Vegan Pie Crust – Vegan Pate Brisee

You can make this vegan Pate Brisee pie crust dough in 15 minutes, for both sweet or savory pies and tarts.  You can even make it ahead and just pull it from the freezer the night before.   This is a classic French pastry recipe–I simply switched out the cow butter for Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.  The dough can be a bit crumbly and fragile at first, but in the end, easy to work with, despite the notion that making pie crust is difficult.  I found this simple video on YouTube and it jives with what I’ve read and done before.

VEGAN PIE CRUST – VEGAN PATE BRISEE

Makes one double pie crust or two single 9-inch crusts, for sweet or savory pies and tarts.  For about 8 generous pieces of pie.

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Cup (2 sticks) cold Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, cut into small one-inch chunks
1/3 to 1/2 Cup ice water

DIRECTIONS
Put vegan butter pieces in freezer for ten minutes.   Prepare a glass of ice water and set aside.   In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt to get it blended (or dry whisk in a mixing bowl).  Add butter and pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.  Even a few pieces as large as a nickel are good, and the rest around pea size.   (Or, you can use a pastry cutter instead of the food processor)    Add ice water gradually and pulse just until dough begins to hold together, just a few seconds.  You do not want wet dough, because adding too much water will make a less-tender dough.

Gather dough gently into a ball, and cut the ball evenly in two.    Shape dough halves into disks, wrap in parchment paper or wax paper and chill at least one hour or overnight.  Overnight is preferred, so the dough can rest.    Dough can now be frozen for one to three months, depending upon whom you listen to.

To bake the crust, for example in a single-crust pumpkin pie:  Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork.  In other words, just poke the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to make indents all over.  According to “Joy of Cooking,” for pumpkin pie, one would heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and bake filled crust for 15 minutes, and then lower heat to 350 and bake an additional 45 minutes until a knife inserted into filling comes out clean (please note this is for pumpkin pie which requires longer cooking, so please refer to your filling recipe here).  Also, use a pie crust shield ring so the exposed crust edge does not burn!  If you don’t have a pie shield, an old household trick is to crumple tin foil all around the edge of the crust.

Note:  To make empanada dough, simply replace 1/2 Cup of the All Purpose flour with 1/2 Cup of fine corn meal (not coarse).

 

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