Nothing says comfort quite like a homemade pie fresh from the oven. But what if you or someone you love can’t eat gluten? Have no fear! We took to the kitchen and tested dozens of batches of gluten-free pie crust to find a pie crust recipe that’s so good, people won’t even notice it is wheat-free.
This crust recipe is the result of months of work, and we’re so proud of it! It’s flaky, buttery, crisp, and 100% gluten-free. Let’s get baking!
Isn’t making your own pie crust hard?
Nope! That’s a myth that’s been going on for ages. Making your own pie crust is actually super simple. It only requires a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of your time. Trust me, you’ll be able to taste the difference! Homemade pie crust is a million times more delicious than store-bought varieties. If you’re on the fence about making your own flaky gluten-free pie crust, you should take a leap of faith. You’ll be amazed at how easy—and delicious—your pies will be!
Can I make this crust ahead and freeze it?
You sure can! This recipe will last up to three days in the fridge, but if you’ve made extra pie dough and want to freeze it, all you have to do is double-wrap the balls of dough in plastic wrap and place them in a zip-top freezer bag. They’ll last for up to three months in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake them, just let the dough thaw overnight in the fridge before rolling it out.
Alternatively, you could roll out the pie crust ahead of time, place it on a tinfoil pie plate, and freeze the crust right in the dish. When you bake your pie, there’s no need to thaw it—instead, add two to three additional minutes to your cooking time.
Does this pie crust have to be gluten-free?
Due to the special ingredients and proportions that make this recipe gluten-free, it’s easier to follow a separate recipe if you’re looking for one that uses wheat flour. We have a perfect pie crust recipe you’re bound to love if you don’t have any dietary restrictions. It’s been tested and loved in thousands of homes!
Do I have to refrigerate my pie crust?
Yes! This is a step that you can’t skip. Allowing your pie crust to cool in the fridge makes it easier to roll out and results in a better, flakier crust when baked. The cooling process hardens the butter and fats in the dough, allowing them to hold their shape easier during the rolling and baking process.
It also allows moisture to soak back into the flour particles, making it easier to work with when you grab your rolling pin. If you skip this step, you’ll be left with a crumbly crust that’s hard to work with.
Do I have to use butter, or can I use margarine instead?
I would definitely recommend using butter instead of margarine in your pie crust. One of the reasons is that butter is hard when it’s cold, which allows it to form crumbles in your flour, so your dough is a perfect consistency. Margarine is softer and won’t produce those pea-sized crumbles you’re looking for.
The other reason is taste. Fats such as lard, shortening, and butter provide a superior rich flavor. If you’re in a pinch, you can use margarine, but you might sacrifice on the flavor and texture.
Help! My gluten-free pie crust is too crumbly. What can I do?
There are a couple of reasons that your gluten-free pie crust might be a little too crumbly. Here’s what to look for:
- You might just need a little bit more water. Try dipping your fingers in some water and working it into the dough. You don’t want to add too much water, so add just a sprinkle at a time.
- You didn’t let your crust rest in the fridge. Not only does this time chill the butter in the crust, but it also gives the flour time to absorb the moisture, making it less crumbly. No skipping the chill time!
- Your crust might be too cold. Yes, we want the crust chilled before rolling, but not too chilled! Let the crust warm slightly before trying to roll again.
- You might have used the wrong kind of gluten-free flour. Not every gluten-free flour is created equally, and some are harder to work with than others. We’ll talk about the types of flours we tested this recipe with next.
What’s the best gluten free flour to use for this recipe?
When you head to the grocery store, you’re looking for a gluten-free “cup to cup” or “all-purpose” flour blend. These flours are a mixture of gluten-free flours and starches. I wish it was as easy as that, but even those mixtures have some pretty big disparities. We tested this recipe with six different brands of gluten-free flour, and here are the results:
- Our favorite option is Cup 4 Cup Multipurpose Flour—the flavor and texture of the crust was top notch, and everything we’ve made with this blend has been easy to roll out and work with.
- Better Batter Original Blend Flour, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour, Simple Truth All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour, and King Arthur Measure for Measure all made crusts with good flavor and texture, but the doughs were slightly harder to work with. They crumbled easily during rolling and forming the crust, and they also required more water to bring them together.
- Pillsbury Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend was very difficult to work with during rolling and forming the crust—so much so, we ended up just tossing the whole batch!
Cup 4 Cup Multipurpose Flour is our favorite gluten-free flour blend for ALL gluten-free baking. We haven’t found anything it can’t do yet!
Sour cream? In a GF pie crust?
Yup! I know it seems strange, but the acidity of the sour cream helps with leavening, and the fats help add tenderness and flakiness to the gluten-free pastry. You’ll love it!
Make sure to grab full-fat sour cream here. The sour cream adds moisture and flavor to your gluten-free pie dough. The higher the fat content, the more flavor and tenderness there will be.
Can I make this gluten free pie crust vegan or dairy-free?
We haven’t tested this recipe using plant-based alternatives (like plant-based margarine or sour cream), but we have a hunch it just might work. Let us know if you test it out!
Can I pre-bake this pie crust?
Absolutely! You may have come across a pie recipe that calls for a blind-baked crust, and this means it needs one that’s been pre-cooked. To pre-cook your crust, place it in a pie dish and line the crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill the pie crust with pie weights or dried beans, and then stick it in the fridge for half an hour before baking it for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 375°F.
After the 20 minutes are up, remove the pie from the oven and take the weights and parchment paper out. Use a fork to prick a few holes in the crust and bake for another 15 minutes.
What kind of pie can this gluten-free crust be used for?
Sweet or savory, this gluten-free pie crust recipe works for them all! If you’re opting for a savory pie —think chicken pot pie or quiche—make sure you omit the sugar in the crust. If you’re looking for some awesome pie options, here are a few of our well-tested faves:
Hi…if you use salted butter…do you omit the salt?
Hi Lorie! Since it’s hard to predict how salty your salted butter will be, we recommend reducing or omitting the salt when using salted butter. You can always add more the next time if you find it’s less salty than you’d like!