Do you have a house guest this holiday season who's gluten-free? Or are you yourself gluten-free and responsible for bringing a dessert that everyone will enjoy?
If so you’re in luck, because today we’re going to help you perfect your very own gluten-free pie crust.
When most people think of gluten-free baked goods, they think of the stuff they see on store shelves – cardboard crackers, overly sweet cookies, flavorless muffins, etc. They assume that because it doesn’t contain gluten, it'll taste like it doesn’t contain gluten. Meaning, it'll be tasteless and unenjoyable.
Happily, and if any of our other recipes are proof, this statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not only is it possible to create delicious baked goods without the gluten, I would venture to say that sometimes the gluten-free version tastes even better.
If there's one thing I think people struggle with when it comes to holiday baking, my guess is pie. Why? Because of the crust.
Many gluten-free pie crust recipes you find online tend to not hold their shape, crumble when you try to put them into the pie dish, or are more like a tart shell that you press into the pan. Sure, that’s fine, they still taste good, but they’re not going to be that tender, buttery, flaky pie crust that you’re looking for.
So rather than just sending you off with another recipe to go test on your own, we’ve pulled our baking minds together and come up with a few tips for you. We hope these tips will make your gluten-free pie baking not only more enjoyable this year, but also yield that perfect crust you’re looking for.
Tip #1: Don't convert your wheat-based recipe to gluten-free
Fact of the matter is, they just aren’t the same. Wheat-based crusts contain gluten and therefore need different ratios of liquid as well as different flour ratios. With our gluten-free pie crust recipe, you’ll notice we add Instant ClearJel as well as xanthan gum, both of which help keep the crust pliable and easy to roll out. Go with the a trusted gluten-free crust recipe (like ours!) that you can have confidence in, and know it will turn out.
Tip #2: Do it by hand
Oftentimes you’ll see pie crust recipes that tell you to use your food processor. While this does work in a pinch, I always think working the butter in and incorporating the wet ingredients by hand leads to a more flaky and delicate result.
Tip #3: Don't give up if you “struggle” with double crusts
Gluten-free crust can be tough. It’s more delicate and can sometimes be hard to create that “perfect” double crust you might be accustomed to. If it’s not cooperating, try something different. Maybe try a lattice or even do a crumble topping on your apple pie (it’s like an apple crisp and apple pie together – just delicious!).
Tip #4: Cold butter is always your friend
With any pie crust recipe, the key is using cold butter. The cold butter will help make your crust lighter and more flaky. And it'll be easier to work with, too!
Tip #5: Chilling is a must
We suggest that you chill your pie dough before rolling it out to ensure that the butter stays cold and doesn’t start to melt. After you've mixed the crust, wrap it in plastic wrap or waxed paper and let it chill for at least one hour, or even overnight. Trust us, your crust will taste better and your guests will ask you what your secret is.
Tip #6: Test it first
If this is your first gluten-free pie, pretty please test it first. Not just because you want to make sure it turns out perfectly for the big event, but also to save yourself stress. The last thing you want to do is have a complete mess on your hand that morning, with no backup plan, and as such, no pie at Thanksgiving.
Tip #7: Don't be afraid to take a different route
I know you probably have your mind set on the exact pie that you’re going to be making this year, but I encourage you to also have an open mind (especially if this is your first gluten-free pie baking experience). Perhaps instead of the “traditional” version, go with a nut-based crust or even a cookie-based crust (using gluten-free cookies, of course). It’s OK to change it up – who knows, you might be surprised and find that your family actually enjoys it better!
Tip #8: Smile!
Our final tip for making the perfect gluten-free pie crust is to smile. Baking is meant to be enjoyable and relaxing, so try not to let the stress of the holidays get the better of you and take the fun out of it. Smile, laugh, and love – your pie will taste better for it!
We hope these tips are helpful and give you inspiration for creating your very own gluten-free pie. We’ll be posting our favorite apple pie recipe the week before Thanksgiving, so be sure to stop by and check it out. From our baking family to yours, we wish you a happy gluten-free, pie-filled holiday!
Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Gluten-Free Pie Crust.