Pie Crust, Gluten-Free (revised 5/17/14)

by Jeanne on November 15, 2009


Top photo is a pie with an egg wash sprinkled with granulated sugar; the bottom photo is without any type of glaze on the top crust. Both are yummy!

5/17/14 NOTE: I seem to have a curse around this recipe.  Once again, up until today the weight for the flour in the recipe was incorrect.  The correct amount is: 325 grams.  Gah.  I’m so sorry!

8/28/13 NOTE: I’ve rewritten this post and the instructions in order to address the questions and challenges readers have had with gluten-free pie dough over the years.

This post is dedicated to my friend Kate McDermott, the Queen of Pie.

As I’ve traveled this road called “gluten intolerance,” I’ve run across many gluten-free baking “holy grails.” One of them is a good, flaky pie crust. Somehow, pie crust has gotten a bad rap in the gluten-free world. From my research, I think this is mostly due to the fact that gluten-free flours act a bit differently from wheat flour. So, if you are someone who made wheat pie crusts before and is now making gluten-free pie crusts, you need to let go of some of your assumptions about how pie crust dough behaves in different circumstances. Once you do this, your pie crusts will be golden and flaky and delicious!

First and foremost piece of advice: do not be intimidated!  Gluten-free pie crust is actually easy and fun to make, and you can be playful with it. It is also quite forgiving and you can fix any flubs you make along the way. The main thing you need is patience and a little time.  That said, the making of pie crust is a skill that you get better at the more you do it.  Remember: pie crust making is pastry making.  The first time you do it, it probably won’t be perfect.  The more you do it, the more experience you get, and the better your crusts will be.

Most recipes for wheat pie crust recommend using dough that is as cold as possible (sometimes even almost frozen) in order to keep the fat (usually butter, shortening, or lard) in solid bits throughout the dough. I have found that gluten-free pie crust dough needs to be not quite as cold (but not warm) as a wheat crust allows in order to roll properly.   I have found that a dough temperature of 65 to 67 degrees F/18 degrees C to 19 degrees C is optimal for rolling my gluten-free pie crust dough.  The warmer or colder your dough is than that, the more difficulty you will have with rolling it.  If the dough seems too sticky and floppy, it’s too warm.  If it’s too stiff and breaks immediately, it’s too cold. (use an instant read thermometer to take readings–so easy!)

Note: I give you the optimal temperature for pie crust dough in case you’re having trouble telling by feel.  Optimally, you should be able to get to the point where you can tell by how the dough looks and feels.

Pie crust making, as is true of all pastry making, requires some care to be taken in order to be done well.  Be gentle when rolling out the dough.  You do need to work quickly so the dough doesn’t warm up too much, but I have found that working with care always produces a better result.  Don’t work so quickly that it makes you sloppy.  Slow and steady like a snail versus fast and jerky .  An additional tip: don’t use much pressure on the dough as you roll it.  Be light as a butterfly.  If the dough starts cracking, slow down and use an even lighter touch with your dough.  It takes patience, but your  result will be worth it.  Think snail and butterfly.  This mantra will help.  (or at least it will make you giggle)

OK, let’s get started! This will be fun!

Gluten-Free Pie Crust (makes a double crust for a 9 inch pie)

Special Equipment Needed
-rolling pin
-9 inch glass or ceramic pie pan (I’ve found that glass and ceramic create slightly more flaky crusts than do metal pie pans.  But metal is fine if that’s all you have.)

Ingredients
2  1/3 cups (325 g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 oz; 230 g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (you can also use lard or shortening or butter replacer).  Note that if you use a butter replacer, you will probably need less water than with the other fat options because of the amount of water in most butter replacers. Also, butter replacers are often very salty.  If the one you’re using is salty, omit the salt in the recipe
1 tablespoon vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
1-7 tablespoons cold water
extra tapioca flour for rolling out
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water for an egg wash (optimal)
Extra granulated sugar for sprinkling top (optional)

To make the crust:
Temperature is important, so work quickly.  Place flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Mix together with a spoon until combined.  Add butter pieces to the dry ingredients mixture. With fingers, start rubbing together the butter and the dry ingredients. This will take a bit of time but you want to work as quickly as you can to make sure the butter doesn’t get warm and start to melt into the dough. Do this until the resulting mixture looks like wet sand mixed with different-sized pebbles.  I like to do this by hand to get a feel for the dough, although you may also do this initial cutting of the fat into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or by pulsing the ingredients in a food processor:

Add the vinegar and rub into the mixture.  Add water a tablespoon at a time, rubbing into the mixture. You want to add just enough to create a dough that holds together well, but isn’t wet.  The less water=the more flaky crust.

Divide the dough into two fairly equal pieces, shape into disks, and wrap each disk separately in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate the disks for 20-ish minutes (or until the disks are cool and nicely firm but not rock hard) If you store the dough longer and they become rock hard, you will need to leave them out on the counter to warm up to optimal rolling temperature (but no warmer) before rolling.

BIG NOTE: You can roll the crust between 2 pieces of plastic wrap if you’d prefer.

NOTE: if your kitchen isn’t too hot, you can roll out your first crust right away.  Just put the other piece in the fridge to chill while you roll out the first piece.  My kitchen in Seattle rarely gets too hot, so I always roll the first piece right away.  This is always the easiest dough to roll–it is probably at the right temperature.  Note that the optimal pie crust dough temperature is 65 to 67 degrees F/18 degrees C to 19 degrees C.

Prepare your rolling surface.  Sprinkle tapioca flour over your rolling surface. Also sprinkle flour over your rolling pin.  When the disks are chilled to 65 degrees F to 67 degrees F/18 degrees C to 19 degrees C, remove the first disk of dough from the fridge and place on your prepared rolling surface and sprinkle top of dough with tapioca flour.  A key to successfully rolling out gluten-free pie dough is to go slow. And use a light touch. If your dough starts cracking, slow down and don’t press so hard with your rolling pin.  With your rolling pin, carefully and patiently roll out the dough into a 12″ circle (it should be at least 3″ larger than the top of your pie pan). If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, add more tapioca flour.

NOTE: the dough should be cool but not too cold. It should roll fairly easily and should not break while you’re rolling it. If it does break a little bit, don’t worry–breaks are easily fixed by smoothing the dough over the breaks.  If it seems too cold and you’re really having to work hard to roll it and it’s breaking a lot, step back and let it warm up a little bit before you continue. Alternately, if the dough is floppy and seems to be “sweating,” it is too warm and should be refrigerated for a while longer to cool it down.  The photo below is how the dough will behave at the optimal rolling temperature:

In the next step, you are going to roll the dough around the rolling pin in order to transport it to the pie pan. In order to do this, sprinkle tapioca flour over the entire surface of the pie crust dough.  Now, put the rolling pin on top of one side of the dough. Wrap the dough around the roller until you’ve gotten all of the dough onto the pin. If it’s at the right temperature, the dough should roll easily around the pin without any breaking.

NOTE: again, if the dough breaks a lot while you’re rolling it around the pin, it’s a bit too cold. Step away and let the dough warm up a bit before proceeding

Lift the pin with the dough rolled around it and put on the top of your pie pan

Unwrap the dough from your rolling pin onto the pie pan so the pan is covered evenly.  Now carefully press your dough into place. Proceed slowly, starting with the middle bottom of the pie pan and working out to bottom corners and then up the sides

When you get to the rim, press the dough onto the rim. Finally, press down and carefully tear off any leftover dough (set these scraps aside–you will use them later)

You now have the bottom crust dough in place

Place your pie pan with the bottom crust dough in place into the refrigerator while you roll out the top dough.

Preheat your oven to the temperature required for your chosen pie filling.

Roll out the top dough the same way you rolled out the bottom dough.

Remove pie pan w/dough from refrigerator. Place filling inside it and dot with cold butter pieces

Roll top crust dough onto your rolling pin just as you did with the bottom crust dough. Transfer and unroll over the top of your pie filling

Carefully press top and bottom crust dough together at the rim to form a seal. You can create a decorative edge by pinching the dough together with your thumb and forefinger of one hand and the forefinger of the other hand. Or, you can carefully press down along the rim with the tines of a fork. Be sure you’ve created a good seal–any unsealed portion will leak filling all over your oven floor during the baking process

Now make slashes in the top crust dough to create air vents for steam to escape during the baking process. I usually do two levels of them–the top row alternating with the middle row–to make it decorative.

If you are so inclined, roll out some of the leftover scrap dough and cut out cute designs to put on the top of pie. For example, for an apple pie, I cut out an apple with a leaf:

Also, if you want a little bit of a glaze on top of your pie, I recommend using some beaten egg to brush on the top and then sprinkle with granulated sugar. It will create the effect of the top photo of this post.

Now your pie is ready for the oven!  Your baking time and temperature will depend on your filling.

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{ 149 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah Devine July 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Hi Jeanne!
I’ve been following your blog for a while now and have loved your flour mix!
I’m making pies tomorrow for a 4th of July party and want to try out your crust but I have a question first.
You wrote to dot the filling with butter…I’m making berry pies. Do I put the butter under the filling or on top? I’m not doing a top crust, so do I have to put butter in the filling? Will it turn out right if I don’t?
Thanks!
Hannah

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Jeanne July 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Hannah: if you’re not putting on a top crust, then there is no need for the butter. That’s just to keep the top crust from sticking to the fruit filling. Happy baking and happy 4th!!

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Melissa June 19, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Brilliant recipe! Even my husband who is adamantly against gluten free baking said he wouldn’t have known it was GF if I hadn’t told him. This recipe yielded two large pie shells (one became a banana cream pie for some friends) and a small pecan pie for us. Thanks for the flour mix, I’m excited to try it in my favourite recipes! It’s been fun to read your blog Jeanne – someone who’s not afraid of butter and has gone through as many flour trials as me!

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Jeanne June 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Melissa: Yay! Happy baking!

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Jan June 8, 2014 at 1:19 pm

This pastry recipe turned out great! I am wondering if it can be made ahead of time and frozen? By the way, I used my food processor for combining everything. It was fast and easy. I always did traditional pastry this way, so I had a really good idea of when to stop adding the ice water.

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Jeanne June 16, 2014 at 11:14 am

Jan: Yes, it can be made ahead of time and frozen in the pan. I have found that if you try to freeze it without the pan, it’s too delicate and it breaks apart.

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Jan June 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I tried making a rhubarb and pineapple pie using this crust. It turned out great! Very flaky and buttery. I will make this recipe again. I am wondering if the discs of dough can be frozen and used at a later date or if an unbaked pie shell can be frozen?

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Jeanne June 16, 2014 at 11:18 am

Jan: I usually freeze the crust in the pan. I have a couple of metal pans for this purpose. I line the pan with the crust then wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap or pop it into a zip top bag. Works like a charm.

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Marie May 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Bummed out, I thought I would try to make a GF / dairy free strawberry/rhubarb pie tonight using this GF pie crust recipe and it was an EPIC fail. I gave up trying to roll out the dough after the 5 th time and will attempt something tomorrow. I used the Earth Balance /soy free butter as my replacement butter and seemed to need around 6 TBlS of water to get the right dough stickiness. I thought it would be less due to the Earth Balance. I made sure the dough stayed cool but even when I thought I was at a point to transfer the crust to the pie pan it broke in pieces. I have had this happen to me in my past attempts at GF pie crusts and just can not seem to get a good GF crust right. I don’t think I was made to be a pie maker. At this point I am not sure I can even use the dough I have made as I feel I’ve added too much extra flour for the rolling out process and worked it so much, Thoughts??

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Jeanne May 17, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Marie: First of all, I just checked the recipe and the flour weight was off a little bit. It should be 325 g (not 350 g). Gah. So, you you measured by weight, there was a little discrepancy. Not a huge problem, but I wanted to let you know–and I just fixed it. Also, you can roll the crust between two sheets of plastic wrap. That is what a lot of people do. Finally, I would recommend using a shortening for this. Butter replacers are awfully hard to get right for pie crusts. They just have too much water.

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Pat E. May 7, 2014 at 4:38 am

I love to make pies and yesterday was my first time trying a gluten free pie crust — it was delicious and even NON gluten free peeps loved it! I made a coconut custard pie and they did not know it was gf! ;)

Why is vinegar added?

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Jeanne May 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Pat: Yay! I’m so glad. The vinegar is there as a “tenderizer”–it helps the crust not be too tough. And it delays browning a bit.

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Rhiannon March 14, 2014 at 10:55 am

I followed the instructions and everything seemed to work out (3tbsp water, no cracking, transfer okay to the pie shell) but the finished crusts seem pretty brittle and grainy. My flour mix had been in the fridge a while, but other than that I followed things to a T. I haven’t had problems with this flour being grainy in breads or cakes, although I would cook things a little bit longer to make sure the rice absorbed all of the moisture. Maybe I should have added more water?

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Rhiannon March 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm

ETA: Actually I think it was just the edges that were a bit brittle… after giving them a try this afternoon the parts that actually had filling surrounding them turned out well :)

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Jeanne March 14, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Rhiannon: Ah, OK.

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Kai March 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Well, the first quiche is in the oven!! A lovely quiche of smoked coho salmon, asparagus and mushrooms with lots of fresh dill and lemon zest. I did have a time of it getting the crust to roll onto the pin without breaking ( when adding the water I ended up using just 1 T., as it felt “wet” and held together well). I just put it back into the fridge and pulled out the other round, which was a bit more chilled ( living in AZ and having inside temps of 80+ this time of year really controls the process). I did have an easier time rolling out the second and getting it on the pin but it split when I unrolled it. Nevertheless, I just pieced the sucker together and went on to filling it. I did not blind bake the crust, but perhaps should have. Just peaked at 12 min left to bake and damn, if it doesn’t look like my quiches of old!!!!! Will update when I get a bite in my mouth!!

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Kai March 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Ohhhh silly me being so excited…. perhaps I needed to add another T. of water to it… the crumbling could be from a lack of moisture?

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Jeanne March 14, 2014 at 10:42 am

Kai: Is it crumbling before or after the bake?

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Jeanne March 14, 2014 at 10:41 am

Kai: Yay!

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Kai March 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm

The first attempt was both difficult to roll onto the pin without breaking and quite crumbly after it was baked. I started over… with this modification ~
I had only frozen butter, so I cut it up, measured out the dry ingredients very carefully and put both together in my food processor. Whirled it around until it was sand, and the butter was still cold!!! Then added the vinegar and 5 T. of water in total. It acted better when rolling but still had a tearing issue when I got it to the pie plate. I think perhaps it needed one more Tbls. of water. Being in the desert the ingredients are bone dry!! And freezing the butter really helped with the ambient kitchen temp of over 80 degrees. Both tasted yummy, but the second fluted edge held up much better upon slicing than the first ( which just turned to crumb).

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Jeanne March 14, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Kai: Ah, got it. Glad it went well after all!

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Berta January 11, 2014 at 6:12 am

Thank you so much for your site! I spend hours on here looking for recipes to try. I have to convert your recipes for my food allergies, but thanks to you I have basic recipes to start with. I have recently been diagnosed with allergies/insensitivities to gluten, dairy, soy, beef, and nuts. It was a rough few weeks trying to find anything to eat but your site has been such a great tool in finding a way inside this new life. You are doing a great service to many people like me while doing what you obviously have a passion for. Once again, Thank You!

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Jeanne January 11, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Berta: Yay! I’m so glad! Happy baking!

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Wendy December 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

Thank you for this recipe, I was getting tired of the dough-boy pre-made crust since once it is baked it tastes like fried wontons and is a bit gummy and oily.

This one was easy to make, tasted better, and less oily. I still had an issue rolling it out but that may have been a temperature issue. The only thing I would try to improve on was the crust was really dry and slightly crumbly once cooked. Not sure how to address that, maybe it is because I used it for a pot pie rather than a dessert pie so I omitted the sugar? I kept the vinegar and used the water I think I ended up needing 3 table spoons, but probably could have gotten away with 2 or 2.5 tablespoons.

I did use margarine rather than butter, do you think that real butter or even Crisco (in the blue can) would make it less dry?

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Jeanne December 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Wendy: I’m not sure what you mean by dry, so I’m not sure how to solve it. It’s supposed to be flakey. Is that what you mean when you say “crumbly”? Also, I think it might be worth your while to do it with butter and see how you like it.

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Wendy December 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm

No this was certainly not flakey there is a difference between flakey and dry; I guess the best way to describe it is, imagine a sand castle after it has time to dry and you break it it is kind of crumbly and grainy. It tasted fine, it was just very dry.

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Dianne December 29, 2013 at 7:58 am

Jeanne & Ivy : Is the vodka in place of the other liquid? Thanks.

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Jeanne December 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Dianne: If you want to use vodka, use it for 1/2 of the liquid added. Alternate tablespoons of vodka and water for the liquid and don’t use the vinegar.

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Ivy January 1, 2014 at 12:40 am

That’s how I typically do it… however this time I ended up using more liquid than total just because the mix seemed very dry. I feel like the vodka gives me more wiggle room in getting a workable dough that won’t end up too wet. I like to put the vodka in the freezer for a bit before adding as well.

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Jeanne January 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Ivy: Sounds good!

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Ivy December 26, 2013 at 9:40 pm

So first, a big thank you from all of us at our newly gluten free house. This process would have been so much more difficult without your help.

Previously, I was incredibly proud of my pie crust and always got tons of praise. It was scary when I realized that I was going to have to come up with something else. This crust is lovely, as written, and delicious. The texture is wonderful! My husband declared it a 9 out of 10 of my all-time best crusts.

I did want to let you know that adding a scant 1/4 cup of vodka as per the cooks illustrated recipe made the dough much easier to handle. Not that you need it to reduce gluten formation, but it’s also useful for creating a dough that’s not so crumbly and fragile without baking up too wet. The alcohol evaporates away leaving buttery flakey goodness behind. Note that our kitchen is really dry right now, so amounts are going to vary.

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Jeanne December 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Ivy: Awesome! And yes, vodka is a good liquid to use because it evaporates so quickly.

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Kim December 15, 2013 at 11:34 am

Thank you for this post! I have been struggling with finding a pie crust recipe since being gluten free many many years ago. Just like all your recipes–it was amazing! I had problems with transferring it to the pie pan, but it turned out perfectly. Your recipe will be used for years to come!

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Jeanne December 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

Kim: Yay! I’m so glad!

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Sarah November 28, 2013 at 9:53 am

Just made your pie crust, worked out great can’t wait to try it!! Just a thought, I have a really hard time with GF item sticking to the counter no matter how I flour the surface, so I use a sheet of parchment paper to keep it from sticking and it also helped get the crust into the pan. :) can’t wait to try all your recipes. Yay!

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Jeanne November 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Sarah: Good way to solve the sticking issue! One thing to keep in mind: mine only really sticks to the counter if it is too warm. So, make sure the crust isn’t too warm as you’re rolling it out. Also, happy baking!

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Amber November 25, 2013 at 12:54 am

Quick question – is rolling absolutely necessary or can you just press it by hand into the pie plate for a single-crust pie?

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Jeanne November 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Amber: You know, that’s a good question. I don’t see why you couldn’t just take half of the dough and press it into the pie pan. Just do it quickly so your fingers don’t melt the butter. And then stick it into the fridge to cool down while you make your filling. Let me know how it goes!

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Marcy November 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm

This crust looks terrific! I’m looking forward to trying it during the holidays. Do you think it would work with half lard and half coconut oil? I have a family member who was diagnosed with a bunch of food sensitivities this year, so butter, shortening, and butter substitute are pretty much out (even the “safe” versions of these things have caused problems). Oddly enough, lard is an okay ingredient for her, but it just makes me cringe to use that much of it. Thank you!

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Jeanne November 24, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Marcy: yes, lard and coconut oil should work just fine! And lard is actually considered a healthy fat. It’s gotten an undeserved rap for being bad for you–but it’s not!

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Celine September 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Hi!
I have been a loyal follower to your website and use it often. I have found a really really really easy solution for not making the crust crack and breakable and that is easily rollable and really really really easy to manage– add a beaten egg to the dough! I beat an egg with water (5 tbsp) and then just add this as the liquid. I can roll it, re-roll it (it has to be warmer as you have directed) but this allows you to do anything to it and it still turns out awesome. I also do an egg wash and sugar, freeze 5 minutes and re-egg wash sugar and it is awesome. For the first time GF er’s who are new to baking and get easily frustrated, this is an easy solution.

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Jeanne September 23, 2013 at 9:36 am

Celine: Yes, adding eggs will help with the cracking situation–but it fundamentally changes the nature of the crust. Eggs will “glue” down the layers and create a less flaky crust. It might be tender but it won’t be as flaky as it is without eggs. This is why pie crust traditionally doesn’t have eggs in it.

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Caroline Boy September 23, 2013 at 10:17 am

I also use an egg in place of some of the liquid and even reduce the total liquid to 3 tablespoons and knead the dough well. It works great for me and in my pie machines and tart presses as well.

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Dianne September 23, 2013 at 11:43 am

I was considering doing this my second time around, as my wheat crust had an egg in the recipe. I would put 1 egg & 1 TBS. apple cider vinegar in a 1 cup measure and the rest was water.

My crust was always flaky even with the egg in it. I have never made wheat pastry without the egg, and so I can’t compare it to that. But mine was always flaky and was a well sought recipe. I always used butter; don’t know if that made the difference?

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Jeanne September 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Dianne: Awesome! Butter is awesome.

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Jan Andrews September 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Hi Jeanne,
I used this recipe for ALL of my Thanksgiving pies, and not one of the other people present had a clue. This is now my go-to crust. Thanks for always being vigilant and keeping up to date for us.
jan

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Jeanne September 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Jan: Yay! And you’re welcome. I am always trying to make things work better for folks!

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Dianne September 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Hi Jeanne!
I’ve been making your baguette recipe since February 2012 and thought it was time to branch out into pie pastry. Your recipe is similar to the ‘gluten’ pastry I use to make and I was always asked for my recipe as it was so flaky.

I was surprised that after adding the 1 Tbs. ac vinegar, the dough only required 2 Tbs. of water! And with that, there was a good Tbs. sitting at the bottom of the bowl when I opted to take the pastry out. My instincts told me at this point that anymore water and I would have a runny mess.

Anyhow I see now that my pastry was still a bit too cold and so the first crust has to be pieced together. The second one wrapped quite well around the roller and needed slight piecing around the top edge. A friend who is over from England was making two quiches and wanted to pre-bake the pastry before adding the ingredients. I was alarmed at how much the bottom crust had cracked and hoped that the liquid would not seep through and it did not. But…all in all the pastry was quite wonderful, it reminded us of shortbread without the sugar and vanilla! LOL

The two problems that I felt where that the top edge of the pie was generally crumbly and if you ate the pastry on its own, it has a granular texture. Despite this, we loved it. Any problem solving about the crumbliness would be appreciated.

Again, thanks for putting out such wonderful recipes. I have not have had pie in 2 1/2 years and am looking forward to Thanksgiving so that I can make a pumpkin pie.

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Jeanne September 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Dianne: I’m glad you liked it!

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Michelle August 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

Hey… Just a quick note of what NOT to do (lol, after a 3 hour process of trying to make this crust and a chocolate cream filling to go in). I did not have butter on hand, so used Smart Balance spread as a replacement. it had enough water content that I only added the vinegar, and was still sticky when trying to get it off the pastry mat ( even with flour on it). I ended up having to do it 4 times (alternating between the chilled and rechilled crust that kept going back in the fridge), rolling it out and try ing to get it into the pie pan. On my last and final attempt (I was ready to make a raw nut, date, and coconut crust!), I got it to transfer to the pie plate by inverting it on a baking sheet and flinging it over with the pie pan on top, and all of the surrounding dough that would make the pretty crust fell off, of course. So I ended up having to use my sculpting skills to create a crust that blended in with the sides. UGH! I would have been much better off driving the 30 minutes into town and buying butter and doing it that way from the beginning. LIave and learn with this gluten-free baking. I did end up blind-baking the crust and doing the filling, and there were only 4 major cracks thru the bottom, lol. Good thing the lovely chocolate filling (which had to reconstitute b/c it sat out while waiting for the crust, and formed a skin on top even with the wax paper, and I thought the Vitamix would reincorporate e skin, and it did, but it was no longer thick! I tried reheating, and it separated, so I added guar gum, made a PB swirl on top of the whole pie, and it is all chilling in e fridge as I type :). If this was not for a celebration event is p.m. I would have called it a day and eaten some chocolate chips, instead! Anyway, besides it being therapeutic to shre this long story, I hope it helps someone else not go down this path. I bet if I had been able to add shortening along with the margarine, it would have been fine.
But I do love this site, and am so I incredibly thankful to find delish GF foods… Thank you for all your hard work! Michelle

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Jeanne August 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Michelle: I’m so sorry you had such a hard time with the crust and the Smart Balance. Yes, the amount of water in the butter replacer plus the amount of water in the air can make pie crusts difficult. Also, as you know, keeping the dough cool is imperative. I have found that 65-67 degrees is the optimal rolling temperature. And finally, you can use shortening if you want to. That has no water and that is why a lot of people really like to use it for pies.

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Tracy July 20, 2013 at 9:40 am

First of all (and of course most important) is the flavor is excellent! Buttery and flakey, just as it should taste. I had finally mastered the wheat crust, now am on a new learning curve….
So…my crust was really fragile. I made some pie crust crackers with the extra dough and you couldn’t really even pick them up without losing some of the yumminess. I used less water as the dough seemed wet and I refrigerated it over night as my cherries will still frozen. It seemed really hard to roll, so I let it warm up more. Then it rolled well, but fell apart as I tried to roll it over the pin and make little lattice pieces (and in hindsight perhaps a lattice crust is not the best choice for my first gluten-free attempt!!). Any hints? Should it look/feel wetter than a wheat dough? I just want it to hold together a little better, I’ll still be making it again though as the taste was fantastic!

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Jeanne July 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Tracy: yes, this dough is more fragile than a wheat dough. But it is possible to do what I do in the photos. I think practice is helpful. Also, I would recommend rolling out the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap–that will keep the dough together. And yes–lattice is hard with this dough. I recommend that you trying something different: cut out cute shapes with a cookie cutter and place them, spaced apart, on the top of the piece (see my Cherry Pie recipe for an example). That will achieve the same ends as a lattice top and will be much less of a hassle!

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Tracy July 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Well I never noticed the cherry pie recipe (how did I miss that?)…those stars are so cute! Everyone loved the pie (except my husband who liked it, but missed my wheat crust, grrrr). I’ll try the plastic wrap and cut outs next time, and maybe not refrigerating over night. I’m trying to remember butterfly and snail, but all that keeps coming to my mind is “floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee”…and it’s not helpful!! At least I still giggle:)

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Jeanne July 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Tracy: I know. It’s hard not to giggle about the butterfly/snail thing. I laugh every time I teach it to students!

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Wendy Richman July 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Hi Jeanne! So excited to make this tomorrow (peach pie with Chilton County peaches)–I’ll let you know how it turns out! I’m already looking forward to making a recipe with such clear and thoughtfully-written instructions.

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Jeanne July 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

Wendy: Yay! Let me know how it goes!

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Kathy April 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Yummy recipe, my three teen boys loved it, we enjoyed it. The crust tasted amazing. I did struggle with the crust staying together. used earthbalance in the red container. Not sure if that made a difference. The dough was not too cold, but just came apart easily when rolled out. I hesitated to add as much water as listed, as the dough appeared the correct consistency. I did use multiblend flour from authentic foods.
We will try it again the taste was wonderful, thank you for posting the recipe, and all the details.

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Jeanne April 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Kathy: Thanks! And I think the key to pie crusts is practice. The more you make them, the easier they will be to make! Happy baking!

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Holly March 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm

This pie crust looks amazing! Will it work if I leave out the vinegar? I’m also wondering if it would work by using Ghee or Goats Butter instead of regular butter.

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Jeanne March 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Holly: Yes, goat’s milk butter would be fine. Don’t use ghee–it is more like an oil, so it won’t work well in the crust.

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Caroline February 19, 2013 at 7:33 am

This recipe is probably the best gluten free pie crust I have ever made. Our business is manufacturing Pie Crust forming machines for the home and business and in the last two years we get a lot of requests from new gluten free bakeries for a machine that can handle gluten free dough. Quite often I refer these bakers to Jeanne’s recipe and fantastic mix. I have reduced the liquid in half and knead the dough a bit until it’s smooth and its just great and handles really well. The taste is also very good and some of my daughter-in-law prefer it over the regular pies I make.

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Jeanne February 20, 2013 at 10:00 am

Caroline: Thanks for the compliments!

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Chris February 17, 2013 at 8:30 am

I am so very late to the game…..but am so desperate to find a crust that will work for me. I’ve read and read and feel that I have surely missed it…but…can you blind-bake this crust? My “famous” banana cream pie needs a crust that will support the wonderfulness that it always was before going g-free…and I have failed time and time again. Please say this one can be baked “free” and filled when cool!!!

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Jeanne February 17, 2013 at 11:21 am

Chris: Yes! You can blind bake the crust. Just poke it over with a fork several times and then bake it. No need for weights during the blind baking.

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Lyndsey January 27, 2013 at 7:58 am

Hey Jeanne,

I just wanted to drop a quick thank you for putting up this fabulous recipe and sharing your wealth of baking knowledge with the world.

I made this pie last night – first time I ever made a pie from scratch, gluten free or otherwise – for a few of my non-gf friends. It was a raging success; everyone agreed it was as good as any glutinous pie they had ever had. When we dished up seconds, people were requesting ‘as much crust as possible’. Incredible recipe!

Just one question, something I’m going to troubleshoot for next time. When I was assembling the pie, the apples were stacked VERY high. The pie was easily 6+ inches high. The dough draped over the top just fine. Poked a bunch of air vents in it and popped it in the oven.

When I took the pie out, let it cool, and finally cut it, there was a huge gap between the top crust and the filling. The crust stayed elevated as the apples reduced in size during the cooking process. As a result, most of the crust collapsed and crumbled when I was trying to cut it. It still tasted awesome, just got really messy which is a bit of a shame.

I assume this is just me being a noob at pie and isn’t anything to do with your recipe in general, but do you have any tips, or have you encountered this yourself?

Thanks again for having such an amazing site and sharing all your recipes. You are a treasure. :)

Cheers!

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Jeanne January 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Lyndsey: First of all, you aren’t a pie crust noob (LOL!)–you did a really good job if your crust stayed high even though the apples cooked down. For the crust to stay high is normal and means things went well. That said, I haven’t had the apples stack up that high (6″), so here are my thoughts:

It sounds like maybe the apples you were using might have been particularly big? If so, I’m thinking that next time, you might experiment with reducing the number of apples. Or, it could be that your apples were particularly juicy and they cooked down more than normal. Or the pie pan you were using was particularly small?

Ultimately, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s more of an aesthetic thing. Try it again and let me know how it goes!

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erin March 23, 2013 at 6:27 am

i’ve had that problem myself and i learned that the problem is the amount of juices in the apples, which causes a lot of steam while the pie is baking. the solution is to reduce the apple filling before it goes into the pie shell. this is frequently done in other recipes by sauteing the filling until the apples are soft, but you can look at recipes for specific ways to do this. it also lowers your cooking time and prevents the chances of a burnt crust.

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Jeanne March 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Erin: Good tips–thanks!

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Jenny K January 1, 2013 at 8:45 am

Can’t believe how well textured this dough is and how easy it was to role out! My partner is gf and one of the things I’ve struggled with is pastry. Just found your website today and it looks brilliant! I may be being over-excited as the pie hasn’t come out of the oven yet, but it was so easy to work with I couldn’t wait to comment :-)

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Jeanne January 1, 2013 at 10:46 am

Jenny: Yay! I’m so glad!! Happy baking!

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Katie December 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I made this recipe, sort of. I didn’t have the right flours, but I used the same amount of Pamela’s Artisan Flour. I’m currently gluten free, soy free and dairy free (GF, DF) and so I used the Pamela’s flour, 6 tbs of earth balance soy free spread, and 3 tbs of Spectrum organic shortening. (for one crust, not a double). It turned out GREAT. I had a little trouble rolling out, probably should have refidgerated, but overall it was the best GF/DF crust I’ve ever made. Flaky, yummy, not crunchy or crusty hard (like some) or gummy. I think it would fool anyone who didn’t know. Nothing was lacking. I would like to try again with the recommended flour blend, rather than Pamela’s, but I’m so happy it worked! Highly recommend.

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Jeanne December 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Katie: Yay! I’m so glad!!

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Emily H. December 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

I’ve been making this crust for a couple of years now and have had nothing but positive feedback. First of all, people that have no idea that the crust is GF compliment this crust. When I tell them it is GF, they are astonished. Even my pastry snob friend was impressed.

A couple of tips to pass on:
1. One time I splurged on the really good butter – the Strauss Family Creamery European stuff – and found it elevated this crust to another level of flaky, crispy deliciousness. Higher milk fat? I don’t know, but totally worth the $$$ for holidays and such. I am looking forward to how the fancy butter will perform in butter cookies later today.

2. I still do the whole thing in the food processor because I am lazy and add just a TOUCH more liquid than I think it needs. This makes it much easier to roll out and transfer to the pie tin. I just use a bunch of tapioca flour to make sure it doesn’t stick to my rolling surface. I never stick it in the fridge before I roll it out. Like Jeanne, I figured out that I don’t have to worry about any of the ingredients being cold. In fact, the more it gets mixed, the better the structure.

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Jeanne December 24, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Emily: Thank you so much for your tips!! Merry Christmas!

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Michelle November 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Wendy B. directed me to your site a couple of weeks ago, and I can never thank her enough! I have been GF for six years now and long ago gave up on making a decent pie crust. This one is great! Easy to work with and no weird aftertaste! I used your pumpkin pie filling recipe as well, and it smells really good. Thanks!

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Jeanne November 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Michelle: Yay! I’m so glad! In fact, I also have a pumpkin pie in the oven! Yay!

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Elizabeth November 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I can’t find sweet rice flour? Is there any substitute? Can I just add more tapioca flour?

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Jeanne November 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Elizabeth: I would add 1/2 C extra tapioca and 1/2 cup extra white rice. Happy baking!

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Michelle November 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Sweet rice flour is also called glutinous rice flour. I find it at our Asian Market.

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Dee B November 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Once I learned I was Gluten Intolerant, I despaired of ever making a pie crust as good as my flaky wheat flour recipe. THIS ONE IS that good! It is flaky, tender, easy to work with, and so tasty it can compete with, and even best, the traditional pie crust.

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Jeanne November 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Dee: Thank you so much!! Yay! :)

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Kai-Ocean Wyndsong October 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Ohhhh I can’t wait to try this recipe. I am a foodie chef and am known in many circles as the Quiche Queen.
Since going GF I have yet to make a quiche ( its just been a few months). I have been waiting to find a tender delicate easy to convert to savory pie crust recipe. I have loaded my pantry with Bob’s mixes and a GF Flour blend which contains xanthan made by Glutino. It contains white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch and uggggg (now that I look at the box) guar gum not xanthan. Hmmmm what do you think will be my success?, course, its expensive – 8 bucks for 1 lb. – so I think I will use your general flour mix recipe to keep on hand for baking. Ohhhhhh to make my famous pumpkin bread this year!!!

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admin October 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Kai-Ocean: I think you should go ahead and try it! You never know until you try. Also, yay on your pumpkin bread!!

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Joanie November 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Try your quiche with a mashed potato crust. You cook the potatoes and mash with some butter, dash of milk and optional grated cheese and/or spices. Press into lightly greased glass pie pan . Add layers of gently sautéed vegetables, grated cheese, your choice of available ingredients, then pour in the beaten eggs. Bake for 30-40 minutes until firm.
It’s easy and delicious, gluten free.

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Jeanne November 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Joanie: Thanks!

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andrea September 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Made this pie crust today, weighing out the ingredients as, I did measure first, and the 2 1/3 cups basic mix was way less than 350 gr…. I used butter and about 3 tbsp crisco shortening . Made in the processor. No problems at all. I made butter tarts, and everyone thought that the crust was better than regular pastry. Will be making a pumpkin pie hopefully for Thanksgiving in October. and then mincemeat tarts at Christmas.

Thanks for the recipe.

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admin September 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Andrea: Oh, I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know! Yay! Also, I have a mincemeat tarts recipe in my upcoming book–which makes me very happy. It’s not something I grew up with, but we now love them!

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Sarah J. July 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I just have to say THANK YOU!

My bf is gluten intolerant and by proxy and consideration for him I (sorta) am too! I like the change to gluten free- I feel much more energized than when I was eating gluten.. but I did miss a lot of foods that we used to eat together be for we made the gluten free change.

Now, I’m not a baking or cooking expert by any stretch of the definition.. but I do know a thing or two in the kitchen. I enjoy to cook and bake. So, naturally I was a bit frustrated and felt at a loss in the kitchen when I couldn’t bake anymore! You’re so right about the store bought mixes.. they just don’t stand up to snuff, and whilst they might be tolerable for people who don’t eat gluten and just want to satisfy their hunger for baked treats…I could never ever give away any of my baked goods to friends and family, as they would have turned their nose up and I would have been embarrassed.

Alas, I have found your blog. My first recipe was your pie crust with apple pie filling (one of the bf all-time favorites) and it was absolutely superb! I love love love your all purpose flour! I splurged on all the ingredients..but I cannot tell you how happy I did. It made a lot of flour and its so good!

This recipe was easy to follow and taste Delicious. Amazing! Thank you so very much for giving me my baking life back again!! (because who likes to eat glutinous cookies in front of their boyfriend who cant have any?? :) )
My next endeavor…your blueberry muffins! Cant wait!

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admin July 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Sarah: Yay! I’m so glad! Happy birthday to your BF!

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supermomdg April 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

You are my hero!! You have saved me with all your gluten free recipes and they are easy to follow. My daughter was put on a gluten free diet and I had no clue what I was doing. I just made this crust and you can’t even tell it’s gluten free!!

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Cynthia April 10, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I have to say this is by far the very best pie crust (gluten free) that I have found. Thank you! My own crust is made with wheat flour and, canola oil, milk etc. My version that took years to perfect to flakiness not clay disc like. LOL I now care for 3 young men that are GFCF and any type of crust has been a challenge – back to the clay disc like crusts. Well thanks to your recipe I made my guys an awesome flaky apple custard pie that was perfection!
I did not use your flour mix but only white rice flour plus 1 1/2 tsp. guar gum and soft tub margarine, not hard. It didn’t roll around the pin to move to the pan but I pieced it all together and it was fine. Since my pie does not use a top crust I was able to make two pies and crumbled the extras on top. Delish!!
Oh and yes I giggled all night over the “snail & butterfly” lol but it worked.
This recipe has been added to my collection not only for my guys but for my personal use also.
Thank you, I am going to check out what else you have, I now need to perfect my GFCF bread :-)
Blessings,
Cynthia

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admin April 10, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Cynthia: Yay! And I know–I totally crack myself up with the snail and butterfly thing! :)

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Cathy January 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm

For dairy, gluten, soy allergies, would goat butter work the same as the dairy butter does? It is great in cookies.

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admin January 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Cathy: Yes, I think goat butter would be fine as long as you can tolerate it. :)

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Michael Wong January 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Sticks were frozen. They were actually too hard and the extra work
fighting with them might have liquified the coconut. I think I’ll skip
the coconut next time.
What about hand cutting sticks before adding to flour, to jump start the “pebbling”?

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admin January 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Michael: yes, I think that would be fine.

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Jeannine January 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I like to grate frozen butter using the large holes in a grater when making pie crust. This would probably work for your “frozen sticks” as well.

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admin January 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Jeannine: Good idea!

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Michael Wong January 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm

My third try yesterday. No coconut. Frozen Earth balance sticks
(@Jeannine: brilliant. The cheeze grater cut the frozen earth balance sticks perfectly). An extra half teaspoon of xanthan gum.
“pebbled” the dough by hand this time, then dropped the mix
in the cuisinart to mix in water and make a ball.
Still find the dough hard to handle though. Not pliable to transport into/onto the dish: it breaks to pieces and must be puzzled back together.
Crust was absolutely delicious. Flaky and light, great flavor. The only improvement I could imagine would be butter instead of palm (just plain tastes better), but was making dairy free for a lactose intolerant group. Even still, texture was uncompromised, maybe better than butter.

Finally thought. Not liking Granny smiths in pie. Too one-dimensionally tart. I prefer a more “complex” apple.

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Michael Wong January 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

I tried variations on this twice.

My goal was dairy free as well, so on the first try, I used 50/50 mix of coconut oil/cold olive oil in the food processor. The crust came out “crunchy”. It was yummy, but more like a coconut cookie. Coconut
flavor was there, but not overpowering. I think the shortcoming was the olive oil melted too quickly and all fat separation was lost.

On my second try I forgot the mochiko flour in my mix. This time I used
EarthBalance shortening sticks (palm, soy, canola mix), along with about
30 grams of coconut oil. also, a pinch of stevia instead of sugar. Food
processor again and it did not mix well at all. It never achieved
“pebbledom” and went straight into a ball that really seemed way too
homogenous and smooth to be flaky. I never even added water, as it
already seemed too “moist”. My theory is that the coconut oil’s melting
point is also too low and it blended in too well.

The dough rolled easily, much more easily than the first try, but it didn’t
want to be moved to the pan. I didn’t wrap it on the pin (never needed to
with wheat), so I need to try that next time.

The crust came out what I called it “powdery”. Not tough, but
more like those dry crusts of sand you find on the beach that crumble to,
…well, sand, when you pick them up. It was not at all unpleasant, just
unusual, and not exactly flaky. Next time, maybe no coconut.

Flavor was as good as anything I’ve tried.

ps. Cane free, maple, agave, honey, stevia, meyer, Honeycrisp and Black
Arkansas filling. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum.

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admin January 4, 2012 at 9:09 am

Michael: Thanks for the updates! Yes, it is tough to do an olive oil crust–because the fat soaks into the flour, eliminating the whole flour-fat separation that leads to flakey crusts. I think you can try 100% coconut oil and see how that works. The Earth Balance sticks are good, but it might be worth your while to freeze them before using–they are softer than butter in the first place, which makes them tricky to work with. And no need to wrap the pin with the dough if you can get it to the pie pan in another way. That’s just the transportation method I like. :)

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Gloria December 13, 2011 at 4:28 am

Was wondering if you can freeze crust, then pour your pie filling in crust freeze it and bake later? If this is possible what changes for cooking time would you recommend for frozen pumpkin and cherry pie? In one of your posting you said of lining a foil pie pan wrap and freeze to use later, is it baked before freezing? When dough comes out of freezer does the dough get soggy? I am pretty new to GF and have not tried doing a pie yet. I have seen several great sounding recipes on your site to try out. Thank you for sharing these.

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admin December 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Gloria: I often line a metal pie tin (which I don’t normally recommend) with the pie crust dough (unbaked) and then freeze for the future. I don’t recommend filling the pie crusts–the filling and the crust will defrost at different times and get weird. When it comes time to bake the pie, I let it defrost in the fridge for a few hours and then proceed as I normally would with the pie. :)

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Caroline February 19, 2013 at 7:40 am

Gloria, I form my crusts into aluminum foil pans and then freeze them. I also place filling into the same kind of pans (but I grease the pan) and freeze the filling. Once the filling is frozen I pop it out of the pans and place in freezer bags. When I want to make a pie I take out a crust and a frozen filling and place it on the crust -keeping it all frozen. I then cover with a top crust or crumb topping and bake at 350 for at least an hour or until the filling bubbles. I have given away frozen unbaked pies with baking instructions and they are very popular.

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Jeanne February 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

Caroline: Perfect freezing instructions–thank you!

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Kathy Sullivan December 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Hello, on your recipe for the pie crust it says 21/3C & 350G. Can you tell me how much you would need using measuring cups such as 1 cup, 3/4 cup etc. Also, when you talk about tapioca flour is that just the little box where you see puddings and such or is it a flour? Very new at this and hoping to make a wonderful pie. Thanks so much…

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admin December 5, 2011 at 7:29 am

Kathy: 2 1/3 cups is between 2 1/4 cups and 2 1/2 cups. Most measuring cup sets come with a 1/3 cup measure. Also, tapioca flour is also known as tapioca starch. I’m not sure what the box is that you’re talking about. Happy baking!

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Jessica November 23, 2011 at 7:59 am

Really want to make a GF apple pie for my GF boyfriend and his GF dad who will be over for Thanksgiving. I won’t be able to get all the stuff for the special flour mix. I have a box of GF flour, I believe from Whole Foods. iI saw in some of your other comments that it may not have worked as well for people who didnt use the special blend. Do you think I have a chance at this?? Thank you!

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admin November 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Jessica: Does the premade mix have xanthan gum? If not, add 1/4 tsp per cup of flour. Otherwise, go for it!! Happy baking
!

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Linda Murdock November 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Looks great! I can’t wait to try it. Thank you, Linda

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smk November 17, 2011 at 10:45 am

Thank you for taking the time to explain it to me. :)

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admin November 17, 2011 at 11:31 am

My pleasure!

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smk November 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Hi, My family is nut, peanut, dairy, soy, and gluten free. If I substitute shortening with olive oil, is it going to work? If so what should be the proper measurement?

Thaks :)

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admin November 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm

SMK: No, olive oil won’t work in a pie crust because it is liquid at room temperature. You need a fat that is solid at room temperature. What happens in a pie crust is that the solid fat melts during the baking process, creating pockets between the flour layers. That’s what makes it flaky. If you use a fat that is liquid at room temperature, it will just soak into the flour, creating a tough crust. I would use lard (which creates super-flaky crusts) or a soy-free shortening. I use Earth Balance Soy-Free Natural Buttery Spread (my daughter has been diagnosed as soy-allergic, so we can’t do soy,either). Happy baking!

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Megan November 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I have a question! I will be making your GF crust for pumpkin pie.. Wondering if this base recipe makes enough for the bottom of the pan? or, does it double and give you enough for the top and bottom? My question is, should i cut the recipe in half so I don’t have a top and bottom. I just need a bottom. lol. Please let me know!

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admin November 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Megan: This recipe gives you enough for a top and a bottom crusts. Instead of cutting the recipe in half, I usually make the whole thing, line two pie pans with the crust, and then wrap and freeze the second pan for later use I have an extra, cheaper metal pan that I use for this purpose. :) Also, happy baking!!

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Megan November 9, 2011 at 11:04 am

Thank you! Great idea! :)

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Rob October 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Hi Jeanne

I’ve been baking gluten free goods for 12 years but had never attempted pastry before. I used your recipe, omitting the sugar, to make a steak and mushroom pie which was absolutely delicious. My non-GF partner thought it tasted just like a normal shortcrust pastry.

I had issues trying to roll out the dough – it kept cracking even when I went slowly as instructed and let it warm up. Eventually (in desperation) I added an egg and mixed it through, resulting in a mixture that seemed absurdly wet, but with plenty of tapioca starch it rolled out without cracks and was absolutely beautiful after baking. Fluke? I also blind baked the base, which I notice your method doesn’t include.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience and thoughts, and long live the gluten free blogosphere!

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admin October 13, 2011 at 7:22 am

Hi Rob! Yes, rolling out the dough can be tricky. Sometimes I roll it out easy-peasy, other times it doesn’t cooperate. Sigh. One thing that is helpful if you have too many breakage issues is to roll it out between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap. The paper/wrap naturally keeps the dough from breaking. You might want to try that. Also, yes–I should include instructions that it can be blind baked. Thank you so much for your comments and your experiences!

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Cindy October 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Just tried your gf pie crust to make our son (11) apple bars (apple slices). It is kind of a pastry type thing that our family loves. It isn’t exactly like I want it to turn out but will work with it some more.
He loved them ate three pieces even after a big bowl of cereal and toast. Yes, I have found a gf bread that comes out good, will also be trying your bread recipes. Can’t wait to try your hamburger buns, that is something he really misses. (We just found out he needed to be gf last Feb.)
Thank you for your site. I just found it and have passed it on to a couple of others in need of gf recipes.

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shu han September 6, 2011 at 12:54 am

this looks awesome! I really hope to try this. is it possible to replace the gum with anything else? ):

great blog btw, I love all these gluten-free recipes, and all your little tips make me feel more confident about baking! thanks!

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admin September 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

Shu Han: thanks! I’m so glad the blog is helpful for you!! Actually, there really is not a good substitute for gluten other than gums (contrary to other information floating around out there). You can try guar gum instead if you want to.

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Rebekah Rico July 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I made this crust yesterday and it was fantastic. I have made a lot of BAD GF pie crusts from other recipes. This one was, thankfully, a glorious exception. I actually made crostatas with the dough and filled them with fresh peaches and blackberries. Will be blogging about them soon! thanks again for a wonderful recipe! I can’t wait until I can make real pie again for the holidays! :)

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admin July 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Rebekah: oh, I am so glad–yay!

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Erin March 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm

This pie crust worked SO well, thank you so much for the recipe. I made a savory version, so I left out the sugar, increased the salt to 1/2 tsp and added about two teaspoons of chopped rosemary. I also halved it since I only needed a bottom crust. It had a great texture and a nice flavor, and usually I am not a fan of pie crust of the gluten or gluten free variety. I especially liked that it wasn’t at all greasy.

I made this in the food processor, which worked fine, and chilled it in disc form overnight since that worked for my schedule. I let it sit outside the fridge for about 40 minutes before attempting to roll.

I rolled the dough on tapioca dusted waxed paper and had a piece of plastic wrap between the dough and my roller. I had a bit of tearing on the edges, but nothing that couldn’t be patched up neatly. I am really bad at rolled doughs, so that’s all caused by my lack of skill!

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admin March 25, 2011 at 10:51 am

Erin: I’m so glad!! Yay! I think the rolling is tricky, so you did well!

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Christine J January 31, 2011 at 4:38 am

Any suggestions for making the pie crust with coconut flour or as part of the GF all purpose flour mix?

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admin January 31, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Christine: You know, I haven’t worked with coconut flour, so I don’t have any advice for it. I would say experiment and see what happens. Maybe substitute it for the white flour in my mix and see what happens? If you do that, let me know how it goes!

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redweather January 27, 2011 at 9:18 am

Goodness gracious, I made this piecrust last night, for an apple pie, and it was absolutely scrumptious!! Maybe better than some traditional piecrusts I’ve had! I used a “sweet” sorghum flour instead of the custom mix you recommend, just because I had it on hand. Fantastic! I only used 2 T of water, and it seemed pretty wet at that point…. I did have some real trouble with rolling out and then transferring the dough – I ended up doing a somewhat unattractive patchwork just to get the darn thing in the oven, but it didn’t look too bad after it baked, and it tasted amazing. Thank you!

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admin January 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Redweather: Yay! I’m so glad you liked it! I’m going to put up extra instructions. Many people are having problems with the rolling out. Thanks for the feedback!

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Kelly January 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Hi! Thanks for your reply!
I am using your GF blend as written, measured by weight. It is possible that my flours act differently since I am using German brands. My tapioca starch looks particularly more fluffy than I remember from the US. (I use a Thai brand because that’s all we get here.) And it has been pretty dry around here the last (freezing cold) month or so.

This last crust (with margarine) I blind-baked with beans for weight, and it did look like the fat soaked through the flours where the beans were. But this was with margarine, which is already a bit soft, even though I buy a brand that comes in a bar. It is noticeably softer than palm oil, which is noticeably harder than butter. Hmmm. Is it possible that palm oil has a lower melting temperature than butter or something? Oh that would be a bummer since I have very few nondairy, nonsoy alternatives, and I really, really like pie!

I think I used a glass pie pan for the first crust that leaked everywhere. Maybe the glass did not heat fast enough in the oven? It ended up on the oven floor because I made a ginormous crimped edge because I was making pumpkin pie and I wanted to add a little extra pumpkin to the custard. It was weird because I made little crackers out of leftover dough and they did not leak.

I used the second dough for a tartelette, so the dough was just on top, and the last one in a metal pie pan. I switched to margarine because I thought maybe the palm oil was the problem. I still have half in the fridge. Maybe it needs to be colder because the margarine is softer? I will take it out tomorrow and see if I can judge when it’s warmed enough, but not too warm. I have a 50 degree storage room…maybe I should move it there to “warm” up. We keep our house is so cold (generally around 60 degrees) in winter I haven’t been particularly attentive to the temperature of the dough. It handled quite well on the rolling pin, but maybe it was too warm for my butter replacements?

Too bad about the vodka. I thought maybe it was a way of getting the dough a little wetter without actually using water, assuming that extra water makes tough dough…and seeing as the alcohol evaporates. I don’t have a CI subscription, so I didn’t read the science behind it’s use. But if tough dough is more a factor of fats, then maybe that is my bad luck. There’s still coconut oil to try, but I think it also has a fairly low melt point.

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admin January 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Kelly: I’m not sure what to say. One thing I forgot to ask: did you put the xanthan gum in the flour mix? If you did, I guess it could be that the German brands are so different that they yield different results. But, somehow that doesn’t feel right. Have you checked to see that the temperature of your oven is what you think it is? If not, I would get an oven thermometer and do some quick tests. Oven temperature has been one of the biggest sources of baking problems for my readers. If that’s not the problem, I would look at the fats. The shortening should be fine. When I use palm oil shortening in my crusts, it comes out fine. So, I don’t think it’s the palm oil per se.

Also, make sure the pie crust is cold when it goes into the oven. Your crust should never be at lukewarm room temperature when it goes into the oven (or ever)–that will make the fat melt into the flour and then create a tough crust. For this situation, I would counsel that you make sure the crust dough is always cold.

Also, I have much better luck with glass pie pans than with metal pie pans. Glass is more conducive to flaky crusts than is metal.

I hope this helps!!

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Kelly January 24, 2011 at 4:35 am

Sorry it took me so long to get back here…not much pie making going on lately, but I will give it another shot soon. I did make sure to refrigerate the last crust before blind-baking, and that seemed to help. That was part of the last crust batch, though, so I haven’t tried again with a new round of dough. BTW, xanthan gum is really hard to find here, so I use Bob’s Red Mill, which I order online and pay outrageous shipping fees to have it sent here. (I often sub guar gum, but not when I am trying new recipes.) And I looked up the melt point for palm oil, and it is exactly the same as butter, so you are right that it is likely not the problem. (whew!)
Unfortunately, I think you might be right that the main problem might be my oven. It is smaller than an American oven, and not terribly efficient (takes a long time to preheat). My working theory is that the small oven capacity means it cools down fairly quickly when I open the door to put things in, and takes some time to return to temperature due to the inefficient (eh, cheap?) elements. I am wondering if I put my big cast iron fry pan in there to preheat, maybe I can put the pie pan in that, which might help keep the temperature from fluctuating so much? My oven thermometer is not of the instant read variety, so it is hard to tell exactly how fast/slow the temps rise and fall. A new oven is not in the budget at the moment, although I wish it were! (Don’t even get me started on how much I hate my stove, too…)

Thanks for the help, though! I hope to figure it out soon. I love how simple your mix is. I do get sick of mixing up thirty kinds of starches and flours, some of which are difficult to source, just to make a snack. :-)

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admin January 24, 2011 at 10:13 am

Kelly: Hm, it does sound like the oven might be the culprit. If the temperature isn’t consistent, you’re not going to get a crust that bakes well. The cast iron pan idea is interesting, but it doesn’t sold the problem of needing a consistent temperature the whole time. Good for you for sticking with it, though!! And I’m so glad you like the mix!

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Kelly January 6, 2011 at 9:09 am

I have tried this recipe three times now. I have a dairy allergy so I subbed palm oil for butter the first two times and margarine the third. Each time I had to use significantly more water to make the dough even hold together (11 TB with palm oil, 10TB with margarine.) The first time, something strange happened and the crust “leaked” palm oil all over the oven (smokey mess, that!). I thought maybe I should used less oil, so second time I used 200g instead of 230. No leaking, but now the crust was a bit tough. Today made it with margarine, also 200g, still came out a bit tough.
SO I came back to make sure I transcribed correctly. Since I live in Germany, I generally weigh my ingredients. All was correctly transcribed. Then I tried measuring and weighing a cup of your mix. By my scale it weighs 115g for an American cup. For 2 1/3 cup, that would be about 270g (as opposed to 350g). Could it be that’s why I need so much water? But I am also wondering what this weird leaky oil thing is, too. Maybe something to do with the lack of water in palm oil?
Last, just read about the “vodka” crust recipe on Serious Eats. I am wondering how it would translate to a GF pie crust.
Any thoughts on any of this would be most welcome!

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admin January 6, 2011 at 11:27 am

Kelly: Hm. The water thing is interesting. It indicates to me that your kitchen has a very dry atmosphere (which wouldn’t be that weird this time of year) or that your flours are absorbing more water. What flours are you using? If you’re using primarily whole grain flours, those are going to absorb more water than my mix, which is has more starch. If not, what ones are you using? Also, the crust leaking oil is weird–what kind of pan were you using that it went all over the oven floor? Also, 230 is the correct amount of fat.

The toughness comes from not enough cold fat in between the layers to melt, send out steam, and create the flaky layers. Is your fat melting before you bake the crust? If so, the melting process before baking saturates the flour, thus eliminating the fat melting in the baking process between the layers.

Also, vodka has the same effect as vinegar–it slows down gluten development. It’s not really that important to gf pie crust, but I does seem to add a bit to the crust.

Gf crusts are normally fairly flaky no matter what you do, so I’m intrigued with the tough crust thing.

Let me know the answers to the questions above! I want to help you solve this!!

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Joy November 21, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Love your blog! Working on TG recipes. Glad I didn’t try this until the measurements were correct. lol
Thanks for all your hard work.

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admin November 21, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Joy: Oh I’m so glad. And yes, I’mg glad you waited too. Please note that the cup measurements were always OK. Thank goodness…:)

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Sue November 18, 2010 at 8:13 am

I made an apple pie and the dough was easy to roll out. I used your mix and I weighed the ingredients. When I tried to roll the dough around the rolling pin it did not grab on but hung down. The taste and look of the crust was great. The texture of the crust was crumbly and not flaky. We still enjoyed it. Do you have any idea what I did wrong since it wasn’t flaky? Thank you.

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admin November 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

Sue: I just had this problem last night–and it was because I weighed the ingredients instead of measuring by volume. It turns out that my gram weights for the flour and for the butter were incorrect–gah!! The correct gram measurement for the flour should be 350g–not 330g. The correct gram measurement for the butter should be 230g not 115g. I’ve now changed both. I’m so sorry that this caused you problems. I am planning to write a quick note about it to alert people to the problem.

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Dean October 26, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I am not sure what happened, but my pie did not turn out very well. I found it impossible to roll the pastry onto the rolling pin as it fell apart. It wasn’t too cold as I only had it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Maybe I didn’t add enough water? I didn’t find the crust flaky nor did it taste outstanding either. In other recipes I have used a bit of xanthan gum which seems to hold the crust together better. The only thing different that I did was to use organic shortening instead of butter; could this cause the above problems?

Thanks!

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admin October 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Dean:

Oh, no! Sounds like nothing went right for you on this one. My flour mix does have xanthan gum in it–did you use that mix or another mix? Also, organic shortening is fine. It does create a more brittle crust, but that is actually nice when it’s baked because it’s a bit more flaky. It’s odd that the crust didn’t taste good and it wasn’t flaky. By default, both of these things should have been in place–gf pastry is actually more flaky than wheat pastry–and my flour mix should taste pretty much like wheat crust.

I have some questions for you:
1) did you use my flour mix? If yes, did you use fresh flours?
2) did you use another mix–or did you use my my with other substitute flours
3) did you make any other substitutions?

Thanks!
–Jeanne

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Dean November 2, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Hi Jeanne,

I had on hand all the ingredients to create your GF mix, then proceeded with the recipe. Since I have been playing around with pie crust recipes for a few months now, a few of them are 3-6 months old, is that too long? I used regular vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. Everything else is the same. I have since used the ingredients in the pie crust recipe that I have been using, and it tasted fine. I guess it is possible that I did something wrong…

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admin November 17, 2010 at 10:00 am

Dean: Greetings! And agh. I didn’t answer your questions. Your flours should be fine–smell them to make sure they don’t smell bitter. If they smell bitter, then throw them away. And regular vinegar is fine, too. Let’s see–did something go wrong? I can’t see from your comment. Let me know! Thanks!

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René October 12, 2010 at 2:45 am

This is an incredibly tender, tasty pie crust (much better than many wheat crusts I’ve had the misfortune of eating). Thanks so much, Jeanne.

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admin October 12, 2010 at 2:53 am

Oh, I’m so glad René!! Thanks for letting me know!!

–Jeanne

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kelly September 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Hey Jeanne! I made your pie crust to make a gf apple pie. A-mazing!!!! Thanks for another awesome recipe. =0)
http://lovinglifeslittlemoments.blogspot.com/2010/09/gluten-free-apple-pie-with-crumb.html

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Jeanne September 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Kelly:

Oh, I’m so glad! And I’m glad you found me over here. I’ve been meaning to email you and let you know! Yay!

–Jeanne

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