Creative Pie Crusts

Everyone loves flaky pie-crusts, but they are high in fat and calories.

These days I prefer a crustless quiche. But if you are looking for a low-fat alternative to the standard butter crust, I have some ideas.

All the recipes use a similar method: Mix ingredients and press or smooth them with your fingers or a spatula into a pie plate. Bake in the microwave or conventional oven just until set, then add the other ingredients.

Savory crusts for quiches:

  • A cup of cooked rice and one egg. Bake for ten minutes or in the microwave for 2- 3 minutes on HIGH. Then add the filling.
  • Mashed potatoes and one egg. Bake until the surface is firm, about ten minutes.
  • Two grated raw potatoes and one egg. Cook until light brown, then add other ingredients.
  • Note: You can complete the quiche in the microwave. Cook 10-13 minutes on HIGH, just until firm in the center. In a conventional oven, cook the quiche until brown.

Sweet pie crusts for fruit or custard pies:

  • One and a half cups of leftover cookie crumbs and 1-2 tablespoons butter. Or crush some cookies in the food processor, stale ones are fine. Or place the cookies in a plastic bag and roll over them with a rolling pin. Add nuts, chocolate chips, raisins or cinnamon. Melt one or two tablespoons of butter in the microwave for 30 seconds on HIGH. Mix in the crumbs, and spread over the surface of the plate with your fingers. Cook in the microwave on HIGH for another 30 seconds. Or bake in a preheated oven for five minutes until set, then add the other ingredients and continue baking.
  • Variation of above: Replace the cookie crumbs with bread or cake crumbs and add a tablespoon of sugar.
  • Sliced bread or cake. My mother used leftover challah. Cut pieces to fit the bottom of the pan. Mix an egg with half a cup of milk or juice and add a tablespoon of sugar if you like. Pour the mixture over the slices. Top with one or two layers of fruit, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon,  and bake.
  • Microwave pie instructions: Prepare filling in a large microwave-safe bowl, then add to a prepared crust and eat.

Tip: Keep a container in your refrigerators for bread crusts and crumbs. Making bread crumbs cleans dried fruit from your food processor.

Tip: Put the crust on top! Mashed potatoes work especially well; think shepherd’s pie.

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Comments

  1. Leftover cake crushed up also works well. One of my favorite ways to use up those Osem cakes people used to bring for shabbos gifts. The chocolate and the lemon made amazing crust for shavuos cheesecake!

    • Yonit: I updated the post. My mother used to make crusts out of leftover challah.
      Tamar: You don’t have to be sneaky! I tried to make a crust once out of oil but it didn’t come out well. I guess it’s time to try again in the interest of this blog.

  2. Great ideas here – thanks! This is just a sneaky way of getting more ideas for parve desserts and side dishes, but have you ever had any luck making flour or cookie-based crusts without margarine? I try to avoid margarine since even the non-hydrogenated type is highly processed.

  3. From the Jewish Low-Cholesterol Cookbook by Roberta Leviton:

    Pie Crust for 2-Crust Pies:

    2 cups flour, 1 t salt, 1/2 cup oil, 6 T ice water

    or:

    2 cups flour, 1 t salt, 3/4 cup oil, 4 T ice water

    I use the first recipe frequently, sustituting whole wheat flour for half of the flour, and it works very well. I use it for both quiche and apple pie. Note: 6 T is a bit more than 1/3 cup. Also, I have used tap water instead of ice water and it worked ok.

  4. Thanks, Hannah and Ilana! I’m definitely going to try to make a crust with oil. Maybe even olive oil for a salty pie?

  5. Okay, much belated but I’m back with a report! I tried an olive oil crust that came out terrific. Well, it tasted terrific, but was a bit too crumbly to roll out, so I just sort of pressed it into the dish. Maybe I combined the ingredients in the wrong order? I noticed a recipe for olive oil crust while flipping through my Moosewood cookbook, so next time I will follow the instructions there and see if I get a crust I can roll out.

  6. I often press crusts into the pan. No big deal.I’m going to try it too.

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