earth Balance in the tub, not the shortening style sticks)
          1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water
          In a food processor (my favorite method) you pulse together the flour etc. and then drop in the chunks of margarine while the machine is going. You can also "pulse it in. When it looks like a coarse meal, with the processor running, add the water very gradually, stopping as soon as the dough holds together, before it gets sticky. It will gather itself together into almost a ball. If you can press it and get a ball, it's done. it it resists, add a bit more water.

          You can do the same thing by hand using a fork or pastry cutter.
          Divide the dough into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
          Or freeze for up to two weeks.
          This makes enough for one two crust pie or two with one crust. I think it's better to freeze what you don't need than to try to make l/2 recipe, because the proportions can be tricky.
          This takes about 5 minutes to process and then an hour wait. With that short a time actively working, it makes sense to make your own rather than buy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lburrell

            The vodka trick in the recipe I linked is a good one for any recipe you use (replace half the water volume with vodka, which itself is approximately half water). The vodka does not cause gluten to form in the flour resulting a tender crust and because it burns off during cooking it adds to flakiness.

          2. Thanks to everyone! How about a recipe with Crisco?

            1 Reply
            1. re: dly

              I grew up using Crisco, but most health conscious cooks have stopped using hydrogenated oil products and I find the results with earth balance better. If you want to go another route and deal with saturated fat, rather than hydrogenation, you can use Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening, probably just substituting the same amount for the Crisco. It contains palm oils.


            2. I've had good luck with the Wesson Oil pie crust, which is very flaky. Like every other pareve pie crust I've ever eaten, it's still flavorless, but I'm not sure how much one can do about that. Because it's not using a solid fat, there's no need to obsess over keeping everything chilled or not overworking the dough, or any worries about hydrogenated or saturated fats. I use the version here, replacing the milk with soy or almond milk, plus an added tablespoon of sugar if I'm using it for a dessert:

              2 Replies
              1. re: GilaB

                Thank you for the link - I have been looking for a good oil pie dough recipe. To improve flavor of the crust:
                Use 50-100% whole wheat flour (part spelt is more crumbly but extra tasty)
                Add 1/2 tsp ground ginger
                Substitute 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice for part of the water
                Replace water with apple juice for a fruit pie.
                For a savory pie, add pepper, herbs and/or garlic powder, or use cold vegetable stock as your liquid.
                If using this oil crust recipe, maybe try using part or all olive or nut oil?

                1. re: almond tree

                  I rarely make pie crust, finding it something of a patchke, but I'll file these away for the next time. Thanks!