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Gluten Free Pie Crust

When my parents were married, my dad gave my mom a jewelry box with an inscription on the inside. It said, “A Pie a Week Keeps the Husband Sweet.” Needless to say, after more than 40 years of marriage, mom became an expert pie maker. I spent years baking with mom to learn her craft. Those special times created lasting memories, and prepared me for the challenge of creating the best gluten-free pie crust.

This flaky gluten-free pie crust recipe is tried and true. It’s been tested in my household countless times and is loved by all of my readers.

I think what amazes people most, is how light and buttery this gluten-free pastry recipe tastes, even though it’s made without top allergens. Each tender bite is deliciously egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, corn-free, optionally dairy-free, and even nightshade-free!

How to Make the Best Gluten-Free Pie Crust (Vegan Friendly)

This recipe might appear fairly simple, but I would be remiss if I didn’t share some tips. Making gluten-free pie crust is an art and a delicate science, particularly when special diets come into play.

Let Each Gluten-Free Pie be Unique

Before you get started, keep in mind that pie crust doesn’t necessarily have to look good, it just has to taste good. If you look closely at the pastries in local bakeries, you can even see how seasoned bakers make folds to hide imperfections. Or they might embrace a “rustic” theme, since it adds character and comforting homemade appeal. Pie crust pros know it’s how they prepare the dough that matters most, which can mean spending less time on appearances.

Keep Contact to a Minimum

Truthfully, gluten-free pastry dough is a bit more forgiving than wheat-based pastry dough. Since there isn’t any gluten, it doesn’t become tough when worked a little too much. But it can lose some of its flakiness if kneaded or re-rolled too many times. As you work the dough, the fat melts and becomes more thoroughly dispersed. This can lead to a relatively uniform pastry without as many light layers.

Cool is the Rule

I use organic non-hydrogentated shortening, which is dairy-free and solid at room temperature. (Cold unsalted butter can be used if you are okay with dairy.) Once the shortening has been blended with the flour, it makes coarse crumbs. Adding cold water as needed keeps some of the fat pieces from melting and blending into the vegan pastry dough before baking. You might see some marbling in the dough. These little fat pockets are what makes this a flaky gluten-free pie crust, so they’re important!

Consistency is Key with Gluten-Free Pastry

You’ll notice that I use a range for the amount of water in the ingredients. How much you need can vary by climate, or simply how much moisture your flour decides to absorb that day! What’s most important is how the dough feels.

I add just enough water for the crust to come together. If the dough isn’t easily coming together into a ball, then I add a little more water. You don’t need to stick to the exact range of water listed – just trust the texture. When you handle the dough it should be soft, pliable, and just a touch on the moist side.

Don’t Get Stuck when Rolling Gluten-Free Pie Crust Dough

I place my lightly floured disk of gluten free dough on a piece of floured parchment paper. Use a good dusting of flour and parchment for extra insurance. You can roll the dough out, using more flour as you go to prevent sticking, or place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and roll it out between the two parchment sheets.

Don’t worry too much about the edges, but try to make sure the gluten-free pastry dough is rolled out to a relatively even thickness so the gluten-free dairy-free pie crust bakes evenly. The last thing you want is a crust that’s doughy in some areas and too crispy in others!

Move Your Gluten-Free Pie Crust with Care

Once the dough is rolled out, you have two options for transferring it. After you peel off the top sheet of parchment (if used), you can use the bottom sheet of parchment to help invert the pie crust over top of the pie plate. Just make sure you say a little prayer first!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Maple Pumpkin Pie

It’s Okay to Make Repairs

Once in a while, tears in the gluten-free pastry dough will happen. It’s just a fact of pie making. If it’s a small tear or just a piece that stuck to your rolling pin, go ahead and patch it up. But if it’s a large tear or a complete demolition, don’t be afraid to re-roll the dough. One or two re-rolls shouldn’t affect the flakiness too much. If you’re concerned, you can refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes to keep the fat in the dough cool before re-rolling.

Consider a Pie Crust Maker Bag

It isn’t essential, but a pie crust maker bag is wonderful for frequent gluten-free pie bakers. It’s an inexpensive (about $5 to $7) circular zippered bag that you can roll your pie crust between. The bag takes the place of parchment paper, is reusable, and it helps to roll out and transfer the dough like a dream.

I use a pie crust maker bag in the video below to roll out my gluten-free pie crust. As you can see, I keep the dough floured so that it doesn’t stick to the inside of the bag. My Facebook readers found this video very helpful, so I hope you will too! You can buy the pie crust bag HERE.

Gluten-Free Pie Crust Substitutions

As mentioned above, making flaky gluten-free pastry is truly part science. It’s taken me years to find the right ingredients and to perfect the ratios. I’m happy to aid in suggestions if you must make a swap. But if you substitute another flour or ingredient for one listed, I can’t guarantee the end result of your gluten-free vegan pie crust.

How To Make Gluten-Free Pie Crust

  • Mix together the dry ingredients. 
  • Cut in the shortening. 
  • Add the vinegar and water, and stir gently until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
  • Roll the dough.
  • Ease the dough into a pie plate. 
  • Flute the edges. 
  • Fill and bake as desired.

 

overhead gluten free pop tarts

Sweet & irresistible gluten free pop tarts

Gluten-Free Pie Recipes using this Gluten-Free Pastry

This gluten-free pie crust works well as a top or bottom crust, so it can be used for almost any type of pie. Because I don’t add sugar, it can even be used in savory recipes, like pot pie or quiche. But I tend to bake dessert most often with this vegan gluten-free pie crust. It works great in these recipes:

Gluten-Free Pecan Pie (My dad’s favorite!)

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie

Gluten-Free Vegan Apple Pie Recipe*

Vegan Gluten-Free Cherry Pie*

Gluten-Free Vegan Pop Tarts

Gluten-Free Quiche

*Double this Vegan Pie Crust Recipe to make a top and bottom crust.

I hope you and your family enjoy this gf pie crust as much as mine does! And if you’re looking for other gluten-free vegan recipes, you might try my Paleo Pecan Pie Bars.
xo,
Mēgan

 

Gluten-Free Pie Crust Recipe: 

prepared raw gluten-free pie crust sitting on top of marble pastry board waiting to be filled

Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Yield: one single pie crust pastry
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This Gluten Free Pie Crust recipe took me years of recipe testing to get just right. It is tried and true, and loved by all of my readers. It’s the perfect vessel for any pie filling you can imagine. And while it doesn’t contain any dairy, you won’t believe how “buttery-like” it is!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot starch (or tapioca starch)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cold palm shortening (or butter or vegan butter)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3-5 tablespoons cold water

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, millet flour, arrowroot starch, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, and sea salt.
  2. Cut in the palm shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add the apple cider vinegar and water, and stir gently until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
  4. To roll the dough, lay a piece of parchment paper on a work surface and lightly sprinkle with flour. Place the disk of dough in the middle of the parchment paper, sprinkle the disk with flour, and roll the dough into an 11-12 inch round starting from the middle and working out towards the edges. Keep sprinkling the dough with flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.
  5. Using your rolling pin (as pictured above) to aid in moving the dough, carefully ease the crust into a 9 inch pie plate. Or use the bottom layer of parchment paper to invert the entire pie crust over the top of the pie plate (say a little prayer) and gently peel off the parchment paper. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie pan (if there are any tears in the crust, simply wet your fingers and try to smooth them out as best as you can).
  6. Trim down the edges of the pie crust leaving about 1/2 an inch of excess dough. Fold the excess dough underneath and crimp the edges.
  7. Fill and bake as desired.

Notes

I find it convenient to use a 14"pie crust bag to roll out my crust. A pie crust bag is a clean, flat plastic bag that zips around the edges. You simply dust the inside of the bag with flour, and then roll out the dough between the layers. It makes transferring the dough to the pie pan a breeze. Normally you can find these at your local kitchen store or online.

Temperature, altitude and humidity will affect pie crust dough. If you find the crust difficult to roll out and you think it’s too dry, simply throw it in a food processor (or your mixer), add 1 tablespoon of cold water, and pulse 3-5 times. Check the dough. If you think it will hold together and roll out properly – great! If not, continue to add more cold water, teaspoon by teaspoon until the dough comes back together.

While this crust has superb flavor and texture, because it is gluten-free, it doesn't have the bend to it that a gluten-filled crust would have. So making a lattice weave isn't possible. If you want a lattice-like design on the top of your pie, simply cut strips of pie crust pastry, and then carefully lay the strips down in a criss-cross pattern without weaving them. Attempting to weave your pie crust strips will most likely result in them breaking.

To prebake the crust without filling: Preheat oven to 375°F and prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust bottom with coffee filters or parchment paper and fill with a single layer of dried beans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pie crust begins to change color around the edges. Remove the coffee filter or parchment paper and then beans. Bake for an additional 5-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Cool completely before filling.

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Did you make this gf pie crust recipe? If you did, please consider coming back and leaving an honest review! 

pinterest pin with raw gluten free pie crust in pie plate on marble background. Text says "the best gluten free pie crust"

 

 

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Amber Boney

Sunday 14th of February 2021

This sound amazing! I like using Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 flour because I don't have to buy so many different flours. Will it work in this recipe? How much should I use? Thanks

Mēgan

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Hi Amber, In this particular recipe, I wouldn't recommend using Bob's 1 to 1 blend. It contains high amounts of rice flour, which tends to lend a gummy texture.

Sue

Saturday 6th of February 2021

Will the recipe ingredients be enough to make apple pie crust? Top and bottom? It looks really good and I’m thinking to make it today. Thanks

Mēgan

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Hi Sue, You'll need to double the recipe if you want enough for a top and bottom crust.

Nancy

Thursday 17th of December 2020

Megan, Over the past year my body has developed a sensitivity to tree nuts and coconut, two of my favorite foods, unfortunately! The almond flour/tapioca crust I developed back in 2016 was now off the table. I have tried a number of crust recipes since then and was disappointed with each one. I ordered the correct flours before attempting your recipe. I didn't want it to fail due to the use of a substitution. I used unsalted grass-fed butter as the fat. Bottom line, this was a wonderful, flaky crust and a big hit. Thanks!

Mēgan

Thursday 24th of December 2020

So happy to hear that, Nancy! Thank you for sharing!

Jen

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

I made this crust and it was indeed wonderful! The texture was fantastic--flakey yet sturdy. It broke a little during rolling and transferring (despite using a pie bag), but way, way less than any other GF pie crust I've tried. I made it with all butter so that may have had something to do with it. However, there was a touch of bitterness in the flavor. Is this normal? Or could one of my ingredients be a bit off? All my flours smelled fine but I wondered if something could have been old and made it taste a little bitter? I'll definitely be back to try again, though! Thanks for a great recipe!

Mēgan

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

Hi Jen, so happy you enjoyed the recipe! Occasionally, I'll get a bag of flour that doesn't smell rancid, but still gives off a bitter aftertaste. It's really strange - and I've experienced it with sorghum, millet, and brown rice flour - it's never just been one flour I've had that experience with.

cynthia

Saturday 1st of August 2020

hi last winter i got tired of my son's complaints about the crust i put on his chicken pot pies. he knows that i have been removing gluten from his diet as both I & my spouse, his dad are gluten free. trying to keep a clean kitchen. i had been randomly throwing crusts together, depending upon what was in the pantry. i didnt want to reinvent the wheel. i tend to read a lot of recipes & adapt if i have to. i am a food scientist. so i took 6 recipes for gf pie crust & made them side by side including your recipe. tried picking recipes having a variety of ingredients for comparison. 3 were objectionable (don't care for garbanzo beans as in bob's red mill). America's Test Kitchen was passable, but nothing to jump and down about (their gf recipes are so rice flour dependent). yours was number one with a close second by GF Girl (i am a fan of hers. great explanations). we thought yours was perfect. texture, tenderness, flavor, browning, color. definite keeper just as it is.

Mēgan

Monday 10th of August 2020

Your comment made my day, Cynthia! Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know that! Really appreciate it!