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Easy to Make Flavored Pie Crusts
Easy to Make Flavored Pie Crusts
When was the last time you made a pie crust from scratch? If it has been some time, I would like to show you a simple way to make an oil pastry crust which is fail proof. Whether you are making something sweet such as a fruit or custard pie or a savory dish such as quiche or a meat pie these simple additions to your home made crust will tantalize your taste buds.
The addition of seeds, nuts and spices is nothing new, but has been forgotten in everyone's rush to use a ready made crust. Making a home made crust is easy and much tastier, and will fill you with a satisfaction you'll never find from opening a box.
Crunchy Pie Crusts
Before I get to the recipe for the oil based pie crust I would like to remind you about other types of crust options which also add a bit of crunch and as such added interest to your pies.
Crunchy Pie Crusts
Makes a 9" Pie
Quantity when crushed
Butter or Margarine
Baking temperature and time
Cookie: Use chocolate, vanilla or gingersnaps
1 1/2 cups
1/3 cup melted
350° 10 minutes
1 1/2 cups approx 20 squares
1/4 cup melted
350° 10 minutes
1 1/2 cups ground nuts
2 Tbls softened
400° 6-8 minutes
2 Cups crushed
1/4 cup melted
350° 6-8 minutes
2 Cups crushed pretzels
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup melted
350° 10 - 12 minutes
Flavorings for Pie Crusts
Although the crusts mentioned above using graham crackers, cookies, pretzels or nuts are great choices, don't stop there. Below are additions you can make to a traditional crust to give your pies extra pizzazz to the taste and texture. I always like to surprise my guests and give them something they weren't expecting. Something which makes an ordinary pie a little special. Try these the next time you are making a pie. These get added in with the flour.
- 1 teaspoon celery seed: Savory such as quiches
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese: Savory such as a meat pie or Mexican Style quiche.
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon: Fruit or custard pies. Also would suit a meat curry filling.
- 1 ½ teaspoons shredded lemon or orange peel (use a zester for this) fish. Fruit filing, chicken, or fish.
- 2 Tbls finely chopped nuts such as walnuts, cashews, or almonds: Fruit fillings, custard, or savory fillings would work with this type of crust.
- 1 TBL toasted sesame seeds: Chicken pot pie, lemon pie.
- 2 Tbls wheat germ: Fruit or savory fillings.
These are just a few of the additions which you can add. When you begin to think of the other options which include seeds, nuts, herbs and spices you will begin wonder why you waited so long to begin incorporating these into your crusts. One which I would avoid is the addition of candies as the sugar would melt and potentially burn leaving you with something not very pleasant.
Savory Pie Crusts
Why Use an Oil Pastry Crust
I think some people are intimidated at the thought of making a pie crust from scratch, worried that it might not turn out. I know how you feel because I have been there. Now I only make crusts which use oil and not shortening, lard or butter. The reason is I live in the tropics and it is always warm here.
If you have watched any top chef making a traditional crust they try and keep everything as cool as possible to ensure their crust turns out flaky. This was a complete non-starter for me, as it is never cool here. That said, I wasn't about to give up eating pie and needed to find an alternative. The oil pastry doesn't seem to mind being man-handled a bit. The one caveat here is I do use cold water which has been refrigerated.
I find this type of crust easier to make, to roll, and it turns out great each time. That is everything I want from a pie crust. I think when you try it, you too will find it the perfect crust.
Silicone Pastry Mat
Although I don't have this, my sister does and loves it. She is sending one to Brazil for me. She is the champion baker in the family and when she tests something and gives it the thumbs up, I know it is great.
How to make an Oil Pastry
Oil Pastry 8" or 9" single and double crust
- 1 cup plus 2 TBL all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup veg oil, I prefer to use sunflower, canola or corn oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2-3 Tbls cold water
- ---------- ---------, -------
- Double Crust for 8 or 9 inch pies
- 1 3/4 all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup oil, see notes above
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 Tbls cold water
Instructions for an Oil Pastry
- Mix flour and salt together. If making a flavored crust, now is the time to add your spice, herbs, nuts or seeds. Now add the oil and mix to combine.
- Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time and mix until pastry comes together and leaves a clean bowl
- **Please note, you may need less water than is written if you live in a humid area.
- If your pastry seems dry, add more OIL not water.
- If you are making a two crust pie, divide dough in half.
- I use a pastry board which has been covered in plastic wrap. You can use a large fruit and veg bag from the grocery store, it is ideal. It is much cleaner and easier to work with than flouring your board. If you prefer, lightly dust your surface with flour. Or use the silicone sheet as mentioned above.
- I also cover my pastry with more plastic wrap whilst rolling. Here too it is much cleaner.
- Begin rolling. Change directions frequently to get a round shape.
- When you think you are getting close to the required size, simply flip your pie pan upside down to check. Allow a little overhang. See photo.
- When you are happy with the size, remove the top portion of plastic. If you are using a fruit/veg bag simply cut the top half away using a good pair of kitchen scissors.
- Position your inverted pie pan on the crust. Gather up the plastic and being careful not to pull it too tightly, gently turn the pie pan, crust and plastic. Don't worry if you get some tears, these can easily be mending with a little extra dough.
- Gently ease the crust to the bottom of the pie pan. Cut of any excess overhanging crusts with either kitchen scissors or a knife.
- Fold under any jagged edges so you are left with a tidy pie edge. Avoid creating thick sections of crusts as they can become too unattractive when baked.
- You can finish the edge as you wish. I normally use a pinch method. With the thumb and index finger of my right hand I gently pinch the crust whilst pushing the index finger of my other hand between the two to form a V shape like you see in the image. ** If you are preparing a two crust pie, don't pinch the edges now, wait until you have the two crusts in place and pinch together to seal.
- Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to allow steam to escape.
- If you need to bake the crust, line with parchment paper or foil and add baking beans to hold it crust down. Bake at 475° for 12-15 minutes.
- If you are going to use this for something which needs to be cooked, add the ingredients.
- For the top crust, roll as above and with the aid of the plastic wrap, lift into place. Pinch edges together.
How to make a lattice pie crust
If you think it is difficult to make a lattice pie crust, it isn't. The video below shows how to do with ready made dough, but you now know how to make your own dough! Easy to follow instructions will leave you with a beautiful and decorative crust.
If you are going to be giving your home baked pie as a gift, why not get these fabulous pie labels. You can customize them easily. It is the crowning glory to your perfect pie.
Easy to Customize Pie Label
I hope this has give you the courage to pick up a rolling pin and explore the world of home baking. It is such a satisfying experience to watch as people tuck in to your creation that you have made from scratch. It seems to be a rare experience these days and people appreciate the effort.
You will hear them say, "you really made this?".
You may also hear people say, "Oh, I can't make pies, the crust never turns out for me." Share the knowledge at just how easy it is to make a great crust.
© 2015 Mary Wickison