Make Your Own Pie Crust

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, November 8, 2010
Paula's Sweet Potato PIe
Homemade Pie Crust

There’s something extraordinary about pastry. It’s the perfect combination of crisp, delicate, flaky and tender. Ready-to-bake versions from the store promise convenience but you can make your own in a matter of minutes. Something this special deserves a homemade touch — make yours now and freeze it for Thanksgiving.

The Price of Convenience
Packaged refrigerated and frozen pie crusts use trans fat-laden partially hydrogenated oils or lard. They are also expensive, costing $3.00-4.00 each on average.

Pastry 101
Pie dough is one of the easiest pastries to make. You want it light and flaky and the secret is using cold ingredients. When the cold crust enters the oven, steam is produced, which incorporates tiny pockets of air between the layers of dough.  Most recipes can be made by hand or with a few pulses of a food processor. Once the ingredients are combined, they make another visit to the fridge for more chilling before rolling and baking. You can also freeze finished pastry for 3 to 6 months for easy holiday prep.

Flour, salt, water and maybe a pinch of sugar are the basic ingredients of any dough. Another necessity is a source of fat— while none of them are low in calories, you can decide which type you prefer.

Butter
Nutrition information per tablespoon: 100 calories; 11 grams fat; 7grams saturated fat

Butter will give you a flaky and flavorful crust, but has the highest amount of saturated fat. Enjoy, but try to keep portions modest – especially if you’re watching your cholesterol. Be sure to use unsalted butter so you can control the seasoning.

Vegetable Shortening
Nutrition information per tablespoon: 110 calories; 12 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat

Shortening is flavorless, light, and famous for making dough super flaky and tender. It’s lower in saturated fat but traditionally very high in trans fats. Check labels carefully to find a brand with the lowest amount of trans fat possible. Another thing to consider is that
most recipes call for a combo of shortening and butter which means those recipes come in with the most fat and calories.

Oil
Nutrition information per tablespoon: 120 calories;  14 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat

A different spin on pastry is to make it with oil. The texture is less flaky, but surprisingly tender, with a pleasant, gentle crunch. Oil also means the pastry will be high in heart-healthy fats, vegan and cholesterol free. Here’s Liz’s famous family recipe — it was so easy to make!

Canola Oil Pie Dough
(Makes enough for 1 double-crust pie)

2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
5-8 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix the oil and 5-6 tablespoons of the water in another bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the oil mixture. Mix with a fork until just combined (about 30 seconds). If it doesn’t combine immediately, add 1-2 more tablespoons water.  (The dough will be soft and smooth and a little less dense than traditional pie dough.)  Divide into two balls. Chill or roll out immediately between two sheets of waxed paper.

Dishing Out Servings
Instead of the typical recommendation to serve 6, divvy up a standard 9-inch pie to serve 8 people to help keep the portions of fat and calories lower.

TELL US: What’s your holiday pie-crust secret? (We promise, we won’t tell!)

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

You Might Also Like:

More posts from .

Similar Posts

What are the Health Benefits of Passover Foods?

This spring holiday is filled with more than just matzo. From traditional dishes to symbolic foods, the Passover feast is filled with a wide variety of good-for-you nutrients.

Comments (489)

  1. You can use subdomains for associate marketing. Weebly is good and user-friendly. Individuals may check out Weebly but it may not be easy for them to realize of your site.

  2. I enjoy you because of your whole work on this website. My daughter take interest in engaging in research and it’s really easy to understand why. We all learn all of the dynamic method you present insightful solutions by means of this blog and in addition strongly encourage response from some other people on that theme so my girl has always been learning a lot. Take advantage of the rest of the year. You are always performing a very good job.

  3. Im attempting to understand how to register for the RSS feeds, but cannot figure it out. Help can be awesome Thanks

  4. Hello there! we am so beholden we all detected your web site. we a contingency contend we all located all of us by error, while many of us was chemical p upon Reddit regarding something diffrent. Anyway, I’m here right immediately along with would just confirm to understand we for the shining essay in addition to a all change engaging weblog (I additionally adore the thesis / design). we don’t have sufficient time for it to crop everything during a new notation however we now have book mentioned it and also additionally combined in your RSS rss feeds, so whenever we have time we’ll be behind to sense a lot more. Please carry out lift upon an excellent career.

  5. Hi friends, you are sharing your opinion regarding blog Search engine optimisation, I am also new user of web, thus I am also getting more from it. Thanks to the whole thing.

  6. Great blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused .. Any ideas? Thanks!

  7. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  8. Doctor Who says:

    You actually know what you’re talking about.

  9. Hi there to every body, it’s my first visit of this web site; this webpage carries awesome and really excellent data in support of readers.

  10. You gave tremendous positive points there. I did a search on the topic and found most peoples will agree with your blog. Many of the rules that apply in real life conversations carry over to the online world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>