Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

Amazingly flaky, light and tender gluten free pie crust recipe isn’t difficult to make when you use the right ingredients and follow some easy how-to steps with this recipe.

Fair warning: this post is l-o-n-g not because it’s difficult to make a great gluten free pie crust, but because I want to reassure you in every possible way! I’ve written out my secrets and tips, I’ve shared my fool-proof gluten free pie crust recipe, I’ve included videos of the steps, I’ve recorded a podcast to walk you through everything you need to know to make a great gluten free pie crust, and I’ve shared step-by-step photos so you can consult this post as you make a pastry for yourself. Don’t let the length of the post scare you — it’s all here to help!

Just look at this gorgeous, flaky gluten free pie crust. It’s within reach, and YOU can make it, even if you’ve never made a homemade pie crust in your life!

gluten free pie crust topping raspberry pie

Light and flaky gluten free pie crusts are possible with gfJules Flour!

 

gluten free pie crust tutorial

As I travel the country speaking to gluten-free groups and teaching gluten-free cooking classes, it seems that rolling out pie crusts is the one thing that scares people the most about baking. There are many techniques I’ve developed over the years, and I’ve gotten it down to quite a science!

 

How to roll out gluten free pie crust using a pie crust bag

Click on photo above to watch the quick video

 

One way to easily roll out and transfer crusts is by using a pie crust bag.

If you haven’t seen one of these handy kitchen accessories, take a look at my video showing how to use them! (You can also find these in my store)

transferring gluten free pie crust

Click on photo to see quick video of how to transfer a gluten free pie crust using a rolling pin and a silicone mat.

Another favorite of mine is using a silicone pastry mat and my favorite rolling pin covers. Together, they are so versatile and make it easy to transfer pie crusts or to roll out sugar cookies or ravioli or or or … you get the idea!

 

I also have a video showing how to use these mats and rolling pin covers for rolling out GF pie crusts.

But the most important trick to making a deliciously flaky and remarkably easy-to-roll-out gluten-free pie crust, is to start with the right ingredients.

My gfJules™ All Purpose Gluten Free Flour is the main ingredient, and the special blend of gluten-free flours and xanthan gum gives doughs made with my flour extra stretch, making it far easier to roll and transfer top and bottom crusts.

I’ve also found that a combination of butter (or non-dairy alternative like Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks or lactose free Green Valley Organics® Lactose Free Butter) and shortening makes for a flakier crust. Note: I do NOT like using coconut oil in place of shortening. It doesn’t play nicely with the flour and makes for an oily dough that is more brittle and sticky — no fun to work with!

gluten free pie crust comparison

Gluten free pie crusts: the one in the back made 1/2 Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, 1/2 coconut oil; the one in the front made with 1/2 Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, 1/2 shortening.

 

Using cold water and a surprise secret ingredient that no one will ever taste (scroll down to recipe for ingredient) also makes it easier to work with the dough, and yields an amazingly delicious crust that’s flaky and soft every time.

gluten free pie crust secret ingredient

Consult my recipe below and be sure to look at the step-by-step photos at the bottom, where I show how to transfer the crust. Because doughs made with my gfJules Flour actually have STRETCH to them, it makes it easy (yes, easy!) to transfer pie crust without tears! (Or maybe that was just me who cried over broken, crumbly gluten free pie crusts when I first got started???)

One final thought before I let you go on to the recipe and techniques outline below: I find myself answering lots of emails in advance of pie baking season and folks are all worried that they’ll make a tough pastry crust. In answer, I usually write pretty much the same things, so I’ll copy a note I wrote recently below, in hopes that it also helps YOU make your best pie crust ever!

As for flakiness of pie crust there are a couple keys, I have found.

One is to make sure the butter is super cold when adding it. I like to cut it into pieces and then put it in the freezer while I’m measuring the flour and getting everything ready.

When you add the butter, cut both it and the shortening into the flour/salt mixture with a pastry cutter or two knives cutting against one another, and only cut it as much as you need to integrate the fats into the flour into small balls, without working it too much. Then add the vodka or cold water (start with only 3Tbs) and mix with a fork, adding only as much more cold water as you need to get the dough to hold together without being wet. A wet dough is a heavy dough and you don’t want that!

I then wrap the dough in cling wrap and leave on the counter for 30 minutes if it’s not too warm in the kitchen, or refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes if you think you worked it too much or the kitchen is warm.

Roll it out and into the pie pan and then … I’ve found that covering the crust with wrap again in the pan and putting it in the freezer while you work on other things, THEN filling the crust, is a great way to keep those fats nice and cold before baking. The steam that is generated from the fats melting in the oven is what causes most of the flakiness, so if you have lots of little balls of fat throughout the crust, as opposed to melty strands of fat, it creates more flakes. 

That being said, overcooking the crust can also make it tough, so brush the crust with egg or oil or milk to help it brown so you aren’t tempted to leave it in the oven too long, waiting for it to brown.

For even more pointers on making pie crusts, watch my video how-to or listen to my Blog Talk Radio show all about pie crusts. See below for step-by-step photos!

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Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

gluten free pie crust dough with gfJules Flour

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Ingredients

1 Gluten Free Pie Crust (double for 2-crust pie)

*vodka helps to further tenderize the pastry dough — the alcohol bakes off, leaving no flavor

Instructions

To Make the Dough:

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening and butter using a pastry cutter (or the flat paddle attachment on a stand mixer or a food processor). Add the vodka/water gradually to make the consistency you need to form a ball – err on the side of it being wetter rather than crumbly. Don’t over-work the dough, or it may become tough when baked. Form a disc with the dough, wrap in plastic and set aside on the counter for 30 minutes while you make your filling.

gluten free pie crust recipe - dough being rolled

Rolling the Dough:

After allowing the dough to rest, roll the pastry out onto a surface dusted well with gfJules™ All Purpose Gluten Free Flour.

Use a flexible pastry mat (e.g. Silpat) and rolling pin covers or a pie crust bag for rolling and transferring your gluten free crust easily.

Gently roll in each direction — do not press down on the pin while rolling —  to a circle with a diameter at least 1 inch larger than that of your pie pan.

gluten free pie crust recipe - how-to video

Click on the picture for this quick video on how to easily transfer a gluten free pie crust into the pan.

To Transfer the Crust:

1- Gently lift an edge of the rolled out crust over your rolling pin. 2 -With one hand under the baking mat, use the pin in the other hand to lift the crust so that it is supported by the rolling pin as you pull the crust gently off of the baking mat. 3- Transfer gently over the pie plate to center. 4- Drop gently into the plate and press in with floured fingers. 5- Pat into your pan.

gluten free pie crust recipe - dough being transferred to pie plate

For a One Crust Pie, cut the edges of the crust to an even length of approximately 1-inch larger than the diameter of your pie plate.

gluten free pie crust recipe - dough being formed before baking

Gently fold the edges under, then press with a fork or pinch into a fluted design between your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze while you make your fillings.

Fill with your desired filling.

For a Two-Crust Pie, double the ingredients and divide the doubled pie crust dough before setting aside. Shape each half into a disc and wrap each in plastic wrap. Repeat the rolling out steps for the first crust and cover with plastic wrap, then freeze for 30 minutes or while you prepare the fillings. Fill the pie and lay the second crust gently onto the top of the filled pie pan.

Cut off all but 1/2 – 1 inch of excess pie crust from around the edge of the pan. For fruit pies, cut small slits in the center of the top crust to allow the hot steam to escape. Brush the crust with egg wash or your milk of choice – this step helps it to brown nicely.

If there are any tears in your top crust, never fear! Simply take leftover crust and use decorative cookie cutters to cut out leaves, pumpkins, etc. Wet the backside of each cut-out with a dab of milk, then lay on top of any tears to cover the flaw.

gluten free pie crust recipe - crust with crust shields

Use pie crust shields to prevent crust edges from over-cooking. Available in the gfJules.com store.

Fold approximately 1/2 inch of excess pie crust over all around the edge to form the crust, then using your fingers, press a fluted design or use a fork to go around the crust to finish.

Your pie is now ready to bake or to freeze for later baking. For directions on how to freeze the pie dough and bake later, hop to my post on that method. To bake now, follow the instructions below.

Single-Crust: Preheat oven to 400º F (static). Brush the crust with egg wash or milk, then cover edges with foil or pie crust shields to minimize burning. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375º F (static) and bake an additional 20 minutes, remove the pie crust shields, and bake an additional 10 minutes, or follow directions for your specific pie recipe.

Double-Crust Pie: Preheat oven to 400º F (static). Brush the crust with egg wash or milk, then cover edges with foil or pie crust shields and bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 375º F (static), remove foil and brush again with egg wash or milk. Bake an additional 35-45 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling, or follow directions for your specific pie recipe. (Cover again with foil if the crust is browning too much during the bake).

Unfilled Pie Crust (Blind Bake): Cover crust in pie plate loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375º F (static).

Prick the bottom of pastry all over with tines of a fork. Cover the pastry with parchment paper and pour pie weights, dry rice or dried beans on top to cover 1 inch. Brush the crust edges with egg wash or milk, then cover crust edges with foil or pie crust shields. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bottom of the crust no longer looks raw.

Remove the parchment paper and weights. Return to bake for 6-8 minutes if filling with quiche, pumpkin or key lime type filling which will be baked further; for cream pies and refrigerated fillings, bake 10-15 minutes more. Don’t wait for the crust to turn brown before removing or it will have over-cooked. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling for refrigerated pies.

See full instructions at my post on baking a frozen pie crust.

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101 thoughts on “Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

    • Hi Mary, I don’t find that technique easy, as it pulls against the crust. I’ve never liked doing that myself, but if you like working with wax paper or plastic wrap, go for it!
      ~jules

  1. Since vodka is usually grain based ( weat, barley and rye) what vodka are you using that lists itself as gluten free?
    Thanks

    • Hi Laura, good question and I’m happy to help. Distilled grain alcohols including vodka, bourbon, whiskey, scotch, brandy, and gin ARE gluten free even though they are made with gluten containing grains. The distillation process actually removes the gluten from the end product, so unless the manufacturer adds gluten as a flavoring AFTER distillation, those liquors are indeed gluten free. If you prefer, you can always just use a potato vodka – there are several brands. Tito’s is one that markets itself as gluten free. Here’s more information on how, why and what alcohols are gluten free: https://gfjules.com/alcohol-gluten-free/
      ~jules

  2. Best pie crust I have ever made. Took 3 more Tbs. Vodka and two of water — my flour must have been dry. Thank you,

    • So glad you added more liquid if it was needed, Donald. And of course, SO happy you tried it and loved it!!
      ~jules

  3. Hi Jules,
    Your site is great and I can’t wait to try you all purpose flour. What are the ingredients in your flour? I found the ingredients when reading the gf kitchen article,but now I can’t find it.
    I have tried 3 different brands, so far. All with very disappointing results for pie crust. Pie crust are my goal. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Patricia

    • Oh I’m SO happy to hear that, Beth! THAT’s the way it’s supposed to be!!!!! So happy you’ll be baking pies from now on without anxiety!
      ~jules

    • Hi Jan, I would recommend just using 1-2 Tbs. white vinegar instead, if you don’t have the vodka. The rest, cold water. Let me know how that goes!
      ~jules

  4. Question….can I make the crust and add quiche ingredients and cook the next morning? Will the crust disintegrate because it is wet?

    Thanks