This extra flaky gluten free pie crust is made with sour cream and rolls out beautifully. You can have the perfect recipe for pie crust in your baking toolbox. It’s right here!
Before cookie season comes pie season. That means that we need light and extra flaky gluten free pie crust, and plenty of it. Actually, pie season is really any season. In the summertime, we make pies with summer berries and stone fruits. In the fall and winter, it’s all about apple pie, and maybe a pecan pie or two.
For years and years (and years), I’d used this gluten free pie crust recipe almost exclusively for single and double crust pies alike. And it’s still one of my favorites. But this extra flaky gluten free pie crust?
This perfect pie crust is giving my regular, go-to gluten free pie crust a run for its money. It rolls out so beautifully and is just effortlessly flaky. Like all pastry-baking, you just have to be sure to keep everything cold cold cold while you’re working with it.
My hope is that you never feel like you have to buy a pre-made gluten free pie crust. Have you ever tried one of those? They’re just not up to our standards. :)
Why this gluten free pie crust is different
My basic principles of flaky pastry-making remain the same. Begin with relatively large chunks of butter (no pea-sized bits, please!), coat them in dry ingredients and then flatten them between your thumb and forefinger.
That way, when the butter melts a bit as you’re working with the pastry, it will firm back up when you chill the shaped pastry. This time, though, rather than using ice water to bring the dough together, it’s sour cream. Sour cream adds a tenderness to the dough that is like nothing else.
Be sure to lift the pie crust up and into the bottom and sides of the pie plate rather than attempting to stretch it. That’ll keep it from shrinking during baking. If you’re a visual learner, I’ve created a how-to video to help show every stage of pie-crust making. It’s right above the recipe itself.
I’ve included instructions for parbaking the crust, but your gluten free pie recipe may or may not require that step. Extra tender and extra flaky?
That’s right. Thank you, sour cream! Whether you’re already planning your gluten free Thanksgiving, or still baking up the best of summer’s stone fruits, you can fill this gorgeous crust with all your favorites.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Dairy-Free: I often get asked about making this extra flaky gluten free pie crust dairy free. My first and best suggestion is instead to use my recipe for a classic gluten free pie crust, and replace the butter with butter-flavored Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. It’s a much easier swap, and that is a truly lovely pie crust.
But if you’d like to stick with this recipe, I’d try the same swap for butter, and try replacing the sour cream with either Greek-style (strained and thickened) plain nondairy yogurt, or nondairy sour cream. I have not tried that swap, though, so you’ll have to experiment!
Now, push play and watch me make every stage of this beautiful gluten free pie crust—and then make your own:
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, roughly chopped and chilled
1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream (full fat, preferably), chilled
Ice water by the teaspoonful, as necessary
Make the pie crust dough. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped and chilled butter, and toss to coat it in the dry ingredients. Flatten each chunk of butter between your thumb and forefinger. Add the sour cream, and mix to moisten the dry ingredients with the sour cream. The dough should be shaggy and somewhat crumbly. Knead the dough together with clean hands until it begins to come together. Add ice water by the teaspoon only if necessary for the dough to hold together. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and press into a disk as you close the plastic wrap around the dough. It will still seem rough. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch metal pie plate generously and set aside.
Smooth out the chilled dough. Once the dough has chilled, turn it out onto a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper. Sprinkle the dough lightly with more flour, and roll it out into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick, moving the dough frequently and sprinkling it lightly with flour if it begins to stick. Fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, and roll out the dough once again into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Twice more, remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter.
Shape the dough in the pie plate. Roll out the dough into an approximately 12-inch round, about 3/8-inch thick. Roll the pie crust loosely onto the rolling pin and then unroll it over the prepared pie plate. Trim the roughest edges of the crust with kitchen shears. Lift up the edges of the pie crust gently to create slack in the crust, and place the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Tuck the excess pie crust under itself, and crimp the edge gently all the way around the crust by pinching the dough at regular intervals with one hand, and creating a crimped impression with the forefinger of the other hand. Cover the pie crust with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (and up to 3 days).
Parbake the crust. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and unwrap and discard the plastic. Pierce the bottom of the pie crust all over with the tines of a fork. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the raw crust and cover the bottom of the crust with pie weights or dried beans. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the crust is lightly golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment and allow the crust to cool before proceeding with your recipe.
Originally published on the blog in Fall 2015. Recipe and photos unchanged, text revised slightly, video brand new.