If you’re anything like me, finding the perfect gluten-free pie crust recipe has not been an easy task. Gluten-free baking and pies, as I’ve written before, require a lot of experimentation! It’s not just about replacing gluten-free for regular flour.
We all know that great pie crust requires that perfect combination of flaky and moist, but I personally have baked many a pie where the crust is either too hard or crumbles instantly! And it just leaves you so unsatisfied.
Well, after lots of searching, buying, trying, tweaking, and fixing, here is my 7 step process for coming up with the perfect gluten-free pie crust…
Before we get started, a quick note: after getting comfortable with this pie crust I use it for everything from apple pies to quiches to chicken pot pie. The taste is great and works well with either sweet or savory pies. You can even work with it to make a lattice finish on your pie!
I recommend you follow you it to the T the first time you try it out, just to see how it works for you. I would love any feedback, or details on your experience, in the comments below!
1 ¼ cups of all purpose gluten-free flour, plus a bit more for dusting
¼ tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp sugar (I use 2 tsp for sweet pies, 1 tsp for savory)
6 Tbsp of unsalted butter, frozen, sliced thinly
Iced water – you don’t want to overdo it, just add enough to make the dough hold together when you squeeze it in your hand, around 6 Tbsp.
- Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.
- Scatter butter slices over the top, and work with a pastry blender, food processor or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. The butter doesn’t need to be completely mixed throughout; it’s even better if there are chunks here and there! The butter should be in almond sized pieces throughout.
- Add cold water to the mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a spoon or your hands in between each tablespoon, until the dough holds together when squeezed in your hand. Don’t overdo it!
- Shape the dough into a ball, flatten a bit and throw in a ziplock and in the fridge for at least an hour (you can store it up to a couple of days). This step allows for the moisture to spread throughout the dough – a crucial step!
- Remove the dough from the fridge and let the dough stand for around 15 minutes at room temperature. This allows for the butter to soften up a bit, which is especially important when working with gluten-free flour.
- Take the dough out of the ziplock and place it on lightly floured parchment paper. I like to rip off some dough and leave it to the side to save for patching up any holes in the pie. Dust the dough with even more flour, and place another layer of parchment paper on top.
- Roll out dough into a 12 inch circle, and transfer to a 9 inch pie pan, pressing firmly and patching up any areas if necessary. You can either crimp or flute the edge, or make a double recipe for a lattice top!
Some of the tricks I’ve picked up are using cold butter which has been frozen up to a day in advance, and ice cold water. You’ll also want to find a high quality gluten-free flour that’s great for pastry baking and contains sweet rice flour and xanthan gum, such as Carol’s All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour.
Of course, sometimes you want to bake a pie but don’t have the time or energy to make the crust. I’ve had the best luck with gluten-free pie crusts from Bob’s Red Mill and Glutino, which is still quite a bit of work for a mix but worth the effort! I have yet to find a pre-made pie crust that I love, so I would love any suggestions.