Pastry Crust How-To with video

Pastry Crust How-To with video

Please see my new post with tons of step by step photos and an updated recipe for the perfect gluten free pie crustScroll down on this page for examples of recipes where you can use either pie crust for perfect results every time.

Today, I’m making gluten free pie crust. And I know you want to do it, too. Or at least you’d thought about it. C’mon. Everybody’s doin’ it. It’s holiday time! So, out of respec’ for the Pilgrims and stuff, watch the video. I will show you how easy it is to make gluten free pie crust, and how to roll it out and make a super smooth, gorgeous crust.

Then just look at all the great things you can make with that pie crust… [click the pictures for recipes] …

gluten free pie crust

Miniature gluten free apple pies.

Who says real men don’t eat quiche?

How about some Apple Tartlets with (or without) custard filling?

Then, for an elegant finish, impress them with something deceptively simple, hiding in plain sight. You can’t go wrong with a Chocolate Truffle Tart — not when you have that perfect pie crust at your fingertips…

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 2 9-inch rounds


2 1/4 cups (315 g) all purpose gluten-free flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (58 g) confectioner’s sugar (omit if making savory)

10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, roughly chopped and chilled

1/2 to 3/4 cup water, iced (ice cubes don’t count in the volume measurement)


  • Into the bowl of your food processor fitted with the steel blade (or a large bowl, if you don’t have a food processor), place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and confectioner’s sugar, and pulse a few times until well-combined (or whisk if not using the machine). Add the chopped and chilled butter, and pulse until the chunks of butter are a bit smaller and are covered in the dry mixture.

  • Add 1/2 cup ice water to the mixture a bit at a time. If using a food processor, pulse repeatedly while dribbling in the ice water very slowly. After you have added this first 1/2 cup ice water, pulse a few more times to see if the mixture is beginning to come together in the food processor. If not, dribble in more water by the scant tablespoon and pulse. Stop adding water the moment the mixture begins to come together.

  • Dump the dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, enclose and place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. If you are not planning to use the dough right away, but will use it within a few days, transfer the wrapped dough to the refrigerator, where it can keep for a few days. If you don’t plan to use the dough for more than a few days, freeze until solid and defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using.



P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of BOTH of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!

Comments are closed.

  • […] Eat them instead.And while we’re at it, I’d like to make a case for using my recipe for Basic Gluten-Free Pastry Crust, and having some on hand at all times. I made a how-to video about it (my only blog video to date. […]

  • […] Now, I’ve never made meringue and I’ve never made a lemon pie before.  The only thing that wasn’t new to me was the pie crust for which I used a recipe by Gluten Free On A Shoestring. […]

  • Karen Marshall on Facebook
    April 6, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    I’m inspired to make pie. :)

  • December 20, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    So glad, Karen (well, except for the hard-as-a-rock time. Overbaking it will definitely do that. If you know the filling is going to take a while to bake, try making the crust a bit thicker – and don’t bake in a glass pie plate. The bottom bakes super fast in glass.

  • Karen Langley on Facebook
    December 20, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Have made your pastry twice. First time was perfect. Second time it was as hard as I rock. Think I over cooked it as I thought the pecan pie filling wasn’t done. Still yummy though. Love this video. Will give me the confidence to try it again :)

  • […] Gluten and Nut-Free Pie Crust (See Gluten Free On A Shoestring) […]

  • […] here I was, thinking about just skipping pie and eating fresh fruit for dessert, when I came across this post by Gluten Free on a Shoestring.  It was just the pep talk I needed (read it and you’ll see […]

  • Susan
    November 19, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    I thought you did great. Very natural, easy to see. There was one time I wanted to say “Wait…go back…don’t edit that part out!” But alas, I don’t remember what it was. I loved watching it and now making pie crust doesn’t scare me so much. I’m also eagerly awaiting you do to a how-to on making tortillas! I SO love them and have been afraid to try them. Visual support would be great! :-) Keep ’em coming!


    • Nicole
      November 19, 2011 at 8:36 PM

      Hi, Susan,
      Thanks so much for the kind words.
      So glad pie crust isn’t so scary any more. It seems a how-to video on tortilla-making is a must, then! I really don’t want you to be afraid to try anything. My goal = fearlessness in the kitchen! I’m afraid of bugs, so total fearlessness is not on the menu. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • chris
    November 19, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Thanks for your video, Nicole! Never was one to make pie crusts and now that I have to do them gf, it seemed like an insurmountable task. Just got my first box of Better Batter and will be making a choc cream pie with your crust for Thanksgiving…cross your fingers that my crust comes out as lovely as yours :) Thanks again!

    • Nicole
      November 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM

      You bet, Chris. I’m sure you’ll do great! Fingers crossed…
      xoxo Nicole

  • Kadren
    November 18, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    I can’t wait to get back to having more time to make more food again!! The baby has been sick and teething. Enough said. I haven’t even been able to keep up on reading the blog. I know, I’m going through withdrawals! Pie crust is a must for Turkey day. I have got to remember to get our turkey out of the freezer. Rats. Raised the birds all by ourselves and everything. :) You are doing an amazing job! Your book is on my Christmas list. I can’t wait!

    • Nicole
      November 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM

      You raised your own turkey, but it’s still frozen? Interesting, Kadren. :)
      I hope the baby is feeling better soon. Have a happy thanksgiving!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Kadren
        November 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        We raised them from chicks and butchered them in June. Next year I think we will wait to order them until later in the summer so it will be fresh for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  • Jennifer
    November 18, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Nicole, this was actually REALLY helpful. I’ve not been a baker extraordinairre in the past, but going GF necessitates it to some degree, right? Watching you roll the dough between the plastic wrap and parchment paper is actually very helpful to those of us who are still novice. It gives me the courage to try some of the things I’ve passed over in the book so far because I didn’t feel ready yet. Thank you!

    • Nicole
      November 18, 2011 at 4:25 PM

      Hi, Jennifer,
      Thank you so much for telling me that. That was exactly what I hoped for, in doing the video. Sounds like you’re ready to go! You’re very welcome. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • DeAnn
    November 18, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    So far so good, I have my dough chilling in the frig in two balls.
    Now, the question is, what is the oven temp and time needed to pre-bake the crust for a chocolate pudding pie? Is it the same as with a gluten crust? If it is in your cookbook (which I totally love, can’t wait for the next one) I missed it. Thanks for the Better Batter tip, I have now ordered twice. Love that flour! I have tried many with not so great results, this one is great! I’m GF for several months now, it is a challenge. Thanks for helping us all & for the how-to video. I can’t wait to see if my crust is a good one, never been a great crust maker before going GF. What fun!

    • Nicole
      November 18, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      Hi, DeAnn,
      So glad you went for it!
      The baking time should be the same as with your conventional crust for your recipe. If you’re unsure, just watch it closely this first time around.
      So glad you’re enjoying Better Batter. It’s the best!
      You’re so welcome. I think you have a bright future ahead of you as a crust-maker.
      xoxo Nicole

      • DeAnn
        November 18, 2011 at 9:10 PM

        Ok, so I will have to try again, hopefully then I can report back success. :( I did everything according to the recipe/video, well I thought I did. The crust was tough……..hummm……so what do you think….over worked it, cooked too long………….? Darn I was so hopeful and excited……..I will try again another day.

      • Nicole
        November 18, 2011 at 10:31 PM

        Hi, DeAnn,
        So sorry you were disappointed. My guess is that the butter was in pieces that were too small, so they sort of melted together. The flakiness of a good crust comes from separate pieces of cold butter being covered in – and separated by – flour. When the cold butter hits the heat of the oven, the butter expands and puffs out the dough surrounding it. When the butter is too small and mushed together, it just sort of melts together. No magic expanding butter leads to a tough crust. If you have to, err on the side of having butter in pieces that are a bit oversized, rather than having them so small that they meld together. And don’t mix the dough too much. If you’re using a food processor pulse in short bursts, and do too little rather than too much.
        Don’t worry. You’ll get there. Don’t lose hope!
        xoxo Nicole

  • Lisa F.
    November 18, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Do you think this would freeze well? Should I make it, bake it, then freeze it? Or Make it, roll it, then freeze it? OR should I make it, turn it into a pie, and freeze the whole stinkin’ pie? GF doesn’t keep well, and I need to make my T-Day pumpkin pie this weekend…

    • Nicole
      November 18, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      Hi, Lisa,
      Yes, it does freeze very well. You can either freeze the round of dough (not rolled out — if you roll it flat and then freeze it, it will crack when you try to shape it), but you would do best to make, turn it into a pie, and freeze the whole stinkin’ (unbaked) pie. Then, take it out of the oven, defrost in the refrig, and then bake. You can even bake from frozen, if you need to. Just start out in an oven that isn’t very hot until it defrosts (about 10-15 mins), and then bring it to temperature and finish baking. Since you’re making pumpkin pie, assuming the filling is quite easy to make, I would suggest making the dough, rolling it out, and lining the pie plate with it (since you won’t need a top crust, you’ll only need half the pastry crust recipe, by the way), shaped and all. Then cover it tightly in something freezer-safe (I really like Press n Seal freezer paper), freeze, then either defrost in the refrig or fill as frozen, and do the lower oven temp thing to start baking.
      Phew. Long answer.
      xoxo Nicole

      • Lisa F.
        November 18, 2011 at 12:48 PM

        Genuis! Thanks. :)

      • Nicole
        November 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        You bet, Lisa. :)
        xoxo Nicole

  • Tanya
    November 18, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    I see a Gluten-Free cooking show in your future…we sure need one!!

    • Nicole
      November 18, 2011 at 11:21 AM

      Oh, Tanya. You’re being super kind. It would have to be called the “Okay, No Big Deal” show, since I seem to be so fond of saying that again and again. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Linda
    November 18, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Great how-to! Now I have no excuse to get this pie crust thing right. And…a French rolling pin better show up in my Christmas stocking this year if Santa knows what’s good for him ;-)

    • Nicole
      November 18, 2011 at 11:20 AM

      Thanks, Linda!
      Yeah, that Santa guy needs a kick in the pants sometimes. If he gives you any trouble, send him my way. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sherry Larson
    November 18, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Thanks for the video Nicole! For us visual learners it helps tremendously to watch someone else do the task we are attempting first! How about a video to accompany that puff pastry recipe, it could just be a short one, demonstrating the turns-we visual learners would be thankful! Sometimes lengthy written instructions hurt my brain:) I also like the “how to make tortillas” idea too. Thanks as always for all of the help and inspiration!
    BTW, I made your flat bread the other night – yummmm! It was a big hit!

    • Nicole
      November 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

      Hi, Sherry,
      I’m so glad to know that the video is helpful. I know many people are, in fact, visual learners, and I bet that’s doubly true with gluten-free baking.
      A short video just showing the puff pastry ‘turns’ is a great idea, Sherry. Thanks! How-to make tortillas is also a great idea. I just made them last night! They can be made speedy-quick once you get the hang of it. They’re actually a great thing to make when I don’t have time for a lengthy prep for dinner.
      So glad you enjoyed the flatbread. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Joan
    November 18, 2011 at 7:14 AM

    I have been thinking of using Betty Crocker’s Stir and Roll Pastry crust. It’s an old recipe, but it’s one I have often used: 1 1/3 C. flour (I’ll use the better batter), 1 tsp. salt, 1/3 cup canola oil, 3 tablespoons cold, whole milk (I have half and half in the house so I’ll use that. My husband hasn’t had apple pie since we found him to be gluten intolerant and I would like to make him an apple pie for Thanksgiving. I think this recipe will work for the crust, at least I hope so. I have been able to cook more the way I used to do since finding the Better Batter.

    • Nicole
      November 18, 2011 at 8:14 AM

      Hi, Joan,
      Oil instead of butter? Hmmm… Better Batter should be able to stand in for your conventional flour, no problem, and you should be fine since you have made it before, so you know what the consistency should be. Don’t be afraid to tinker with the recipe (a little more milk, a little more or less flour, depending, etc.) to get it feeling and looking right.
      You can also just use my recipe the first go around, to make an apple pie. Whichever you prefer. Apple pie is a personal favorite of mine. Ever bake it in a paper bag in the oven? Heaven.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Maria
    November 18, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Thanks so much for the video!! I’ve used several recipes from the book but somehow have been kinda scared of attempting the pie crust. Now, after your demo, I believe I’ll give it a shot!
    Also, I was wondering if you could share any hints on adapting your wonderful cheesecake recipe to a Pumpkin Cheesecake for the holidays?

    • Nicole
      November 18, 2011 at 8:12 AM

      Hi, Maria,
      Don’t be scared! I’m thrilled that you’re feeling like you can make a nice holiday pie crust. Of course you can! It really is that easy. :)
      Ooooh pumpkin cheesecake, huh? That sounds delicious. I’ll put it on the list, maybe post a recipe!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Maria
        November 18, 2011 at 5:27 PM

        Dear Nicole,
        Thanks so much for responding so quickly! I’ll be checking in regularly for any Pumpkin Cheesecake updates…can’t wait! Have a lovely Turkey Day!!!

  • Peggy
    November 17, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    Great video. Also loved the other pictures of finished goodies! I may have to revisit my quilting schedule so I have more time to bake! lol

    • Nicole
      November 18, 2011 at 8:10 AM

      How could I not know it’s you – I bet the other Peggys don’t have a quilting schedule!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Michelle
    November 17, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Love the blog! Love the book! Love the video! You make it all so easy. Thank you tons!

    • Nicole
      November 18, 2011 at 8:09 AM

      You bet, Michelle! Love you. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Darlene
    November 17, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    You are SO stinkin’ CUTE! :) I could just pinch your little hunny buns! Ok.. no, cuz we haven’t really met and that would be weird and uncomfortable and then the kids would be all embarrassed at school and probably get teased. Oh well, you’re still SO stinkin’ CUTE! :)

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2011 at 9:25 PM

      Hey, Darlene,
      I would actually consider it a snub if you didn’t pinch my hunny buns. Haven’t we met? Anyway, my kids already have tons to be embarrassed about. As you might imagine. So glad you enjoyed the video. Thanks for saying I’m cute. I’m old enough that I accept any and all compliments, however they’re offered, regardless of embarrassment. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • JoAnn C
    November 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    I did have my birthday anniversary and it was peaceful and chocolate filled just the way I like it. I never thought about the butter being in small pieces, that makes sense now. I was just cutting it up in tablespoon size chunks and then mixing. I will try smaller pieces next time. Thanks. The video of the bobble head woman has been tossed. Ugh!!!

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2011 at 9:27 PM

      It’s okay to leave the butter in relatively big pieces, JoAnn, but not so big that they sort of fuse together as you roll out the dough — unless you’re making puff pastry, and you plan to create layers manually by doing the ‘turns.’
      So glad your birthday anniversary was peaceful and chocolate-filled. Sounds like heaven!
      xoxo Nicole

  • JoAnn C
    November 17, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    You are not a dork! Thanks for the video. I think I over roll my dough because it always turns out tough, hard to cut through and not flakey. Don’t worry about the “okays” and “ums”; when I had to speak in front of people I would bob my head up and down, like a human bobble head. You were great.

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      Hi, JoAnn,
      Did you already have your birthday anniversary? If you did, I hope it was happy.
      I wish I could see a video of JoAnn the Bobble Head. That would be worth the price of admission. :)
      If your dough is tough and not flaky, most likely the butter isn’t in pieces. What makes dough flaky is bits of cold fat, separated by flour, hitting the hot oven, expanding in the heat, and puffing out the flour around them. So you need butter surrounded by flour, and layered upon itself. Does that make sense?
      xoxo Nicole

  • November 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    I checked your book out from my local library and have made a few recipes. Just wanted to let you know that my husband and I absolutely LOVED the tortilla soup recipes. SO good.

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM

      Hi, Nicole,
      I’m so glad that you were able to get the book from the library – and that you have been enjoying it! Photocopy a few recipes before you have to return it. May I suggest the White Sandwich Bread on page 104, and the Brioche Bread on page 108. ;) Thank you for going out of your way to let me know that you’re enjoying it. It means a lot.
      xoxo Nicole (from the book)

  • Shauna Wagner on Facebook
    November 17, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Thank you!!!

  • November 17, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    NOT a dork. :) i like the video. would you like to have it represented on our website? http://www.stuffed-pepper.com/gluten-free-tv

  • Ashley
    November 17, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    I am loving the first how-to video! Reading how easy your recipes are usually instills a pretty good confidence in myself that if you can do it, so can I, but seeing you do it and watching how easy it really is, makes my confidence that much greater! I hope to see more how-to videos, and I’m really glad you thoroughly went over folding and rolling out the dough because that may have been a bit confusing for me without seeing you do it first. Thanks, Nicole! Great job :D

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

      Hi, Ashley,
      Hooray for confidence! And hooray for a visual aid. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what’s a video worth? Thanks for the encouragement. It helps. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Lisa F.
    November 17, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    OMG YOU ARE AMAZING!!!! I’m buying your book NOW!!!! Thank you for sharing!

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      Hi, Lisa,
      The video sold you on the book? That’s fabulous. But I’m not entirely sure what to make of it. But thank you! Enjoy. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Lisa F.
        November 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM

        I’ve never been able to make a pie crust that pretty. I am in awe. I figure the book is filled with even more fantastic tricks. And I love the blog, so blog + video = book + me finally cooking yummy GF stuff!!

      • Nicole
        November 17, 2011 at 10:32 AM

        There are lots of tricks in the book. And tips. And some jokes. And recipes. And I’m here if you need me. Me + you + book + video = success. :)
        xoxo Nicole

    • November 17, 2011 at 8:44 PM

      Just like you, Lisa, I thought “Geez! I NEED her cookbook! I HAVE to learn to make a pie crust like that.” :)

      • Nicole
        November 17, 2011 at 9:22 PM

        Hi, Emily,
        Gee, thanks. :) It’s easy to make a pie crust like that. All you need is the right flour. Easy peasy.
        xoxo Nicole

  • Nicole Moress Cartailler on Facebook
    November 17, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Fabulous! Your timing couldn’t be more perfect!

  • Jayne Hickey
    November 17, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    Okay…first of all.. I love that you say “Okay.” –
    Second – wow, you make that look so easy – I can’t wait to make a crusty sumpin sumpin!
    So great to see “you” in all your adorable kitchen greatness!
    Keep ’em coming.

    Tortillas next??? I’m struggling with getting them to behave….

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2011 at 10:13 AM

      Hi, Jayne,
      Oooh tortillas is a great idea. They’re so easy, but you do need to get into a rhythm…
      Thank you so much for the positive reinforcement. I think I need it for my how-to debut! ;)
      By the way, how do you like my roll of paper towels in the corner? Nice touch. I know.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pamela G
    November 17, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    You’re NOT a dork…and it’s funny…we don’t realize when we have to speak…especially when we’re in front of a camera, we DO say okay….some say um….ALOT. Next time you’re filming…put notes around with the ok with the red NO sign crossing it out….maybe it’ll help. that or wear a blue tooth and have someone listen to you and remind you NO OK
    Do you practice? in front of a mirror?
    Just imagine us all in our bathrobes coffee clotching – no pressure.
    You’re just tellin a friend how to make a beautiful crust….which we that make terrible ones that fall apart certainly appreciate. You’re the best, Nicole! xoxoxox

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      Hi, Pam,
      Next time, I’ll put stickies all over with various reminders. I’m sure that won’t be distracting. ;) The funny thing is, when I’ve been on TV or when I’ve given live talks, I don’t say “okay” much at all. I don’t practice. For anything. I think, but I don’t rehearse. Meh. I’ll work it out over time. ;)
      If your crust tends to fall apart, by the way, try rolling it a bit thicker. Sometimes that helps it to be more robust, less fragile.
      xoxo Nicole

      • Pamela G
        November 17, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        OKAY!!! ;)
        I’ll try making my piecrust a little thicker. Maybe I just need a new rolling pin…that’s it….

      • Nicole
        November 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM

        Pam, you definitely need a french rolling pin. There is a good, inexpensive one in my Amazon “shop” here. That will help quite a bit. :)
        xoxo Nicole

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