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!

One way many folks find it easy to roll out and transfer crusts is by using a pie crust bag.

Check out this video below.

 

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)

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!

Here’s a quick video of how to transfer a gluten free pie crust using a rolling pin and a silicone mat.

 

I also have a video showing how to use these mats and rolling pin covers for rolling out gluten-free 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!

 

Here are some videos showing the recipe in action

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

Ingredients

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

  • 1 cup (16 Tbs.) gfJules™ All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour (135 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tbs vegetable or palm shortening
  • 3 Tbs butter or non-dairy alternative ( e.g. Green Valley Organics® Lactose Free Butter or vegan Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
  • 2 Tbs vodka* + 2-4 Tbs cold water (OR 4-6 Tbs. cold water) (add more or less to get the dough to hold together but not be sticky)
  • egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbs. water) OR milk (dairy or non-dairy) for brushing on crust

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Pin it for later!

Homemade Gluten Free Pie Crust recipe and tutorial. Easily one of the most popular recipes at gfJules.com because it makes the world's best, tender, flaky pie crust

Homemade Gluten Free Pie Crust recipe and tutorial. Easily one of the most popular recipes at gfJules.com because it makes the world's best, tender & flaky pie crust

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131 thoughts on “Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Tips

  1. Sadly, we are no longer able to us your flour (hubby is feeling much better now that he is taking his allergy to corn as seriously as those to gluten, soy, nuts, etc.), but we sooo appreciate your recipes! Thank you, thank you for making them free to all! And, yes, to all those who are curious, the vodka really does help, even with a different GF flour. -sylvia.

    • oh! I forgot a few other tips we’ve discovered: We like to use lard in place of shortening (can’t do soy!), and when we haven’t had that, we’ve used unsalted butter. Finally, for others who aren’t able to use the fabulous GFJules flour, this might be useful to know: we found it easiest to skip the rolling step and just press the dough into the pan, with a lot of flour on the fingers. It makes for a nice “rustic” look. 🙂

      • Thanks for sharing your tips, Sylvia! I’m glad your hubby is feeling better now that all of his allergies are being considered. I wish happy baking to you all!
        ~jules

    • I have an allergy to corn and wheat, also. It is difficult to find good crackers, breads, etc. I found a cracker ” Harvest Stone” with chickpea flour that is delicious. It is at Costco.

  2. I am a first timer, about to make an apple pie, using your all purpose GF Flour.. I just finished making the dough. Can I hold off on making the pie? I want it to be fresh so will put the filling in the crust tomorrow morning.
    I did double the recipe and have the discs in plastic wrap. Should I refrigerate it overnight or just leave it on the counter?

    • Hi Tonja, if you have time, I would roll out the bottom crust and put it in the pan, then freeze it according to these directions. If you don’t have time (and either way, for the top crust) put in the fridge (wrapped well) overnight and then allow to come closer to room temp before rolling so it’s not so hard. Enjoy that pie!
      ~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

  3. 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

      • So any vodka is ok or does it need to be potato vodka. I have seen different comments as to whether normal vodka processing removes gluten or not.

        • Hi Cindy, distilled alcohols like vodka ARE gluten free. The only exception would be if a manufacturer went back after distillation and added more grain for flavoring. Many alcohol distillers are starting to even label their products gluten free, but know that distillation means that gluten is not in the final product. Here’s more information: http://gfjulesnew.wpengine.com/alcohol-gluten-free/
          Buying potato vodka is also a great option, but it’s not required. (great question though!!). Hope my article explains it further. Enjoy the recipe!
          ~jules

          • Hi Lisa, if you take a look at this article on gluten free alcohol, you’ll see all about distillation and the process which removes gluten from the end product, even if it was made with wheat.
            I hope that helps explain it, but of course feel free to just use potato vodka if you still have concerns.
            ~jules

  4. 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

  5. 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. 🙂 

  6. 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

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

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

  9. 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!!

  10. 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

  11. 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!

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

  13. 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