Recipe: Flaky Vegan Pie Crust

From the Grassroots Veganism website, vegsource.com

Preparing flaky vegan pastry is not particularly difficult--the secret is in the technique. Work quickly and handle the dough as little as possible to guarantee the flakiest results.

Here is a pie crust recipe from "Vegan Vittles." It calls for whole wheat pastry flour, and this is a critical ingredient. Do not substitute all-purpose whole wheat flour, which is what is typically found in supermarkets, or whole wheat bread flour. Neither will produce good results. If you do not want a whole-grain crust, you can replace the whole wheat flour with unbleached white pastry flour.

This simple, delicious crust can be used for any sweet or savory pie.

Makes one 9-inch crust

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup unrefined corn oil, canola oil, or Spectrum Spread
approx. 2 to 4 Tbsp. cold nondairy milk or water, as needed

Instructions:

1. Have ready one 9-inch pie plate. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the oil or spread with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the milk or water over the flour mixture, tossing gently with a fork to lightly moisten. The mixture should be evenly moistened, not damp or soggy. With your hands, quickly form the dough into a ball, handling it as little as possible.
 
2. Place between two sheets of waxed paper and roll into a circle about one inch larger than your pie plate. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Carefully flip the crust over and lay it in the pie plate with the dough against the plate. Working very carefully and gently, remove the second sheet of waxed paper. Ease the crust into the pie plate without stretching or tearing it. Trim the edges or turn them under to within 1/4 inch of the rim and flute them. Thoroughly prick the sides and bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork to keep air bubbles from forming under the surface.

3. To prebake the crust (for pies that will be filled and then baked), place in a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until it turns a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool before filling.

4. To fully bake the crust (for pies that will be filled and chilled, or baked very briefly), place in a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 20 minutes or until it turns a rich brown color and is crisp. Remove the crust from the oven, and allow to cool before filling.

Tips: Lightly moistening your countertop with water will help to keep the waxed paper from sliding.