Vegan Pie Dough

Making a tasty plant-based pie dough was something I struggled with for a long time. All my early attempts turned out very dense or the oil leaked from the flour and caused a lot of shrinkage and a terrible texture.

My experiments eventually led to a version I am very pleased with – one that I would say resembles a classic French-style pie dough…in other words, flaky, crispy and light. Fat is a critical element in creating a dough this light and flaky. The fat will ‘shorten’ any gluten that is formed while making the dough – this is what creates that lovely texture. Just be sure to work with light hands and avoid mixing the dough too much, which will also create too much gluten and result in a bread-like consistency.

The key technique is similar to making puff pastry. I roll out the dough into a rectangle, then do a series of book folds, while adding a bit of oil to the dough’s surface before the folding.

This dough is appropriate for savory or sweet pies. Add about 2 tablespoons of very fine sugar to the dry ingredients if making a sweet pie. Adding spice to the dough is also a nice variation. I sometimes add ground ginger, or even ground turmeric to create an unusual colored dough.

Yield: makes one large 24-cm pie, or a small double crusted pie.

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