This easy pie crust recipe from cooks.com calls for flour, oil, salt and milk. When you make this crust can you substitute the oil for eggs or something like that, or is oil the best thing to use?
Oil is not substituted for eggs, as it has completely different properties. It is normally substituted for the solid fat.
While it is certainly possible to do it this way, it is much fussier than just using solid fat. It requires frequent trips to the refrigerator during making if you want to end up with a solid crust and not just a pap. You have to be well experienced with pie doughs to be able to recognize exactly when to put it into the refrigerator or freezer. The result is not all that different for solid fact, except for 1) taste, if you use some strongly flavored oil (like one of the toasted nut oils), and 2) bragging rights that you pulled it off.
If you are just looking for an easy recipe, use one with solid fat (butter, lard or shortening; shortening is easiest to work with but has the least taste) and adhere to the instructions. You will recognize a good pie crust recipe by following criteria:
- it warns you against overmixing the butter and flour
- it tells you when to refrigerate
- it also mentions what kind of texture it produces (although in some cultures where only one type of crust is desired, e.g. flaky for American pies, this may be missing).
- it uses reasonable ratios. This would be between 3:2 and 2:1 for flour to fat by weight, maybe a little outside this range. If it contains any other ingredients beside egg, water and sweetener, they should be in very small amounts (tablespoons or even teaspoons).
- if it is sweet, it does not use normal sugar. It uses either confectioner's, or some liquid sweetener.
- generally, a recipe given by weight is more trustworthy than one by volume. I have made many recipes by volume which did work, but because they are riskier, pros prefer to work by weight. With volume, you never know how well developed the recipe is before you start, and never know if you will achieve the same ratio or if mismeasurements will ruin a recipe which worked perfectly well for the author.
I make pie crust all the time with oil and find it the very quickest and easiest recipe ever! I have never had a failure with this method. Just mix in two easy step.. No hassle, no refrigeration or freezing. Just dump mix and roll?
Whisk together 2/3 c oil, 1/3 c water and 1/2 tho salt until opaque. Add2 cups of flour all at once. If too sticky, add small amounts of flour in small increments til the dough can be picked up in a ball that can be handled easily.
I roll mine onto the plastic side of freezer wrap*. Do NOT add any flour to roll it out. Place a sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper over the dough and roll out as usual. Have pie plate ready.
Peel plastic wrap off of top of dough. Turn freezer paper with dough attached upside down, onto pie plate, centering as much as possible. With fingers, gently loosen dough edges on one side from paper, easing dough into pie plate while slowly lifting paper as you loosen it.
When completely free, remove plate and ease dough evenly with about 1/2 " overhang on all edges. Fold that overhang up over edge all the way around so it makes a raised edge for the pie. Trim if too much overhang.
Pinch a design of your choosing, all the way around the edge. Fill with favorite filling, and bake according to filling directions. If two-crust pie is desired, just roll the rest of the dough and lower dough not the filling as directed above seal edges by crimping or with a fork.
This method makes it super simple if you need a little patch, because there is no loose flour to prevent the dough from bonding together.
NOTE* Fold back 1/2 inch of freezer wrap to keep it from curling as you roll the dough.