"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cooking Resources > Substitutions
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-18-2012, 10:33 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Looking for Crisco substitute for pie crust

My husband loves blueberry pie, and I have a good source for wild blueberries. Blueberries, especially wild blueberries are very healthy. Real sugar isn't too bad, especially since we don't get a lot of sugar in our diet. I could certainly use less of it in the pie. My problem is the pie crust. The only shortening I know to use is Crisco. If I could find a better alternative, I'd be willing to make my husband blueberry pie more often.

Would coconut oil work? Would it make a difference if it's frefined or unrefined? What about a room temperature vegetable butter like mango butter?

Diane

__________________

__________________
skanandron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 11:05 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,351
A flaky pie crust depends on solid and firm fat. As you work the small bits of chilled fat (usually lard, butter, shortening or a combination) the bits of fat end up trapped in the flour and when the crust bakes, the fat melts and cause the flaky layers of crust to form.

I haven't seen a pie crust recipe using a liquid or soft fat.
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 12:26 AM   #3
Head Chef
 
GLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Near Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,216
What is the actual concern about shortening? If it's trans fats, know that Crisco reduced trans fats to near nothing in 2007. If the objection is to any room temperature-solid fat, the only alternative is to give up flaky pie crust. That's not so bad as it sounds. Shortening maker have preached flaky crusts for so long, and it's so traditional, that you would think anything else was inferior. And that gets into the realm of opinion. A crust made with liquid oil, which of course makes it impossible to get the pastry effect, can still be good, rather more like a soft cracker. But even "flaky" means different things to different people. Lots of folks consider their favorite oil pie crust to be flaky. There are many oil pie crust recipes on the Internet.

Or play with coconut oil. Coconut oil begins to solidify at room temperature and gets progressively harder as temperature drops, and if worked at the right temperature can have a similar effect to shortening.

Coconut Oil Pie Crust:

2 cups whole grain spelt flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup coconut oil (cold)
9 tablespoons cold water
Pie Filling:

Sift together flour and salt. Cut in coconut oil with a pastry blender until pieces are size of small peas. Sprinkle water, a tablespoon at a time, over part of mixture. Gently mix with fork; push to one side of bowl. Sprinkle next tablespoon water over dry part; mix lightly. Repeat until all is moistened.

Form into a ball and divide dough in half. Flatten slightly and roll on floured board. Repeat with other half.


Note: Some have reported significant spattering while baking when there were visible flakes of coconut oil in the dough. We're doing a pie crust, and while it is not mixed to uniformity like a batter, the ingredients are still well integrated to a course consistency. Shortening doesn't leave intact visible bits in the crust. Neither should the coconut oil be so cold it can't be integrated.
__________________
"Kitchen duty is awarded only to those of manifest excellence..." - The Master, Dogen
GLC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 07:38 AM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 12,303
In a dark corner of my brain, I recall making a pie crust with oil when I didn't have any shortening in the house. It seems to me it was okay--not as good as my grandma's recipe or I probably would still make my piecrusts using oil. I seem to remember it had a different texture when rolling it (I rely on how the dough feels when making piecrust) and had more of a beige color. That's about all I remember--except that I did this while still living with my parents, so this was a century ago. I did a quick search on the Internet. It seems that all of the recipes that use vegetable oil also call for milk.
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 08:18 AM   #5
Executive Chef
 
bakechef's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,082
Spectrum Organics makes a non-hydrogenated shortening, and that's what I use, it's a natural product and I've found that it works as a perfect substitute for just about anything calling for crisco. You can find it at Whole Foods, and I also can find it at Target.

You can also substitute all butter. This will make a very rich crust, and it will be less tender because of the water naturally occurring in butter, that shortening doesn't have.

Coconut oil, at least the ones that I've used, has a very low melting point, so it may not be a good substitute for a shortening type crust. An oil crust may be the way to go. An oil crust will never be flaky, but will be more crumbly, like a shortbread cookie.
__________________
I'm Bloggin'

http://bakingbetter.com
bakechef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 09:22 AM   #6
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,655
you can make a "pat in the pan" crust with softened shortening. You need to pre bake it 15 or so min before filling it. But that might work well with the coconut shortening. And then use a crumble top.
__________________
Robo410 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 10:54 AM   #7
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
There are a number of problems I have with Crisco. First, I don't use palm, soybean, canola or cottonseed oil. Crisco is made from soybean and palm oils. Second, I keep away from all hydrogenated oils except for coconut, which is naturally hydrogenated. Third, as an herbalist who makes soap, lotion, bath product etc., I've learned the value of unrefined oils and butters. Crisco is as refined as it gets. Finally, companies these days, with FDA approval, put a lot of effort in hiding information without looking like they're hiding it. If a serving contains less then half a gram of transfat, the label can say it contains 0 grams of transfat. One serving of Crisco is one tablespoon. How much do you use in a pie crust? I haven't made a pie in a long while, but if I remember right, six tablespoons? Worst case, you could be getting almost 3 grams of transfat per pie crust even though the label says Crisco is transfat free. I can't say how much transfat Crisco contains, however Crisco contains partially hydrogenated oil, and that means transfat.

I like the idea of using coconut oil. It's melting point is 76 degrees by the way. I would just have to keep it cooler then that. Maybe a cooler with ice packs from the freezer will do the trick, if the refrigerator makes it too cold?

What about other butters, like food grade cocoa, shea or mango? Anyone use non-traditional fats besides coconut?
__________________
skanandron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 11:09 AM   #8
Master Chef
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,256
Frozen Butter
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 11:33 AM   #9
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 5,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by skanandron View Post
What about other butters, like food grade cocoa, shea or mango? Anyone use non-traditional fats besides coconut?
Just curious more than anything, but why are you looking at non-traditional fats? And are you committed to only using plant-based fats?

I'll admit I only occasionally make pie crusts, but I've found old-fashioned rendered leaf lard to be wonderful in pastry. Lard is a traditional product that was used for hundreds of years before being unjustly demonized in the 20th century, and it's never recovered its status. However, having used it for the last few years, I'm a convert. Not only does it produce flaky, well-flavored crusts, but lard has no trans-fats (provided you avoid the partially hydrogenated products on the market) and a healthier mix of fatty acids than, say, butter.

Of course, pie crust is one of those things that doesn't exactly scream "health food", no matter what kind of fat substitution you do.
__________________
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 11:40 AM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 12,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Of course, pie crust is one of those things that doesn't exactly scream "health food", no matter what kind of fat substitution you do.
LOL.
__________________

__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
crust, pie, substitute

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.