WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Favorite Gluten Free Pie Crust-(dairy free, soy free, corn free too)

Over the last couple of years I have tried quite a few pie crusts. Often with horrific results! Some so hard it broke our teeth, some so soft and crumbly I could barely get a bottom crust into a pie pan and usually only by pressing it in, let alone try to top a pie.

This is my "current" favorite pie crust recipe. Maybe I will find a new tweak I like better in the future, but for now? This one is great.

All Purpose Gluten Free Pie Crust: (Single crust, see notes below to double.)

1 1/4 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons sugar(you can reduce this, or remove for a savory pie)
1/2 teaspoon guar gum(or ground chia, or psyllium husk powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt(I use pink himalayan)
6 tablespoons cold Palm Shortening(Tropical Traditions or Spectrum)
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons Braggs apple cider vinegar(the only recognized corn-free vinegar)
1-3 Tablespoons COLD water

Combine all dry ingredients.

Cut in cold shortening into dry ingredients.

Add egg, vinegar, and start with 1 tablespoon cold water. If you cannot get it to form into a ball add 1 additional tablespoon of water at a time until it comes together.

Cover tightly in plastic wrap(saran) or in a large Ziplock brand(one of the only corn-free bags,they use a tiny dusting of potato starch instead of corn to keep the bags from sticking). Place in freezer for aprox 15-30 minutes. You want it cold, not a rock!

Roll out between 2 sheets of parchment paper.

1) This recipe is for a single crust. In order to double you don't need 12 Tablespoons of shortening. I used 8 and had a tender crust that was easy to work with and delicious. This could depend on the flour blend you use. You may need more or not.

2) I suspect other flour blends would work well with this recipe.

If you double the recipe for a double crust, don't need to double the vinegar. I used a little bit more then 2 teaspoons and that was plenty.

4) You will smell the "vinegar" when it is baking. That is normal. When fully cooked you will not taste it.

For fruit pies I find using a metal pie pan works best. I start at a higher temperature(425) for the first 20 minutes and then reduce to 350 for the rest of baking time. This encourages the crust on the bottom to cook properly.

6) Pie Bird- I found mine at Ross for 3.00. They are also known as; Pie vent, pie whistle, pie chimney. They allow the steam to escape(like cutting slits into the top crust does). I was impressed with the top crust using the pie bird. Plus they are neat to see sticking out of your pie. Amazon has pie birds on their webpage. Once you have put in the bottom crust go ahead and center your pie bird, carefully add the filling around your pie bird. I had no problem placing the top crust over the pie bird. By the time I had peeled off the parchment it was resting over the pie bird and I just had to press down to get the pie bird to come through. Seal the crust around the pie bird. Oh, and wipe off the pie bird that is showing above the top crust. I left bits of crust on mine and it wasn't pretty. Before I showed Abby the pie I had to pick the browned crust off the pie birds face.

7) Crust cutouts. I seem to always have leftover raw pie crust. I gather it up and roll it out between the parchment. I use cookie cutters to cut fun shapes. You can place these right on your pie before baking. Or, you can bake them separately for "crackers.".

8) Gluten free pie crusts tend to not brown well. Nothing worse then a ghostly white crust. To help a gluten free pie crust "brown" you brush with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. I used Abby's coconut yogurt that I thinned to more of a milk thickness and brushed it on the crust and sprinkled with sugar, worked great! Check pie for browning halfway through, it can actually brown too much! I simply throw a piece of tinfoil over the top and let it rest gently on it for the rest of the baking time.

9) You can make the pie crust dough a week in advance. Just make sure you tightly wrap the ball of dough. Roll when you are ready to bake it. I have read you can also freeze the raw dough, but have not tried that yet.


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