How To Serve Pie Crust Without Shortening The Best

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Craving a slice of homemade pie but missing a key ingredient: shortening? Fear not, fellow baker! This guide unlocks the secrets to creating an amazing pie crust entirely from pantry staples.

Understanding the Science of Shortening

Buttery Pie Crust (No Shortening)
Buttery Pie Crust (No Shortening)

Shortening adds flakiness and tenderness to pie crusts. It works by creating air pockets within the dough, preventing gluten formation for a crumbly texture. However, shortening is often laden with saturated fats and trans fats. This recipe utilizes alternative methods to achieve a similar effect.


1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional, for a touch of sweetness)
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4-6 tablespoons ice water

  • Step-by-Step Instructions:

    1. Whisk Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar (if using) until well combined.

    2. Cut in the Butter: Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pea-sized pieces are ideal.

    3. Incorporate the Water: Slowly add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until the dough just comes together. Be careful not to overmix, as this can develop the gluten, leading to a tough crust.

    4. Form and Chill: Gather the dough into a ball, gently patting it into a disc shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

    5. Roll and Bake: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to your desired thickness. Transfer the dough to your pie dish, crimp the edges, and pre-bake according to your pie recipe.

    Nutritional Information (per serving)

    This recipe yields enough crust for a single-crust pie. While the exact nutritional content will vary based on the size of your pie slices, here’s a general estimate:

    Calories: 400

  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Sugar: 2g (depending on added sugar)
  • Protein: 5g

  • Keep in mind: This recipe uses butter, so it will still have some saturated fat content. However, it eliminates the additional saturated and trans fats found in shortening.


    With this shortening-free pie crust recipe, you can enjoy homemade pies without sacrificing taste or texture. The key lies in keeping the ingredients cold and avoiding overworking the dough. Embrace the crumbly goodness and celebrate the magic of baking!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour?

    Yes, you can substitute whole wheat flour for a portion (up to ½ cup) of the all-purpose flour. However, whole wheat flour has a higher protein content, which can lead to a denser crust.

    2. What if my dough is too dry?

    If the dough crumbles when you try to form it into a ball, add another tablespoon of ice water and mix gently until incorporated.

    3. What if my dough is too wet?

    A slightly sticky dough is manageable. However, if it’s very wet and difficult to handle, add a tablespoon of flour at a time and mix until the stickiness subsides.

    4. Can I use a food processor to make the pie crust?

    Yes, you can! Pulse the dry ingredients and butter together until crumbly. Then, with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the ice water until the dough comes together.

    5. How can I prevent my pie crust from burning?

    Line the edges of your pie crust with foil during the first half of baking. Once the crust starts to brown, remove the foil to allow the top to cook through.