Recipe: Oil-Based Pie Crust

IMG_1406 Wednesday’s recipe, a day late.

Are you afraid to make your own pie crust? This recipe is easy to make in advance, to have on hand for a quick meal. Best of all, it contains no butter or margarine, unlike store-bought versions that may contain other unwelcome ingredients.

The recipe comes via Ilana, who left it as a comment in my post on creative pie crusts. I tried it the other day and was pleased with the texture and taste.

My adaptation of the recipe includes instructions for mixing by hand or with the food processor, along with microwave instructions.

Oil-Based Pie Crust

Makes two generous crusts.


  • 2 cups white flour, part whole-wheat is fine. I used 90%, which is whole wheat with 10% of the toughest fibers removed. It had a small amount of 100% whole wheat too.
  • 1/2 cup oil. I used olive oil, but use something you like.
  • 6 tablespoons ice water (I needed a bit more than half a cup).


  1. Mix the oil and flour in the food processor. It’s best if the flour is also chilled.
  2. Add the ice water while the processor is running. The dough should form a ball once it is mixed. If not, add water one tablespoon at a time and mix again until the dough forms a ball.
  3. Let the food processor run for another 30 seconds. Take out the dough and knead briefly with your hands, for about a minute.
  4. To make by hand, mix the oil and flour, then mix in the water until you have a cohesive dough.
  5. Form the dough into two hamburger-shaped patties and refrigerate for at least an hour. May be kept a few days in the refrigerator, or frozen.I used a piece of parchment paper to keep them from sticking together, then placed them in a plastic container.
  6. Roll out the dough into the size of your pan, or press it into the pan with your fingers.
  7. Pierce the dough all around with a fork.
  8. Bake in the microwave for two to three minutes, until dry. Or you can bake in a conventional oven for 15 minutes for recipes that need to be baked further, such as quiche. To bake completely, bake for 20 minutes or until brown. Then you can add a cooked filling like fruit.

If you’re still intimidated by crusts, try Universal Crustless Quiche.

If you enjoyed this post you may also like:

Creative Pie Crusts

Don’t Stir the Pot: Use Your Microwave Instead

How to Make Patties from Anything and Everything

Food Processor Basics


  1. I add applesauce, which cuts the oil and makes it healthier.

  2. Ms. Krieger says

    I sometimes use oil-based piecrusts for rich savory dishes such as quiche. But for more delicate dishes (dessert pies, etc.) I use butter (for dairy meals) or Crisco (pareve vegetable shortening). The oil crusts have a mealier texture, never as flaky and light as a pie crust made from solid fat.

    @Leora – I have never tried replacing some of the fat with applesauce. Do you then need to adjust the amount of water used also?

  3. Ms. Krieger says

    and just to clarify above – when I said “pie crust made from solid fat” I meant crusts made using fat with a solid texture, as opposed to a fat with a fluid oil texture. All my crusts contain at least flour and water in addition to a fat, of course. Re-reading the post made me realize some folks might misunderstand!

  4. Thanks, Leora, for the suggestion.
    Ms. Krieger,
    Butter is always tastier than oil, but I use it rarely. I haven’t ever used Crisco, but my mother did. Isn’t it transfat?

  5. Ms. Krieger says

    Crisco is fairly tasteless – I usually sweeten the dough or add spices if I am using it. It is very useful for pareve pie crusts. And fortunately no, it does not contain trans fat! It is a blend of soybean oil and cottonseed oils, partially and fully hydrogenated in the ‘cis’ shape (as opposed to the ‘trans’ version – cis and trans are chemical terms and refer to the symmetry of the molecule. Cis shapes are more easily processed by the body.)

  6. My “goto” pie crust comes from the Passionate Vegetarian Cookbook:
    1 Tb sesame seeds and 3/4 cup rolled oats, dry toasted together in an iron skillet, then finely ground

    Stir together 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1/4unbleached white all purpose white all-purpose flour, 3 Tb brown sugar (cookbook says Rapidura, but I don’t know about this or its kashrut), 1tsp baking powder, 1/8tsp salt, 3tbsp mild vegetablle oil, 3-4 tablespoons water (I have found that it sometimes needs more, but do , a tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork, until the dough just comes together.)Knead 7-10 times. This is best rolled out between two pieces of 2 pieces of waxed paper (which can be kept in the fridge for subsequent uses). This can be used for a slightly SWEET crust.
    For a SAVORY CRUST:Omit the sugar. Add 3 Tb wheat germ or oat bran, keeping the oil propertions as given. If it is a Dairy meal, still omit the sugar, substitute 3 TB freshly grated Parmesan cheese and cut back oil to 2 Tb
    I haven’t tried it but the crust is so good I amgoing to try the Parmesan crust as crackers.

    • Belle, thanks so much for your comment. The proportions look more or less the same, and the variations are interesting.

  7. This is very similar to a borekas recipe from Claudia Roden’s Book of Jewish food. I’ve used the crust twice for my chard and cheese pie and it’s been a huge hit.