Gluten-free, dairy-free pie crust

Here is a pie crust recipe which is gluten- and dairy-free. This recipe creates one 9 inch pie crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour, measured after sifting (I like Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose GF baking flour)
  • 1/2 cup shortening (we use Spectrum which is dairy- and soy-free, I believe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8-10 tablespoons cooled (refrigerated) water. If making this using wheat flour, cut this to 3-4 tablespoons

Directions

Put the flour, salt, and shortening in a big bowl. Use a pastry fork (looks like a couple of capital Ds made out of wire stuck together). If you don’t have a pastry fork, use a couple of regular forks.

You need to blend the flour and the shortening. Basically, you want to break up the shortening into pieces no larger than a pea. Do the best you can, but you may not get all of the pieces that small. By the time you get there, the flour should be pretty well mixed with the shortening.

Next you need to add water. How much you add depends on whether you’re using wheat flour or gluten-free flour. Gluten is sticky. It is a protein which forms long chains (that’s what gives white bread is ability to bend). If you’re using gluten-free flour, you don’t have that same stickiness. To get pie dough which rolls out without cracking, you need to make up for it with something. I use water.

Thus, the recipe calls for 3-4 tablespoons of chilled water for wheat flour, and 8-10 for gluten-free flour. Mix the starting amount of water in with your hands, then check the consistency.

Wheat flour: you’re looking for slightly stick dough.

Gluten-free flour: you’re looking for very sticky dough. You will need to put lots of GF flour on whatever you’re rolling the dough out on, the rolling pin, and the top of the dough.

When the dough is the correct consistency, form it into a ball with your hands. Place it on an appropriate surface (I use a large plastic mat designed for rolling out pies). Put flour on everything (mat, rolling pin, and dough).

Roll the dough out to the size you want (9 inches or so, depending on your pie pan). If the dough cracks (especially GF dough), put it back in the bowl and add more water.

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