That’s the great thing about pie crusts. You can easily change the recipe to suit your tastes and specific dietary needs.
I used a mixture of my gluten-free flour blend, sweet rice flour, and psyllium husks to make pie crust without xanthan gum that rolls out easily and allows you to make a beautiful, crimped edge. It also gives the pie crust some flexibility so you can stretch it into the edges of your pan without any major tears. I also find that xanthan gum makes pie crust too tough and not flaky, which is no good.
This recipe makes enough for a deep 9-inch pie pan or a 10 or 11-inch pie pan. Here are some tips for modifying this recipe, choosing ingredients, and making a perfect pie crust for your specific dietary needs:
Flour: Use Authentic Foods Sweet Rice Flour. It’s finely ground and doesn’t taste gritty in the final product. Psyllium husks make the crust more supple so you can easily roll it out and flute the edges.
Fat: I used butter. I love the taste of butter in my pie crust and if handled properly the crust is perfectly flaky. If you need a dairy-free recipe, use chilled non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening. Vegetable shortening has a higher melting temperature than butter so it can create a flakier crust. You can also use a combination of butter and shortening if you want the flavor of butter and the flakiness of vegetable shortening.
Liquid: I used ice water. You can also use egg, heavy cream, or a dairy-free heavy cream substitutesuch as unsweetened MimicCreme. They all have a slight effect on the final product.
Savory or Sweet: The recipe below makes a Pate Brisee, or savory crust. I like the contrast of a savory crust with a sweet pie. If you want a Pate Sucree, or sweet dough, add 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar to the flour.
Mixing: I used my KitchenAid 5-Quart Mixer because it doesn’t heat the fat the way a food processor does. You can also make this by hand. If you use a food processor, make sure to stop mixing when you can still see large chunks of fat.
Shaggy Mess: This is what you’re looking for when making a pie crust. You want big pieces of fat throughout the dough, which makes the crust flaky. Once the dough is taken out of it’s mixing vessel, you’ll have to pull it together with your hands and press it into a disk. If the dough comes together while you’re mixing, it’s over-mixed and your crust won’t be as tender and flaky.
Keep it Cold: Work quickly and keep your dough cold. The fat should melt in the oven, not while you’re mixing it or rolling it out. Joe gave me a marble pastry board last Christmas and I love using it to roll out pie crusts.
Rolling Out the Dough: Lightly flour the dough with sweet rice flour. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper, peeling the paper back and laying it back across the dough every once in a while to give the crust more mobility. Flip the dough over several times during the rolling process, too, and pull that paper off and reapply as well.
Transfer the Dough to the Pie Pan: Peel away one piece of parchment paper. Use your rolling pin to help transfer the dough to the pie pan so that the side still covered with parchment paper is facing up. Gently peel away the top layer of parchment paper and work the dough into the pan.
Repairing Cracks: Dip your finger in cold water and patch any cracks.
What kind of pie are you making this holiday? Have any pie-making tips? Share your ideas – I’d love to hear them.
Serves: makes 1 (10 or 11-inch) pie crust, or one deep (9-inch) pie crust
- Put the flour blend, sweet rice flour, psyllium husks, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low for 30 - 45 seconds until combined.
- Distribute butter evenly in the flour and mix on low for 1 - 2 minutes. There should still be large chunks of butter throughout the mixture.
- Add 6 tablespoons of ice water and mix until combined. Squeeze a piece of dough. If it holds together well, stop mixing. If it seems a little dry, add the last tablespoon of water and mix. The dough should be shaggy.
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of waxed paper. Pull the dough into a disk. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to two days. If refrigerating for longer periods of time, cover in an extra layer of plastic wrap to keep dough from drying out.
- Let dough sit out for 20 minutes before rolling if it's really solid.
- Lightly flour dough with sweet rice flour. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment or waxed paper, pulling the paper off the dough and putting it back on as needed to increase mobility. Flip the dough several times during the rolling process, removing and replacing paper as needed.
- Peel off the top piece of parchment paper when dough reaches desired thickness. Use a rolling pin to help transfer the dough to a pie pan with the parchment paper facing up.
- Gently peel the parchment paper off and work the dough into the pie pan.
- Cut off any excess and create a crimped or fluted edge.
- Fill and bake as desired.
- To prebake: Line pie with coffee filters, fill with dry beans, and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and the coffee filters, prick the bottom and unbaked edges with a fork, and return to the oven for 5 - 8 minutes until the crust is a light golden brown.