When I meet people who don’t love pie, I’m not quite sure how to relate to them. I mean, what’s not to love? Flaky pie crust? Check. Completely versatile filling that can change to your heart’s desire? Check. But here’s my secret…I actually love healthy pie crust the best. You can take your butter and lard crusts, your white, flaky layers. Because my Aunt Kristy’s oil and whole wheat pie crust is the bomb.
This is basically the only pie crust recipe I ever use. It’s a little finicky only because it’s crumbly, but ultimately it’s very forgiving so you can patch it easily when you have breakage. The whole wheat flour adds such a depth of flavor to all my pie recipes, kind of a nuttiness and a great texture.
The pictures below have very simple directions with them, but if you scroll down to the bottom I’ve provided VERY detailed instructions, including for different sizes of pie pan (or 9×13 if you’re making a pot pie) and topless or covered pies. I’ve also included a link to download a Word document you can easily download and print as well.
Put a few ice cubes and some water in a glass and let it sit to get really cold, you’ll need it in a minute.
Mix together the whole wheat flour, regular flour, and salt. I tend to use a fork to mix this up.
Add in the oil and mix with a fork. Mix just enough to make it crumbly, you definitely don’t want to over-mix. Add the ice water (add too little at first, then more if you need it) and gather the dough together into a ball.
Divide if necessary (if you’re making multiple pies). It’s important that you work with and use the dough right away…this dough is a little less forgiving than a regular fat-based crust and will dry out if left sitting for too long. Place between two sheets of wax paper and roll thin.
Remove the top sheet of wax paper and slide your had under the bottom sheet, then quickly flip the dough onto the pie pan. If you’re using a lightweight metal pie pan, you can set it on top of the dough and then flip the whole thing over.
Cut the extra overlap off, and crimp the edges (or place the top crust on first, then crimp if you’re using a top crust). Bake according to the pie’s directions—for this one, you rarely will need to bake before adding filling (it bakes very fast), but there may be a few pies that still require it.
I absolutely adore this whole wheat pie crust, it makes regular pies better, an awesome pot pie, breakfast quiche, and I make “healthy breakfast pie” sometimes…I make a very healthy pear-apple-banana pie (with very little sugar) with a very healthy streusel filling that makes a great leftover breakfast.
Some of my favorite pies with this crust:
- Bing Cherry Pie with Streusel Topping
- Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie
- Bourbon Pear Crumble Pie
- Caramel Pear Pie with Oat Crumble
- Pear-Apple Pie with Streusel Topping
Aunt Kristy’s Oil & Whole Wheat Pie Crust
Important note: Aunt Kristy recommends using half or more whole wheat flour, but never 100%—it makes it difficult to handle. I tend to go right at 50%.
8-inch one-crust pie:*
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons of ice water
9-inch one crust pie:*
- 1 3/4 cups of flour
- 3/4 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons of ice water
9 X 13 sized crust:**
- 4 ½ cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 1/3 cups of vegetable oil
- ½ cups (8 tablespoons) of ice water
* Double for two-crust pie. See below for two-crust pie instructions.
** I think this makes enough for a top and bottom of a 9 X 13, though it may not go clear to the top of the pan and seal around the edges. It’s a quad recipe of the 8-inch one-crust and can also be used to make three 9-inch single crusts, which is what we usually do at Thanksgiving time!
Mix flour and salt (we use half or more whole wheat flour, 100% whole wheat is a little harder to handle and tears very easily). Add the oil and mix with fork until fully moistened. Sprinkle with ice water and mix with fork. Gather the dough together with your hands and press into a ball. [Note, the original recipe says that if it’s too dry, to add 1 to 2 tablespoons more oil, but we’ve found that it’s better to add more ice water a tiny bit at a time until it’s the right consistency.]
Wipe your table or ledge with a damp cloth to keep the wax paper from slipping. Immediately roll the crust between two strips of waxed paper. Peel off the top paper, then slip your hand underneath the bottom wax paper and transfer the crust to your pie pan, paper side-up. If using a lightweight metal pie pan, you can turn it upside down on top of the pie crust, slip one hand underneath with your other hand on the upside-down pie pan, then just invert. Gently peel off the remaining wax paper and settle the crust loosely into the pan. If your crust tears, it’s not a big deal, it can be pressed back together easily. When it’s baked no one can tell where it was broken.
For one-crust pie, trim, leaving 1/2 inch overhanging edge. Fold under, flute. If crust is to be baked without filling, prick thoroughly. Bake shell 12-15 minutes in 400 F degree oven hot oven (original recipe says 450 degrees; we use closer to 400 degrees for whole wheat). If crust and filling are to be baked together, do not prick crust. Bake as recipe directs.
For two-crust pie, heat oven to 400 degrees F. Make the pastry above; divide almost in half. Use larger half for bottom; roll as above. Fill, trim. Roll top same way. Place over filling. Press top and bottom edges together to seal. Flute edges. Cut slits for venting. To prevent overbrowning of edges, cover with 2-inch strips of aluminum foil. Remove strips 15 min. before end of baking.
Aunt Kristy’s Instructions for pie crust (downloadable)
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