October 16, 2009


Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Before I was on a  gluten free diet, I found pie crusts to be intimidating.  Since then, I have considered them out of the realm of possibility for my skills.  In recent months, though, I’ve been wanting to give it a try.  I did, and I was amazed that my first attempt turned out beautifully.

For my crust, I modified this gluten free recipe.  The first time I made it I used the amount of butter this recipe calls for (1 1/2 sticks).  It worked well, and because of all the butter was a bit like shortbread.  It tasted great of course, but I tried the recipe a second time and cut the amount back to 1 stick.  It still worked great so I’m sticking with that.  I love the buttery taste, but not all the calories!  A few of these pictures are from the first crust, but it looked about the same.

Gluten-Free Pie Crust Recipe

I made this crust by hand in a mixing bowl.  It should also work well in a food processor.   Combine the dry ingredients.  Add the cold butter, cut in chunks.  Use a pastry blender (you can probably get by with a fork) to cut the butter into the flour until you have pea size or smaller lumps.  Add the egg.  Beat it a little with a fork and then mix it in with everything.  Add the ice water and mix it in.  At this point, the dough does not look like it will hold together. Mine looked like this:

pie crust dough 1 Use your hands to press the dough together and it will look like this:
pie crust dough 2If it is still very crumbly and will not hold together, add a little more ice water, about one teaspoon at a time.  Try pressing it together after each addition.

Place the dough on a pastry mat, silicone baking mat, wax paper or parchment paper.  I used a silicone baking mat.  The width of it was just big enough.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 10 1/2 to 11 inch circle.  The edges will be ragged.

pie crust rolled out  At this point, it is ready to go into the pie plate, except that it has gotten too warm.  Mine was sticking to the mat.  We want the butter in the dough to stay cold, so I picked up my mat and placed it in the freezer for a few minutes.  You could also put it in the refrigerator while you work on the pie filling.

Once it is chilled, it should come off the mat pretty well.  If it breaks and cracks as you put it into the pie plate, that’s okay, pressing the cracks with your fingers will take care of it.  I flipped the mat over onto the pie plate, and then pressed the crust down into the plate.   pie crust 2
pie crust 3
There should be some overhang around the edges which you can cut or break off.  I rolled out this extra and added some cinnamon and sugar, then rolled it up and baked it with the pie, but not as long.  Finish the edge of the pie how you like.  I didn’t spend much time on it because it is not as easy to work with as a gluten crust.
whole pumpkin pie Now you are ready to add your filling and bake the pie.  I used this crust for a pumpkin pie, so no top was needed.  I’m not sure how well this would would work.  Trying to place strips on top would be tricky because they would break easily.  Adding a whole top might be the easiest if you could just flip it over on top of the pie filling.  Let me know if you give it a try.  I’ll probably be doing an apple pie some time this fall.
The pumpkin pie recipe will be coming up next!

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Your pie crust look great! I know how hard it is to make a pie dough that doesn't break into a milion pieces. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Can't wait for the pumpkin pie recipe =D. I'm glad you tried a pie crust - its one of the things I made first when going GF!
That looks fantastic!
I think that pie crust is easier to do gluten-free. Gluten crusts are difficult because you have to work them just enough to make the dough flexible, but not so much that the gluten over-develops and makes the dough tough. With gluten-free crusts, they can be crumbly but you can work them as much as you want without making the dough tough. I like to roll the dough out while flipping it back on top of itself several times until I get the right shape. The folding over of the dough gives it some nice flaky layers. Thanks for the recipe!
The only pie crust I've ever made from scratch was gluten-free, but of course, it was a number of years ago, and I've forgotten the recipe. I should try again soon! This sounds easy and yummy.
wow! it's a real pie!! gotta try this one. Thank You!!
I'm working backwards on your posts trying to catch up. ;-) Lovely job on the pie crust, Linda! I tend to do a press-in gf pie crust on crustless, but I still appreciate a nicely done real pie crust. :-)

I used this recipe just yesterday for Thanksgiving for two pies and it was PERFECT!

One tip I found that made life easier... line your mat with plastic wrap as well as your rolling pin. When it comes time to tranfer it you just set your pie pan on the dought and flip the mat. The dough will stay perfectly in tact. Set it how you want in the pan then just peel back the wrap.
To improve the workability of the dough, try resting it in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling it out. It really makes a difference for the gf pie crust recipe I use.
Thanks, I'll give that a try.
I riffed on your crust recipe and it's in the fridge before I roll it out... I'm doing an apple pie so I doubled the recipe in order to have a top and bottom crust. Will let you know how it works out!
success! made a whole lot of changes but the pie turned out wonderfully (including a beautiful nearly flawless top crust!) thanks so much

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