Gluten Free Pie Crust

someone serving a slice of gluten free apple pie

Pie crust is an ever-elusive art, and finding a gluten free pie crust that even comes close to flaky can be a daunting task! For the past seven years, I’ve been attempting to crack the code, and I’m happy to announce that this recipe is finally ready!

I have to admit I’m a bit of a pie snob. I spent a lot of Thanksgivings at my aunt’s house where she made more pies than there were people. Every year it seemed she was tweaking her pie crust recipe, trying to find the perfect one, and it seemed like every year the crusts just keep getting flakier and tastier.

Of course, her pies were made with regular wheat flour, so I watched and listened to her techniques so I could apply them to a gluten free crust to make one that is flaky, tender, and, well, perfect.

fail proof gluten free pie

How to Make a FLAKY Gluten Free Pie Crust

  • Flour matters. Gluten free flour blends are all different, so I suggest using a high-quality blend that you have had success with in other finicky recipes like cookies or rolls. I used Better Batter all-purpose gluten free flour when testing this recipe, as it is my favorite 1:1 blend so plan on using it if you want guaranteed results. update: Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 (not the bean-based flour) works great with this recipe as well. I still prefer Better Batter, but either will turn out great!
  • Don’t over-mix. You should have bits of butter in varying sizes throughout the dough. This is what creates pockets of air and makes the pie crust flaky.
  • Use cold butter and refrigerate the dough. Starting with cold butter means the butter will melt while baking, creating that tender and flaky crust you’re going for!
  • Get a pie crust bag. This is one of my favorite kitchen tools! It makes it so easy to roll out pie crust without all the mess and hassle. I also use my pie crust bag for making gluten free crescent rolls.

Make a Single or Double-Crust Pie

This recipe makes a 2 pie crusts, enough for 2 single-crust pies or 1 double-crust pie.

You can use this pie crust in any recipe that calls for pie crust. Keep in mind that I have only baked this pie crust at 375 degrees and don’t know how it will perform at other temperatures, though I’m confident it will do well.

One tip I love to share: if you’re going to be making a chocolate cream pie, sprinkle a handful of milk chocolate chips on the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Allow the chocolate chips to melt, then use a pastry brush to spread them into a layer of chocolate on the bottom and up the sides. Cool completely and allow the chocolate to harden before filling with chocolate pudding – this will create a barrier that will keep the crust from getting soggy, and add another element of flavor and texture to your pie!

I recommend milk chocolate chips, if you use a darker variety the chocolate layer will be harder to cut through.

Can I Make this Pie Crust Dairy Free?

Using 3 different types of fat in the recipe is what gives this crust lift and flakiness. I do plan to test a dairy free version using only shortening, I’ll be sure to update this post when I do!

How to Make Gluten Free Pie Crust

Start with a few basic ingredients. This recipe might call for a few things you don’t normally see in a pie crust recipe (like baking powder), and that’s what makes it work!

I love this recipe because you don’t have to mix the ingredients with a pastry blender or by hand – you can use your stand mixer!

Feel free to use a hand mixer if you don’t have one.

Briefly cream the fats together – you’ll want to have pieces of cold butter throughout so don’t over mix.

Next, add salt, instant dry milk, sugar, baking powder, and part of the flour. Use the lowest setting of your stand mixer to stir it together.

Add remaining flour and ice cold water (this is key!), and stir together just until combined. You can see from the picture that the dough will be a little chunky and not a smooth, uniform dough like cookie dough.

The dough should be wet though, not dry as you’re handling it.

Divide dough into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat your oven, and roll out the pie crust – I love using a pie crust bag for this step and link to my favorite in the recipe below. They are inexpensive and make pie making so much easier!

You can now bake just one crust, or make a double-crust pie.

Brushing the pie crust with an egg wash before baking is optional, but it will give your pie a beautiful, golden-brown finish and perfectly crisp texture so I strongly recommend it!

If you can’t have eggs, you can use cream instead.

Finally, sprinkling any double crusted pie with a little sparkling sugar before baking gives it a beautiful finishing touch!

Of course, there are SO MANY things you can do with pie crust! I plan to make hand pies, chicken pot pie, and allll the sweet pies for Thanksgiving and the holidays.

MAKING THIS RECIPE??? We would love to see what you create with pie crust!

snap a photo, and tag @LifeAfterWheat on social media – we love seeing what you make!

Yield: 2 Pie Crusts

Gluten Free Pie Crust

Gluten Free Pie Crust

FINALLY, a gluten free pie crust that is Tender, Flaky, & doesn't fall apart! I'll walk you through this easy, fail-proof recipe for the perfect pie crust!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In bowl of stand mixer (see notes for other options), combine cold butter and shortenings. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. It should be fairly creamy with pieces of butter throughout.
  2. Add sugar, baking powder, salt, dry milk, and 1 1/2 cups flour (see notes for measuring tips!) and stir (I use stir speed on Kitchen Aid stand mixer) for 10 seconds.
  3. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups gluten free flour and 2/3 cup ice cold water (see notes) and mix just until combined. Don't expect the dough to be smooth and solid like cookie dough, it should be a little choppy because you don't want to over-mix it. See the step-by-step pictures in the post for reference. If the dough seems too dry, add a tablespoon of water.
  4. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap and pat half the dough together into a ball, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Repeat with the other half and refrigerate the dough for 30-60 minutes.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Remove one disc of dough and roll it out into a circle larger than your pie plate (I use a 14" pie crust bag for this) You'll want to dust your surface with gluten free flour, but just a little - 1 tablespoon ought to do.
  7. Invert pie crust onto pie plate and poke with a fork 2-3 times.
  8. Whisk egg and brush onto pie crust. You won't need much of the egg, but brushing a little on will give your crust a beautiful, golden color and crispy edges.
  9. Bake single pie crust for 14-17 minutes.
  10. For double-crust pie, fill with desired filling, roll out second disc and invert onto top of pie. Seal and flute the edges, cut a few slits to release steam, then brush the top with egg wash. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar or regular white sugar, and bake according to recipe directions, usually 50-60 minutes.

Notes

  • Flour matters. Gluten free flour blends are all different, so I suggest using a high-quality blend that you have had success with in other finicky recipes like cookies or rolls. I prefer Better Batter all-purpose gluten free flour when making this recipe, but Bob's Red Mill 1:1 (not the bean-based) works great as well!
  • To measure flour: Stir the flour, scoop into measuring cup, and level off with the flat side of a knife. This will ensure you aren't adding too much flour to the recipe.
  • Don't over-mix. You should have bits of butter in varying sizes throughout the dough. This is what creates pockets of air and makes the pie crust flaky.
  • Use cold butter and refrigerate the dough. Starting with cold butter means the butter will melt while baking, creating that tender and flaky crust you're going for! You only need to refrigerate the dough for 30-60 minutes.
  • Get a pie crust bag. This is one of my favorite kitchen tools! It makes it so easy to roll out pie crust without all the mess and hassle. I also use my pie crust bag for making gluten free crescent rolls.
  • You can make pie crust ahead of time. To make pie crust ahead of time, prepare the dough as directed and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge up to 2 days, and let sit at room temp for 10-20 minutes before rolling out so it will be easier to handle.
  • If you don't have a stand mixer, you can use a large bowl and hand mixer. You can also use a wooden spoon (or other sturdy spoon) to cream the butter and the do the rest by hand.
  • Use ice water. Add a handful of ice cubes to about a cup of water, let it sit for a few minutes so the water gets nice and cold, then measure your 2/3 cup from there.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jen
    November 8, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    This is a must-make for Thanksgiving!

    • Reply
      thereislifeafterwheat@gmail.com
      November 13, 2019 at 12:50 pm

      Yes!

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