The flakiest homemade gluten free pie crust! This crust is so buttery rich, it pairs well with both sweet and savoury fillings. Bake it as a single crust for a classic pumpkin pie recipe, or make a double crust and create a golden, sugar encrusted lattice on top of an apple or cherry pie.
When it comes to pies, I don’t mess around. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that if I had to choose between a slice of pie or cake. I would choose pie every time. So when I was developing this recipe I knew I couldn’t stop until I created a pie crust that was flaky, tender, yet sturdy enough to hold its shape.
Using a few professional pastry chef tips and tricks, this recipe will walk you through step-by-step on how to make this extra flaky gluten free pie crust.
What Makes This Gluten Free Pie Crust the Best?
- The texture of this pie is light, tender and oh so flaky.
- It tastes so rich and buttery while still maintaining a neutral flavour. This means you can pair it with all your favourite fillings.
- The dough is sturdy with just the right amount of stretch and elasticity. Allowing you to crimp the pies edges and make bakery-worthy designs.
This gluten free pie crust is a triple threat! It has a light and flaky texture, tastes rich and buttery, all while being pliable enough to roll and shape into various pie pans and create decorative designs. The neutral flavour lends well to both sweet and savoury fillings making this the only gluten free pie crust you will ever need.
What Can You Make with Gluten Free Pie Crust?
In the summer I personally love to fill my gluten free pie crust with summer stone fruits and berries. Then in the colder months, Classic Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie or Gluten Free American Apple Pie are always a holiday favourite. The beauty in this pie crust recipe is its versatility. It really allows you some creative flexibility when it comes to the fillings. Here is a list of some fillings to help get you inspired:
- Apple, Cherry, Blackberry, Strawberry, Rhubarb and Peach are just a few of the fruit pies you can make with this crust.
- For an extra indulgent treat, turn this gluten free pie crust into a Chocolate Brownie Pie and top each warm slice with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- After partially baking the crust, you can pour in a custard base like my Classic Pumpkin Pie filling.
- Make a hearty savoury pie to share with the family. I personally enjoy making chicken stew or beef bourguignon all within a double crust.
- Skip the pie dish and make hand pies or a galette with a sweet fruit filling or hazelnut spread.
Tips for Making The BEST Gluten Free Pie Crust
When making gluten free pie crust the most important thing to keep in mind is temperature. The science behind creating flaky layers in a pie crust comes from the lamination of dough and butter. As the dough bakes, the butter starts to melt releasing steam. This steam pushes up against the dough, forming pockets which lift the pastry and form a light, flaky structure. This is why it’s pivotal to keep the dough and butter cold during each step, right until it goes into the oven.
Find more tips and information about how to make the best gluten free pie and tart doughs as well as the perfect working temperatures for gluten free pastry dough here.
As you will see in the tips listed below, most of them involve steps that will ensure the dough stays cool.
- Quality Ingredients. This dough gets most of its flavour from butter so try to find a high quality unsalted butter with a fat percentage of at least 82%.
- Always use cold butter. The key to creating extra flaky, tender pie crust is making sure the butter stays as cold as possible until it goes in the oven.
- Ice Water. Keeping the butter as cold as possible is the key to a flaky pie crust. Make sure the water is ice cold. The first thing I do when making this dough is fill a measuring glass with cold water and then add 2-3 ice cubes. This stays off to the side until I’m ready to measuring and mix in the cold water with the pie dough.
- Chill the dough. Once the dough is made, it needs to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. I often make my dough the day before I need it so the dough can rest overnight. This not only creates a firm dough that you can easily roll and shape, but it also reduces the chance of it shrinking.
- Let the dough warm up. Allow the dough to rest and warm up on the counter for about 10-15 minutes before you want to roll it out. This slight increase in temperature will make it much easier to roll out and prevent cracking.
- Use plastic wrap. When rolling out this flaky all-butter gluten free pie crust it can be delicate and sticky. If you can, avoid using extra flour as this will dry out the crust. Instead place the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. This will allow you to use the plastic wrap on the bottom to transfer the rolled dough to the pie dish without any tears.
- Freeze the crust. To ensure the dough holds its shape while also having the flakiest texture, the crust needs to be frozen before baking. Once the dough is rolled out, transferred it to the pie plate, then freeze for a minimum of 2 hours before baking.
- Preheat a baking stone or sheet pan. The instant heat against the bottom of the dough creates a seal which will help ensure a crisp crust. reducing the chances of your pie crust having a soggy bottom. It also helps to bake the pie on a lower rack. You can move the pie to a higher rack for the last 15-20 minutes if you feel the bottom may be browning too quickly.
- Bake at a high temperature. Because the layers of butter and dough are what make this crust flaky. For this to work, the butter needs to melt quickly so it can produce steam. If the oven temperature is too low, the butter will melt slowly, seeping into the dough creating a greasy, tough crust.
Grated Butter Method
The grated butter technique might seen new to some people or like a TikTok baking hack, but it has actually been used in the professional pastry world for some time now. This method of incorporating cold grated butter produces a flakiness usual reserved for puff pastry.
Traditionally when making pie crust the method involves pressing cold butter between your fingertips and the flour, flattening the butter until no one piece is larger than a pea. There are two downsides to this method.
- The butter begins to soften and melt as you work it with warm hands.
- It’s impossible to get informed-size pieces of butter.
By grating the butter instead, we achieve a similar outcome without having any heat from our hands transfer to the dough. The flaky pieces of butter are also more uniformed in size creating a more even distribution.
Lastly, most flaky pie crust recipes require you to fold the dough over itself and roll it out several times to create the layers of flaky pastry. By adding the butter using the grated method, it incorporates hundreds of solid, thin butter flakes throughout the dough without all the folding.
Note: This specific recipe produces a gluten free pie crust that is very tender and flaky. If you want to incorporate a single turn (letter fold) for an extra flaky crust you can do so. Keep in mind that I would advise you not to do more than one single turn (letter fold), as you run the risk of the butter absorbing into the dough.
Tips for Rolling Gluten Free Pie Crust
Below is a step-by-step guide for rolling gluten free pie crust.
- Remove the chilled gluten free pastry dough from the fridge. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. If you try to roll out the dough straight from the fridge it will be too firm and crack.
- Line your worksurface with two sheets of plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can use a sheet of parchment paper but I find that it has a tendency to slide around and is more difficult when you go to line the tart and pie pans.
- Lightly dust the plastic wrap with gluten free flour. I use sorghum flour or tapioca starch to dust my worksurface but feel free to use whatever gluten free flour blend you have.
- Place your gluten free pastry dough in the centre of the plastic wrap. Begin rolling the dough into a circle using a light rolling motion.
- If the dough becomes sticky, dust it lightly with gluten free flour but try not to add too much as we don’t want to dry out the dough. Place a sheet of parchment on top. Finish rolling the dough between the plastic wrap and the parchment paper.
NOTE: If you think the dough is becoming too warm, slide it onto a baking sheet and place it back in the fridge for a few minutes to cool.
- Continue to roll the gluten free pastry dough until you’ve reached the desired thickness.
- Pie dough is best rolled to a thickness of 1/8-1/4 inch or 0.3-0.6cm
Tips for Lining Pie Pans or Plates with Gluten Free Pie Crust
Below is a step-by-step guide for lining a pie pan or plate with gluten free pie crust.
- Gently remove the top layer of parchment paper from the rolled gluten free pastry dough (if using).
- Lift the dough from underneath the plastic wrap and place it dough-side down inside the pie or tart pan. The plastic wrap makes it much easier to lift up and centre the dough.
- With the plastic wrap still in place, gently press the dough against the bottom and the sides on the pan.
- Slowly peel off the plastic wrap.
- Follow the recipe for crimping instructions. If no crimping instructions are provided you can simply press the tines of a fork along the edge of the dough. This will creating small indented lines along the rime of the pie plate for a classic design.
- Place the pie back into the fridge or freezer to set before baking.
What are Baking Weights?
Baking weights are needed when its necessary to par bake or blind bake a pie crust as it will keep the crust from bubbling up and shrinking.
Baking Weight Options
There are plenty of options when it comes to baking weights and it really comes down to personal preference. I personally like to use dried beans or rice but don’t let that sway you. Use whatever is convenient.
- Ceramic Pie Beads. Ceramic baking weights are great because they conduct heat evenly. This is a nice options because you can reuse these beads again and again. Simply wash the beads in warm soapy water and set them aside to dry. Note that if the pie dough is very delicate or soft, then the beads might leave little intents in the crust.
- Dried Beans or Lentils. You can use any kind of dried beans (kidney, chickpea, black beans, etc) or lentils as pie weights. After you’ve used them you can store them in a clean airtight container and use them again and again. Note that after baking the dried beans and lentils they are no longer edible, contrary to what a few other sources might stat.
- Uncooked Rice (any type will work).
- Granulated Sugar.
What is Blind Baking or Par Baking?
The purpose of blind baking or par baking (partially baking) is to give the crust a head start on baking and to prevent any shrinkage or bubbles forming. Depending on the pie filling, blind baking and par-baking will also save the pie from an underbaked or soggy bottom.
When Do You Blind Bake or Par Bake a Pie Crust?
When it comes to blind baking or par baking crust it comes down to the type of filling you will be using.
Par baking (partially or half baking). For fillings that are very liquid or have a custard base, such as a pumpkin pie or quiche, you will need to partially bake the crust otherwise the moisture from the custard filling would soak into the pie dough, creating a soft and soggy crust.
Blind baking (fully baking). This is used when the filling doesn’t require any baking. Fillings such as mousse, pudding, ganache or curd. Think lemon meringue pie, custard tarts or fresh fruit tarts.
How to make The BEST Gluten Free Pie Crust…Like a Pastry Chef
Lets get baking! (Step-by-Step Instructions)
Mis en Place
Going back to the Kira Bakes Gluten Free Pastry Principals, this is always our first step when baking as it not only helps ensure accuracy during the mixing process, but it also makes the whole baking process a lot more relaxing and enjoyable. It’s a win/win!
If I’ve said it 100 times, I’ll say it again. Measuring ingredients by weight not volume is the magic sauce to gluten free baking! I always do my best to provide the cup (volume) measurements where possible. If you are going to measure by volume, click this link for tips on the correct way to measure by volume.
Scale the following ingredients
The BEST Gluten Free Pie Crust Ingredients:
Note: This recipe yields enough gluten free pie dough for two single 9 inch crust or one double crust.
60g or 3 tbsp Granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Xanthan gum
1/2 tsp Baking powder
2 tsp tsp Kosher salt
225g or 1 cup Unsalted butter (frozen/grated) *approx two sticks of butter
2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
175ml or 3/4 cup Ice water
Prepare the equipment
- Large mixing bowl
- Box Grater
- Pie weights or dried beans/rice
- One, 9 inch deep dish pie plate
- Large sheet an or baking stone
- Parchment paper
- Plastic wrap
- Cooling rack
The BEST Gluten Free Pie Crust
(this recipe makes two single 9″ pie crusts or one double crust)
Step 1 – Making the Gluten Free Pie Crust
In a large bowl, whisk together gluten free flour, Xanthan Gum, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
Using a box grater, grate the frozen or chilled butter. Take a few tablespoons of the gluten free flour mixture and sprinkle it over the grated butter. Use a fork to toss the butter and flour together, place it back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
Add the frozen grated butter to the bowl containing the gluten free flour mixture. Using a fork, stir and toss the ingredients together.
Add the apple cider vinegar and ice water. Using your hands, bring the dough together until it forms a shaggy ball. If the dough isn’t coming together add an additional 1-2 tbsp of ice water.
Pastry Chef Tip: to test the dough, squeeze a small amount of dough in your hand; if it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water.
Separate the dough into two pieces and press them into a rough rectangle. This shape will make it easier to complete the letter folds (single turn method). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or preferably overnight.
Step 2 – Single Turn Method (Letter fold) *OPTIONAL
This specific recipe produces a gluten free pie crust that is very tender and flaky. If you want to incorporate a single turn (letter fold) for an extra flaky crust you can do so. Keep in mind that I would advise you not to do more than one single turn (letter fold), as you run the risk of the butter absorbing into the dough.
- Once the dough has firmed up in the fridge, allow it to rest at room temperature for approx 5-10 minutes. Place the unwrapped pie dough on a sheet of plastic wrap that has been lightly dusted with gluten free flour.
- Using a rolling pin, gently tap and roll out the dough vertically to elongate the rectangular shape. Only roll the dough until it’s approx 15 x 45cm (6×18 inches) or about double the length.
- Fold the dough into thirds. This is known as a letter fold. Rotate the dough quarter clockwise so it looks like a book you can open. This dough only requires a single turn (letter fold) due to the grated butter.
- Wrap the dough back in plastic wrap and chill for 5-10 minutes.
Step 3 – Rolling the Dough
- Place the unwrapped pie dough on a sheet of plastic wrap that has been lightly dusted with gluten free flour.
- Lightly dust the top of the dough with gluten free flour and place a second sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper over the dough.
- Roll from the centre, outwards until the dough circle is 1 inch larger than the pie dish or a thickness of approx 3mm-6mm or 1/8-1/4 of an inch.
Step 4 – Lining the Pie Dish
- Gently remove the top layer of plastic wrap or parchment paper from the rolled gluten free pie dough.
- Lift the dough from underneath the plastic wrap and place it dough-side down inside the pie plate. The plastic wrap makes it much easier to lift up and centre the dough.
- With the plastic wrap still in place, gently press and mold the dough against the bottom and the sides on the pie plate.
- Slowly peel off the cling film.
- Crimp the edges of the dough around the pie plate. If you need some help with crimping or want design ideas, Erin McDowell is a great resource!
- Freeze for a minimum 30 minutes and proceed with the filling or recipe you are following.
Step 5 – Follow Only if Blind Baking or Partially Baking
Remove the dough from the freezer and line with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving some overhang. Pour in the pie weights (dried beans and uncooked rice works as well), making sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is just starting to brown. Carefully remove the parchment and weights. Brush the inside of the crust and the edges beaten egg whites. Place the crust back in the oven for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Note: After cooling, If you used dried beans you can reuse them again as pie weights in the future.
Storing Gluten Free Pie Crust
Gluten Free Pie Crust that has been blind baked or partially baked will keep at room temperature for 1 day.
Refrigerating Gluten Free Pie Crust
You can store gluten free pie dough in the fridge for up to 3 days. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap.
Freezing Gluten Free Pie Crust
Frozen gluten free pie dough will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. I recommend wrapping the dough in plastic wrap. Then wrapping it in either aluminum foil or placing it in a resealable freezer bag.
Before using the dough, allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge.
Gluten Free Pie Crust Q&A
Question: What if the gluten free dough breaks or tears when I’m lining my pie plate?
This happens to the best of us and luckily it will have zero effect on how your pie turns out after baking. First finish molding the dough into the pie plate. Then simply use some of the pie dough scraps to mend the cracks. Use your fingers to gently smooth the dough patches into place.
Question: Why did my gluten free pie crust shrink down after baking?
This likely happened because the dough didn’t have enough time to rest and chill before baking. The key to a gluten free pie crust that doesn’t shrink is allowing the dry ingredients enough time to absorb all the moisture and for the butter to become fully set and chilled. Next time you can double check by pressing your index finger against the chilled crust. If its firm to the touch and your finger didn’t leave an indent then its ready to be baked.
Question: Why is my gluten free pie dough leaking butter after blind baking?
It’s normal for gluten free pie crust to leak a little bit of butter during the blind baking process. Usually if it’s baked with a filling you don’t notice it as the butter naturally absorbs back into the crust or the filling. If you are getting pools of melted butter after blind baking the crust then it’s likely because the pie dough did not rest or chill long enough in the fridge/freezer before baking. The secondary reason this may have happened is because the butter hasn’t fully incorporated with the flour. Make sure that the butter gets thoroughly coated with the gluten free flour during the mixing process.Print
Recipe questions? I’d love to help!