1t. guar gum(optional, but if you are new to crust, it is helpful to hold it together)
1/4cupshortening(I use palm shortening OR coconut oil, not liquified) (Crisco works, too...)
1 1/2sticks of Earth Balance Vegan Butter Substitute, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2cupvery cold water*(I believe this is the trick to a good pie crust, water and butter must be cold)
*I start with ice water and measure out 1/2 cup after the water has been with ice for a few minutes.
This recipe makes pie crust for two-8" or 9" pies. (Single crust pies, not double crust. If you are making a double crust or a lattice-topped pie, you will need the full recipe.) Make one pie now, freeze the second for later!
Mix flour, salt and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
Add shortening and break up with a pastry cutter, two knives or a fork. I prefer a pastry cutter with flexible tines. Many pastry cutters available today are actually a series of firm blades, not flexible tines. I prefer the flexible tines. Sometimes the easiest place to find these is in the small selection of utensils in the supermarket.
Next add the butter substitute and mix with pastry cutter, just until the pieces of butter substitute are about the size of peas. You don't want to complete mix them in. The little chunks of butter and shortening lend to the flaky texture of the crust.
Begin adding the cold water, just a little at a time until you reach the texture of pie crust dough.This will vary depending on weather conditions. When it is very dry here, I need the entire 1/2 cup of water, sometimes just a Tablespoon or so additional.
Divide dough into two equal balls and chill between two sheets of plastic wrap for 30 minutes.
Roll out 1 ball of dough for one regular size (8"or 9") pie crust. Freeze other half of dough for use later.
Do not roll this dough out on a floured surface. The dough is perfect as is, no need to add extra flour while rolling it out. Instead, roll it between two pieces of plastic wrap. Super easy and the dough won't stick to your rolling pin.
Start rolling in the middle. Roll from the middle straight up. Picture this as 12 on a clock. Then roll from the middle toward 1, then 2, then 3. Now rotate the entire crust (this is easy because it is in plastic wrap) 45 degrees and repeat. Continue this process until you have rolled all the way around. Continue this until you have a thin circle of pie dough.
Once you have rolled it out to be slightly larger than your pie pan, remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Place your pie pan atop the pie crust.
Gently slide your hand underneath the bottom of the pie crust and plastic wrap. Invert the pie plate and you'll now have the crust in your pie plate. Press the crust down into the pan and carefully remove the plastic wrap. That's it!
You can finish the crust with a fancy finish, with the tines of a fork or by rolling out the second half of the dough and cutting small shapes with a cookie cutter. Completely up to you how to finish a crust!
Crust can be frozen before being rolled out or after being rolled out and placed in a pan. I make this type of crust in disposable foil pie pans ahead of the holidays so I can make a pie in a hurry.
Recipe and Photos Copyright Johnna Wright Perry, In Johnna's Kitchen. Do not reprint without express written permission.