rants & recipes

Mini Pecan Pies and Hot Water Pie Crust

Posted by ataraktos on 2011-01-09

Since this past Thanksgiving, I've been a little miffed over the pecan pie recipe that didn't set up enough. Sure, we ate the pie (with spoons, in bowls) but it was way too sweet and runny. (And what really annoys me is that recipe had "reliable" in its title! Reliable, my -..) Anyway, so began my mission for the perfect vegan pecan pie recipe. Or more specifically, the perfect RELIABLE pecan pie recipe.

We can't very well be eating whole pecan test pies, all the time, though. So I purchased two mini pie plates - these nice, cute little aluminum ones from Amazon. One of these pie pans is roughly 1/4 of a 10" deep dish pie. (Roughly means I used the mini pie pan to fill up the 10" with water and it took four times to fill the larger pan. ) This proved fairly accurate, as I halved a pie recipe to make two mini pies. I attempted to use three-quarters recipe for pie crust, for the two minis, and that was a little too much crust. Next attempt, I'll make two-thirds pie crust.

"Next attempt" - yes, my pecan pie isn't perfect yet (though, no doubt, it IS reliable). The problem came from faulty math on my part - halving 1/2 cup, apparently, too difficult a task for this software engineer. (However, the result was pretty close to those little commercial pecan pies, that you can just hand-hold and eat. With a little more sugar, the below recipe would be pretty good, if that is the result you wanted. Let the extra-firm version cool completely - they were rather puffy when I took them out of the oven but "fell" and were more pie-like, once they cooled. And no, I didn't let them cool before having a taste!)

This pie crust is pretty awesome. It reminds me of crust you'd get in more commercial products, which doesn't necessarily mean it"s the best pie crust out there, but what I like about it - no rolling! I just pressed it into the pans - a circle, patted out, for the bottom and then log-shaped pieces for the sides. Flattening with my fingers, and the pieces joined together perfectly. It's pretty high in oil, so it came out of both the greased pie pans and an ungreased glass bowl (a small 1-cup bowl for a little "tart" because I had too much crust dough) perfectly! No knives or loosening, just turned the pans over and the pies came right out. (Ha you can do that with a pie that set up too much!)

Pictures to come, next attempt!

Whole Pecan Pie Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 3/4 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ener-g eggs, prepared
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix

Ingredients for half a pie, with my mistakes, for extra-firm version:

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/8 cup soy milk
  • 3/8 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 3/8 cup brown sugar (if I bake this extra-firm version again, I'll use 1/2 cup brown sugar)
  • 1 generous tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2  ener-g eggs, prepared
  • generous 1/3 cup Bisquick baking mix (probably close to 6 tbsp)

Ingredients for next attempt, more traditional filling consistency, hopefully:

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/8 cup soy milk
  • 3/8 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 3/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1 generous tsp vanilla
  • 1  1/2 ener-g eggs, prepared
  • 3 tbsp Bisquick


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have unbaked pie shell(s) ready.
  2. Line pie shell(s) with pecans.
  3. Mix all remaining ingredients in blender or food processor until combined. Pour into shell(s).
  4. Bake 50-55 minutes or until pie tests done. (I think I baked the mini pies about 40 minutes.)

Whole Hot Water Pie Crust Recipe (from this recipe.)


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 6 tbsp shortening (yes, it was listed twice - I think this should have been margarine.)
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for 3/4 recipe, with my changes:

  • 3/8 cup shortening (55 grams shortening, 25 grams coconut oil - next time, 40 grams each)
  • 4 1/2 tbsp margarine (65 grams)
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • 1 1/2 tsp non-dairy milk
  • 1 2/3  cups all purpose flour (200 grams)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Ingredients for 2/3 pie crust recipe:

  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp margarine
  • 2 1/2 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tsp non-dairy milk
  • 1 1/5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Heat water.
  3. Add hot water to fat and non-dairy milk. Stir until creamy and not (too) lumpy.
  4. Combine wet and dry mix, form a dough.
  5. Chill in the freezer for few minutes, until dough in more workable.
  6. Pat and flatten into pie pan. (I return formed shells to freezer while I mix pie ingredients.)

Take Two - still not there yet -

Tried two more mini pies this weekend.

  • 2/3 crust recipe ingredient amounts:
  • 35 grams coconut oil
  • 35 grams shortenting
  • 25 grams vegan margarine
  • 3 tbsp hot water (which actually wasn't hot enough so water+fat melted in microwave)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch sugar
  • 175 grams flour (I had to sprinkle on some more, so 190 grams is probably closer)

Crust was good.

Pie was still attempting to be a muffin - the filling separated into the bisquick-set part and, at the bottom, filling with more liquid consistency.

Take three, planned for next weekend:

1 mini pie, so half the crust recipe, half the pie recipe.

Notes for the filling recipe:

  • 1/2 ener-g (2 tsp ener-g + 1 tbsp water)
  • 2 tsp Bisquick
  • 1 tsp pectin, dissolved in heated 3 tbsp soymilk