I’ve made the same pie crust recipe for decades. The problem is that my original recipe is not gluten free, so I really wanted to convert it. However, by now, I know that gluten free baking is a bit tricky. Replicating the tendencies and texture of what flour does is no easy task.
I decided to convert the recipe during my Thanksgiving baking marathon; which in hindsight, was probably not the smartest idea. Nevertheless, it worked like a charm and my best gluten free pie crust was born.
This simple gluten free pie crust is easy to work with–which is a blessing–since my past experiments ended up falling apart even before I could successfully transfer the crust to my baking dish. If this has happened to you, then you know that frustrating is an understatement.
Once baked, this crust was flaky and (as cliche as it sounds) basically perfect. The greatest compliment came from my husband: A friend of his came over for Thanksgiving and he wanted a slice of pie. The kids proceeded to tell him, “this pie is gluten free, this one is regular, this one is…” In the mist of all this discussion, my wonderful husband said, “it doesn’t matter, pick whichever pie you want; you won’t be able to tell the difference.”
I love that man!
It was the best compliment because it was true. This gluten free crust tasted almost identical to the wheat crust.
Overall, I am very satisfied with my gluten free crust recipe and I doubt I’ll be making any changes to it in the future.
Notes and Tips
For health reasons, I used non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening rather than Crisco. You may easily replace it with another kind of shortening if you so choose. You can also use lard, in which case I would use Epic’s Lard; which can be bought at Vitacost.
I would not substitute the shortening with butter. When I tried it, the crust seemed hard instead of flaky.
Best Gluten Free Pie Crust
Crack the egg into a small bowl. Add the cold water and the apple cider vinegar. Combine well with a whisk.
Make a well in the center of your flour and pour the water-egg mixture into that well. Mix with a fork. When fork mixing is no longer effective, use lightly floured hands (you can use rice flour or cornstarch). Continue working your dough until you have a nice, soft, round ball.
Place a piece of plastic over the bowl or a dish towel. Let it sit on your counter-top for 15 to 20 minutes.
At this point, cut your dough into two halves. I place my dough onto a Silpat mat. I lightly spread some cornstarch on top. You could also use a lightly floured surface, but keep in mind that if you use too much flour; your dough will be tough and crumbly.
I flatten the dough with my hands as much as I can. At this point, I use another Silpat mat-as it makes my task so much easier-but you could also use wax paper. Lightly brush some cornstarch on it as well.
Roll your dough out to the desired size. Gently peel the Silpat mat or wax paper and transfer to a prepared pie plate.
I use the technique in this video (starting at the 48 second mark) to transfer my crust into my pie plate.
Makes 2 crusts.