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Mon Nov 25, 2013, 11:33 AM

Pie crust for vegetarians?

I always made my pie crust using lard and butter. I need an alternate to the lard. I don't want to use any hydrogenated vegetable oils ( Crisco), so I'm looking for a natural shortening solid at room temperature. I was thinking coconut oil, but the consensus here is that the coconut flavor will come through.

Any suggestions?

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Reply Pie crust for vegetarians? (Original post)
hedgehog Nov 2013 OP
TreasonousBastard Nov 2013 #1
rdharma Nov 2013 #2
pscot Nov 2013 #3
BainsBane Nov 2013 #4
hedgehog Nov 2013 #5
hedgehog Nov 2013 #6
greatauntoftriplets Nov 2013 #7
GoCubsGo Nov 2013 #8
grasswire Nov 2013 #9
locks Nov 2013 #10

Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 12:01 PM

1. No substitute needed for the butter? Just use more butter...

I used butter alone for years since commercial lard is half hydrogenated vegetable oil anyway and leaf lard is impossible to find.

BTW, Crisco claims a new formulation and is trans-fat free and otherwise relatively healthy now, or at least healthier then butter or other brands of hydrogenated oils, so why not...

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 12:04 PM

2. Use extra virgin coconut oil?

 

This makes a delicious, flakey pastry and I have had many favorable comments on it.
3/4 cup fat (1/2 solid coconut oil and 1/2 butter or all coconut oil)
2 cups organic unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 - 4 tablespoons ice cold water

Cut the coconut oil and butter into the flour and salt with pastry blender or two knives. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix well.

Roll out on floured board. Pastry is very tender and may be partially rolled around rolling pin for ease of picking up to place in pie pan.


http://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/index.cfm/2010/8/6/coconut-oil-pie-crust

I've never tried this recipe. In fact, I always buy pre-made frozen pie crust from a local baker. So take this recommendation with a grain of salt.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 12:14 PM

3. An all butter crust

seems to give me the preferred result. I've tried various combinations. With either lard or Crisco we seem to get more uniform, tender crust rather than flakey. It also seems like the dough is a little harder to handle.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 12:16 PM

4. Are you looking to avoid all animal products?

I can't be of any help in that case, but I know the french make their tart crusts with all butter. Pate brisee, Pate sucre, etc. . http://warmandtoste.com/pate-brisee-pate-sucree-pate-sablee/

This recipe for pie crust is from Martha Stewart

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling dough
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons ice water, plus 2 more, if needed

Directions here:
http://www.marthastewart.com/344292/our-favorite-pie-crust

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 12:30 PM

5. looking around, I saw one recommendation to add the buuter in two portions -

first, add about half and mix until you get a corn meal texture. Then, roll the remaining butter to 1/4" thick, and add that rather than chunks of butter to achieve a flaky, tender crust. I think I'll try that!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 12:31 PM

6. Now butter - salted or unsalted?

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 01:32 PM

7. Unsalted butter is usually recommended for baking.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 01:47 PM

8. Use olive oil.

There are a bunch of recipes for olive oil pie crusts. Just google it. Here's one that uses whole wheat flour:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/health/whole-wheat-mediterranean-pie-crust-recipes-for-health.html?_r=0


On edit: The link also includes a gluten-free version for those interested in that.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 02:39 PM

9. the crisco formula was changed some years ago.

If you eat a cake from the grocer, you are eating crisco frosting. A lot of people don't know that.

Anyway -- I have always used crisco, and have been a professional pie baker and won awards.

Just saying that a Thanksgiving pie made with crisco isn't going to hurt anyone. Nothing to be afraid of.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Nov 25, 2013, 03:38 PM

10. There is a canola pie crust recipe

on food.com. I used to make crusts using oil and milk; it's easy but not quite as good as lard or Crisco. You also can add vodka or apple vinegar for half the liquid to make a good crust. Has anybody used the Pillsbury refrig. crusts? I like them, especially good making meat or chicken pies. But I roll them thinner and sometimes roll in 1/2 stick butter, softened and cut into pieces.

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