If you’re making pie at home you may sometimes want to make your own dough. But if you’ve always bought it pre-made, now you wonder just what goes in that dough ?
Most importantly, does pie crust have eggs ? Or butter ? If yes, can you sub them for vegan options ? Well there’s great news for everyone, and we’ll explain just what a pie crust is made out of.
Does pie crust have eggs ?
Traditionally no, pie crust does not contain eggs. It is made only out of flour, water, a pinch of salt, sugar, and a type of fat. The fat is usually butter but it can easily be swapped for margarine or shortening or something similar that firms at room temp.
There are pie crusts with eggs, but the pie will stand on its own without the eggs. It’s more of a taste preference, then there’s also possible allergies and lifestyle choices to take into account.
So if you’d like to make a pie with no eggs involved you definitely can. In fact it’s how most pie doughs are made ! But if you do want to add an egg, here’s how that will change things.
Italian and French pie crust has egg, no water
If we’re talking about American pies, these have no egg, But Italian and French pie crusts usually do have eggs, ranging from just one egg thrown in for good measure, or just eggs and no water.
It really comes down to the individual recipe you’re following. In general the pie crust with egg is always more tender and have an overall more complex flavor.
Read also: Puff Pastry VS Pie Crust
What does an egg do in pie crust ?
When you do decide to add an egg to your pie crust, it will make the dough stick together much better. It also adds extra moisture, which means the gluten will not form such a strong bond and the dough will be more tender.
It’s also the secret to pie doughs that can be rolled out and then laid onto the pie dish. The egg adds elasticity to a pie dough, that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to get.
A pie dough without eggs gets crumbly, and for some pies this is exactly what you’re looking for. In pies that are heavier, like a pumpkin pie, you may want to add an egg to keep the whole dough together.
Can you replace egg in a pie crust ?
Yes, you can use something else in the pie crust if you want more hold but don’t want an egg. The whole point of the egg is to add moisture and hold and a bit of fat (from the yolk).
The extra fat can be subbed by upping the margarine or shortening content. As for the egg white, you can use the typical egg white replacements like ground flax seeds with a little water.
Or you can try aquafaba, the water leftover from canned garbanzo beans. Careful with how much you add, because it’s mostly water and you may get a dough that’s too soft. If you do this, it’s best to replace the water with aquafaba and see if that works out.
An important note about eggs in pie crust, they prevent gluten from forming too many bonds. We’re unaware how falx seeds or aquafaba would interfere with that.
Is store bought pie crust vegan ?
It really depends on the brand you’re buying. It’s not safe to assume that all brands use vegan-friendly ingredients, because not all brands are the same.
Look at the ingredients. If they say only: water, flour, sugar, salt, margarine or shortening then you’re good. If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant keep in mind that lactose can also be found in powder form, and some brands may use it in their products.
Also make sure to check for powdered milk, yogurt powder, lard, or any ingredient that doesn’t explicitly state its origin (anima or plant).
If you’re wondering what brands offer vegan ready-made pies look for Sara Lee, Whole Foods, Claim Jumper, and Raised Gluten Free. You can find these in most stores in the frozen food section.
And that’s about it for eggs in pie crust. Add it or don’t add it, the pie will still be there and hold it shape. We hope you found this post helpful, and if you’re looking for vegan options there’s plenty of them. If you’ve got any other food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.