The ultimate step by step guide to how to make the perfect light and flaky gluten free pie crust in just one bowl. With a dairy-free option, too!
It may seem like there are just way too many methods and techniques, and no real agreement about what you should and shouldn’t do to make the perfect crust, that’s never dense or tough, always light and flaky.
Well, I’m not here to tell you that this is the only way to make a light and flaky gluten free pie crust. I’m just here to tell you that this is a way to make a light and flaky crust every single time. C’mon. You already saw the video at the top that
C’mon. You already saw the video at the top that proves how easy it is. So let’s get started!
Making the dough itself, from just a few basic gluten free pantry ingredients, is of course where we begin. The ground rules and some best practices are:
⇢Always begin with cold ingredients. Dice chilled unsalted butter, and then place it back in the refrigerator to chill again. Begin with cold water, and then add ice to the water. Ice water is colder than cold water, and even colder than ice.
⇢Do not chop up the butter (or vegetable shortening, if you’re making a dairy free crust) into super small pieces or process them until they’re the size of “small peas.” That may be a common instruction in pie crust-making, but I am anti-small-peas in all pastry-making for one reason.
Very small pieces of butter not only melt too easily when they meet with the heat of your hands (or even warm air), but they melt right into the dough, so even rechilling the dough won’t help once the butter in the raw dough has melted. Using butter in larger chunks, and then flattening them between your thumb and forefinger, solves all of those problems.
⇢Handle the dough as little as possible when making the dough, but don’t drive yourself crazy. Since we are working with larger pieces of butter than “small peas,” we can always rechill the dough if it becomes too soft or difficult to handle.
⇢If you are making a dairy-free gluten free pie crust by replacing the butter with Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, don’t chill the chopped shortening for too long or it will freeze and be difficult to flatten and roll out properly.
⇢Be careful about the all purpose gluten free flour blend you choose. The components of a higher starch blend, like King Arthur Flour’s gluten free multi-purpose blend, might be okay for pie crust, but the grittiness of their rice flour simply won’t result in a smooth crust.
Here are best practices and guidelines for shaping the dough:
⇢Keep the dough moving during rolling, even turning it over frequently, and do not be afraid to sprinkle it lightly with more flour if it becomes sticky.
⇢When rolling out any sort of dough, using the rolling pin to roll not press the dough. Roll more than once over a surface, rather than pressing too hard, which will create uneven thicknesses and unnecessary sticky spots.
⇢If the dough ever becomes a bit too delicate to handle, fold it gently in thirds, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it until it begins to firm up.
⇢Once you have reached the step of dividing the initially shaped dough in half, it can be wrapped tightly in freezer safe wrap and frozen for at least 2 months. Defrost the dough in the refrigerator overnight before proceeding with the recipe.
Finally, keep in mind that this incredibly simple recipe is all about the proportions. The approximate ratio of each of the ingredients is as follows:
⇢1 cup (140 g) all purpose gluten free flour (including 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum)
⇢Scant 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
⇢Scant 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
⇢4 tablespoons (56 g) cold unsalted butter, diced and chilled
⇢1/4 to 1/3 cup (2 to 2 2/3 fluid ounces) cold water, iced
Multiply all of the ingredients by 2, and you’ll make 1 single pie crust. Multiply by 4 (as in the recipe below), and you’ll make 2 pie crusts for a double-crust pie.
You can scale up or scale down to your heart’s content. Simply follow these step by step instructions for the perfect light and flaky gluten free pie crust, and you can’t go wrong!