Gluten Free Pie Crust

Happy Saturday to all.  Hope that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving with family and friends combined with some awesome food.  For those of you that ventured out on Thanksgiving night for those fabulous “Black Friday” deals, I applaud you.  Our Thanksgiving was awesome.  We had 2 wonderful meals with friends, got Thanksgiving wishes from our family and even braved the crowds and got some fantastic deals shopping.


With the 2 invites came the typical question “What should I bring?”  It probably wouldn’t come as any surprise to guess that the answer to both were “You can bring pumpkin pie.”  Okay, a little history here.  I have always tried to stay away from pie making.  For whatever reason I have a belief that says “I can’t make a pie crust.”  Well if I don’t believe I can make a gluten filled pie crust can you imagine how I must have struggled with the idea of making a gluten free pie crust?


Wanting to do my very best and make not only good tasting pies but pies that appealed to the eye I set on my adventure.  King Arthur Flour has been my savior many times on my gluten free journey.  I regularly order the gluten free flours and starches from them.  I have found their  Gluten-Free Brown Rice Flour Blend to be the perfect combination for a number of my baking needs.  Their brown rice flour really does have smoother, less gritty texture than most others I have tried.  Having a fresh blend on hand I set out to make Gluten-Free Pie Crust : King Arthur Flour.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or brown rice flour blend*
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Instant ClearJel (optional; not packed in a gluten-free facility)
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar
  • The recipe says that it makes a crust to fit a 9″ pie plate and it really does.  I did not have the Instant ClearJel.  After checking out the nutrition information on KAF’s website, I found that it is a modified food starch.  I did have in my pantry and freezer Expandex which is a modified tapioca starch and I opted to use that as a substitute and choose the lemon juice option.   

    For those who know me, you already know I don’t typically follow directions and with already being apprehensive about making pies I was willing to try exploring my options.  There have been times in the past that I used my Cusinart Food processor successfully to mix various doughs.  There have also been times on my gluten free journey that I have over-mixed things and come out with a sticky mess. My first and fortunately only attempt at mixing the dough was a success.

    The flour blend, sugar, Expandex, xanthan gum and salt were placed in the bowl of my food processor.

     
    The butter was cut into chunks

    and then gradually added, pulsing the processor to cut it into the flour.  After the butter was mixed into the dry ingredients, the egg and lemon juice were whisked together and added.  The pulse feature was used again until the ingredients were incorporated and came together nicely to form a nice soft dough.  The directions on KAF’s website say to let the dough chill for an hour and then come back to room temperature well guess who didn’t see that until now….

     The rolling pat was lightly dusted with additional brown rice blend, the dough placed on the mat, covered with wax paper and lightly rolled to fit the pan.  


    As I was dusting the mat I thought how much the texture of the gluten free blend matched the texture of flour.  I was also amazed at how easy the dough was to roll without cracking or breaking.  My confidence level continued to rise as I gently eased the rolled out dough into the pie plate.


    The dough was trimmed with kitchen shears to within 1-inch or so of the rim of the pie plate, gently tucked under and crimped.  Now, this cutting, tucking and crimping were issues that I have had in the past as well as when baking the crust more often than not shrunk.  These were the things that I feared would happen this time around.  Guess what?  

    I did it!  I was so happy with myself and the finished product really did look great. 

    The crust was filled with the pie weights, shielded with the pie shield and baked in a pre-heated 375°F oven as recommended for 20 minutes.  The weights were removed and the crust baked an additional 10 minutes.  The crust was a light golden brown and so beautiful.  

    Even without the resting period I was able to roll out a beautiful crust that was flaky and delicious.  Better yet…..it didn’t shrink away to nothing.  The crusts were allowed to cool to the touch before filling.  (I was back on track with KAF’s directions.)

    In all I made 3 pies for the holiday, 2 pumpkin using LIBBYS-Famous-Pumpkin-Pie and 1 pecan with Karo Syrup Classic Pecan Pie.

    I will confess that I adapted the recipe for the pumpkin and will post how I did that probably tomorrow.  I was in heaven being able to enjoy pies and I was so proud of the end results.  Everyone commented on how flaky the crusts were and no one except a small few knew that they were gluten free.


    Wishing everyone a relaxing weekend and don’t forget to get those decorations up!  


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