November officially marks the start of “Pie Season,” and that means that many of us are scrambling around trying to figure out how we’re going to put a gluten-free pumpkin or apple pie on the table that is so delicious everyone will want a second slice!
As I travel the country speaking to gluten-free groups and teaching gluten-free cooking classes, it seems that rolling out pie crusts is the one thing that scares people the most about baking. There are many tips and techniques I’ve developed over the years, and I’ve gotten it down to quite a science!
click on the photo to watch my video!
One way to easily roll out and transfer crusts is by using a pie bag. If you haven’t seen one of these handy kitchen accessories, take a look at my video showing how to use them!
click on the photo to watch my video!
Another favorite of mine is using a silicone pastry mat. They are so versatile and make it easy to transfer pie crusts or to roll out sugar cookies or ravioli or or or … you get the idea!
I also have a video showing how to use these mats for rolling out GF pie crusts.
But the most important trick to making a deliciously flaky and remarkably easy-to-roll-out gluten-free pie crust, is to start with the right ingredients. My Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour is the main ingredient, and the special blend of gluten-free flours and xanthan gum gives doughs made with my flour extra stretch, making it far easier to roll and transfer top and bottom crusts.
I’ve also found that a combination of butter (or non-dairy alternative like Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks) and shortening makes for a flakier crust.
Using cold water and vodka (surprise secret ingredient that no one will ever taste!) also makes it easier to work with the dough, and yields an amazingly delicious crust.
Consult with my recipe below and be sure to look at the step-by-step photos at the bottom, where I show how to transfer the crust.
For even more pointers on making pie crusts, watch my video how-to or listen to my Blog Talk Radio show all about pie crusts! See below for step-by-step photos! (See this pie on FOX News DC!)
1 Gluten-Free Pie Crust
(*Note: the alcohol from the vodka is baked out in the oven and leaves no taste behind. Grain alcohols are distilled and are rendered gluten-free.)
To Make the Dough:
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening and butter using a pastry cutter (or the flat paddle attachment on a stand mixer or a food processor). Add the vodka/water gradually to make the consistency you need to form a ball – err on the side of it being wetter rather than crumbly. Don’t over-work the dough, or it may become tough when baked. Form a disc with the dough, wrap in plastic and set aside on the counter for 30 minutes while you make your filling.
Rolling the Dough:
After allowing the dough to rest, roll the pastry out onto a surface dusted well with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. A flexible pastry sheet (e.g. Silpat) is ideal for rolling and transferring a crust.
Roll to a diameter at least 1 inch larger than the diameter of your pie pan.
To Transfer the Crust:
1- Gently lift an edge of the rolled out crust over your rolling pin. 2 -With one hand under the baking mat, use the pin in the other hand to lift the crust so that it is supported by the rolling pin as you pull the crust gently off of the baking mat. 3- Transfer gently over the pie plate to center. 4- Drop gently into the plate and press in with floured fingers. 5- Pat into your pan.
For a One Crust Pie, cut the edges of the crust to an even length of approximately 1-inch larger than the diameter of your pie plate.
Gently fold the edges under, then press with a fork or pinch into a fluted design between your fingers.
Fill with your desired filling.
For a Two-Crust Pie, double the ingredients and divide the doubled pie crust dough before setting aside. Shape each half into a disc and wrap each in plastic wrap. Repeat the rolling out steps and lay the crust gently onto the top of the filled pie pan.
Cut off all but 1/2 – 1 inch of excess pie crust from around the edge of the pan. For fruit pies, cut small slits in the center of the top crust to allow the hot steam to escape. Brush the crust with egg wash or your milk of choice – this step helps it to brown nicely.
If there are any tears in your top crust, never fear! Simply take leftover crust and use decorative cookie cutters to cut out leaves, pumpkins, etc. Wet the backside of each cut-out with a dab of milk, then lay on top of any tears to cover the flaw.
Fold approximately 1/2 inch of excess pie crust over all around the edge to form the crust, then using your fingers, press a fluted design in the crust to finish. Cover crust edges with foil or a pie saver to minimize burning. Remove the foil with 10 minutes left of baking.
Single-Crust: Preheat oven to 400º F (static). Brush the crust with egg wash or milk, then cover edges with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375º F (static), remove foil, brush again with egg wash or milk and bake an additional 30 minutes, or follow directions for your specific pie recipe. (Cover again with foil if the crust is browning too much during the bake).
Double-Crust Pie: Preheat oven to 400º F (static). Brush the crust with egg wash or milk, then cover edges with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375º F (static), remove foil and brush again with egg wash or milk. Bake an additional 35-45 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling, or follow directions for your specific pie recipe. (Cover again with foil if the crust is browning too much during the bake).