Friday, August 27, 2010

A Healthier Pie Crust

A Healthier Pie Crust

As some of you may know,  I've been going through my stacks of collected recipes.  Some of these recipes go back to the mid 1990's.

My hubby "suggested" that I toss the beloved stack.  However, I told him that I've give myself a year to try as many as possible before tossing the rest.  We have been trying the recipes, a few a week.  Actually, what's happened is that we have found many new favorites!  We both decided to remove the deadline, as long as we tried some new recipes each week.

This pie crust recipe comes from a 1996 Vegetarian Times issue, where the author remakes lemon meringue pie.  The filling is a mixture of lemonade and kudzu to thicken it, which didn't interest me.  

I am guessing the article was saved for the pie crust recipe. And I am glad I saved it!  It is a good tasting "from scratch" recipe,  and not one that uses a lot of butter, margarine, shortening, or sugar.  It's not as flaky as a crust with shortening, but it's a great tradeoff.  My husband gave it a "10", that being the highest score.  However, we don't eat a lot of pies for him to compare.  Still, we both felt it was really good, and light tasting.  Small tradeoffs can add up toward better health and weight management.

If you want to avoid a lot of saturated fats, this is a great recipe.  We hope you enjoy it also:

A Healthier Pie Crust
Adapted from Feb. 1996, issue, Vegetarian Times
Makes one crust

1 Cup             unbleached white flour
1/2 Cup          whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp            salt
1 to 1 1/2 tsp  baking powder (I used a rounded tsp)
4 TBSP          canola oil  (chilled, preferably)
5 TBSP          apple juice, chilled (use 6 TBSP, if needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

     ***Sift flours, salt and baking powder.  Add oil, mix lightly with a spatula until oil is absorbed.  Add 5 TBSP apple juice; mix again to form a ball.  Add additional apple juice if necessary.  Knead gently 1 minute, or until smooth.  Flatten dough into a disk shape, cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
     Roll out dough on floured surface, 1 -2 inches larger than a 9" pie pan.  Fit dough into lightly oiled pan, easing dough along sides.  Trim excess to edge of pan, crimp with fork.  Chill 20 minutes or more.  Tightly line bottom of crust with aluminum foil, weight with rice, dried beans or pie weights.  Bake until light brown and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.  If you want, remove the weights after 15 minutes and bake the crust a bit longer to bake the bottom.  It seemed to make a sturdier crust.
     Cool pie crust on a rack.  Fill as usual.

Note:  ***I made this crust quickly in the food processor.  The dry ingredients were mixed and then the oil.  Finally,  5 TBSP chilled apple juice was added.  A few bursts of the food processor kneaded the dough.  After removing the craggy mixture from the food processor, I formed the dough into a ball.  It didn't seem to need more apple juice, because it held together quite well.  Finally, the dough was flattened into a disk and wrapped in plastic wrap for chilling in the fridge.

  The crust, ready for filling!

My yummy (and first ever) lemon meringue pie!!!  We really enjoyed this pie, and the crust was just right for the light taste.

Thanks for coming by.  Happy Baking!  I would love to hear your comments, so please leave one below.  And don't forget to return soon, for my next post.



  1. Yummy!!! Pass the pie please..............

  2. I'm bookmarking this recipe to try. We don't eat a lot of pies but these ingredients appeal to me. Thanks for posting it!

  3. Great recipe and I love lemon pie

  4. Thanks, Mama Peck! We don't eat many pies either, but I was really craving lemon meringue. I think this crust would work with fruit pies, too.

    Let me know what you think of the recipe. If you tweak it some, maybe it could be even better...

    Thanks for bookmarking it. By the quick response, I think people are looking for something like this. Hey, with all those breads we are baking, we gotta shave some calories somewhere.


  5. Got this bookmarked and will try soon. May even
    make it lemon meringue. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for the recipe. I think that a pie crust is one of the more difficult tings to make both healthy AND good.

  7. I agree, Guff. I've tried many kinds of pie crust recipes--canola oil, butter, margarine and shortening. I was surprised that this one turned out as well as it did.

    I hope you try it. I would love your feedback!

  8. Mary J, I hope you enjoy this pie as much as we did.

    My hubby was so happy! He didn't want to let me give a piece to someone who did us a favor! I had to give them some cookies. They loved it, but it was fun to know my hubby loved the pie that much!

  9. Might have to try this at Thanksgiving this year for pumpkin pies. I usually make a Sardee's crust with plenty of butter...but it would be nice to lighten the calorie and fat load a bit!