An easy and no fail gluten free pie crust perfect for sweet and savory pies. Easy to find ingredients and no chilling required.
Learn how to make a delicious and buttery gluten free pie crust from scratch with this in-depth tutorial. Includes tons of success tips, step-by-step photos, and a detailed recipe card. Make a perfect pie crust every time with this gluten free pie crust recipe.
Free from: Wheat, gluten, dairy (optional), casein (optional), eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts (optional), coconut (optional), fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
Making pie crust without gluten doesn’t mean a bland or grainy crust. This recipe uses easy to find ingredients in new methods for the best gluten free pie crust around.
This recipe makes 1 single pie crust plus extra for rolling out decorative cut-out toppers.
- Why You’ll Love this Pie Crust
- Allergy Substitutions
- Butter or Shortening for Pie Crust?
- Prep for Success
- How to Roll Out Pie Crust
- Par-Baking a Gluten Free Crust
- Blind Baking a Gluten Free Crust
- Best Pie Pan for Baking
- Top Gluten Free Pie Crust Tips
- Pie Recipes to Love
Why You’ll Love this Pie Crust
- Easy to make recipe that works in sweet and savory pies
- Simple ingredients with lots of allergy substitutions that work
- No chill time required so you can enjoy pies sooner
The ingredient list for this gluten free crust is pretty short and sweet.
- Gluten free flour: This is the most important part of this recipe. The best success I’ve found is with King Arthur Gluten Free Baking Mix. This brand has a blend of different gluten free grains, xanthan gum, and some baking powder. If you can’t find that, I’ve made it with King Arthur Measure for Measure, Bob’s Baking Mix, Better Batter, and my own homemade gluten free flour.
- Salt: Enhances the flavor, important in gluten free baking.
- Butter: This is what gives pie crust the flavor and flakiness. I typically use European butter which has a higher fat to water ratio than American butter. However, both work great.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Helps to soften and condition the dough, making for a more tender crust.
- Brown Sugar: A touch of brown sugar helps to flavor the dough and also helps it develop some color.
- Coconut Milk: Yes, I suggest you use ice cold coconut milk in place of ice water. Why? Coconut milk has more fat and flavor than plain water. The fats in the coconut milk help to enrich the dough and remove any grainy texture. No, I promise it won’t taste like coconut in the end. Have a coconut allergy? See below for swaps.
Need a dairy-free option? Use your favorite non-dairy butter in the crust. I recommend brands like Earth Balance sticks, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” sticks, or Miyoko’s butter sticks.
Avoiding coconut? Make this with dairy cream or soy cream for a delicious crust. If you can have dairy, a tablespoon of sour cream added to the crust with the butter makes for a great way to add more fat and flavor without the coconut.
Butter or Shortening for Pie Crust?
There are a few differences between using vegetable shortening and all-butter pie crusts.
- All Butter crusts: These are the most flaky and lightest of crusts. Butter imparts a lot of flavor. All the water in the butter evaporates in the hot oven, steam is created which makes for the light texture. However, butter crusts tend to warp a little bit in the oven, making for a rustic and uneven crust edge. I don’t mind this rustic quality and happily trade a perfect edge for flavor.
- Vegetable shortening crusts: These are like the life insurance policies of pies. The shortening has a higher melting point than butter, making the dough more stable and easier to work with. A shortening crust will give you a picture perfect pie edge. However, there is no flavor in shortening.
Can you use both? Yes, you totally can! Mix half shortening and half butter. My favorite vegetable shortening is this one.
Prep for Success
For the full recipe, complete with ingredient measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Start off by chilling your ingredients, if possible. Roughly cube the butter and pop it in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Sift together the dry ingredients and also place it in the fridge or freezer.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, measure out your coconut milk. Add a few ice cubes to this to keep the coconut milk very cold.
I recommend that you use a food processor as this will really help the butter and the flour come together quickly and without warming up.
If you don't have a food processor, you can make this in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Or, you can make this in a large bowl with a pastry cutter (pastry blender). I find that for the best flaky pie crust, using the food processor is the quickest method as it mixed the flour mixture into the fats quickly.
Place the cold butter and dry ingredients into a food processor. Pulse a few times until the butter is evenly distributed throughout the dry ingredients. It should resemble a coarse sand texture - crumbly and with a lot of lumps.
Tip! This method of combining fats into the flour is called the reverse creaming method. It is used a lot in making cakes for a more even rise and better flavor. I began adopting this technique to my gluten free baking and found much more consistent results.
Now add the apple cider vinegar and half of the coconut milk to the food processor. Give it a quick pulse again. Drizzle the cold coconut milk onto the flour, making sure to mix it in every time.
You want to add the milk slowly this way so that you don’t make the dough too wet to work with. Stop adding milk when it begins to ball up in the food processor. Some days you may need more or less milk, depending on the weather. Don't add the ice cubes.
If you add too much liquid, the dough will be sticky, requiring too much flour, and ends up being tough.
If you add too little liquid, the dough will not hold its shape, and will fall apart.
You want the dough to hold its shape when pressed together but not feel overly sticky.
Using your hands, place the dough ball onto a sheet of parchment paper and smush it together into a disc shape.
How to Roll Out Pie Crust
Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper and your hands as well as a rolling pin. Sprinkle a little more flour on top of the crust and begin to roll it out.
You want to use a gentle pressure on this crust. Because it is warm from not chilling, you don’t need to apply the same force as if it were chilled. However, you want to work quickly so that it doesn’t warm up too much.
When rolling dough, work from the center and roll outwards in short passes.
After a few passes, rotate the parchment paper so that you can evenly roll out the crust.
If the dough becomes a little lopsided, you can just use your hands to smoosh it back into a circle shape and continue rolling. But you don't have to be super precise as the edges will get folded under or trimmed.
Roll the dough into a 12 or 13 inch circle, which is just big enough to cover a 9-inch pie pan or 9.5-inch pie pan.
Now, flip the parchment paper into the pie pan and gently peel it away. This is the quickest and easiest method of transferring your crust!
Tip! Working on parchment paper makes the entire transferring process way easier. I don’t recommend that you roll it onto a rolling pin and transfer like you do with wheat pie crusts. The gluten free crust is more easily broken. Using parchment paper to flip it over means an easy transfer every time!
Gently press the pie crust into the pie pan and trim away any extra. Flute the edges by pressing the crust between two fingers on one hand and your knuckle on the other hand.
Now you can either bake or fill your crust.
Par-Baking a Gluten Free Crust
Par-baking (aka partial baking) a pie crust is an essential first step to many pie recipes like quiche, pudding pies, cream pies, or if you want to make sure nothing leaks through the crust. This is a great technique to use when making fruit pies or other pie filling that is more wet.
It is essentially the same thing as blind baking a pie crust, but with less time in the oven.
To par-bake a gluten free pie crust, first dock the bottom of the pie. This means to take a fork and poke some holes in the bottom. This allows for steam to easily escape and prevents bubbles from forming.
Now, using parchment paper, cover the bottom of the crust. Fill the pie with a pie weight. This will also help to prevent the pie from forming bubbles. If you don't have a pie weight, you can also use dry uncooked rice or beans for the same effect.
Bake the crust until the bottom just begins to brown, about 7 or 8 minutes.
Blind Baking a Gluten Free Crust
Blind baking a pie crust is the first step for many pie recipes like banana cream pie, coconut cream pie, quiche, and more.
It is essentially the same thing as par-baking a pie crust, but with more time in the oven.
To blind bake a gluten free crust, first dock the bottom of the pie. This means to take a fork and poke some holes in the bottom. This allows for the steam to easily escape and prevents the crust from bubbling up.
Now, using parchment paper, cover the bottom of the crust. Fill with pie weights like these ceramic balls or these metal beads. This weight also helps the pie from bubbling up. If you don't have a pie weight, you can also use dry uncooked rice or beans for the same effect.
Bake the crust until fully golden brown and baked, about 25 to 30 minutes, depending on how thick your crust is.
Best Pie Pan for Baking
You have 3 options for baking a gluten free pie crust, and the best one depends on what kind of pie you are making. Here are my thoughts on each of them.
Metal Pie Pans
A metal pan, also sometimes called a pie tin, are typically made from aluminum. The metal heats and cools very quickly. This results in a light and flaky crust. That makes it perfect for blind baking and par-baking pie crusts.
Pies that require a longer cooking time, or are thick and heavy, may not fully cook in these metal pie pans without risking burning the crust.
These pie pans are the safest to use if going right from the freezer or fridge to the hot oven.
Glass Pie Pans
Providing a window into the soul of your pie, glass pie pans are great for watching the pie bake. Glass sides allow you to watch the doneness of the crust at all stages of baking, making it really easy to know when it is done.
Glass heats up evenly and slowly, making for a more consistent temperature throughout the pie. That makes them my go-to pie pan out of all of these options. I love being able to watch the crust bake. Plus, thick pies like pumpkin are always more evenly baked.
However, glass can shatter easily, and not just from dropping! Sudden temperature changes can make the glass crack and shatter. Never take a glass pan from the freezer or fridge and place it in a hot oven. When removing the hot pie from the oven, always place it on a trivet to cool on the countertop, never a glass cooktop.
Ceramic Pie Pans
The low and slow winner, ceramic pie pans are thick and retain the most heat of all the pie pans.
Ceramic heats up evenly and very slowly, making it great for longer baking pies. They often are larger in size than metal or glass pans, so you may need to adjust your recipe to fit the pan.
Some ceramic pans can go from fridge to hot oven without issue, but always check to make sure that your pan is one of them. I like to make things like chicken pot pie in a ceramic pie pan.
Top Gluten Free Pie Crust Tips
- Stay cold. The colder your ingredients are the better. Pop the butter in the freezer and keep the gluten free flour in the fridge for best results. Never use room temperature butter.
- Spray the pie pan. If you notice that your crusts are sticking, don’t be afraid to spray the pie pan, or even line it with parchment paper. There are no rules that say you can't.
- Roll out on parchment paper for ease of transferring from paper to pie pan.
- Use the right pie pan for the type of pie you are making.
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Pie Recipes to Love
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- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Food processor or pastry cutter
- parchment paper
- Rolling Pin
- Pie plate
- 1 ¾ cup gluten free flour King Arthur Baking mix recommended, see note
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup butter cold
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 7-8 tablespoons coconut milk unsweetened
- Whisk dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together the gluten free flour, brown sugar, and salt.
- Chill ingredients. Cube the butter and pop in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. Place the dry ingredients in the freezer or fridge as well. In a glass, place a few ice cubes in the coconut milk to chill the milk even more. Store all ingredients in the fridge or freezer until ready to assemble.
- Pulse together. In a food processor, or a large bowl with a pastry cutter, combine the dry ingredients with the cold butter. Pulse together a few times until it forms a crumbly mix. Don’t over work this step, mix until it has big crumbles.
- Finish the dough. After the dough resembles crumbly sand, add the apple cider vinegar and a few tablespoons of the cold coconut milk. Pulse together, adding a tablespoon more of coconut milk as needed. You should add anywhere between 6 and 9 spoons of milk, depending on the weather. The dough is finished when it begins to come together in the bowl.
- Roll out the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured parchment sheet. Using floured hands, press and squish the dough into a ball. Using a floured rolling pin, begin to press the dough into a large circle. Don’t press down hard on the dough! Work from the inside of the dough to the outside. If it starts to get a wonky shape, use your hands to press the dough back into a circle. Roll until the dough is about 12 to 14 inches in size.
- Place dough in the pan. When the dough has been rolled out, carefully but quickly flip the dough into the pie pan. Slowly peel away the parchment paper. Trim any excess dough and either crimp with your fingers or press down with a fork. Now it’s ready for your fillings or baking!
- Par-bake instructions. Preheat the oven to 375F. Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place a piece of parchment paper and cover with pie weights. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the crust begins to brown.
- Blind Baking instructions. Preheat the oven to 375F. Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place a piece of parchment paper and cover with pie weights. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can make and freeze a pie crust for up to 3 months in advance.
- Best gluten free flours to use: I have the most success with King Arthur Gluten Free Baking Mix. Better Batter, Bob's Red Mill, and my own homemade gluten free flour blend all work as well.
- Need a dairy-free option? Use your favorite non-dairy butter in the crust. I recommend brands like Earth Balance sticks, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” sticks, or Miyoko’s butter sticks.
- Avoiding coconut? Make this with dairy cream or soy cream for a delicious crust. If you can have dairy, a tablespoon of sour cream added to the crust with the butter makes for a great way to add more fat and flavor without the coconut.
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