How To Make Vegan Hot Water Crust Pastry (2024)

How To Make Vegan Hot Water Crust Pastry (1)

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Hot water crust pastry is incredibly easy to veganise and it makes the most delicious savoury pie crust. I don’t know why it is not used more often! This vegan hot water crust pastry is beautifully crisp, flavoursome and holds its shape – making it perfect for deep-filled pies, both small and large.

There will not be a ‘soggy bottom’ in sight with this pastry, it bakes to perfection and is very therapeutic to make. Instead of needing to keep it cold like normal pastry the opposite is true for this hot water crust pastry – you make it and shape it whilst it is warm and pliable.

It’s made with vegetable shortening which gives it the most beautifully crisp texture but if you’re in a bind you can substitute with coconut oil – in fact the pie pictured here was made using coconut oil, although I recommend vegetable shortening for the optimal hot water crust texture.

This beautiful vegan pastry can be used for a wide variety of pies – why not try filling it with your favourite curry? I did just that and adapted my Vegan Katsu Curry Sauce recipe into a Curried Chickpea & Potato Pie using this pastry, which was absolutely delicious. The recipe is coming soon to the blog!

How To Make Vegan Hot Water Crust Pastry (2)

How To Make Vegan Hot Water Crust Pastry (3)

This vegan hot water crust pastry is:

Quick and easy to make

Beautifully crisp

Deliciously seasoned

So versatile

Dairy free, egg free and vegan

I have no doubt that you will LOVE this recipe – be sure to tag me on Instagram when you make it @aveganvisit 🙂

How To Make Vegan Hot Water Crust Pastry (4)

The Video Recipe:

The Written Recipe:

How To Make Vegan Hot Water Crust Pastry (5)

How to make a quick and easy vegan hot water crust pastry that is beautifully crisp and stands tall; holding it’s shape without a soggy bottom in sight! Perfect for homemade, rustic, savoury pies.

4.91 from 11 votes

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Course: Lunch, Main Course

Cuisine: British

Prep: 20 minutes mins

Total: 50 minutes mins

Serves: 8 people

Calories: 433kcal

Author: Tara


  • 420 g plain flour
  • 80 g strong white bread flour
  • 100 g dairy free margarine
  • 200 ml water
  • 120 g vegetable shortening (*see notes)
  • 2 tsp salt


Make the pastry:

  • In a large bowl rub together the two flours and dairy free margarine until the mixture is the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.

    420 g plain flour, 80 g strong white bread flour, 100 g dairy free margarine

  • In a saucepan over a low heat, add the water, shortening and salt. Heat gently until the shortening has melted but don’t let the mixture boil.

    200 ml water, 120 g vegetable shortening, 2 tsp salt

  • Once the shortening has melted into the water, bring the mixture to the boil. Once the liquid is in a rolling boil (about 1 minute), take it off the heat and pour it over the flour mixture straight away.

  • Mix the flour and liquid together with a spoon and once it is cool enough to handle, knead it gently for two minutes to bring the mixture together fully.

  • Lightly flour a surface and roll the dough out to 1/4-1/2 cm (1/4 - 1/8") thick. You want to work relatively quickly because the dough is much easier to roll out and handle when it is still warm.

  • Select a baking tin - ideally a non-stick springform cake tin (20cm / 8") for a large pie or a large muffin tin with removable bases for small pies. As long as you are using a good non-stick tin with a removable base you should not need to line the tin with parchment paper.

  • Cut out the pastry to fit your baking tin and gently shape it to the tin, leaving a 1-2 cm (1/2-1") overhang around the edge to join the lid to later on. Hot water crust pastry is very forgiving so you can patch, press and stretch it as necessary to fit your tin.

  • Cut out a lid with a small steam hole in the middle and place it on a tray. Put the lid in the fridge along with your pie case for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.

Bake the pie:

  • Once your pastry has chilled, fill it with a cold filling and attach the lid by pinching it together with the overhang from the pie crust. You may need to leave the pastry out of the fridge for 5 minutes before it’s pliable enough to pinch together.

  • If you’re not quite ready to bake your pie then put it back in the fridge whilst you preheat the oven to 190°C fan (210°C conventional / 400°F / gas mark 6).

  • Bake your pies - for a large pie you’re looking at around 50-60 minutes and for smaller muffin-sized pies 30-40 minutes until the pies pies are golden all over and around the sides (carefully pop it out of the tin slightly to check).



Vegan / Dairy Free / Egg Free

* For the optimal crisp texture, use vegetable shortening in this pastry (Trex from UK supermarkets works well), however if you can’t find it you can substitute with coconut oil.

Recipe inspired by: England, UK

Please check the allergens on the ingredients you purchase before use.The allergen information provided in this recipe is intended as a guide only and is based on the specific ingredients and brands used at the time of creating the recipe, therefore we cannot guarantee that the same will apply to the ingredients you use. Nutritional values are estimated.

We highly recommend you use the metric and 1x options on this recipe card for the best results. Please note that this recipe has not been tested using US measurements or increasing ingredient quantities to 2x or 3x, therefore results may vary.


Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 674mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Net Carbohydrates: 45g

Have you tried this recipe?Tag @aveganvisit on Instagram or hashtag it #aveganvisit!


Hi, I’m Tara! I’m taking you on a trip around the world in vegan cuisine and bringing the world’s most delicious dishes to your kitchen.

How To Make Vegan Hot Water Crust Pastry (6)
How To Make Vegan Hot Water Crust Pastry (2024)


What is the science behind hot water crust pastry? ›

In hot water pastry the larger amount of water means that a strong gelatinised starch network has already formed before cooking, giving a very strong pastry to work with. In shortcrust pastry there is so little water that the starch can only partially hydrate.

What can be made from hot water crust pastry? ›

Because of the high quantity of water used, the pastry is quite hard and strong, making it suitable for encasing heavy mixtures such as pork, ham or raised game pies without collapsing.

Can you substitute butter for lard in hot water pastry? ›

Lard gives a crunchy crumbly texture to pastry so it's good for pasties and pie crusts. Butter has a rich flavor but it gives pastry a softer texture. If you can't eat lard, experiment! It will probably work out fine.

Why is my hot water crust pastry too hard? ›

You may need to add more liquid or you may not, each batch is different. Keep mixing the pastry will look dry and crumbly at first but it will come together, you may need to add a tablespoon of liquid at a time for the dough to properly come together.

What causes cracks in hot water crust pastry? ›

Your dough might be too dry or unevenly hydrated.

When dough doesn't have enough water, or if it's not properly hydrated (more on that below), it will feel and look dry and be prone to cracking.

What is the difference between pie crust and hot water crust? ›

The hot water dough has a soft, even consistency that's a little like Play-Doh. Traditional pie dough, meanwhile, is flaky and slightly shaggy, with visible chunks of butter.

What is hot water pastry called? ›

Hot water crust is a type of pastry used for savoury pies, such as pork pies, game pies and, more rarely, steak and kidney pies. Hot water crust is traditionally used for producing hand-made pies. Hot water crust pastry. Melton Mowbray pork pie made with hot water crust pastry.

Can you use dripping in hot water pastry? ›

I prefer to add a tiny bit of butter to the dough, but you can keep the pastry all lard if you simply have to. Hot water crust pastry, to my mind, is always made with rendered animal fat, either dripping (beef fat) or lard (pig fat).

How long does hot water pastry last in the fridge? ›

If you do not use all the dough it can be kept in the fridge for about a week or so or even frozen. Bake these pie crusts up as you would any others. I usually bake them at 350-400 for 12-15 minutes, or till golden brown. Follow instructions for double crust fruit pies when using those recipes.

Is pastry better made with lard or butter? ›

It has health concerns, but lard is by far best for pies. Pastry is always tender and flaky. One can roll and re-roll and re-roll and the pastry always is flaky and tender. 100% lard is wonderful, but try 2/3 lard and 1/3 butter.

What is a vegetarian substitute for lard in pastry? ›

7 Healthy Substitutes for Lard
  1. Coconut oil. Coconut oil is a tropical oil that has been linked to some health benefits. ...
  2. Vegetable oils. Vegetable oils are often used in cooking and baking. ...
  3. Olive oil. ...
  4. Avocado. ...
  5. Beef tallow. ...
  6. Mashed banana.
Aug 31, 2021

What happens if you substitute butter for lard? ›

Butter can be equally subbed for shortening or lard, but because it contains 80% fat, you might have chewier cookies or slightly richer pie dough than one made with another fat.

What is the advantage of hot water pastry? ›

This old-fashioned style of pastry is the ideal choice for all your savory pie adventures! It's extra sturdy so it can support heavy fillings like potatoes (and other root vegetables), diced roasted winter squashes, and meats.

What will happen if you used too much water in making pastry? ›

Too much liquid means the crust will not be flaky. You want to use just enough (cold) water to get the dough to hold together. Too much water when making a pie crust or any pastry for that matter, gives you a doughy / bready crust.

Why is my pastry too hard when cooked? ›

Problem: Your Cooked Pastry is Tough

Why is your cooked pastry tough? This occurs when too little fat and too much liquid are added. Be careful not to overhandle the dough and to make sure the oven is hot.

What does hot water do for dough? ›

The gelling helps the dough stay soft but strong and sturdy after it is cooked, too. Gelatinization is what happens when you use boiling water to make the silky, supple dumpling doughs used all over Europe and Asia.

What is the science behind pastry food? ›

The science of pastry making

The expanding air stretches the gluten in the flour. The fat melts. The starch grains in the flour swell and gelatinise in the heat and absorb the fat and some of the water. The gluten coagulates and sets the framework of the pastry.

What is the function of water in pastry making? ›

Water: Helps to bind flour and fat together to make a dough. In choux pastry water is converted to steam or water vapour, which acts as the raising agent.

What is the purpose of water in pie crust? ›

Chilled butter and ice-cold water will help keep the dough flaky. When the crust is baked, pockets of butter release steam, creating flaky layers.


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