Countless pie crust recipes are available in cookbooks and on the Internet. Some of these recipes call for shortening, while others require butter or margarine. In a pinch, coconut or vegetable oil can be used as a substitution for a recipe that calls for shortening. Swapping oil for shortening can cause the pie crust to be less flaky, but it will still come out of the oven hot and ready to eat.
Add three parts vegetable oil for every four parts shortening called for in the directions. For instance, a recipe that calls for 1 cup shortening would use 3/4 cup vegetable oil. Combine the vegetable oil with the dry ingredients, such as flour and salt, all at once. The consistency of the dough will more oily and should be used right away or else the oil in the dough will begin to separate from the other ingredients.
Add 1/2 cup butter and 3/8 cup coconut oil for every 1 cup shortening called for in the recipe if you do not want to substitute vegetable oil. The coconut oil and butter should be cut into the flour and salt together with a blender or knife.
Consider increasing the amount of sugar and eggs in the pie recipe to counter the denser pie crust, recommends The Cook's Thesaurus. A pie crust made with oil will be greasier than one made with shortening or butter.
Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.