Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

Gluten free pie crust isn’t difficult to make when you use the right ingredients and follow some easy how-to steps. And I’m here to give you all the tips and tricks!

Just look at this gorgeous, flaky pie crust. It’s within reach, and YOU can make it!

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

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

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.

secret pie crust ingredient

Consult with 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.

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!

Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

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Ingredients:

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

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

Method:

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.

rolling gluten free pie crust 1

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.

Pie Crust 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.

pie crust rolling

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 dough with gfJules Flour

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.

pie crust shields - gfJules.com

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.

 

75 thoughts on “Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

    • I’m so excited for you to have the flour and the recipe ready to go! Please let me know how you like it, and I hope you have a wonderfully happy Thanksgiving!!!
      ~jules

    • Can you use Glee in place of the lactose free butter? I just ordered you starter set a few days ago and want to do this crust for pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to receive my order.

      • Hi Alison – I think ghee would be great here! Enjoy that Starter Pack — it’s got some great goodies inside!!! Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!
        ~jules

    • Honestly Sue, I think it would be fine! I’ve used bourbon instead and it works too — the principles (and the alcohol) work the same. Let me know how it goes!
      ~jules

  1. Use the vodka in the pie crust recipe, even if it means a trip to the liquor store! I made one without it and while it was fine and tasted great, it was a little difficult to work with. The one I made with vodka was amazing and so much more pliable! And delicious, of course, with absolutely no taste of alcohol. My gluten eating extended family had no idea it was GF because it was tasty and light. Not until they saw my celiac daughter eating it did they realize!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with the crust recipe, Mandy. Sometimes subtle ingredients make a huge difference! Congrats on the crust everybody loved!
      ~jules

  2. I just found your site, and this recipe, because my husband has developed an intolerance to gluten and he absolutely LOVES pie. My only problem with your recipe is the vodka. I will not have an open bottle of it in my home because my husband is also a 30+ yr recovering alcoholic. My usual pie recipe uses vinegar, would that be a good substitute for the vodka?

    • Hi Claire, I know you and your hubbie are going to love this recipe. Pie crusts made with my flour are so easy to work with and turn out light and flakey — so good! To replace the vodka, you could use white vinegar if you’re used to using that, or just use more cold water.
      Let me know how it turns out for you!
      ~jules

  3. Absolutely Awesome!!
    My mom always makes the most amazing pies. When we were diagnosed with Celiac her flaky pie crusts were something I truly missed. Many attempts at crusts left me with sad rubbery, tough crusts. Our house has gone years without pies! The other day I had apples that needed to be used so I decided to give your recipe a go. I admit I was a bit perplexed seeing vodka in the recipe. But it rolled out easily on parchment paper and tears were easily mended. All I can say is that we had one very have happy family! My husband said “This is the best crust you have ever made!” I look forward to making pot-pies again. 🙂 

  4. The best GF crust I’ve ever tried! I have tried a lot of GF pie crust recipes over the last 15+ years and none of them tasted very good or had a good texture. I resorted to buying a pre-made crust which was ok. Now that I’ve tried this recipe, I will use it exclusively! Light and flaky! Thank you!!!

    • So happy you love it to, Janelle!!! It’s a no-fail crust option that I use all the time for pies and even pot pies! Grandma is always right! 🙂
      ~jules

    • Hi – yes you can certainly use gluten-free beer in place of water. It will add a different flavor to the pastry, but should be yummy!
      ~jules

  5. Pingback: Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips – EAT

  6. I like your ideas about baking pies, etc. I would like to order some products from you. Please give me your website. Thanks. 💖

  7. I would like to make your crust for our pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I don’t have your gluten free flour mix though. I have Pillsbury Gluten free blend and hoping Pamela’s Gluten Free flour is arriving in the mail today. Could I sub either of those for yours? Thank you!!

    • Hi Stefanie, I’m not familiar with either of those blends to know whether they would work. I would think that the crust would still taste good, even if it lacked the stretch from my flour that makes it easy to transfer into the pan. If you’re making a one-crust pie like pumpkin, it won’t matter if the crust falls apart because it will be covered by the filling! Use some cookie cutters to cut small decorative shapes to arrange around the outside of pie crust to make it pretty, even if it’s not as easy to flute or make an even edge. If you’re using a top crust too (like apple pie) then I would cut tons of shapes out of the dough and layer them on the top so you don’t have to worry about whether the crust will hold together to transfer. It’ll be beautiful that way. Wishing you lots of luck!
      ~jules

      • Just seeing your reply. The crust was hard to work with, meaning it kept falling apart, and wasn’t the prettiest. BUT it was definitely the best gf pie crust I have had. Definitely a keeper for me and at some point I will try to purchase your flour. The last time I looked I think you were out of stock. Thanks for a great/easy recipe!!

  8. I live in a mountain state in the US and has to use about double the liquid to get the dough to form a ball. Just an FYI for fellow high altitude, low-humidity bakers.

    • Thanks for adding that info, Jennifer! Humidity does have an affect on gluten-free baking, just as it does on wheat flour baking. And altitude adjustments sometimes need to be made as well. Good to know this recipe worked for you at altitude by adding extra liquid!
      ~jules

  9. Does your gf flour mix contain any nuts? My kids are allergic to diary, gluten, peanut and all tree nuts. I would really like to try this pie crust recipe. Thanks

    • Hi Jeff: All gfJules products are free of the Top 8 food allergens, so NO nuts, no dairy, and certainly no gluten. We’re excited for you to try our products. We know you’re going to love them!

  10. Pingback: Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips – itsallaboutdisease

  11. Hey! My husband is allergic to gluten and he would love if I could make pie! Unfortunately he cannot have your flour blend as it has rice flour and he is also allergic to rice. However we have a GF flour mix he can have I just need to add the Xanthan Gum. How much would you recommend we add to this recipe?! Thanks so much!!
    Erin

  12. I need to follow your technique next time! I make pies so rarely that I definitely don’t have the process down smoothly!

    • It can feel daunting to launch into making a homemade crust, but it’s really so easy that once you make one again and refresh the steps, you’ll remember just how easy it is and you’ll be a pie making machine, Michelle!!!
      ~jules

  13. After a disastrous attempt at a pie crust a few years ago, I was ready to try again. Thanks so much Jules for this recipe. I think the combination of vodka and water as well as the egg wash for browning made all the difference in the world. My non GF family members deemed my Thanksgiving apple pie a success! Please keep doing what you do to make baking fun for all of us ;)!

  14. Pingback: Weekly Gluten-Free Menu Plan -- Thanksgiving Pie

  15. can i make your crust in advance, fill the pie shell, and then freeze or refrigerate the uncooked shell for a few weeks (or in this case, just until Thursday)?

  16. Just discovered your recipes and very interested …. new to the gf world. Is your flour available in Canada (live just north of Toronto in Ontario). My results with the flours (specifically Robin Hood) here have been less than stellar.

  17. Pingback: Gluten Free Mistakes - gfJules

  18. I have Celiac Dis-ease and have used your flour since my diagnosis. I get many compliments on my cooking….especially my crepes made with your flour. However, I was having a really hard time with pies. The crust simply fell apart. I tried the vodka trick you suggested and your pie crust recipe and the crust turned out beautifully. It was flakey and delicious and our little family of four at the entire pie in one sitting! Next on my to do list – buy your pie kit! Thank you, Jane Taylor Hardy

    • I commend you for not giving up, Jane! Delicious pies are back on the table – way to go! Thanks so much for letting me know these tricks and my flour worked for you!
      Happy Pie Baking!
      ~jules

  19. Hello Jules, I’ve been checking out all of your work and was going to order your GF Flour however, I am allergic SEVERELY allergic to Xanthan Gum. And upon reading your recipe for pie crust…saw Xanthan Gum listed as an ingredient. Is this accurate?

    Thank you,
    Claudia Estrada

    • Hi Claudia, yes, xanthan gum is in my flour mixture so I can’t recommend it for you. I’m sorry you won’t be able to try my flour blend, but stay tuned because I’m always creating new things! And enjoy my recipes in the meantime. All the best to you! ~jules

  20. I made a chicken pot pie last night using your pie crust recipe and flour. We tried rolling it out, but it fell apart. So we ended up putting it in the pie pan and spreading it out with our fingers. We went ahead and did our best rolling out the top crust, and ended up having to piece it together over the filling. Do you think that happened because we didn’t use enough vodka and water? Also it was really salty (which was okay for the chicken pot pie beings that I tried a new recipe for the filling and it didn’t have enough seasoning). Could we decrease the amount of salt and still have a good crust? Other than that, we liked that the texture and flavor was so much like a regular pie crust. Thank you so much for having such great gluten free flour. You really have helped our transition into the gluten free life so much easier.

    • I just used your pie crust bag to roll out the crust. First 1 kept breaking. Top crust, I added a bit more water to and it worked much better. Can’t wait to taste it!

  21. I love to make pies & homemade crust. I’m finding whether I use shortening or like this time, I used lard, they still want to crumble on me. I like to roll them on the thin side(especially the top crust) but I’m having to make these a little thicker. Even w/little handling they’re tough. (I also used water+vodka)

    • Hi Joel, my Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour contains no sugar, nor does my GF Cake Mix (add your own sweetener of choice). Hope that helps!

  22. Jules,

    another question- in your video for the pie crust you said that you used warm water. However, your recipe calls for cold water. Does it make a difference?

    Thanks

    • Hi Kim – yes, that was an early video where I was using warm water but I’ve found that using cold water (and cold water + vodka is even better!) works better to keep the crust flakier. :)

  23. Hi Jules,

    I attempted to make empanadas using the pie crust recipe and they are almost a success. My question is, how do I make the crust a little less flaky and dry. They crust came out perfect for a pie, but I want to make turnovers and empanadas.

    Thanks!!!!
    P.S. Happy Birthday

    • Hi Kim – I’m so glad that you are experimenting and having success with the crust recipe for empanadas! To modify it and make it less flaky, I would suggest adding more butter or shortening. Did you use the vodka + water trick or just water when you made it? Oh and thanks so much for the birthday wishes! :)

  24. Is any Gluten Free Flour ok for the recipe? Because here (Poland) i don’t think i could buy Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour.

    • Hi – unfortunately we don’t ship our flour to Poland at this time. As a substitute, you could make your own AP flour blend that has more starches than whole grains in order to get the proportions right. You don’t want to use any bean flours or other GF flours with distinctive tastes or grit – that would ruin your crust! :)

  25. Looking at recipe that 5T butter, is that correct. If so do you cut it in all at once. Did you ever consider coming to Columbus Oh for classes

    • Hi Marilyn, yes, you cut in the 5 Tablespoons of butter and/or shortening at the same time. And actually, I have been to Columbus to teach! It was about 4 years ago when I spoke at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital for their celiac conference. I’d love to get back again, though! :)

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