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Vegan pie crust uses vegetable-based shortening, oil, or margarine for fat in place of butter. Like other foods in a vegan diet, a vegan pie crust does not contain any animal products, including eggs or dairy. The vegan pie crust is prepared in the same manner as a standard pie crust. A flaky crust is achieved when all the ingredients as well as equipment used to make the crust are chilled. Cooks can also prepare a vegan version of a graham cracker crust.
Vegan cooks have the option of using vegetable oil, shortening, or margarine when preparing a vegan pie crust. If a cook decides to use shortening or margarine, it should be cold so that it doesn't melt when worked into the dry ingredients. When preparing a pie crust, the fat is cut into the flour, which forms a mixture that resembles crumbs, as the fat coats the flour particles.
The oil should be room temperature when making a vegan pie crust. A cook should pour it into the flour slowly, stirring the mixture with a fork as she pours. Once the fat is incorporated into the flour, water, or non-dairy milk, such as soy milk, it turns the mixture into a cohesive dough. Too much water will ruin the vegan pie crust, making it too sticky.
To keep the dough from becoming too warm when the crust is being prepared, many cooks prefer to chill all the equipment before making the pie crust. A pastry blender is commonly used to make pie crusts, though two butter knives or dinner forks can be substituted if a cook doesn't have a pastry blender. The mixing bowl should be chilled, preferably with the flour in it, before the crust is assembled.
Before the pie crust is rolled out, it needs to chill even more. Most cooks leave the pie dough in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before rolling out and baking it. To keep the dough cool while it is rolled out, some cooks use marble rolling pins and counter tops. Marble stays cool longer than wood or metal.
Another option for vegan pie crust is a graham cracker crust. A baker can mix melted margarine or room-temperature vegetable oil with crushed graham cracker crumbs and then spread the coated crumbs into a pie dish for a simple, no-bake pie crust. To be vegan, the graham crackers cannot contain honey.