Are you planning on making some pies to celebrate the holiday season? Or, perhaps you just want to bake a special pie for someone who you love soon.
Whatever the reason, you want to make sure your pie turns out amazingly well. To get this done, you’re going to need to focus on making the best crust that you can.
Typically, people use butter when making pie crusts, but there are many people who can’t eat it. Butter might go against your diet, and this makes it so that you’ll need to consider alternatives.
Continue reading to learn how to make a pie crust without using butter. This should help you to be able to enjoy delicious pies that will have crusts that will please the entire family.
Make a Pie Crust Using Oil
One option that many people will choose involves utilizing oil to make pie crusts. You can make pie crusts using oil instead of butter, and there’s a good chance that things will turn out excellently.
In some ways, using oil instead of butter is going to be easier. Oil is a type of fat that you need to be able to make a crust, but this fat is already melted.
You can incorporate the oil into the flour more easily than you would when using butter. It’ll still be possible to create a crust that is flaky and rich, too.
There are a few things that you’ll want to know so that you can get this done well, though. Below, you’ll get some more information about making a pie crust using oil.
The Best Type of Oil to Use
The best types of oil to use to make pie crusts will have a neutral flavor. Typically, people use either vegetable oil or canola oil.
You’ll easily be able to get vegetable oil or canola oil the next time you go to the grocery store. If you just want to make a standard pie crust, using one of these types of oil will be the best bet.
Some might choose to use a different type of oil such as olive oil. This can work fine, but the olive oil will flavor the crust a little bit.
If you want to bake a pie crust using olive oil, be sure to avoid baking the pie at temperatures greater than 375 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t want the olive oil to reach its smoke point.
Using Coconut Oil Is an Option
You know that using vegetable oil or canola oil will probably be best for a beginner. However, it’s worth noting that coconut oil is another popular choice.
Coconut oil can be used to make a satisfying pie crust, but it does have some drawbacks. Crusts that are made using coconut oil are usually heavier than standard crusts that are made using butter.
The crust also won’t be quite as flaky as you want them to be. However, this is a great choice when you want to have a very sturdy crust.
If you’re planning to bake a cream-based pie, this might be the perfect oil to choose. Many people use coconut oil as the fat ingredient when baking coconut cream pies.
There’s a chance that you might not like the coconut taste being so prevalent in the crust. In this case, you’ll want to use refined coconut oil.
Virgin coconut oil will have a stronger coconut taste. Which is better will come down to personal preference.
Use the Right Flour Type
Generally, you’re going to have an easier time as a beginner if you stick with all-purpose flour. It’s fine to use pastry flour as well, but you’ll 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 they’re also a bit delicate and it’ll be easier to make mistakes.
If it’s your first time making a pie crust using oil, you should go with the easiest option. You’ll likely be very satisfied with the taste of the crust when all is said and done.
Roll the Pie Crust Using Wax Paper
Adding too much extra flour to the pie crust dough won’t be a good thing. When you’re making a crust with butter, you typically flour a surface and then roll things out.
You want to avoid doing this when making a pie crust with oil. Instead of rolling out the crust on a floured surface, you can use wax paper.
Simply place a large sheet of wax paper so that you’ll have a proper workspace. Placing the pie dough between two pieces of wax paper can make the job even easier.
You should then be able to roll the dough out using a rolling pin as is normal. Transferring the pie dough to the pie plate will be decidedly easy, too.
What if using oil doesn’t sound that appealing? Are there alternatives that you can use that will appeal to vegans?
Keep reading to get some information about other ingredients that can be used in place of butter. Oil does indeed work well, but there are other methods that you can turn to.
Try Vegan Butter
If you simply don’t want to use standard butter, you could try vegan butter. Vegan butter can be used to replace standard butter in a pie crust recipe, and you won’t need to make any changes.
It should be able to be used to make a flaky pie crust that will be very satisfying. If you’re simply looking for a slightly healthier butter to use, this might be a good idea.
You’ll also be happy to hear that pie crusts that are made using vegan butter taste almost the same as normal butter pie crusts. It’s possible to purchase vegan butter at many grocery stores, and you can also order what you need online.
Vegetable shortening is the standard butter substitute that many people choose. In some ways, making a pie crust using vegetable shortening is easier than using standard butter.
Since vegetable shortening has a higher melting point than butter, it’s easier for the shortening to hold its shape during the baking process. Some who use butter to make pie crusts wind up using a mixture of shortening and butter.
You can buy shortening that is butter flavored, too. Regular shortening will work just fine, but it just depends on whether you want the crust to have a buttery flavor.
The only potential issue with making pie crust using shortening is that the crust might not be flaky. If you’re after a flaky crust, using another fat source alongside the shortening is recommended.
Lard Could Work
Lard could work as a butter substitute in a pie crust recipe. In fact, people often use lard when they’re making crusts for pot pies or quiche.
However, the flavoring and consistency of lard will vary when purchasing different brands. It might not always be easy to predict.
If you’re baking a dessert pie, you might be better off going with one of the other substitutes. Regardless, it’s good to know that lard is useful if you ever want to make a homemade pot pie or quiche.
You have many options to consider if you wish to make a pie crust without butter. Butter is used in most standard pie crust recipes, but you can substitute the ingredient out if you’d like.
One of the more popular options in modern times involves making an oil-based pie crust. Oil-based pie crusts can taste very good, but you will need to approach making them a bit differently.
You’ll want to avoid adding too much extra flour to the mix. This means that you shouldn’t roll the pie crust dough out on a floured surface.
Using parchment paper to roll out the dough instead will work wonders. Thankfully, it’s easy to get parchment paper at just about any grocery store or department store.
There are many different types of oil that you can use. As a beginner, sticking with vegetable oil or canola oil will be for the best.
You might enjoy using coconut oil depending on what type of pie you’re trying to make. This oil can be used to make a particularly sturdy crust, but it won’t be quite as flaky.
If you don’t like the idea of using oil, there are other substitute ingredients you can consider as well. Using shortening is a very common choice, and some people even use it alongside butter when making standard pie crusts.
It’s also worth knowing that lard is great for making pie crusts. However, these crusts will likely be better suited for pot pies or quiche.
Vegan butter could be just what you’re looking for if you simply want to make a vegan pie. Go to a specialty grocery store or order what you need online if you’d like to try that out.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.