Gluten-Free Pie Crust

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on March 16, 2010

If you dig back into the depths of my archives, you’ll find a couple of pie crust recipes.  None were mine, they were just ones that I had used.  You see, in the couple of years before my diagnosis, I had become a pie girl.  My lovely aunt taught me the proper way to make a pie crust, and since I have constantly cold hands (which baking is the only place where that is an advantage!), I loved being able to throw a crust together.  The filling wasn’t always glamorous.  There were many packaged pie fillings, often lemon meringue, with the occasional key lime and pumpkin of course in the fall.  It was always something I loved. Therefore, it became something I missed.

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When it came to playing with my own crusts, I had one.  It was great raw.  A fantastic flavour.  But when baked, it was a little tough and had that rice flour texture.  So I played some more.  This one is better.  Flakey, yummy, and how a pie crust should be.  It did shrink a tad, but hey, I didn’t hear any complaints.  In fact, for the most part, I didn’t hear a thing besides the tapping of forks on the plate and muted sound of teeth pulverizing pie.  That’s when silence is good.

Don’t worry though, the pie fillings that led to the fork tapping and teeth touching will be up on here soon.  But first, I present my pie crust.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

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I made these pie crusts for Pi Day (3/14).  This one has the fancy rim.  It was filled with the extravagant filling.  The other one opted for a more subtle approach to match its pie crust.

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Simple or not, I love that you can casually see the bubbles just about the push through.  Those are the flakey spots.  Its flakey enough that a few crumbs escape without the entire structure caving in.  In fact, it was pretty stable!
Pie is one of the most magnificent yet simple things in my opinion.  It suits all tastes, with crusts of any kind, and fillings with an even wider range.  After all, one can bake Lemon Cheesecake Brownie Pie.  Or a fruit pie.  Or one of the super special ones that I have for you soon.  But I promise to not leave you hanging too long.  I really do.
Hope you all had a fantastic Pi Day yesterday!  Did you have any pie?  If so, what kind?
xoxo

Lauren

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne March 16, 2010 at 4:09 am

Your crust looks great! I l-o-v-e ground nuts in pastry. Can't wait to see what you used as a filling. :)

Juliana March 16, 2010 at 4:58 am

Lauren, your crust looks yummie…like the idea of using tapioca flour and the almond meal…must taste great!

Aubree Cherie March 16, 2010 at 11:42 am

This crust looks perfect! I've not had much success yet with GF pie crust. I'd love to try yours! I did have a question though. Do you think it would turn out if I used oil to substitute the butter? (Being dairy free is probably the main reason I've not had much luck with crust yet!)

Thanks for another great post! ~Aubree Cherie

gfe--gluten free easily March 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Terrific pie crust, Lauren! I'm still avoiding rolled pie crusts, but this one might change my mind. ;-) I know the almond meal makes it taste wonderful. Next year, I'll be on the ball (dough ball?) for Pi day … and Nutella day, and more. LOL

Re: cold hands, you might want to get your thyroid checked. Cold hands are often a sign of hypothyroidism.

Hugs,
Shirley

Trish March 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm

What a great recipe. Yummers. Last week was pie day…3:14 etc….at work but we did not have any GF pies or any such homemade crusts at all come to think of it! Yep,….I am going to blame my inability to make crusts on my warm hands.! Will be back to see what filling you used.

Lauren March 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

@Aubree Cherie – Substituting Oil would completely change the crust, as those little air pockets are from the butter steaming. If you were to make it dairy-free, I would try a solid butter substitute. I hope this helps!

@gfe–gluten free easily – I do have hypothyroidism. Now that I think about it, my hands have gotten warmer since I've been on the meds though!

Simply...Gluten-free March 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Your crust looks fabulous! Happy pie eating :)

Jenn/CinnamonQuill March 16, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Wonderful work! These crusts look exceptional. I cannot *wait* to hear about the fillings!

I Am Gluten Free March 16, 2010 at 3:26 pm

This looks wonderful Lauren. I can't wait for your next installment. There is a next installment, right? I'm eager to see a finished pie complete with yummy filling!

Great job – the crust looks beautiful, especially with the fork tine markings. You go girl!

Ellen
http://www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com

Iris March 16, 2010 at 10:45 pm

I love that this uses really simple ingredients. Will definitely try this!

Valérie March 17, 2010 at 2:36 am

It looks so flakey and light! Looks like you've got yourself a keeper!

Cheryl Arkison March 17, 2010 at 6:01 am

I love your artful fork pricks!

Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free March 17, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I love your pie crust, Lauren!! Sounds like you had a wonderful teacher. I agree with Iris – simplicity is best.

jacobithegreat March 17, 2010 at 11:51 pm

yay I can't wait to try this! Whenever I can get back in the kitchen…

Cathy @ ShowFoodChef March 18, 2010 at 2:37 am

Your pie crust looks so flaky and fab. I've been working on one with coconut flour, but I bet the almond flour is so tasty! A bit colder hands are good for making chocolate stuff, too.

smilinggreenmom March 22, 2010 at 11:18 am

This looks wonderful! I would love to try it using Kamut Khorasan Wheat flour though! I read that some people with gluten intolerance can actually eat Kamut because it is an ancient grain. Totally different than today's wheat. Anyway – I almost bought Xanthan gum yesterday at the store but I was too shocked at the price…guess I may just have to get it! Thank you for the recipe :)

Lauren March 23, 2010 at 1:30 am

@smilinggreenmom Kamut that it is not okay for those of us with celiac disease. Kamut does contain gluten as it is a form or wheat.

Yes, xanthan gum is expensive, but you only use small amounts, so it isn't so bad =D.

Mary March 24, 2010 at 1:53 am

Great looking pie crust! I made a sugar pie for Pi day:)

Chelsey March 24, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I made the pie crust!!! It's grrreeeat. Flaky with some textural interest (the almond meal). I will be using your filling recipe tomorrow (can't wait to eat me some pie!).

Barb August 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm

For those of you that are avoiding making pie crust, there is a great little pie shell bag hat you can buy. It is in a circle and has a zipper all around it except for a small cloth hinge. You make a flat circle with the dough and place it into the bag, having dusted the inside. Zip it closed and roll it out. Open the bag and flip the crust into the pan. Repeat for the top crust. I keep mine in the freezer instead of washing it each time just as I used to do with my pastry cloth pre-celiac days. It works really slick. I am going to try this recipe Lauren. I’d love a recipe for that gallette you made. Probably murdered the spelling of that!

Lauren | Celiac Teen August 22, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Barb, that sounds like quite the invention! The galette recipe is really simple. I’ll update by baking with cheryl post to include it (it’s straightforward and a go-with-your-gut type thing) :).

AmandaonMaui October 3, 2010 at 12:15 am

I couldn’t get the crust to roll out too well. I floured my hands, pin, and surface with sweet rice flour. I did this multiple times but had stickage, even after the crust had been sitting in the fridge for hours.

I also didn’t have luck transferring it to the pie plate. Any tips?

AmandaonMaui October 3, 2010 at 1:20 am

OMG, but it’s just like pie! It’s so flakey! The first thing I said when I dipped the pie cutter into the tin was, “Oh my god, it’s just like pie!” It even sounded like pie.

Lauren | Celiac Teen October 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Amanda, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Yes, especially if your kitchen is warm, that can occur. I would recommend popping the dough rounds (before you roll it out) into the freezer, for an hour or so. Then, you can roll it out (or let it soften a bit and do so, as freezing can make it really quite tough!). As you roll it out, I would recommend turning it (either rotating, flipping or both) fairly frequently, so it doesn’t stick.

To transfer, if your crust is not stuck at all to the surface, roll it onto your rolling pin and unroll it into the pie plate. Otherwise, you can roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap, peel off the top layer, flip it into the pie plate and peel off the second layer. Hope this helps!

AmandaonMaui October 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

My kitchen was HOT last night as we were jamming some blackberries at the same time.

Delta Whiskey November 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm

So, we experimented with 3 different pie crust recipes this Thanksgiving and this one was HANDS DOWN… the BEST. Yum!

Heather Muse November 30, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Lauren,
Thanks for this simple and delicious recipe. Every Thanksgiving, the desserts roll out and my gluten free self and my vegan partner are left with empty plates. This year, I was determined to change that. This crust was easy to make vegan (simply using Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks to replace the butter). I made every mistake a first time pie crust maker could possibly make, and the crust still turned out wonderfully. Your tips in the comment section are also very helpful- if I’d read them first I might have avoided some of my I Love Lucy baking moments…

I will definitely be making this crust again!

Heather December 31, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Looks amazing!! What would you recommend instead of almond meal for those of us with nut allergies?

Kate June 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

any substitutions for the almond?? (terribly allergic :( )

Marsha August 31, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I also have a substitution question. I’m very allergic to millet. I went Anaphylactic the last I had it. I also have a soy allergy so that flour is out for me too. Do you have some other flour that would be a good substitution?
Thanks bunches :)

Michele August 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I second the substitution for almond, it’s not a friend of mine… :)

Lauren | Celiac Teen August 31, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Kate and Michelle, I have yet to find a straight substitution for almond in this recipe – the crust gets its flavour from it. I’ve been playing a lot with almond-free pie crust recipes but nothing has measured up. When I have one, I will definitely post!

Marsha, for the millet I would use brown rice flour. Soy is trickier, as it is high fat and has a quite distinct flavour. Many tend to avoid garbonzo/fava/soy flour because of the flavour, so there are a lot of recipes without it (like mine).

Alicia September 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I cannot wait to try this recipe, especially since those who have tried it, seem to love it. I too, am allergic to butter, so I was thinking to use Earth Balance, a butter substitute. What do you think? Ive tried some bad GF pie crusts in the past and finally just accepted I would not be having pie any longer. This last fall, I went to a GF cooking class and got a pretty good recipe. But am always open for the “perfect” one. Can’t wait to try it. Please let me know what you think about substituting the butter for “Earth Balance”…..

Lauren | Celiac Teen September 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Alicia, I haven’t tried the recipe with Earth Balance, but it should work. I haven’t used Earth Balance much in my baking, so I can’t make any promises, but I hope it works out wonderfully for you!

Grace October 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Thanks for sharing.
Am going to try the pie crust tomorrow. Picking apples all day, and ready to make my first and long wished for gluten free apple pie.
We’re dairy and gluten free. Do you think Lard would be a substitute for butter?
Thanks again,
Grace

Lauren | Celiac Teen October 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Grace, I’ve never used lard, so I’m not 100% sure, but it should work. You could also try a mix of lard and vegetable-based shortening if the results are not to your liking. Good luck and enjoy your pie!

Dani February 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm

This pie crust looks great! Over here in the UK i’ve been unable to find sweet rice flour, is there another type of flour I could use as a substitute?

Lauren | Celiac Teen February 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Dani, Sweet rice flour can also be labelled as glutinous (or sticky) rice flour (yes, it is gluten-free!). Other than that, you could use white or brown rice flour. I’m not the biggest fan of white rice flour, as it can lend a grittiness, but use what you have!

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