Easy Vegan Pie Crust Recipe

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By Barbara Hodge • Last Updated: December 24, 2023
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Easy Vegan Pie Crust Recipe

Buttery delicious flaky vegan pie crust ready in 15 minutes. With only 3 ingredients and a pie dough ready in just 1 minute – nothing could be easier with this all butter pie crust! This vegan pie crust recipe is handy as same as vegan graham cracker crust.

Easy Vegan Homemade Pie Crust

Vegan pie crust is super easy to make. The first time I made it I was shocked at how quick and easy it was. Believe or not, the pie dough is ready just in 1 minute! And it’s a 3 ingredient pie crust.

This is a short crust pastry recipe. It’s perfect for sweet and savory pie, tart, quiche, cheesecakes or whatever you like to bake! It will be your new go to pie crust!

The thought of making pie crusts can seem intimidating at first. But you don’t have to be a pasty chef for this. One minute of prep, 15 minutes in the oven – and you’ll be the pie hero of the household! And this dairy free pie crust is as good as any pie crust you’ll try.

Let me help you make the best pre made pie crust ever. My partner and I are regularly making our favourite dessert pies with it. And you can too for joy! You can quickly and easily make a pie crust from scratch today.

About this Recipe for Vegan Pie Crust

This recipe is for a pie crust with no shortening. The taste and flavour of the homemade pie crust is much better than shop bought. Why? Well, the secret is vegan butter! Nothing can beat all butter pie crusts in flavor and flaky texture!

Butter, shortening or coconut oil?

You may think that shortening is a necessary ingredient to make the crust flaky. I did. But shortening is not common in the UK, Japan and Australia, and I found it’s really not necessary.

Coconut oil is a vegan substitute for shortening. It’s solid at room temperature. I tried it to give some structure to my pie dough. The problem I found was that it’s difficult to handle in a warmer temperature.

Coconut oil also adds a subtle coconut flavor to the pie crusts. I wanted the pie flavours to be the star, so extra coconut flavour in the crust was not what I was looking for.

The truth is that shortening itself doesn’t give any flavour or taste. (Smitten Kitchen) It’s merely used for the structure of the dough.

So instead I tried and tested an all butter pie crust. It worked without shortening! And the best part is that butter makes it DELICIOUS and helps get that flaky texture I was after. So read on, and I’ll share what I discovered with you!

3 ingredient pie crust

This vegan pie crust recipe is designed for 1 x 23cm / 9 inch pie plate (or dish) or tart tin (serves 8 people). You can double the amount of ingredients for a covered pie in the recipe card (use recipe scaler below).

You needs only three ingredients:

  • All purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter

That’s it!

I didn’t count water in the ingredients. Pie crusts should not be sweet since the filling is already sweetened. So this pie crust recipe doesn’t add sugar.

I don’t make pie crusts sweet as the filling is already sweetened and that flavour should be left to shine. So this pie crust recipe doesn’t add sugar. It also means you can use this for savoury pies too.

USEFUL EQUIPMENT

  • Food Processor
  • 9 inch pie plate: I use a simple glass pie dish.
  • Pie Crust Shield: To prevent the pie shell from being burnt or too browning. If you don’t have it, cover the edge with a foil.
  • Pie Weights: In case if you need blind baking, which will be explained at ‘How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust’ below.

How to Make Vegan Pie Crust

How to Make Vegan Pie Crust
Credit: Instagram @jessicainthekitchen

1. Pie dough ready in 1 minute!

The one trick for this is to make the pie crust dough in the food processor. This is a real game changer! I used to mix the flour with butter by hand but not anymore! It’s super easy.

Prepare butter to cut into ⅓ inch (1cm) cubes and chill in the fridge. Use the processor to make a pea-sized pieces of buttery flour dough while adding a little iced cold water.

Then remove the dough from the processor and form it into a round disk gently and quickly. Using the food processor avoids over processing the dough.

HOW TO KEEP THE PIE DOUGH COLD

The key for success is to keep the ingredients cold. Here are my key tips for success:

  1. Use cold water. Add ice into one cup of water. You only need 4 tablespoons of water.
  2. Keep the butter really cold. Leave it in the fridge until it is used.
  3. Chill the pie dough disk for 2 hours before rolling out. This is important!
  4. Your hands warm up the dough. Try not to over handle it too much. You can place the dough on a parchment paper and leave it in the fridge if it starts to gets warm.
  5. It’s also useful to chill the mixing bowl with the flour in the fridge or a freezer.

2. Roll out the pie dough

Remove the pie dough from the fridge. After chilling, the dough is pretty easy to handle.

HOW TO ROLL OUT PIE DOUGH

  1. Lightly flour your hands, the rolling pin and your work place. Place the dough on it.
  2. Start rolling it out into about an 12 inch diameter circle. Your pie plate could be 9 inch. With the rims and depth of the plate, the dough need to be bigger than the plate.

Always start rolling out from the center and stretch out into all directions. Turning the dough edge with your hands occasionally to keep the circle shape.

PLACING THE DOUGH IN THE PLATE

  1. After rolling out the dough, place it onto the pie plate.
  2. Then slide the dough over the plate, and fit it nicely on the center. No need to stretch it out. Keep the thickness of the dough even.
  3. Cut the edge with a knife, and trim it nicely and fold with fingers. To fold the edge nicely.

Don’t worry if the surface is not smooth or has some cracks. Or even some edges are lacking. You can scrape them from the edge easily later on.

Some flaky chunks might be on the surface, which is good – it means you will have a nice flaky texture. So no need to smooth them out!

3. Crimping the pie crust

The finger crimping is a fun part of a pie crust making! There is a lot of information out there that shows how to decorate the pie crust edge and the top with fun designs.

I will show you a basic finger crimp technique, which I often use:

  1. Make a V shape with thumb and point fingers on your dominant hand and use point finger finger from the other. Put flour on your hands so they don’t stick to the dough.
  2. Push the fingers towards each other, and at the same time push down a bit. This helps to seal the pie dough into the pie plate.

Done! Keep the dough in the fridge while you heat up the oven.

How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust

Do you always have to do bling baking? The answer is not necessary, but sometimes you need to.

Why do you need to blind bake?

When you are making no-bake pie like custard, cream or pudding pies, you need to bake the pie crust before filling up inside the pie shell. It’s super simple. You place a pie dough in a pie plate and bake. That’s it!

Your pie recipes may require a baked pie shell. Or others may need pre-baking or partially baking of the crust. The difference of pre-bake or partially bake crusts is only the baking time. Simply follow the instructions.

1. How to Par-Bake

When the pie dough is heated up in the oven, the bottom puffs up. Pie weights prevent the pie crust from puffing up on the bottom.

Carefully line the parchment paper on the pie crust and add some pie weights or tart stones. If you don’t have them, try dry beans, sugar or rice.

2. How to Dock

If the bottom of the pie crust is not cooked due to the pie weights.

  1. Carefully remove parchment paper and the pie weights on it once the crust edges become golden browned.
  2. Prick holes on the bottom with a fork. This is called ‘docking the pie crust’.
  3. Keep baking in line with the instructions (I usually bake for 15 minutes first,then bake for 10 minutes after removing parchment paper and the pie weights).

When the butter melts, steam is created. The steam is good as it creates all the beautiful flakes. If there are holes, the steam can be released through them. The flakes are made without the bottom puffing up. That’s why you need to dock the pie crust.

Pie Crust Trouble Shooting

Pie Crust Trouble Shooting
Credit: Instagram @testkitchen

How to avoid over browning

Use a pie crust shield to prevent the crust edge browning too much. If you don’t have one, simply cover the edge with a piece of aluminum foil halfway through the baking. This way, the center of the pie is exposed and is properly cooked, without burning the edges.

Or reduce the temperature. I baked vegan pumpkin pie with lower temperature. The edge of the pie crust was not over burnt.

Wait, my pie shell is shrinking!

It happened to me! When I made a pie shell for blind baking, the sides shrank down as the vegan butter melts. To prevent this:

  • Don’t skip chilling the pie shell for at least for 2 hours in the fridge before baking.
  • Make a thick crust on the edges. Simply thicken the edges with left over dough that you cut off the edge previously. Then meld them together with your fingers.

While thick crust is tasty, it can slip away from the pie filling. So I suggest keeping it relatively ‘thin’. That means the pie will hold together better.

My pie crust is rock hard!

Avoid kneading the dough, or overworking it. This can make the pie crust extra tough and no one likes that! Stop mixing up the crumbs once they start forming.

Tips for Vegan Pie Crust

How to store vegan pie crust

You can make it up to 5 days ahead of the pie . Simply cover it with a cling film and leave it in the fridge. If you chill the dough for more than a few hours, leave it at room temperature for 15 minutes and then bake.

Can you freeze this pie crust?

YES! You can freeze the pie dough disks for up to 3 months. Defrost by leaving the frozen vegan pie crust in the fridge overnight before using. The microwave is not recommended.

Easy Vegan Pie Crust Recipe

Vegan Pie Crust Recipe

Barbara Hodge
Buttery delicious flaky vegan pie crust ready in 15 minutes. With only 3 ingredients and a pie dough ready in just 1 minute, – nothing could be easier with this all butter pie crust. This vegan pie crust recipe is designed for 1 x 23cm / 9 inch pie plate (or dish) or tart tin (serve for 8 people). Double it for a covered pie (use recipe scaler in the recipe card below).
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Western
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • cup all purpose flour (156g or gluten free pie flour)
  • ½ cup unsalted & cold vegan butter ⅓" cubes (1cm) (115g, 1 slick)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp iced & cold water (plus more if needed)

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Keep the butter cold and cut it into ⅓ inch (1 cm) dices.
  • Add water into ice in a glass.

Make Dough

  • Pulse all purpose flour and salt for a few times to combine.
  • Add the butter, and pulse 6 times.
  • Add iced cold water while pulsing for another 10 seconds. The dough becomes crumbly. When all of the butter pieces become the size of tiny peas, stop.
  • Transfer the crumbs onto a floured work surface. Bring them together. Fold the dough into itself until the flour is incorporated into the butter. It should not feel overly sticky.
  • Form the dough into a flat one-inch disk. Cover it with a wrapping film. Rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Roll Out

  • Remove the pie dough from the fridge. Lightly flour your hands, a rolling pin and your work place. Place the dough on it.
  • Start rolling it out into about an 12 inch diameter circle. Always start rolling out from the center and stretch out into all directions. Turning the dough edge with your hands occasionally while you roll out.
  • Gently roll out the dough onto a rolling pin, and place it onto the pie plate.
  • Then slide the dough, and fit it nicely on the center. No need to pull it out or stretch. Keep the thickness of the dough even.
  • Cut the edge with a knife, and trim it nicely and fold with fingers. To fold the edge nicely, keep 1 inch longer from the edge.
  • Crimp and decorate the edges. Push them little down while you crimp. This helps to seal the pie dough into the pie plate.
  • Refrigerate for 15 minutes while oven heats up.

Notes

Rolling out the dough
Don’t worry if the surface is not smooth or has some cracks. Or even some edges are lacking. You can scrap them from the edge easily later on. Some crumbs or chunks are on the surface, and that means you will have a nice flakiness. That’s fine. Leave them.
Measuring the flour
Right measuring is super important in baking. Here is the instruction how to do it properly. 
  1. Transfer the flour into a container or a bag.
  2. Then spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Gently pile it until it forms a heap above the rim. Do not scoop up the flour directly into the measuring cup.
  3. Then scrape a knife across the top of the cup to level the flour.