For all of your favorite pies, here’s a delicious pie crust that is Gluten Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free, and Sugar Free! It’s the perfect foundation for any kind of pie.
This is a classic pie crust… except that it’s Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Dairy Free, and Sugar Free. Free of so many things but full of wonderful texture and flakiness!
Pie crusts are easy and quick to make at home, and most frozen pie crusts in the supermarkets have something that I can’t eat whether it’s sugar or dairy. It’s so much cheaper to make a good Gluten Free Pie Crust at home. Just follow my instructions below to perfect your technique, and you’ll be golden – and so will your pie crust.
Cooks fret a LOT when making pie crusts, but that’s because they’re usually baking with regular flour full of gluten. Gluten tends to get tough when overmixed, so there are a lot of pie crust instructions emphasizing to handle the pie crust as little as possible. This is good advice for pie crust in general, but with Gluten Free flour, you don’t have to worry as much.
Gluten activates when it comes into contact with liquid, so again, there are lots of methods for how to add the needed liquid for a pie crust without soaking it and developing too much gluten. Again, this isn’t such a concern for a Gluten Free Pie Crust.
However, the classic technique for making pie crust is a solid technique, and I explain it below. I always make pie crust by hand, because it allows me better control and to be able to feel when the pie dough has just enough moisture.
Don’t worry about keeping all of your ingredients ice-cold. Just don’t take the shortening out of the fridge until you’re ready to use it, and before you start making the crust, pop a measuring cup of water into the fridge to chill it.
Traditionally, bakers chill the pie dough before rolling it out. I found this to be difficult with Gluten Free dough, because the dough got too hard after chilling and broke too much when I was rolling it out.
When I’m baking, I always think, “Why am I doing this?” I don’t mean baking! I mean, why is this step necessary? What is its purpose? Or why is this particular ingredient here? What is its function?
So, why do we need to chill the pie dough before rolling it out? Well, the reason is to relax the gluten.
But we’re not using gluten, so it’s not necessary. It is very helpful, though, to chill the dough in order to get the maximum steam effect in the oven, so we do want to chill it. But I find that it’s a lot easier to roll out the dough first and then chill it once it is shaped in the pie dish.
Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe:
- Gluten Free
- Nut Free
- Dairy Free
- Sugar Free
- Easy to make
Ingredients for Best Gluten Free Pie Crust:
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- kosher salt
- Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (2 sticks), cold and cut into small pieces
- cold water
Notes on Ingredients:
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour – My favorite Gluten Free Flour blend. It works for everything.
Kosher salt – For flavor.
Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (2 sticks), cold and cut into small pieces – This shortening is vegan and low in cholesterol. It has a neutral flavor, behaves just like butter and doesn’t get too greasy.
Cold water – This helps to keep the shortening cold. Just put the measuring cup of water in the fridge before you start making the pie crust.
How to Make Best Gluten Free Pie Crust From Scratch
The main change that I made to traditional pie crust making technique here is to go ahead and roll the dough out before chilling it. It just works better. Then, I chill the pie crust once I have it shaped in the pie dish. This is a nice trick, too, for making sure that you get the maximum amount of steam happening when you put the pie crust straight into the oven from the fridge.
Read on for all the details…
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and the salt.
Rub in the Earth Balance using your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand. This step is called “sable” which is French for sand or “to make into sand”. You want the mixture to look like tiny balls of moist, coarse sand.
Add the water a little bit at a time and use your fingers to fluff the mixture. DO NOT DUMP ALL THE WATER INTO THE BOWL. What I like to do is pour the water with one hand and fluff with the other hand. The amount of water needed varies greatly depending on a lot of different factors including the amount of humidity in the air. So, really truly just pour a little in and fluff well before pouring in more. Stop when there is enough water that you can press the dough together and it holds for the most part.
By the way, this step is called “papillon” which means butterfly in French. Think about the movement of a butterfly’s fluttering wings when you’re fluffing the water into the dough. You really don’t want too much water or the dough will be a thick cake of wet mud.
Before rolling out the pie dough, sprinkle the dough with some Gluten Free Flour so that the dough doesn’t stick so much. Even though we’re going to roll the dough out between parchment paper sheets, it is still a fairly sticky dough, and everything goes much more smoothly with a quick dusting of Gluten Free Flour.
This recipe makes enough dough for one pie crust plus a pie crust cover or two thinner pie crusts. What I like to do is roll out all the dough together to make the pie crust. Then I transfer the pie crust to the pie dish. With the leftover dough, I use it for making the pie crust top or I refrigerate it for later for using for another pie crust. If I have two glass pie dishes, then I will go ahead and roll out the second part of dough and form it in the pie crust and then pop it in the freezer with some saran wrap around it to save for another day.
Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Don’t go too thin, because Gluten Free dough is just trickier to stretch and transfer.
Now, transfer the dough to a 9-inch glass pie dish. I do this by carefully flipping the dough from the parchment paper into the pie dish. Don’t worry about the edges tearing off. We’re going to take the extra dough hanging over the edges and fold it back onto the rim. Just pat it all back in place and smooth it out. Then, use your fingers to crimp the edges into your favorite design – I like making a ruffled design.
Here comes the chilling part. Put the pie crust in the refrigerator and let it chill for 30 minutes. This will cool down the shortening in the pie crust so that when you put it in the hot oven, the water will evaporate from the shortening and will steam up, making the famous pie crust layers.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
After the pie crust has chilled, put the pie crust straight into the preheated oven and baked for 10 minutes. This is called blind baking.
After the pie crust is baked, it’s ready to be filled according to your favorite pie recipe.
I can’t wait to hear how you use this pie crust! Please share your experiences in the comments below.
More Sugar Free Pie Recipes:
Best Gluten Free Pie Crust – Vegan Dairy Free Nut Free Sugar Free
- 12 oz Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 oz Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (2 sticks), cold and cut into small pieces
- 4 oz cold water
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and the salt.
- Rub in the Earth Balance using your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Add the water a little bit at a time and use your fingers to fluff the mixture. Stop when there is enough water that you can press the dough together and it holds for the most part.
- Before rolling out the pie dough, sprinkle the dough with some Gluten Free Flour so that the dough doesn’t stick so much. Divide the dough into two parts.
- Roll out one part of dough between two sheets of parchment paper.
- Transfer one rough of dough to a 9-inch glass pie dish. Refrigerate the second part of dough to use later for either a pie crust cover or a second pie crust.
- Fold the extra pie dough that spills over the edges back over the edge to make a thicker rim. Use your fingers to smooth the edges first and then crimp them.
- Place the pie crust in the refrigerator and let chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes.