If baking is one of your best skills (or if you just love eating the perfect pie), you’re going to love this ultimate companion guide to vegan pie crusts! Choose to create your own delectably flaky, buttery crust without a hint of animal products or find a fool-proof option on the shelves of your supermarket.
We’ll share our favorite plant-based pie crust recipe and highlight the most beloved pie crust brands. Making pies doesn’t have to be time-consuming or labor-intensive. It can be tons of fun, especially if you have more time to concentrate on the delicious filling!
Let’s get some pie-making momentum going so that, once you’re done reading, you’ll be craving a freshly baked slice!
We’ve scoured the vegan pie crust community to come up with the very best brands for pie making. Take your pick from long-time, classic brands that are accidentally vegan or contemporary alternatives with animal-free ingredients. Most of these suggestions can be found easily in your local grocery store or online.
When you don’t have time to sift, mix, and bake (and dessert time is approaching), a ready-made crust is a wonder to have on hand. Between shelf-stable, refrigerated, and frozen, you have a number of time-saving options.
It’s amazing how many pie crust alternatives there are if you’re gluten-free. You can choose from rice, tapioca, potato, cassava, almond or coconut flour bases—or a mix of several. These pie crusts are mostly shelf-stable, dry mixes, or a frozen crust ready to be baked.
There are times when only a graham cracker crust will do. When you’re craving a s’mores, chocolate silk, key lime, or peanut butter pie, this is the crust to choose. Here are our favorite pre-made pie crusts made using vegan graham crackers.
Ready to try your hand at making a homemade vegan pie crust? We promise it’s easier than it sounds! This foolproof recipe with detailed instructions will guide you to becoming a pie crust pro in no time!
There are pros and cons to making a vegan pie crust recipe instead of buying a pie crust in the store. Here are some points to consider:
Pre-Made Vegan Crust:
Homemade Vegan Pie Crust:
So, it really depends on your vegan pie crust needs at the time. Sometimes, you may choose to buy a crust that is already prepared and, at other times, you’ll want to make your own. There’s no right or wrong answer and, luckily, whichever option you choose will surely be delicious!
You don’t need much to make pie crust! In fact, you most likely already have everything you need. Here are the key ingredients:
All-Purpose Flour: Opt for a high-quality all-purpose flour to ensure the right texture and structure for your vegan pie crust. Consider using unbleached flour for a more natural and robust flavor.
Salt: The addition of salt enhances the overall flavor of the crust, providing a subtle balance to complement both sweet and savory fillings.
Granulated Sugar: While optional, adding a touch of granulated sugar introduces a hint of sweetness to the crust, enhancing its color and providing a subtle contrast to savory or tart fillings.
Vegan Butter or Vegetable Shortening: For a buttery, flaky crust, choose a high-quality vegan butter. Alternatively, vegetable shortening can be used for a slightly chewier texture. Whichever you choose, ensure that the butter or shortening is well-chilled and cubed for optimal results.
Ice-Cold Water: Maintaining the ingredients at a low temperature is crucial for achieving a flaky texture. Add ice to your water 5-10 minutes before using to allow the water enough time to cool down.
New to making pie crust, or more of a visual learner? Here is the step-by-step process with photos to guide you. For exact measurements, reference the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Before you start, ensure your vegan shortening or vegan butter is well-chilled. Consider cutting it into small cubes and placing it in the freezer for a few minutes. Additionally, make sure your water is ice-cold by adding ice and letting it cool for 5-10 minutes before use.
Step 2: In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, salt, and sugar (if using), whisking these dry ingredients together thoroughly.
Step 3: Incorporate the cold vegan butter or shortening into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or two forks. Blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with small pea-sized pieces of fat distributed throughout the dough.
Step 4: Gradually add the ice-cold water to the mixture, starting with about 2 tablespoons and increasing slowly. Be cautious not to overwork the dough; it should be just moist enough to hold together.
Step 5: Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface, gently knead it into a ball, and flatten it into a disc shape. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 10-20 minutes. This chilling period allows the fats to solidify, resulting in a flaky crust.
Step 6: After chilling, roll out the dough on a floured surface into a circle slightly larger than your pie pan (about 12 inches in diameter). Roll from the center, rotating the dough to prevent excessive stretching.
Step 7: Carefully place the rolled-out dough into your pie pan, pressing it gently into the bottom and sides. Trim any excess dough hanging over the edge and flute or crimp the edges as desired for a finished look.
Step 8: Refrigerate the shaped pie crust for another 10-20 minutes before baking to allow the dough to rest and prevent shrinkage during baking.
Your vegan pie crust is now ready to use! You can either pre-bake it, also known as blind baking, when the filling requires less time in the oven than the crust. Or you can fully bake the crust if you’re making a no-bake pie that has a cold filling.
Need enough crust dough to make the top and bottom of a pie? Simply double the recipe!
This is great for fruit pies like this vegan blueberry pie when you want to make a lattice pattern on top.
Vegan pie crust recipe by Rachel Lessenden. Photos by Amanda McGillicuddy for World of Vegan, all rights reserved.