The need for gluten-free pie crust arises from the increasing number of people following a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or a wheat allergy.
Traditional pie crusts are made with flour, which contains gluten, making them off-limits for those on a gluten-free diet.
Gluten-free pie crusts are made with alternative flour, such as almond flour, coconut flour, or gluten-free flour blends, which do not contain gluten and can be safely ingested by those following a gluten-free diet.
So, let’s talk about the gluten-free pie crust ingredients and step-by-step instructions for making the crust.
Ingredients for gluten-free pie crust can vary depending on the recipe, but some common ingredients include:
Gluten-free flour: This can include a blend of flour like almond flour, coconut flour, or a blend of gluten-free flour.
The mentioned flours do not contain gluten and are safe for those who follow a gluten-free diet.
Fat: This can include butter, shortening, or coconut oil, which they use to bind the ingredients together and create a flaky crust.
Liquid: This can include water, milk, or egg, which they use to bring the dough together and make it pliable.
Sweetener: This can include sugar, honey, or maple syrup, used to add sweetness to the crust.
Binder: This can include xanthan gum, guar gum, or chia seeds, used to help the crust hold together and maintain its shape.
Salt: Used to enhance the flavor of the crust.
Substitutions for common allergens or dietary restrictions can also be made in gluten-free pie crust recipes.
For example, instead of butter, they can use non-dairy alternatives like coconut oil for lactose intolerance or vegan.
And for those allergic to nuts, a gluten-free flour blend that does not contain almond flour or coconut flour can be used.
Preparation for gluten-free pie crust can vary depending on the recipe, but a general step-by-step process is as follows:
In a large bowl, you should combine the gluten-free flour, salt, sweetener, and binder (if using). Mix well to combine.
Cut the fat into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture.
Work the fat into the flour mixture using a cutter or your hands until it reaches coarse crumbs.
Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture, stirring until the dough comes together.
The dough should be moist but not too sticky. If the dough is overly dry, add a small amount of liquid. If the dough is too gummy, add a small amount of flour.
Knead the dough a few more times to bring it together.
Form your dough into a ball and flatten it into a disc. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and cool for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat your oven to the temperature specified for the recipe (watch the video).
Roll out your dough to the desired thickness and shape. Gently transfer the crust to the pie plate. Press the crust to the bottom and sides of the dish.
Optional: Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork to prevent it from puffing up while baking.
Bake the crust according to the recipe card instructions (video) or until it is golden brown and cooked.
Tips for working with gluten-free dough:
The gluten-free dough can be more delicate than traditional dough and may be more prone to cracking. Be sure to work with it gently and not over-handle it.
If the dough becomes too soft or sticky, you can chill it for a few minutes to firm it up before continuing to work with it.
If the dough cracks while rolling it out, you can patch it together with water and press the edges together.
Note that some gluten-free pie crusts recipe may have slight variations in the instructions, but the general process is the same.
Freezing and storage
Freezing and storage of gluten-free pie shells can vary depending on the recipe, but a general process is as follows:
After the crust has been prepared and baked, allow it to cool completely.
Wrap the cooled crust tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Place the wrapped crust in a resealable freezer pack and remove as much air as possible.
Label the bag with the date and freeze it for up to 3 months.
If you do not use the crust immediately, you can store it in your fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
Cover the crust in the refrigerator tightly in plastic wrap and put it in an airtight container.
To store the crust in the freezer, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil, put it in a resealable freezer bag, and remove as much air as possible.
Thawing and using the gluten-free pie crust frozen:
To thaw the crust, remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Once the crust is thawed, you can use it in any recipe that calls for a pre-baked pie crust.
If the crust has become slightly dry or crumbly after freezing, you can brush it with a little melted butter or milk before filling it with your desired filling.
It’s important to note that if you are planning to use the crust for a recipe that requires a pre-baked crust, you should bake it before freezing it.
And if you are planning to use it for a recipe that requires unbaked crust, you should freeze it before baking it.
Gluten-free pie crust can be an excellent option for those following a gluten-free diet, and with proper freezing and storage methods, you can enjoy it anytime.
Gluten-Free Pie Crust Brands
Several brands offer gluten-free pie crusts that you can find in stores or online, and they include:
Wholly Gluten-Free Pie Shells:
This brand offers a variety of gluten-free crusts, including pie crusts, pizza crusts, and quiche crusts. Their crusts are made with a blend of gluten-free flour and are free of dairy, soy, and nuts.
This brand offers a gluten-free pie crust made with a gluten-free flour blend and is free of dairy, soy, and nuts. They also provide gluten-free frozen pizzas that use the same crust.
Bob’s Red Mill:
This brand offers a gluten-free pie crust mix made with a gluten-free flour blend and is free of dairy, soy, and nuts. This crust mix is easy to prepare; just add butter, water, and egg.
This brand offers a gluten-free pie crust mix that is made with a blend of almond flour and is free of gluten, grains, soy, and dairy.
Kinnikinnick pie crust:
This brand offers a gluten-free pie crust made with a blend of gluten-free flours and dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free.
Jules Gluten Free:
This brand offers a gluten-free pie crust made with a gluten-free flour blend and is free of dairy, soy, and nuts.
When purchasing a gluten-free pie crust, it’s essential to check the ingredients to ensure that it’s gluten-free and free of any other allergens or ingredients you may be sensitive to.
In conclusion, gluten-free pie crust is a delicious alternative for those following a gluten-free diet.
Using ingredients such as gluten-free flour, fat, liquid, sweetener, and binder, this type of crust can be made without gluten in wheat, barley, and rye.
The preparation involves mixing the ingredients, kneading, and shaping the dough, refrigerating it, and baking it.
By following these tips and variations, you can make a delicious gluten-free pie crust that you and everyone can enjoy, regardless of dietary restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you buy a gluten-free pie crust?
Yes, it is possible to buy gluten-free pie crust from various brands in-store or online. Some brands that offer gluten-free pie crusts include Wholly Gluten Free, GlutenFreeda, Bob's Red Mill, Simple Mills, Kinnikinnick, and Jules Gluten Free. It's essential to check the ingredients to ensure that it's gluten-free and free.
How long do you bake a frozen gluten-free pie crust?
The baking time for a frozen gluten-free pie crust can vary depending on the recipe and the filling used. You should typically bake a frozen gluten-free pie crust at 350°F (175°C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is golden brown and cooked. It's always best to check the specific instructions on the packaging or recipe, as the baking time may vary.
Does gluten-free pie crust taste different?
Gluten-free pie crust can taste different from traditional pie crusts made with wheat flour because it is made with alternative flour such as almond flour, coconut flour, or gluten-free flour blends. These flours have a different texture and flavor profile than wheat flour, which can give the gluten-free crust a slightly different taste. Some gluten-free crusts may also have a nuttier taste if they contain almond flour or a coconut taste if they contain coconut flour. However, many gluten-free pie crusts are formulated to have a similar taste to traditional pie crusts, and with the right recipe and ingredients, they can be just as delicious as wheat-based ones.