Welcome to the ultimate guide for making the best, easy Gluten Free Pie Crust with a food processor or by hand! This flaky, tender gluten free pie crust recipe handles just as pie crust should and is fabulously easy to roll out.
Discover tips, hacks, step-by-step directions, and gluten free flour comparisons. No one will suspect this pie crust is gluten free!
Flaky Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe
I’ve always loved to bake, but the first time I tried to make gluten free pie crust resulted in tears. The gluten free versions were extremely frustrating to work with and tasted gritty.
I ended up boycotting pie-making altogether because I couldn’t handle that kind of stress anymore.
Then a magical cookbook called America’s Test Kitchen: The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook came along, its whole mission being their gluten free recipes needed to taste better than the regular versions.
They tested the bejeezus out of all the recipes, tweaked them a hundred times, and made sure unknowing taste testers preferred the gluten free version. Holla-freakin’-luja.
I adamantly stand behind a lot of the recipes in the book, but the pie crust recipe holds a special place in my heart. It behaves just as good, flaky pie crust should.
So pie-making and I gladly reunited, and if by any chance you have boycotted it (or have never made it!), I’m about to change your life.
How to Make Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe (by hand or food processor)
- Mix together the cold water, sour cream, and vinegar in a small bowl. Tip: Put the liquids bowl into the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
- Pulse together gluten free flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. BY HAND: Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Tip: Weighing flour with a food scale gives the most consistent results, especially with interchanging different gluten free flour brands. If you can’t weigh it, use a spoon to gently scoop it into measuring cup, then level off.
- Add very cold cubed butter. Tip: Cube butter on a small cutting board and throw the cutting board and butter in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Add the chilled butter to flour mixture and pulse until you see pea-sized chunks.
BY HAND: Use a pastry cutter or fingers to cut and knead butter into the dough until you have pea-sized chunks.
- Add half the liquids to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add remaining liquids and pulse until the flour becomes moistened and small dough clumps appear.
BY HAND: Add half the liquids and knead with fingers or a fork. Pour in the remaining liquids. Knead until the dough starts to come together and the liquids are well mixed with flour. Tip: To check if you have enough liquid, clump and flatten a small bit of dough. If it doesn’t stick together, is crumbly, or breaks apart easily, add a small dash of ice water. Pulse a few times and recheck. If the dough is too wet or sticky, add a dash of flour. Pulse a few times and recheck.
- Lay a big piece of plastic wrap on the counter and pour the gluten free pie dough onto it. Shape into a disc, about 1 inch thick. Wrap plastic tightly around dough and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Tip: Wrapped pie dough may be refrigerate for 1-2 days. If storing longer, place the wrapped disc in a freezer ziplock bag and freeze. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.
Tips and Tricks For Rolling Out Gluten Free Pie Crust
- If the dough is too cold it will be hard to roll and break apart. Let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes and try again.
- When you are rolling, press down in the middle and push dough out from center. This will ensure the middle not being too thick, while edges are too thin.
- Rotate the pie dough as you are rolling so it forms a perfect circle. If one side is bigger than the other, cut some dough off and add it to the smaller side of the circle.
- While rolling the dough may warm, which causes the paper to stick. If this happens, place rolled pie crust, with parchment still on, in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes so butter re-solidifies and releases from parchment.
- Once the dough is turned over in the pie plate use kitchen scissors to trim off excess dough around edges. If some edges need more dough to fold under, press on some of the clipped off pie dough.
- There are many ways to make the decorative pie crust edge. This page gives great tutorials for making easy to very creative edges.
Baking Gluten Free Pie Crust
Once the dough is rolled out and shaped in your pie pan, move the dish to the freezer for 15 minutes or up to 1 hour. When the gluten free pie dough is chilled and firm, fill with pie filling and bake according to the recipe.
Double Crust or Lattice Crust
Gluten Free Pie Crust recipe yields enough for a bottom crust only. If your recipe calls for a top crust or lattice top, double the recipe and divide dough in two discs to refrigerate.
Here is a great tutorial on how to make a lattice top.
Pre Baked Pie Crust
For recipes that call for a partially baked pie crust before filling, preheat oven to 375ºF. Line the bottom of chilled crust with foil or parchment paper.
Place pie weights or dried beans on top of liner. Place crust on middle rack and back for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Fully Baked Pie Crust
Some recipes require a fully baked pie shell, such as cream pies. Follow directions for Pre Baked Pie Crust, adding 5-10 minutes to cooking time and removing liner with weights for last 10-15 minutes. Bake until crust is golden brown. Allow crust to cool completely before filling.
Tip: I highly recommend using this silicone adjustable pie shield when baking pies. It will keep the crust golden brown instead of burnt before the filling is ready.
What is the best kind of gluten free flour to use?
I’ve tried this recipe with three different store-bought gluten free flour blends. Here are my pie crust making and tasting notes:
- Recommended: Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour – Big fan of this flour for pie crusts. It rolls out well and yields a flaky, tender texture. Plus, the taste is so much like regular flour, no one suspects it’s gluten free. Unfortunately it is also the most expensive of the three.
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour – This flour was very easy to work with and rolled out beautifully. Plus, it’s the least expensive of the three. The texture was a bit more chewy, not as flaky, and slightly more dense than Cup 4 Cup.
- King Arthur Gluten Free Flour – I had the hardest time with this one. It rolled out fine, but upon baking the crust did not hold its shape, and drooped down in the dish. Also, the flour didn’t seem to absorb the butter as well, which lead to a greasy baked crust. (UPDATE 4/27/18 I added 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum to dry ingredients and I didn’t have a problem with pie crust structure for King Arthur anymore. I also added a couple tablespoons additional flour to absorb butter better.)
Wondering how different gluten free flour brands compare? Four of the most popular gluten free blends were thoroughly tested. See the surprising results for the best gluten free flour!
Try these Pies with this Flaky Gluten Free Pie Crust!
- Fresh Blueberry Pie – Easy blueberry pie recipe using fresh blueberries over a creamy layer of sweet buttermilk custard filling.
- Sugar Cream Pie – Sugar Cream Pie is filled with a gloriously thick, creamy, vanilla custard, sprinkled with a dusting of cinnamon, and made with a handful of simple ingredients and easy steps.
- Concord Grape Pie – Grape pie with streusel topping has step-by-step instructions full of tips and tricks for making homemade grape pie filling.
- Chocolate Chess Pie – A classic southern dessert with a fudgy, rich chocolate flavored custard in a flaky buttery crust.
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Gluten Free Pie Crust
- 3/4 PLUS 2/3 cup (6 1/2 ounces weight total) gluten free flour, I used Cup 4 Cup (see above post for GF flour comparisons)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons ice water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
- (If cut butter hasn't been placed in freezer, freeze for 10 minutes.)
FOOD PROCESSOR: Pulse flour, sugar, and salt together until mixed.BY HAND: Whisk dry ingredients in medium-sized bowl.
- FOOD PROCESSOR: Throw in butter and pulse about 10 times, until butter is about size of peas. BY HAND: Use a pastry cutter or fingers to cut and knead butter into the dough until you have pea-sized chunks.
- Combine water, sour cream, and vinegar in a small bowl.
- FOOD PROCESSOR: Pour half of liquid mixture in and pulse a few times, until incorporated. Pour in rest and pulse until dough just comes together, about 6-10 times. If dough doesn't start to come together, add a touch more cold water. BY HAND: Add half the water, then mix with a fork or fingers. Pour in the remaining water, mix until the dough starts to come together and the liquids are well mixed with flour.
- Turn dough onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a thick 1" disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Before rolling out, let sit on counter 10 minutes so it is easier to work with.
HOW TO ROLL OUT PIE CRUST:
- Lay a large piece of wax paper or parchment paper on your workspace. Place unwrapped dough disc in middle and place same sized sheet on top. Use a rolling pin to press and spread out down from the middle out. Roll out into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish.
- Remove top paper, and invert onto pie dish. Remove second paper. Tip: If the dough warmed while rolling, it may be trickier to take the paper off. If this happens, leave the paper on, and stick the whole thing in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. Once the crust is chilled again it's much easier to pull off the paper. If the dough is too cold and the crust breaks, let it sit on the counter for a minute first.
- Tuck overhang dough under to meet edge of pie dish. Using both forefingers, flute edges by pressing one down and one up next to each other.
- Wrap loosely with plastic wrap and place in freezer 15 minutes, or up to an hour, until chilled. Fill and bake according to directions.
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Pre Baked Pie Crust For recipes that call for a partially baked pie crust before filling, preheat oven to 375ºF. Line the bottom of chilled crust with foil or parchment paper. Place pie weights or dried beans on top of liner. Place crust on middle rack and back for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Fully Baked Pie Crust Some recipes require a fully baked pie shell, such as cream pies. Follow directions for Pre Baked Pie Crust, adding 5-10 minutes to cooking time and removing liner with weights for last 10-15 minutes. Bake until crust is golden brown. Allow crust to cool completely before filling. Tip: I highly recommend using this silicone adjustable pie shield when baking pies. It will keep the crust golden brown instead of burnt before the filling is ready. Storing / Freezing Wrapped dough may be refrigerated up to 2 days. Longer than that, place the wrapped disc in a freezer ziplock bag to freeze. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Adapted from America's Test Kitchen: The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook
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