This blog post also is available in German.
Vegan shortcrust pastry is literally a gruelling subject. It should be crispy, but not too dry. Delicate and buttery, but not mush. Free of animal ingredients is still the least of a challenge here. Does that sound familiar to you? Have you already failed with a shortcrust pastry? This has now come to an end! Because today I’ll tell you how your vegan shortcrust pastry is guaranteed to succeed. And one thing is for sure, correctly baked vegan shortcrust is something very special. Quite apart from the fact that it plays a super important role in your kitchen alongside yeast dough.
And since the cherry season is currently in full swing, we continue to process our short pastry into a buttery-sweet cherry pie. After all we want to enjoy the delicious cherries to the fullest. Did you know that cherries are only in season during July?
The 3-2-1 basic recipe for vegan shortcrust pastry
There’s no dough recipe easier to remember than vegan shortcrust. Why? Because you don’t even need a recipe! You can easily mix it with the 3-2-1 formula. This means 3 parts flour, 2 parts vegan butter and 1 part sugar. A piece of cake right?
If you are adventurous, you are welcome to experiment a little. You can add ground nuts or glutenfree alternatives to your flour. I personally always exchange the sugar 1:1 with xylitol, and that works out very well. The shortcrust just gets a little less sweet. Vegan butter in the dough can also be easily exchanged for margarine if you prefer it. It should even be possible to use vegetable oil instead of butter. There, however, the ratio changes. 100g butter equals 80ml of oil.
Chilliness does the trick
The two most important rules for vegan shortcrust pastry:
- the ingredients must have the same temperature
- the ingredients should be cold
So it`s very important to leave all ingredients in the fridge and take them out just before use. Be sure to keep water cool if you need it. Not every vegan shortcrust pastry needs water, but if it does, the water should be at the same temperature as the other ingredients.
The dough must also be cooled when processing the shortcrust. Cover the dough and put it in the fridge for at least 30 up to 60 minutes after mixing. I like to prepare the shortcrust pastry the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight. Before I roll out the dough, I leave it at room temperature for a short time. It should still be compact – i.e. not too soft – but not rock-hard either. If you can press the dough in a little bit, it’s perfect to roll out. After that, the shortcrust should be allowed to cool for at least another 30 minutes. So after rolling out, refrigerate again.
But why all this fuss about cooling? If the dough is too warm during processing – respectively too soft – it won`t turn out nice after baking. If you push the shortcrust into the oven without pre-cooling, there is a high risk that you will get a soggy pie base or biscuit! That’s why you should always cool it!
Also very important: Don`t knead the dough excessively! Just mix the ingredients together and as soon as they form a dough, stop kneading or mixing.
To blind-bake a vegan shortcrust or not?
The eternal controversy. I never used to blind-bake back in the days and the result sometimes was a uncompletely baked crust. Afterwards I started to blind-bake, the bottom was ok, but the edge was mostly too brown for my taste. There is absolute guide here and you will hear different opinions. I can only tell you how I do it. Of course I don’t use this technique with small pastries, i.e. shortbread biscuits. But I usually apply it for pies, especially if the filling is rather juicy.
Blind baking is often done with legumes (beans, peas, chickpeas). Makes sense, otherwise the dough floor will inflate. I do it with legumes or without, but in the latter case, I pierce the bottom with a fork. So the cake goes in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Then the filling comes in and the baking continues. The blind-baking is best done on the lowest oven groove, to prevent the crust from burning.
Low Waste Tip
Don`t throw away the legumes you used for blind-baking! Either store them for your next baking session, in case you need to blind-bake again. Or just regulary use the legumes for cooking.
In case you`re using frozen cherries, don`t throw away the remaining liquid! Use it for smoothies, shakes or homemade ice cream instead.
Now only the recipe for the vegan cherry pie from short pastry is missing.
Read you soon
Vegan Shortcrust Cherry Pie
- 200 g white flour organic
- 130 g vegan butter organic
- 65-70 g xylitol organic
- 1 pinch of salt if butter isn`t already salted, organic
- 350 g cherries pitted, organic
- 1 tsp potato starch
- 1 tablespoon xylitol organic
- Place the flour, butter and xylitol in a bowl and mix by hand to form a dough. Don't really knead, just mix until everything sticks together.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate it for at least 30 to 60 minutes or preferably overnight. Under no circumstances should the dough be soft.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. If the dough is very hard, let it stand at room temperature for a short time. If you can press a small dent into the dough, it`s ready to roll out. However, the dough should not be soft!
- Roll out the dough thinly between two sheets of baking paper and then carefully transfer it into a greased baking tin covered with flour. Remove the baking paper. You can shape the edge by forming the excess dough into a roll, placing it around the edge of the baking tin and pressing it down. Roll out the remaining dough again and cut out hearts.
- Put the rolled out dough and the dough hearts in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. They should be hard again when removed.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.
- Blind bake the cooled dough on the lowest groove of the oven for 10-15 minutes.
- While the dough is pre-baked, rinse the cherries under running water, halve, pit and mix with starch and sugar. Alternatively, you can use frozen cherries. Defrost the cherries early and drain the baking liquid.
- Remove the pie from the oven, remove the legumes and pour the cherry filling into the cake. Cover the cake with the dough hearts.
- Place the pie in the oven again on the middle groove for 20 minutes. If it gets too brown, move it to the lowest groove.