Being gluten free, dairy free or even vegan doesn’t mean you have to live without delicious pie. With this amazing gluten free pie crust recipe, you’ll happily say goodbye to pies of the past and start dreaming of all of your future pies. Plus, I am including step by step instructions so even beginning bakers can make pie crust.
This recipe makes a single pie crust. If you need a double crust, see the notes at the bottom of the recipe.
Why You'll Love This Gluten-Free Pie Crust Recipe
For a basic pie crust, you will need a pie plate or pie dish (either metal, glass or ceramic) and a rolling pin at minimum. You will also want plastic wrap or parchment paper for rolling out your dough. Additionally, for some recipes you may need pie weights for par-baking. A bench scraper and a food scale also come in handy, but are not required.
- Gluten Free 1:1 Flour – I use Bob’s Red Mill for my recipe. I have also tested it with King Arthur Measure for Measure flour with success. I’ve listed the conversions for different types of gluten free flours at the bottom of the recipe in the event you don’t have a food scale for weighing your flour. If you use another gluten-free flour blend make sure it contains xanthan gum or you will need to add it.
- Arrowroot Powder (or Cornstarch) – This helps reduce the protein in the gluten free flour blend, making it more like pastry flour.
- Salt – Just a little for flavor
- Sugar – A small amount of sugar helps the crust to brown and be crispy. It does not make the crust taste sweet, so do not omit.
- Vegan Butter – I use either Miyoko’s Plant Butter or Country Crock Plant Butter for my crust. Both work well. One thing to note when working with vegan butters is they melt quicker than dairy butter, so you must take care to keep the dough cold. Regular butter can also be used in this recipe if you’re not vegan or dairy free. Do not substitute margarine or other butter replacement products.
- Water – Ice water to keep the dough extra cold.
How to Make a Homemade Pie Crust
- Step 1: Cut the butter into cubes about 1/2″ wide and place into the freezer at least 15 minutes before you begin.
- Step 2: Measure your water and place it in the freezer while you measure and mix the remaining ingredients.
- Step 3: Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well to make sure it is evenly mixed.
- Step 4: Add the frozen butter. Working as quickly as possible, squish the butter cubes between your thumb and first two fingers, making it into flat discs about the size of a quarter. Make sure all of the bits of butter are coated in flour.
- Step 5: Add about half of your cold water and gently toss together to hydrate the flour. If any large clumps form, break them up because there will be pockets on water inside. Add another half of the remaining water and continue to work together. Stop when your dough is held together in a rough ball. You may not need all of the water, but you should need most of it. It is easier to add more water to your dough than to make it dryer again, so err on the side of too dry if you’re unsure.
- Step 6: Form your dough into a round patty about 1″ thick. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator at least 2 hours up to overnight.
Here’s a video showing how I mix dough by hand
- Step 7: Remove your chilled dough from the refrigerator. There are two methods for rolling out the dough.
- Method 1 – Place the dough disc between two sheets of plastic wrap like a sandwich and roll out with a rolling pin until it is 1″ larger than the diameter of your pie pan.
- Method 2 – Place a sheet of parchment paper on your counter and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of gluten free flour. Place your dough on top of the flour. Use another 1 tablespoon of flour to dust your rolling pin and the top of the dough. Roll out directly on the dough.
- Step 8: Once your dough is rolled into a sheet. Place it on a baking sheet and refrigerate for another hour.
- Step 9: Remove the chilled dough and flip it into your pie pan. Gently work the dough into the shape of the pan taking care not to press it in (because it will stick). If you have any holes in your dough, use scrap pieces to patch them. If your filling leaks through a hole the pie will become stuck to the pan.
- Step 10: Trim the dough, leaving a 1/2″ overhang at the edge of the dish. Fold the edge under and crimp in the design you like.
- Step 11: Place pie shell in the freezer while you make your favorite filling. If it will be frozen for more than 30 minutes, make sure to cover it well with plastic wrap to prevent drying out.
- Step 12: Bake according to your recipe directions.
I always use method 2 when making a top crust. It provides a smoother finish than rolling out between plastic wrap.
You can also make this dough using a food processor. Simply combine all the dry ingredients in your food processor and add the cold butter . Pulse a few times until the butter is about the size of small peas. Dump the flour mixture into a bowl and add the water as listed above, mixing by hand. A food processor makes things much quicker but the end result will be a little less flaky because the butter pieces are smaller.
How to Make Extra Flaky Gluten-Free Pie Crust
There are a few things that contribute to the flaky texture of pie crust. First, keeping your butter extra cold. When the dough starts to set as the butter melts in the oven, little pockets of steam form which make the flaky airy texture in pie crust. If your butter is too warm when it enters the oven, it will melt out before the crust sets leaving a greasy pool and a crunchier, more cracker like crust.
The second factor is the size of your butter pieces in the dough. Many recipes call for pea sized butter, which is ideal for lattice work and designs, but for flakiness you want large pieces of butter.
The final step you can take to make extra flaky crust is to layer your crust when your rolling it out. You will need to use the flour dusted method described above to do this. Once you roll your dough into a large sheet, carefully fold the dough in half right to left. Then fold it in half again top to bottom. Then re-roll out the dough to the size of your pie pan. You’ve now added several extra layers into your flaky pie crust.
Substitutions or Additions
- Flour substitutions – In place of 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill, use the following:
- 1 1/4 Cup King Arthur Measure for Measure
- 1 Cup + 2 Tbsp Cup4Cup Multipurpose Flour
- 3/4 C + 3 Tbsp Great Value GF All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup + 1 Tbsp Pillsbury All-Purpose GF Flour Blend
- For any other flour blends, use 148 grams of weighed flour
- To make a savory crust, add 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/8 tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp thyme per single pie crust recipe. It’s great for pot pies and savory galettes!
How to Store Pie Crust
You can stop during any of the natural breaks in the recipe preparation and store the pie dough.
At the patty stage, where your dough is wrapped in plastic wrap, you can store in the refrigerator up to 2 days before rolling out. You can also transfer the wrapped dough to a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. To use frozen dough, just thaw overnight in the refrigerator and roll out as directed above.
You can also freeze your completed pie shells. I usually make a few at a time so I don’t have to go through all the steps every time we want a pie. Prepare your dough, roll it out and line your pan. Disposable pie plates work great for this. Once it’s done, place your pie shell in the freezer for about 30 minutes until it’s frozen solid. Then remove it and wrap it in at least 3 layers of plastic wrap, making sure there are no openings. Store in a freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer up to 6 months. No need to thaw before using.
Check out these great recipes for more gluten free, dairy free pie ideas!
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Best Gluten Free Vegan Pie Crust
- 1 C Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend I use Bob's Red Mill, see notes
- 1 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 9 Tbsp Vegan Butter Vegan or Regular
- ½ C Water
- Cut the butter into cubes about 1/2" in size. Place into the freezer for at least 15 minutes prior to mixing.
- Measure the water and place into the freezer while you mix the remaining ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, arrowroot powder, salt and sugar. Stir well to ensure it's evenly mixed.
- Add the frozen butter cubes to the flour mixture. Toss the butter around to make sure it is completely coated with flour. Working as quickly as possible, use your thumb and first two fingers to squish the butter cubes into discs about the size of a quarter.
- Once all the butter has been worked into the flour, add half of the cold water. Toss the ingredients together to hydrate the flour. If any large clumps forms, break them apart. Continue to add the water a little at a time and toss it together until the dough forms into a rough ball. You may not need all of the water, but you should need most of it.
- Form your dough ball into a circular patty about 1 inch thick and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
- Place a large piece of parchment paper on your counter and dust with 1 Tbsp of gluten free flour. Place your dough patty on the floured surface. Dust the top of the dough and your rolling pin with another bit of flour. You don't want a lot of flour, just enough to keep the rolling pin from sticking to the dough.
- Roll out your dough working from the middle and rotating the dough as you go to make sure you're working evenly. Roll until the dough measures 1 inch larger in diameter than the pie pan.
- Place the dough sheet onto a baking sheet and put into the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Once the dough sheet has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and flip it over into the pie pan. Work the dough gently into the pan, taking care not to press the dough in as it will stick. If you make any holes in the dough, patch them with leftover dough.
- Trim the dough about 1/2" outside of the edge of the pie pan. Fold the edge under and crimp however you'd like. Place finished pie shell in the freezer until ready to use. If you will freeze more than 30 minutes, make sure to cover with plastic wrap.