Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sexy Vegan Mama: Perfect Pie Crust

It's a learned skill, making the perfect pie crust, but it's really the key to making perfect pie. I learned the basics by watching my mom in her kitchen, and developed my vegan baking skills later as a young adult, working in her bakery. It's not as hard as you might think to turn out a flaky, tasty crust without using butter. Check it out:

Sexy Vegan Mama’s Perfect Pie Crust
(makes two 10-inch pie crusts)


1 cup vegan stick margarine (I use Nucoa)
2 2/3 c. unbleached white flour
1 t. salt
7 to 8 T. cold water

In a large mixing bowl, combine four and salt. Cut margarine into flour mixture using a fork or pastry blender. Knobby little pieces will form, and you want them about the size of petite peas.

Add water, one tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all the dough is moistened and sticks to itself more than it does the bowl. It may take more or less water than the recipe calls for.

Roll the dough into a ball and remove it from the bowl. Divide the ball in half, forming two balls, then flatten on a flour-covered cutting board. Use a floured rolling pin on each flattened round to spread the dough into a 12” circle (13-14” for deep-dish pans).

To transfer the crust into the pie pan, fold it carefully in fourths, place it in the bottom of the pan, then gently unfold it. Using a knife or scissors, trim the crust to about a half-inch around the edge of the pan.

 Use your fingers to tuck the excess edges under.

Using your thumb and forefingers, gently pinch the thick edge of the crust all the way around the rim of the pan, creating a fluted edge.

Use a fork to prick the bottom and sides of the crust to prevent puffing while it’s baking.

If you are pre-baking your crust: Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 475 degrees.

If you are only making one pie: Seal the unused, unbaked crust in plastic wrap or a large zipper bag and put it in the freezer. It will keep up to three months if well-sealed. Let it thaw completely before baking.

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