Easy gluten free pie crust recipe is flaky, buttery and doesn't get a soggy bottom! It holds up well enough you can pick up a piece of pie with your hand. Buttery gluten free pie perfection right here!
Easy Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe
If you are like me, you have probably searched high and low to find the perfect gluten free pie crust recipe for your holiday pies.
So many pie crust recipes that are gluten free fall flat!
For years, I was just semi-satisfied with the gluten free pie crusts I found.
They seemed to either be missing the buttery flake, or result in a pile of crumbs.
I like my pie crust to be sturdy enough that I can pick up the slice of pie with my hand.
It makes it easier to sneak a slice out of the fridge the day after...
I hadn't figured out how to get a pie crust that could hold up AND have that buttery flakiness AND tender bite all at the same time.
Plus, making a gluten free pie crust needed to be easy enough to pull-off that I could swing it on a busy baking holiday, like Thanksgiving.
How to make a gluten free pie crust?
What gluten free flour should I use for pie crust?
When making a gluten free pie crust, the flours make all the difference.
You need to use a well-balanced lower-starch gluten free flour.
One of the big mistakes I made in my early gluten free pastry recipes, was that I used a gluten free flour that had too much starch!
If you use my gluten free rice flour blend, straight (or another starchy gluten free flour blend) this recipe won't be flaky!
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my gluten free rice flour blend.
For pie crust you need a lower starch content.
One day, I tried my friend Megan's Dairy Free Pie Crust and finally got a flaky texture, instead of a hard and almost chewy gluten free pie crust.
I was won over by the blend of individual gluten free flours Megan used in her recipe!
Can I make this gluten free pie pastry recipe without sorghum flour? (or Rice flour, or millet flour, or tapioca starch?)
Yes! You can easily swap out one flour for another, as long as they have a similar protein and starch content.
As written, this pie crust recipe calls for:
Sorghum, millet, and rice flour all have a similar protein/starch ratio.
If you don't have sorghum (or can't have it) try using ⅔ cup millet flour instead.
Or use ⅔ cup rice flour. I still have best results if I mix two flours, instead of using all rice, or all millet, or all sorghum.
For example, when I updated the photos and created the video in 10/2019 I ran out of sorghum flour!
Instead, I used ⅔ cup millet flour, and ⅔ cup of my gluten free rice flour blend (which is equal parts brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch.)
It worked great, because the ratio of proteins and starches stayed the same, even though I used different flours!
What if you can't use tapioca starch? (Or cornstarch, or potato starch?)
Use the starch that works best with your diet, or that you happen to have in the pantry.
Can I use an all-purpose gluten free flour to make pie crust?
Yes, you can use and all-purpose cup-for-cup gluten free flour to make pie crust, but not all gluten free flour blends will give you the same results.
I've tested, and absolutely love Jovial's Gluten Free Pastry Flour in my pie crust recipe.
If you want to try the the flour blend you have in your pantry, try making a single batch of it to test how it works.
If it is too hard/chewy, try swapping out ⅓ cup of your cup for cup gluten free flour with ⅓ cup of rice flour, millet flour, or sorghum flour.
If it is still too hard, test another pie crust and swap out ⅔ cup of your cup for cup flour.
If you test out your favorite cup for cup gluten free flour, please email me or comment below to tell me how it works. I'll update this recipe so that others know what worked and didn't work for you.
How to use gluten free flour
When baking with gluten free flour, your results will vary based on the gluten free flour you use.
Please read through my gluten free flour page for very thorough and detailed information about which gluten free flours work well, how to substitute one gluten free flour for another, and for my gluten free flour recipe.
How to measure gluten free flour
How you measure your gluten free flour is also very important.
To accurately measure your flour, use the “fork, spoon, knife” method.
First, mix your gluten free flour with a fork to ensure it is aerated and evenly mixed.
Then carefully spoon it into your measuring cup.
DO NOT scoop the flour with your measuring cup, you’ll compact extra flour into the measuring cup and then your gluten free baked goods will be dry and crumbly because they'll have too much flour.
Finally, level off your measuring cup using a knife.
How to you make your gluten free pie crust flaky?
Using a chilled fat, and keeping it in big pieces goes a long way towards making a flaky pie crust.
To make a super flaky crust:
- Use cold butter, straight from the fridge. If you use a different fat, chill it before using.
- Keep your butter cold! Don't work the pie dough with your hands, if at all possible.
- Use a pastry cutter, or a fork and knife to work your gluten free pastry. Avoid using a food processor or blender, they can heat up or overwork your pastry dough.
- Add ice cold water to your gluten free pastry dough. Literally, it should have ice cubes floating in it.
- Don't over-work your gluten free pie crust dough. You should leave big chunks of fat in it. They should be bigger than you think they should be. Those butter bits melt as the gluten free pie crust bakes and THAT is what makes the pie crust flaky.
- Use plastic wrap to help shape your gluten free pie dough into a ball. Your hands will melt the butter.
- After you mix the dough, chill in for 30 minutes so the fat can firm up in the fridge.
- Roll your pie dough out between pieces of plastic wrap, parchment paper, or using a pie crust bag. This helps you avoid adding extra flour to your pie crust, which helps to keep it tender and flaky instead of getting tough.
- Don't re-roll the dough, if at all possible. Re-rolling will work the fat into the dough, and you'll lose flakiness. Of course, some patching is inevitable, but move pieces to fill holes without any folding or rolling back into a ball of pie crust dough whenever you can.
If you can have butter, use butter. Butter is better, just ask any real chef anywhere. USE ALL THE BUTTER.
But what if you can't use butter?
Can I make a gluten free pie crust without butter?
I've also made this gluten free pie crust recipe using lard instead of butter, or using or half palm shortening and half lard.
I know, lard may sound gross if you haven't used it before, but give it a shot. Lard makes the pie crust even more flaky!
I especially love using lard when I am making a pie crust for gluten free pot pie.
You can make a gluten free pie crust with lard, and only lard.
Or you can use half lard and half butter (my personal favorite)!
Just make sure the lard you are using is fresh so you don't add any funky tastes to your pie crust.
Can I make a dairy free gluten free pie crust or vegan gluten free pastry dough?
You can use half chilled Earth Balance or Melt, and half palm shortening or other shortening.
Lard is also dairy-free, but it isn't vegan.
If you want to make a gluten free vegan pie crust, stick with the half earth balance or melt, and half palm shortening.
Steps to make a flaky gluten free pie crust
First, whisk together your gluten free flours, salt, and xanthan gum.
Add your cold butter or other chilled fat.
Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, or a fork and knife.
Don't use your hands.
You want to have a really gentle hand to keep those chunks of butter.
Butter chunks = flaky crust.
You want your mixture to look like this...
Add the apple cider vinegar and lightly mix with a fork to combine.
Add iced water (literally- it should have ice cubes in it) 1 tablespoon at a time and work it just enough for it to hold together if you squeeze a handful.
Move the gluten free pastry to a large piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic wrap to gently shape it into a round disc.
Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
Remove your gluten free pie dough from the fridge and roll the dough out between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, (Or parchment paper, or use a pie dough bag to make a perfect circle)
You want to avoid adding any extra flour to your pie crust.
Extra flour can quickly make a flaky gluten free pie crust a crumbly mess, or make your touch hard and tough, instead of flaky and tender..
As a bonus, plastic wrap makes clean up a breeze!
Using the plastic wrap, move the dough to your pan and trim off the excess.
You can crimp the edges, or cut small shapes out of your gluten free pie crust scraps and use them to decorate the edge of your gluten free pie crust.
You can blind bake your gluten free pie crust if you are filling it with something that doesn't need to be baked, like pudding, or you can fill it with your favorite pie filling and bake it as directed.
If you want to make a pie with a top crust, or are making several pies at once just multiply the recipe by the number of single layer crusts you need, and then divide the dough into that number of discs.
Multiply each ingredient by 3, mix in a large bowl following the directions, and then separate your gluten free pastry into 3 balls or discs before chilling.
Use your gluten free pastry dough in these gluten free pie recipes:
- Gluten Free Pecan Pie
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie
- Gluten Free Cherry Pie
- Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie
- Gluten Free Quiche
- Gluten Free Apple Pie
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, and salt.
- Add the butter and using a pastry cutter or two knives or two forks cut the butter into the flours until it looks like very coarse crumbs with some large chunks of butter about the size of your fingernail(see picture).
- Add the apple cider vinegar, and then add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork until it starts to pull together into a crumbly looking dough. If you pinch in between your fingers it should easily come together into a dough. I usually use about 4 tablespoons of water, but it depends on how humid it that day. Depending on your climate, your flour, and the weather you might need more or less water
- Dump the mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap, and use the plastic wrap to form the dough into a disc, handling it as little as possible.
- Wrap the disk tightly in the plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. If you let it rest longer, it may dry out and be more difficult to roll out without crumbling.
- Roll out the disc of dough between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper until it is ⅛-1/4" thick.
- Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and transfer the crust to your 9 inch pie pan buy lifting the crust up, using the bottom sheet of plastic wrap. Either flip it over into the pan., or invert your pie pan on top of the pie dough, and flip it over together.
- Gently press the crust into the corners of the pan, repair any tears, and then trim the edges and crimp as desired. I like using a small cookie cutter to cut shapes to decorate the edge of my pie.
- Fill and bake according to your favorite recipe or bake without filling by "blind baking" . Preheat your oven to 375°F and prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden brown. Cool completely before filling.
The gluten free flour you use makes a HUGE difference in the finished texture of your gluten free piecrust. Please use ⅓ cup millet flour, ⅓ cup sorghum flour, ⅓ cup rice flour, and ⅓ cup tapioca flour for best results. If you can't have these flours, or want to use a gluten free cup for cup flour blend, please read the section above about what flours to use in a gluten free pie crust.
If you do use a cup-for-cup flour blend for some or all of your gluten free flour, you may to to reduce or omit the xanthan gum if the flour you are using already has xanthan or guar gum in it.
I have since adapted this recipe to be dairy free, since my family's dietary needs have changed. My favorite substitute for the butter so far is half lard, half vegan butter spread like Earth Balance or Melt (I think I like the half lard have vegan butter even better than all dairy butter, so flaky!). You can use any combination of vegan butter , shortening, lard, or palm shortening as long as you keep the amount the same and CHILL IT.
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Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Xanthan Gum, 8-ounce
Bob's Red Mill Finely Ground Tapioca Flour, 20-ounce (Pack of 4)
Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Brown Rice Flour, 24-ounce (Pack of 4)
Bob's Red Mill Millet Flour, 23-ounce (Pack of 4)
Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Sorghum, 24 Oz (Pack of 4)
Jovial Pastry Flour,Whl Grn,Gf 24 Oz (Pack Of 6)
Jovial Pastry Flour,Gluten Free 24 Oz (Pack Of 6)
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 179Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 31mgSodium 225mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 2g
All nutrition info is a guestimate and will vary depending on the ingredients you use.