How To Make Pie Crust Without Shortening

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Why Add Vodka To Pie Crust

Make a Flakey Pie Crust Without Shortening (and Blind Bake it)

As I have mentioned earlier, vodka is a completely optional addition to this Easy Pie Crust Recipe. If you are wondering why you should sacrifice a martini for this baking recipe, let us explain. There are three main reasons to add vodka to pie dough. The first reason is to limit the formation of gluten. The second reason is to make the dough easier to roll. Lastly, the third reason is to contribute to even flakier pie crust. Heres why:

Stop Your Homemade Pie Crust From Burning

Then all you have to do is fill your pie and bake it! Heres a tip so your pie crust isnt too brown after baking : Use a pie shield or tear off strips of foil that are about 1 1/2 thick. Tear those in half and wrap them around the pie.

Then bake the pie, as directed. About 10-15 minutes before the pie will be done, remove the foil. So many recipes say to add the foil if the pie is getting too brown, but how are you supposed to do that without burning your fingers? Make a preemptive strike cover first, then remove so the edges can brown to a normal color.

And hey, all you crust haters who eat the filling and throw away the crust: this will make you like it, I bet. You probably hate it because its brittle and burnedif you follow that tip, it wont be!

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Simple Ways To Make Pie Crust Without Shortening

When making a pie, the crust has a lot to play in enhancing the sweet or savory flavor. The traditional list of ingredients for a tender and flaky crust would include shortening as a very important ingredient.

However, if you are aware of the health complications shortening can bring in, you are at the right place to learn about other ways to make the pie crust you are craving. Here, we provide you with a list of 3 simple ways you can make a pie crust without shortening.

Ingredients To The Best Pie Crust

Simple Ways to Make Pie Crust without Shortening

A pie crust recipe with butter is such an easy pie crust to make. There are two ways I make this crust: in a food processor or by hand. You can do either one! This really is a no fail pie crust made with butter!

  • Flour plain all-purpose flour is best
  • Salt
  • Butter make sure your unsalted butter is COLD
  • Water make sure to use ICE WATER
  • This crust makes one 9-inch pie crust. If you want to make a double crust pie, just double the recipe.

    My all butter pie crust recipe is quick, fast, easy and delicious! Its the perfect vehicle for ALL your pie recipe needs.

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    How To Make A Homemade Pie Crust

    All you need is flour, butter, salt, sugar, ICE COLD water and a little muscle.

    Flour: We use plain white or all-purpose flour for our homemade pie crust. I have included weights in the recipe card to ensure you are using the correct amounts. If you dont have a kitchen scale and prefer to measure with cups, make sure you spoon your flour into the cup. Then level it off with the straight edge of a blunt knife or spatula.

    Its really important to prevent forcefully packing your cup with flour or try to push more flour into it, as that will impact the end result.

    Butter: With many pie crust recipes calling for shortening, we prefer an all butter crust. It may just be a personal preference, but you really cant beat butter. Butter in this recipe is what gives your pie crust an irresistible buttery flavour that melts in your mouth, while keeping your pastry tender.

    NOTE: You must use cold butter taken straight out of the refrigerator just before adding it to the flour. While the crust bakes, small pieces of fat melt through it and create small puffy air pockets, which is exactly what you want. A deliciously flaky crust.

    Sugar: To enhance the flavour of your pie. Without sugar, sweet pies would be very bland. Even though its only a little amount, it helps to level out the flavour, making sure you get a well rounded taste in your mouth with each bite. For a savoury pie, you can leave it out if you wish, or lower the amount.

    All Butter Vs Shortening Vs Mixed Crusts

    Pie crusts are made by working fat into flour when the fat melts during baking, it leaves behind layers of crispy, flaky crust. Yum. But just what fat you use in your pie is a matter of much debate one that really boils down to personal preference. While some people prefer lard and shortening crusts because they can be easier to work with, I prefer all-butter crusts because of their lovely, rich flavor. Here, Im sharing my go-to method for making an all-butter pie crust, which I promise is practically foolproof.

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    How To Bake A Pie Crust Without Shrinking

    How to bake a pie crust without shrinking? For the most part, you can utilize an unglazed or metal-ceramic pie plate. It stops the shrinking crusts. Afterward, you can blind bake the dough at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember that you can still blind bake the crusts even if you only own glass pie plates. It applies as long as you ensure to cut the dough a tad beyond the pie pans rim. Make sure to trim the dough for about 1/8 inch.

  • Tips And Tricks: Why Does My Pie Crust Shrink?
  • The Importance Of Venting

    how to make a pie crust without shortening

    It might seem like a pretty decoration, but adding slits, a hole, or a lattice design creates ventilation. As the filling heats up, it creates steam. You need a way for it to escape. The vent concentrates the fillings flavor and consistency and prevents sogginess.

    An open weave is excellent for juicier fruit fillings like blueberries. But if you like a more liquidy texture like for cherry or apple pies, add several shallow cuts or a large circle about 1-inch in diameter in the center.

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    How Pie Crust Really Works

    A few years ago, I developed a pie dough recipe while working at Cook’s Illustrated. The one trick that got majorly hyped up about it was the inclusion of vodka in place of some of the water in the recipe. It was a pretty neat trick, if I do say so myself, and it solved one of the major problems people have with making pie dough.

    But there’s a good chunk of that article that seemed to have gotten glossed over by pretty much everyone, and I believe that it’s a far cooler part than the headline-friendly vodka trick, and it has to do with the basic structure of dough.

    You see, it turns out that when it comes to pie dough, our existing model has it wrong. In fact, it’s not the fat that’s coating pockets of dry flour. It’s the reverse. It’s the flour that’s coating pockets of pure fat. With this model, things make much more sense. You can easily and intuitively see how fat gets coated with flour , and with this model, when you add water, you are indeed moistening dry flour so that it can form sheets of gluten.

    But there’s a third element at play here that is often ignored: the flour-fat paste that forms at the interface between the pure fat and the dry flour. With this paste, what you’re getting is essentially single particles of flour that are completely coated in fat. Since they can’t absorb any water, they end up behaving in much the same way as pure fat.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

    To summarize, here’s what we’ve got as we’re forming a pie dough:

    Easy Flaky Pie Crust With Shortening

    Preview: Learn how to make an easy Flaky Pie Crust with Shortening and part butter. The result? A perfect combination of buttery flavor with the flakiness and stability provided by the shortening.

    As a county extension agent in the 70s, the local TV station asked me to do a short cooking demonstration. Why I picked the subject of pie crusts is a mystery now. Little did I know how many pie crusts it would take to get my technique down.

    As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Nevertheless, crust-making has turned out to be a reasonably valuable life skill. Never mind that most people these days are pleased with a pie crust from the supermarket.

    At this point in my life, Ive tried what seems like hundreds of variations. But, in the end, I come back to this recipe when I want to make sure my pie crust turns out beautiful and flaky. I think youll have the same experience.

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    The Benefits Of The Food Processor Method

    So that’s all very interesting, but the real question is: Why should you care? How does this make forming pie dough any easier?

    It does so in two ways. First off, this method completely removes the variability of a traditional pie dough recipe. By weighing out a given amount of flour and fat, combining them together until they form a near homogeneous paste, and then adding the remaining dry flour to that paste, you are very strictly defining exactly how much flour is used for gluten formation and how much ends up coated with fat. No more trying to visually judge whether the fat is properly cut into the flour. No more adding ice water a drop at a time until a dough is formed. The dough comes out the same, every single time.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

    The other key advantage is that your dough becomes much more pliable. The flour-fat paste formed at the beginning is much softer and more malleable than pure butter, which means that your final dough rolls out smoothly and easily with little-to-no risk of cracking like a traditional pie crust, even without the vodka.

    How To Roll And Transfer Pie Dough:

    How to Make a Delicious Pie Crust Without Shortening

    Dust work surface with flour and roll a single crust into a 12 circle. Wrap your pie dough around your rolling pin. If it sticks to the work surface use a food scraper or spatula to loosen it as you go.

    Carefully transfer crust to 9 pie dish and unroll it into the pan. Gently press dough down to line the pie dish. Tuck excess dough underneath itself to make a thick double layered edge .

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    So After All That Talk Did It Work

    Yes. It really did. Our pie crust was tender with long thin layers of dough, making it perfectly flaky.

    We love this method for two reasons:

  • Its consistent. By adding part of the flour to the butter first, combing them into a paste then adding the remaining flour, the recipe determines how much flour is being used for the formation of gluten. The dough is the same, every time.
  • That butter and flour paste really helps when it comes to working with the dough. Since its more pliable, the dough is easily rolled out.
  • Use The Right Flour Type

    Generally, youre going to have an easier time as a beginner if you stick with all-purpose flour. Its fine to use pastry flour as well, but youll probably have an easier time using all-purpose flour.

    You can handle all-purpose flour a lot more easily than pastry flour. Pastry flour can be used to make pie crusts that are very tender, but theyre also a bit delicate and itll be easier to make mistakes.

    If its your first time making a pie crust using oil, then you should go with the easiest option. Youll likely be very satisfied with the taste of the pie crust when all is said and done.

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    The Best Pie Crust Recipe With Butter

    It feels like there are two big pie seasons that hit every year: Springs berry pie season and Falls Thanksgiving pie season, with all other slices o pie falling somewhere in between.

    We are smack dab in the middle of prime time pie making and eating and everyone knows that a foolproof butter pie crust recipe is the make-or-break point of baking an amazing homemade pie. More important than whatever fruity, nutty, or creamy fillings you whip upthe true test is its crust. It should be flaky, light, flavorful, and easy to slice through with a fork.

    Im a bit obsessed with baking pies thanks to the over the top pie crusts Im incessantly inspired by because of .

    Now, after much trial and error, Ive decided this is the only pie crust recipe Im willing to bet my pie on. And now, everything that I know, you will too.

    Shaping & Baking The Crust

    Pie Crust Recipe Without Shortening (Easy Pie Crust)
    • Preheat the oven The goal is to transform your super cold butter into steam as quickly as possible. Bake your pie doughs at high temperatures to prevent the butter from melting slowly and leaking out of your dough.
    • Roll the dough on parchment or a silicone baking mat Rolling the dough on a mat or parchment will make transferring the dough a breeze. Once at your desired thickness, pick up the mat or paper and invert the entire thing, dough and all, over your pie pan. No mangled dough or hand-torn-holes! Alternatively, roll the dough loosely around a rolling pin for easy transferring.
    • Chill your shaped pie or pie shell Again, keep it cold! Cold pie doughs will better keep their shape and shrink less when baking.
    • For pretty pies, egg wash your pie dough before baking I like to use an egg wash with one whole egg, one additional yolk and a splash of cream For a deeply golden crust. That being said, a solo egg lightly beaten with a splash of water will do the trick.
    • Bake pies on the lowest oven rack Nobody likes a soggy bottom! The lowest rack in your oven will allow the dough to crisp at the bottom and bake the dough the whole way through. See more tips to avoid soggy bottoms below.

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