The flour should not be "all-purpose", which usually means bleached. Look for flour labeled "unbleached"; it tastes much better. You can also use whole wheat for a brown color and a slightly heartier flavor. Or mix the two - half & half works well. And I'd never ask you to use shortening - just a little oil. (NOTE: Since publishing the book, a few people have told me that they don't like the taste of olive oil, even if it's extra virgin. I think that the best substitute for olive oil in this recipe -- if you don't want much extra flavor -- is grapeseed oil.)
Food you'll need 3 cups unbleached or whole wheat flour (or any mixture of the two)
1/2 cup oil, extra virgin olive oil is preferred
1/2 to 1 cup water, distilled preferred
1 & 3/4 teaspoons salt
Preparation (15 minutes for an unbaked crust; 30 minutes for baked) Measure flour and salt into large bowl. (NOTE: Use a little less salt for 100% whole wheat flour.) Add oil, then mix with a fork or pastry blender, cutting flour-oil lumps apart until mixture resembles coarse sand.
Add 1/2 cup water and stir into the flour mix. Dough should be moist enough to shape into 2 large balls, yet dry enough not to stick to your hands. If needed, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until this consistency is reached.
After shaping dough into 2 large balls (for the upper and lower crusts), roll with a rolling pin on a floured surface until roughly 1/8" thick. Line pie plate with rolled dough.
If the pie recipe calls for a baked lower crust, prick the crust with a fork approximately every 2 inches to avoid bubbles. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 F for 20 minutes or until the crust starts to brown.
Follow directions of recipes calling for unbaked crusts. To stick upper and lower crusts together, spread water at the points of contact, then apply pressure to stick. After sealing pies with an upper crust, remember to prick the upper crust with a fork, to allow steam to escape while baking.
from Chapter 5: Holidays and Fruit Pies
Did you enjoy this recipe? There are over 200 more quick and easy vegetarian recipes in the cookbook Vegan Vegetarian Cooking.