Watch the taste test and bake test video:
A little over a year ago, I posted a recipe for a vegan/zero waste pie dough that used coconut oil instead of shortening. This was mostly because at the time, I could not find a vegan butter that was packaged in 100% compostable materials.
Until this month.
Recently I tried Miyoko’s plant based butter, which was wrapped in wax and packaged in paper. This was really revolutionary because every other vegan butter I’ve seen is packaged in a plastic tub or foil, which is difficult to clean and recycle.
So I did a few tests. The first, of course, was a taste test on a piece of toast. It passed. It is supposed to be similar to a European style butter, and on a piece of toast I must admit it’s pretty close. I tried a little bit of the butter on its own, and then I kind of got a hint of a margarine taste but not too bad. And when I used it to bake, I was happily surprised by how well it worked and tasted.
Anyway, I scoured the internet looking for help with a pie dough recipe. Coconut oil is great, but I usually break out when I eat it or use it on my skin, so I wanted to try an actual butter crust pie recipe to see if Miyoko’s butter can really stand up.
Here’s how it went:
Using 1/2 cup of cold butter, I chopped the plant based butter into 1/2 inch cubes and spread them evenly on a plate placed in the freezer for 10 minutes. I also placed 3 tablespoons of water in the freezer at the same time. We’ll probably only use two tablespoons, but we’ll get to that later. Meanwhile I add the flour to a food processor and sprinkle to salt around the top. Once the butter is very cold, but not rock hard, and by no means frozen, dump it into the processor to join it’s friends.
I didn’t use my hands for this because my hands would’ve warmed and melted the butter, which not ideal for pie dough. Having these chunks of solid fat make the dough flaky. This is a good thing. Also, this is Zero Waste California, not zero calorie… but you probably knew that when you clicked on the link that said pie dough. It is what it is, and what it is, is delicious.
I processed the mixture and slowly added water, one tablespoon at a time. The water needs to be ICE cold, that’s why I recommend freezing it while you freeze the butter cubes.
Empirically I knew not to over mix the pie dough, so I just processed it until its crumbly and it vaguely began to form a ball. Then I carefully poured it onto a clean, floured surface. In this case, my counter.
Flour a rolling pin and roll into a circle with an 12 inch diameter – you want it a bit longer than the pie pan or dish you’re going to use. To avoid getting big cracks on the corners, rotate the dough 90 degrees every 2-3 rolls.
1 and 1/4 cups of flour
1 c butter – chilled, cubed
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt**
1-2 tablespoons ICE cold water on reserve*** (in case your dough is too dry. I did not need the water each time I made the dough).
**Since Miyoko’s butter is already salted, I cut the original measurement in half. The second time I made the dough, I omitted the salt all together and it still came out very flavorful.
***Mix in 1/2 tablespoon of icy water at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a food processor, blend all ingredients together.
On a floured surface or compostable piece of parchment or wax paper, roll out the dough into a circle one inch wider than the pie pan you will be using. I recommend this on top of a cutting board so that you can flip it over easily when done.
*Note* turning the dough 90 degrees every roll will help prevent the ends from cracking as badly.
Place the pie pan upside down in the center of the dough, then carefully flip both the dough and pan right side up. This is the best way I have found to transfer pie dough to a pie pan and why using a cutting board can be helpful.
No need to pre-bake, it’s good to use right away. It will dry out if exposed to air, so make sure seal it in a air-tight container in the fridge until you’re ready to use – probably within the next 24 hours. You can probably freeze the dough and thaw when you’re ready to use it, but I’ve never personally tried this method. If you do, let me know how it works!
A huge thank you to CrazyForCrust.com for being the basis, inspiration, and source of the recipe! I thought it was the perfect recipe to try the Miyoko butter challenge on.
Why is reducing our meat and dairy intake good for the planet?
If the entire U.S. did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road (EarthDay.org)
-Livestock are responsible for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. A single cow can release up to 50 gallons of methane per days (mostly from burping!). Considering there are an estimated 1.5 billion cows on Earth, that’s 75 billion gallons of methane being released by cows every day, or 2.7375e+13 gallons per year. A number so large, google calculator couldn’t even handle it and had to throw a letter in it. (United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization)
-It saves water: A 1/3-pound burger requires 660 gallons of water to be produced from start to finish (LA times). On the other hand, soy tofu produced in California requires only 220 gallons of water per pound (EarthDay.org)
It’s also good for our fellow humans, approximately 700 million tons of food that could be consumed by humans goes to feeding livestock each year.
According to foodaidfoundation.org, approximately 795 million adults and children around the world do not have enough food to live a healthy active life.