Deliciously Flaky Pie Crust
Updated: Aug 5
The success of this pie crust recipe can be summed up in one word: COLD. That is the key to making this pie crust deliciously flaky rather than tough and rubbery (although – sigh- I know from experience that it’s still edible, just really tough to chew). As long as the shortening stays nice and cold until it hits the heat of the oven surrounded by those well blended flours, you’re golden for a great crust. I say "golden" meaning only that your crust will be great, but not golden in color, because the final product of gluten-free flours is different than traditional wheat flours, so the crust will basically be the same color as it was when you put it in the oven. However, you can always add an egg wash to the top of the crust, and that will allow it to brown more like a traditional wheat flour pie crust.
Here’s the recipe, and just remember: COLD!!!
(Makes 2 - 9"crusts)
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (142g) palm shortening (chilled!!!)
1 cup (150g) white rice flour
½ cup (59g) tapioca flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup (66g) ice cold water
Measure your palm shortening, place it in a small bowl and set it in the refrigerator. (At least 30 minutes, but 1 hour is ideal)
While the shortening chills, measure your flours* into a large bowl and add the salt. Whisk until well combined.
Set up your food processor. You can even put it in the fridge for a few minutes. (I’m serious about this COLD thing!)
When the shortening is well chilled, remove it from the fridge and place it in the food processor giving it a couple of whirs until the shortening becomes crumbly.
Add in your flour/salt mixture and pulse about 4-5 times until the shortening and flour are combined.
Pour about half of the ice water into the processor and pulse again.
Repeat as needed until the flour, shortening and water have formed a dough. It will be a little sticky.
Remove the dough from the food processor and separate into 2 equal sized discs. You may want to wet or flour your hands first, because the dough is sticky.
Put the dough in the fridge to rest while you prepare the pie plates and parchment paper for rolling. If you’re not using both discs immediately, you can wrap the extra disc and place it in a freezer bag until you’re ready to use it.*
You’ll need 2 sheets of parchment paper and you can use either the tapioca or white rice flour to dust the surface of the paper for rolling.
Remove one of the discs of dough from the fridge and set it on the floured piece of parchment.
Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour and set the remaining piece of parchment paper on top of the dough.
Roll out the dough using a rolling pin and try to touch the dough as little as possible (remember: COLD). Dusting lightly with flour as need to prevent sticking.
When the dough is rolled enough to cover the bottom and sides of your pie plate, remove the top layer of parchment paper and use the bottom piece of parchment paper to hold the crust together as you flip it into the pie plate. Peel off the paper and you’re ready to fill the pie.
*Measuring gluten-free flours is different from measuring traditional wheat flours. A food scale will provide the most accurate measurements, but we don’t always have time for that. So, spoon your flour into the measuring cup and then level it with a knife; don’t pack it down like you would traditional flour. This will get you pretty close to the weight and measurements used above.
*If you don't have the flours listed above, can you substitute? I don't know. Yes, that's annoying, I know, but the weight of each gluten-free flour as well as the protein and starch content is different. That's what makes substitutions in gluten-free baking so tricky. I'm sorry.
*To use the frozen disc of pie dough, allow the disc to thaw in the fridge overnight and then set out on the counter for about 30 minutes to soften enough to be able to roll out the dough. The dough may be crumbly, if so, just add a dusting of flour and roll the dough around a bit to get it to stick back together. You can use your hands to manipulate the dough more now because the dough is still very cold.
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