Gluten Free Pie Crust
This Gluten Free Pie Crust tastes exactly like traditional pie crust and makes for a perfectly flaky, buttery crust! It can be used in both sweet and savory pies. If you’re looking for a gluten free pie crust recipe, this is the one. No one will know it’s gluten free! This recipe can be made with all purpose flour if gluten is not a concern.
I’ve tried a bunch of different pie crust recipes over the years. Some have been better than others, but I always felt compelled to keep trying new recipes. That is until I made the All Butter Pie Dough from the America’s Test Kitchen Complete TV Show Cookbook. It.is.amazing. The crust is butter, flaky, everything you hope for in a pie crust. I finally found my go-to pie dough recipe and haven’t looked back.
I love that it is an all butter pie crust recipe, meaning it does not contain shortening. Many classic pie crust recipes call for a combination of butter and shortening, but I prefer not to cook with shortening. This easy pie crust recipe comes together really quickly and can be made in advance and even frozen.
I will be using pie dough and pie crust interchangeably in this post. Technically, this recipe makes the pie dough which will be baked into the crust, but because bakers are most concerned with how the crust turns out – buttery, flaky pie crust being a priority, I’ll be using both terms.
Adapting the All Butter Pie Crust Recipe to Gluten Free
When I had to start eating gluten free 18 months ago, I began attempting to adapt my favorite recipes to be gluten free. I’ve had some major successes (like this Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake!) and some failures, many of which I am working on tweaking the recipes to make them work. I like a good challenge, and I don’t think being gluten free should mean having to sacrifice your favorite foods.
Choosing a Gluten Free Flour
I did a lot of research on gluten free flours and found many positive reviews of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. As most gluten free items, it’s expensive, but the biggest benefit is that it already has xanthan gum included so you just use it “measure for measure” the way you would use traditional (wheat-containing) all purpose flour. You don’t have to guess at ratios or mix up anything extra – it is no more time consuming than using all purpose flour.
I was worried when I first started using this flour for homemade pie crust. I didn’t want to waste ingredients to end up with something inedible. For recipes that only call for a small amount of flour, it’s usually fine, but something like pie dough is a different story. Flour is the main ingredient!
Last summer, I decided to just go for it when I was making my annual Peach Pie. I was concerned because the flour is a little more grainy than all purpose flour, and I didn’t know if this would make for a gritty dough. I tasted some of the raw dough and the flavor was there, but I did notice the tiniest bit of grit. Thankfully, after the dough is baked, there is absolutely no grit. The pie crust tastes the same as with all purpose flour!
I don’t usually trust myself opinion since I’ve acclimated to gluten free foods, so I look to family who do not eat gluten free for their thoughts. Bob could not tell a difference at all! This was such a relief to have conquered a gluten free pie dough. The girls help me make an apple pie every fall and a peach pie every summer. It’s something they really look forward to, and knowing I can make a homemade pie crust that my family will love and that I can eat is such a good feeling.
Uses for Pie Dough
You can use this pie crust for Chicken Pot Pie, quiche, or any fruit pie. I have a great Chicken Pot Pie recipe to share once the weather gets a little cooler in the Midwest. I’ve listed links to the fruit pie recipes below.
How to Make Gluten Free Pie Crust
I’m going to take you through the steps with pictures. I know when I was first starting to bake, homemade pie crust was intimidating to me. I want to demystify this process because it’s very easy to make your own homemade pie crust. This recipe makes enough pie dough for 1 double crust pie or 2 single crust pies.
Prepare the Butter
First you start with butter. I only buy salted butter. I find that the extra bit of salt from the butter always makes baked goods taste better, especially ones like sweet fruit pies. The salt helps balance out the sweet. I do not adjust the salt in the recipe, but if you’re sensitive to salt, you can scale back on the salt if also using salted butter.
The butter is cut into small pieces.
It’s important for the butter to stay very cold when making pie dough so that the bits of butter do not melt until the dough is in the oven. For this reason, the diced butter is placed in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes prior to making the dough. While it is chilling, get together your other ingredients.
Organize the Ingredients
Having your ingredients prepped is most important when making pie dough because it comes together so fast. You’ll want to have everything out and ready to go.
Here’s all the ingredients you need to make the pie dough. For my gluten free pie crust, Bob’s Red Mill flour is my preferred flour. Because this recipe is originally made with all purpose flour, you can certainly use all purpose in place of the gluten free flour. The other ingredients include the diced butter (that has been frozen for 10 to 15 minutes), ice water, sour cream, sugar, and salt.
The ice water helps keep the dough cold so that the butter does not begin to melt. Keeping the dough (namely the butter) cold helps make a flaky pie crust.
Prepare the Sour Cream Mixture
The ice water is mixed with the sour cream and set aside.
Make the Pie Dough
Next, the flour, sugar, and salt are added to the bowl of a food processor and processed to mix. I make this pie crust in a food processor, but you could certainly make it by hand with a pastry blender or even two forks.
The butter pieces are then scattered over the top of the dry ingredients.
This mixture is pulsed around 10 times until the pieces of butter are around the size of peas.
Then half of the sour cream mixture is poured over the dough and pulsed 3 times. The rest of the sour cream mixture is added and pulsed an additional 3 times.
At this point, the dough should stay together when pinched with your fingers.
If the pie dough seems dry, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more of ice water and pulse for another 3 to 5 times, until no dry flour remains. This will depend on your climate and the season. Humidity and temperature in your kitchen can affect how much moisture you will need.
Basically, if your dough is coming together, you can stop adding water. If it’s still very dry, add an additional small amount of water. This is where the recipe is a little bit at your discretion, but what is most important is how the dough feels and looks. This dough below looks a little dry and needs a small amount of ice water.
The pie dough below looks much better after 2 tablespoons of ice water. I could have added a bit more water, but I’m extra careful with gluten free flour in trying to prevent it from getting sticky.
Finish the Dough
The dough can be dumped out on a work surface. It looks crumbly but it just needs to be pressed together.
All I did was press the dough together with my hands for about 10 to 20 seconds to get it into a disc. At this point, if your dough is not holding together, it needs a bit more water. You can just go back into the food processor, add a little more water, then pulse again.
The dough can now be divided into 2 equal portions.
Each dough can be shaped into 2 discs, 1 for a bottom crust and 1 for a top crust. The gluten free pie dough is a bit more fragile than pie dough made with all purpose flour, so I have some tips on how to roll it out in my Easy Fresh Peach Pie post.
The discs of pie dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator. You may be able to roll the dough immediately if you are ready to use it. If the dough seems too soft, just refrigerate it until it gets more firm, possibly 15 minutes. If it’s too firm after refrigeration, just let it sit at room temperature for a bit until it softens. This dough can be saved in the refrigerator for several days or can be frozen.
How to use your Gluten Free Pie Dough
My favorite pie is a Fresh Peach Pie. This photo is the pie made with this gluten free pie crust!
Not quite a pie, but I recently made these Peach Blueberry Crumbles with gluten free flour and was so happy with the outcome!
- 16 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (2 sticks, either salted or unsalted)
- 1/3 cup ice water (plus extra as needed)
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour, plus extra for the work surface (12 1/2 ounces )
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- Place cut pieces of butter in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to get it very cold. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.
- Mix 1/3 cup of the ice water and the sour cream in a small bowl until combined, set aside.
- Process the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor until combined. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and pulse the mixture until the butter is the size of large peas, about 10 pulses.
- Pour half of the sour cream mixture over the flour mixture and pulse until incorporated, about 3 pulses. Repeat with the remaining sour cream mixture and pulse another 3 times. Pinch the dough with your fingers, if the dough feels dry and does not hold together, sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons more ice water over the mixture and pulse until the dough forms large clumps and no dry flour remains, 3 to 5 pulses.
- For a double crust pie, divide the dough into 2 even pieces and wrap in plastic wrap, forming into 4-inch disks before refrigerating.