This recipe is formulated to be vegan.
It ought to take about 15 minutes from start to finish.

Thoroughly mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, sugar) in a large bowl. Next pour in the vegetable oil, mix until it is well distributed into very small clumps. Warm the margarine till it is soft, I prefer to put the stick in the toaster oven for a minute or two with its wrapper still on. Now mix the margarine in, it helps to do this with your hands, it is important to make sure that it is very well worked in with the rest of the dough. Now we will add the water, keep in mind that the amount you need to add will vary and so add it in small portions until the right consistancy is achieved. You may need signifigantly more or less water depending on variations in your ingredients, just be patient and it will all work. The consistancy that we are shooting for is a slightly moist one, such that all of the flour in the mixture is used up completely, the dough is wet to the touch, and it is not at all crumbly. Now spread some flour around on the surface which you are going to roll the dough out on. Split the dough into two lumps, one slightly larger than the other which will be the bottom of the crust, the small lump will be the top. Roll the dough out from the center, if it breaks or tears, do not worry. Gather dough from the edges of the crust you are rolling, place them beneath the dough where the crack or tear has formed and roll it out. Roll the crust to a size that is roughly 4 inches in diameter greater than your pie pan. Make sure the pan is oiled/greased before putting the dough into it. This dough cooks best at 375 for 1 hour exactly.

I made piecrust (one word) for the first time yesterday. I made the piecrust in the wu above me yesterday. It's really fun making your own pie crust, you will feel like a pioneer. I did not make a tasty piecrust with this recipe, I made some sort of first world war ration. The one thing pukesick left out in the instructions is to think THIN. Not obviously going to burn thin but thin. Really roll the dough out. This recipe makes more dough then your going to need so don’t just roll it out to the right size and use it because it will be disgusting. Otherwise, flavour wise, it was definitely a passable piecrust.

The Magpie's Advice on making great pie crust
supplemental to pukesick's fine writeup above. (blatant ass-kissing)

I use the recipe out of The Joy of Cooking. Can't vouch for its vegan creds, but it is simple: 3 c. flour, 1 tsp. salt, 2/3 c. veg shortening and 5 tbsp water.

What makes pie crust flaky is the combination of oil (margarine/butter/veg oil/veg shortening) and water. That is to say, they don't mix and the dough separates, happily on a horizontal plane.
  1. Use good tools
    • Rolling pin
      I recommend a marble rolling pin. It is heavy, which means less physical effort is expended when rolling out the dough. You want to roll the dough, not stretch it. Let the weight of the pin do the work for you. Marble also stays cool, so it doesn't transfer heat to the dough, which can cause sticking. In hot weather try keeping your marble rolling pin in the fridge.
      You can also get fancy hollow rolling pins that you fill with ice water.
    • Pastry cloth
      A pastry cloth not only helps keep your counter tops clean, it makes a nice low-stick surface for rolling your dough. A pastry cloth holds the extra flour so it stays where you want it - under your dough.

  2. Avoid over handling
    Only mix your dough as much as necessary to get all the flour thoroughly moistened. Over handling will make the dough tough.
  3. Chill the dough
    After you have split your dough into two lumps, tuck it into the refrigerator while you are mixing up your pie filling. Cover the dough so it doesn't dry out. This is very helpful in hot weather.
  4. Layer the crust
    I use butter, but you can use the grease of your choice. Roll out the crust part way, then spread a layer of butter and fold over. Repeat. This is how puff pastry is made (sort of), but for pie crust I only do it a couple times before rolling out to final size.
  5. Handle with care
    The last thing you want is for your carefully constructed crust to tear as you lift it into the pan. Fold your crust into quarters - it's much easier to handle. Unfold it inside the pan. If your top crust is solid (as opposed to lattice), cut the steam vents when it is folded. Makes nifty little "v" shapes on the top of your pie.
  6. Avoid burning
    Edges of crust cook faster and can get burnt. You can prevent this and produce a more evenly baked crust by covering the edges with foil. You can even buy handy little aluminium edge covers. Remove the edge covers about half way through baking.

Now enjoy your pie!

Here's the pie crust I always make, and it works like a charm for me. It's all you want in a pie crust: flaky, golden, and tasty. Be sure to read the handy tips above, though, if you've never made a pie crust before.

What you need for a single pie crust (multiply as required):

  • 1-1/2 cups (360 ml) unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2-1/2 ml) salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) shortening, chilled and cut into chunks
  • 4-6 tblsp (60-90 ml) cold water

What to do:

Combine flour and salt in a bowl or food processor. Add butter and shortening and combine till mixture resembles coarse crumbs, using ten 1-second pulses of the food processor or, if in a bowl, a fork or two knives and patience.

Turn out of food processor into a bowl (or it's already there) and add water, one tablespoon at a time, stirring well after each addition; after 4 tablespoons, try squeezing a bit of dough in the palm of your hand; if it holds together, it's fine; if it crumbles, add another tablespoon or two if necessary.

Turn the dough onto a clean dry lightly floured work surface, gather together into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the fridge for an hour. (sneff suggests forming it into a disk instead so it warms up faster when it comes out.)

After at least an hour (more if you've got stuff to do), remove the dough from the fridge. It should be malleable so you can roll it out easily without it cracking; if necessary, let it warm up a bit first. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to form a thin disk large enough to fit in your pie plate.

Transfer the dough to your pie plate by rolling it around your rolling pin and then carefully laying it onto the pan; try not to stretch it, but just ease it into the pie plate. Use a sharp knife to cut off any excess that hangs over the edge of the pan, and if the dough tears, moisten the tear and patch it with a piece of excess dough.

Yay for pie!

The secret to a good pie is a good crust. I firmly believe that a knockout pie crust can conceal many of the flaws of a less-than-stellar pie filling. For example, I once made a blueberry pie that was so runny it could be slurped rather than chewed. Lucky for me, the pie's crust was absolutely gorgeous. Served at Christmas dinner, this pastry actually brought tears to my father's eyes. (I am not making this up.) He was so proud that his own daughter had made what he claimed to be the best pie he had ever eaten (or slurped).

...but I digress. This recipe makes the hands-down best pie crust known to mankind. It's my grandmother's recipe, and it's perfect for these 3 reasons:

1. It's tasty! Not too salty, too greasy, too flaky or too bland. It also bakes up nicely -- it's pretty hard to burn it, unless you're totally inattentive.

2. It's a simple recipe. Easy to remember, hard to screw up.

3. It's durable!! Very useful for klutzes like me, who have to reroll the dough six or eight times to get it right. This dough, unlike so many others, never ever ever gets tough. Ahh. Pastry bliss.

And so, without further ado, I give you Grandma Geer's Definitive Pastry for a 2-Crust Pie!!


Sift the flour and salt together. If you lack a sifter, mixing well with a fork works o.k. too. In a separate container (a liquid measuring cup works well), pour the milk into the Mazola oil. DO NOT STIR IT. Pour the milk-and-oil mixture into the flour. Mix with a fork until it forms a ball. If the dough is wet and sticky, add a bit more flour. If it's dry and crumbly, add more oil.

That's it. There's your dough.

Now divide it into two parts, one (for the bottom crust) slightly bigger than the other (for the top). Roll out (I do it between two sheets of wax paper, which works well as long as you get the paper absolutely flat) 'til it's thin enough to be sort of translucent. It's not too hard to get it right, since this recipe, when rolled out to a good thickness, makes almost exactly the right amount of dough for a 9-inch, 2-crust pie. If the dough tears or wears thin while rolling, just take an extra piece of dough (you will have a little extra), slap it on top of the trouble spot, and roll smooth to repair the damage.

After you've rolled it out, peel off the top sheet of wax paper. The crust should sort of stick to the bottom sheet so that you can pick it up and invert it over the pie plate, leaving the crust perfectly positioned in the plate (or on top of the filling, if it's the top crust). An extra pair of hands is useful for this part, since it's a little tricky. I've ripped many a crust completely in half at this stage of the game and had to mush it up and start over. Which, as previously mentioned, can be done repeatedly. But it isn't much fun.

So now we get to the baking. I use this crust for fruit pies, most of which I bake for an hour at 400 degrees (Fahrenheit, of course). The crust does fine under these conditions. It's great if you take it out of the oven after a half hour, brush the top with a beaten egg, sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon, and pop it back in. It makes the crust shiny, brown, and sweet on top. Perfect.

I agree with anthropod: Yay for pie!

For what it's worth, this is the one that I swear by and can/should be made ahead and kept in the fridge or freezer. (a real holiday time saver!)

Newspaper Pastry Crust

I cut this out of a newspaper over 40 years ago. It is still taped into the loose leaf cookbook my mother gave me. This is the crust for a Latticed mushroom tart which is absolutely fabulous.

2 3/4 C flour
pinch of salt
1/2 C butter, cut up
1/2 C solid vegetable shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 C. ice water

To make pastry, sift flour and salt into a bowl and add butter and shortening. Combine with a metal palette knife or pastry blender until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Mix egg, vinegar and water, add flour and cult the liquids in until mixture comes together and forms a dough. Knead on a lightly floured board a few times, then divide in half and wrap each piece in plastic film. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

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