When making a pie, the crust has a lot to play in enhancing the sweet or savory flavor. The traditional list of ingredients for a tender and flaky crust would include shortening as a very important ingredient.
However, if you are aware of the health complications shortening can bring in, you are at the right place to learn about other ways to make the pie crust you are craving. Here, we provide you with a list of 3 simple ways you can make a pie crust without shortening.
What Is Shortening?
Before we move on talking about the methods, let’s talk about why it would be better to replace Shortening with something else. Shortening is made from hydrogenated vegetable oil and is composed mainly of trans fats.
Studies from doctors and health specialists have shown that trans fat can contribute to an increase in cholesterol in our body, leading to heart problems, arthritis, and harm to diabetic people. We don’t really want that, do we?
Although science has already invented shortening without trans fat (thanks to palm oil and soybean oil), some people still find shortening to be quite bland. They want a stronger flavor in the pie crust, while many others enjoy a less flaky crust. All these reasons could make you want to not use shortening for your pie crust.
Simple Ways to Make Pie Crust without Shortening
These are the easiest ways to make your pie crust without using shortening.
1. Using Butter
Butter is a simple substitute for shortening. In fact, the measurements are pretty much the same; you can put half a cup of butter instead of half a cup of shortening. Butter is made up of water and fat, makes the pie crust less-flaky, but the rich flavor of it comes as a blessing for your crust.
The ideal way of using butter on your crust is to first make sure that the butter you are using is in its room temperature. It will ensure soft consistency. In this way, the butter can easily work its way throughout the sides and moisturize the crust.
You might notice a significant difference in both the look and the taste of the pie. The butter will enhance the “oomph” of your baked good and will add a rich taste to it.
2. Using Oil
When it comes to oil, olive oil is actually said to be the perfect oil to substitute for Shortening (Something that has many health benefits, unlike shortening). But unfortunately, olive oil is a terrible fat to add to baked goods (do not try this!).
3. Coconut Oil
Thankfully there are many other options that you can choose from, and among them, coconut oil would be the best. Coconut oil is made up of natural saturated fats that help increase good cholesterol in our bodies, which shows that it is a healthier option.
This oil is widely used in baking goods. Although it usually stays as solids at normal temperature, it can melt off quite easily on the pie crust when exposed to heat and moisturize the crust’s surface.
Besides that, Coconut oil adds a tropical flavor to everything, which can be a good addition to some sorts of pies. The measurement is not that complicated, too; you can replace one cup of shortening with three-quarters of a cup of coconut oil for your pie crust.
4. Vegetable Oil
Another good alternative would be vegetable oil. If you don’t want any sort of tropical flavor on your crust, this would be a better choice than coconut oil.
Now, Vegetable oil features a neutral taste; therefore, it doesn’t really affect the original flavor of the pie crust. The measurements are pretty much similar to coconut oil; you can use three-quarters of a cup of vegetable oil to replace one cup of shortening.
While using oil, you have to make sure that the dough doesn’t get too greasy; the best you can do is use the crust just after the dough is made. In that way, the pie crust will not be greasy anymore after it is baked and will have a firm texture than shortening.
The type of oil doesn’t really affect the texture of the crust but would give different sorts of flavors with the different types of oil used.
5. Using No Fat At All
Using no fat at all is not a bad option when you are thinking of a healthy approach. In fact, you can make your pie yummy and healthy with the things that you can replace the fat with. Mashed bananas are something you can add to your pie crust. It is sweet, healthy, and adds a different sort of flavor to your pies.
While using this, you can use one mashed banana for one cup of shortening, but make sure that you remove all the water first.
Another option is using ground flaxseed as a replacement, mix three tablespoons of ground flaxseed with a quarter cup of water and put it in your pie crust as a replacement for half a cup of shortening.
Consuming flaxseed itself has many health benefits, but most importantly, it contains Omega-3 fatty acids that help you keep your heart healthy.
These two options are quite two innovative alternatives that you can use to make your pies more interesting. This will not just give you an amazing crust but will also add a different sort of flavor to your crust.
To sum it up, all these options are quite great as substitutes for shortening in terms of healthy measure, flavor, and new experience. The classy butter and coconut oil are perfect for a flaky and flavourful crust, while the vegetable oil will provide more firm and neutral-tasting crusts.
On the other hand, the mashed bananas and the flaxseed will add a different sort of experience for you and your taste buds, changing the traditional way of making pie crusts.
From now on, you can always think of healthy and flavorful alternatives to shortening whenever you are making some delicious Strawberry Rhubarb pie. That’s because you now know exactly how to make pie crust without shortening.