A friend of mine asked for a recipe for gluten-free pie crust so that he could make a pie that I could eat. When he served me the first slice he said, “When was the last time you had a gluten-free pie?” I said, “Er, probably 6 months ago?” He said, “When was the last time you had gluten free pie made someone other than you?” I paused and then said, “Never!”
I can count on one hand the number of times someone has made a pie I could eat since then! I didn’t nail down my ideal pie crust recipe for few years and now I use it for any pie, tart, or quiche that I make and it’s always a hit. It’s buttery and tender and your friends really won’t believe you when you tell them it’s gluten-free.
In this recipe, I’ll teach you how to make the basic pie crust, and then a classic Blackberry filling to make use of it. The following makes enough pie dough for a top and a bottom crust for one 9-inch pie pan.
Gluten-Free Blackberry Pie
- ¾ C butter
- ¾ C white rice flour
- ½ C brown rice flour
- ½ C tapioca starch
- ¼ C potato starch
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ C sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 egg
- 4 C frozen blackberries about two 1-lb packages
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ C sugar
- Splash of lemon juice
- A 9-inch pie pan
- A rolling pin
- Parchment paper
- Take your frozen berries out of the freezer to allow them time to thaw and preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- To make the dough: Combine all the dry ingredients and the butter in a medium-sized bowl until crumbly.
- Add the egg and vinegar. Mix until dough forms, making sure to scrape down mixer if the egg gets caught in the middle. If you’re using an electric mixer, the dough starts to form a ball on its own. If the mixture seems too dry to become dough, add a teaspoon of milk.
- Wet your hands before molding the dough into a ball and wrapping with plastic wrap, to prevent crumbling. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- To make your filling: Place the berries in a medium-sized bowl. Add your cornstarch, sugar, and a small splash of lemon juice to the berries and mix gently so that the berries are evenly coated. To keep the bottom crust from disintegrating too much, strain berries over another bowl for a few minutes before placing them the pie crust.
- Once your dough is chilled, divide it into two equal parts. Lightly spray two pieces of parchment paper with non-stick spray. Place one section of the dough between the two sheets and roll out using a rolling pin. If you’re not sure how big it should be, place the pie pan on top of the rolled out dough. You’re looking for an inch or two wider than the bottom of the pan, and it should be about ¼ inch thick.
- Carefully peel off top piece of parchment paper. Take your time. Flip the rolled out dough (paper and all) into a pie pan. Carefully peel the second piece of parchment off. If you accidentally tear a hole, no sweat. Just take some extra dough from the edges and patch up the hole by pressing in the excess with your fingers. Prick the crust all over with a fork to help keep the crust in place during baking.
- Repeat the parchment paper process with the other half of the dough.
- Flip the second piece of dough onto the top of the pie and adjust the alignment so that it’s centered. Press the edges of the bottom and top crust together and crimp them evenly.
- Bake for 40 minutes and then cover with tinfoil to prevent over browning. Bake for an additional 20 minutes until the pie is solid most of the way through.
Gluten-free Pie Baking Tips:
- For a non-dairy option, replace butter with Smart Balance or Earth Balance. If using Smart Balance, the colder the dough, the better. Try freezing the dough, and then work quickly.
- If refrigerating or freezing the dough before use, microwave dough for 20-25 seconds to soften before rolling out.
- If you’re in a hurry, and your kitchen isn’t sweltering hot, you can roll out the dough without refrigerating it. Just be very gentle when you roll it out and anticipate needing to patch some holes when you flip the dough into the pan.
- If you are pre-baking or blind-baking the crust, bake for 15-20 minutes at 325 degrees. (Blind baking is not required for the recipe above.)
- When adjusting your own pie recipes to gluten-free, if you are making any kind of fruit pie, toss the fruit with the sugar, cornstarch and any other dry ingredients, then let the fruit strain for 10 minutes. If you keep the excess liquid, the bottom crust will weaken and it will be difficult to get a whole slice out of the pan.
If you want to use the crust recipe to make two pies without top crusts, consider replacing them with streusel. Here’s a quick recipe for making a pretty good streusel substitute gluten-free:
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ C white rice flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ C packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- 2 tsp milk
- Combine dry ingredients, butter, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl until crumbly. Add milk and mix. If using an electric mixer, watch very carefully for the crumbs to begin to clump slightly and form larger crumbs. As soon as they do, turn off the mixer. Do not over mix or the crumbles will turn into balls of dough. In the event of over clumping, break the dough into small pieces by hand.
- Sprinkle over pies (or muffins!) One batch will cover 1 pie or 9 muffins.
Use this recipe to make fill your pie-craving after switching to gluten-free or make an extra special surprise for your gluten-free friend!
What’s your favorite kind of pie? Let me know in the comments.