Gluten-Free Flakey Pastry Crust Recipe

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Gluten-Free Flakey Pastry Crust

Makes 1 (8 or 9-inch) 2-crust pie; or 2 (8 or 9-inch) 1-crust pies

Many people prefer the speed and ease of combining pastry in a food processor. I shamelessly (and deliciously) use mine when quick and easy are the names of the pies.  However, like many other shortcuts, the use of a food processor in pastry is a compromise. The best pastry is made entirely by hand using a dough blender or simply two butter knives. It’s not quick or easy; but neither is it incredibly time-consuming or difficult. The dough is much less likely to be over blended, it’s easier to work with, and your hands have created it entirely. Either way, this tender, flakey, gluten-free crust will delight you – whether blended with utmost attention or efficiency!

1 cup tapioca flour, plus up to ½ cup more for rolling out the dough

1 cup sorghum flour

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 ½ teaspoons unrefined sea salt, finely ground

¾ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

4 – 6 tablespoons whole coconut milk, at room temperature (about 72 degrees F)

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In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade) combine the tapioca flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix until well combined. Add the butter. Use a pastry blender or two butter knives (or short pulses of the food processor) to cut the fat into the flour. Cut until about 2/3 of the mixture resembles course cornmeal and 1/3 is the size of a large peas. Add the apple cider vinegar and 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk. Mix just until the liquid is evenly absorbed. Add the remaining coconut milk one tablespoon at a time and mix after each addition. Stop adding coconut milk when the dough begins to hold together.

Before handling, dust lightly with tapioca flour. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Wrap each in a piece of wax paper. Refrigerate until firm, about 45-60 minutes. Flakey pastry dough may also be frozen for later use (see cooks notes).

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To roll out the pastry:

Work quickly; have the filling mixed, the pie plate ready, and the oven preheated. (Preheat to 425 degrees F, unless directed by your filling recipe). Place one piece of the dough on a generously floured work surface.  Lightly dust the dough, rolling pin, and your hands with tapioca flour. Begin by hand-shaping the dough into a thick flat round. Use the rolling pin to roll out the pastry with light, even pressure. Every few passes lift or flip the dough and dust it with additional flour, if needed. If your pastry becomes oblong or misshaped, simply cut it and patch it back into a round by moistening the edges with a few drops of water then pressing them together.

For a nine-inch pie, roll the pastry 1/8-inch thick and about 11½ inches in diameter. When transferring the pastry to the pie plate fold it in half, gently lift, and unfold it into the plate. Repair any tears with a few drops of water and your fingertips.

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To make a one-crust pie:

Use a sharp paring knife to trim the crust ½-inch larger than the pie plate. Fold under the excess pastry and gently press together the two layers. Decorate the edge with fluting or make regular indentations with the tines of a fork. Bake as directed in your filling recipe or pre-bake (see cooks notes). Use the other ball of dough for a second pie or freeze for later use (see cooks notes)

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To make a two-crust pie:

Trim the pastry even with the edge of the pie pan (add the trim to the second ball of dough). Lightly moisten the edge with a few drops of water. Add the filling and dot it with butter (or follow the instructions for your filling recipe). Roll out the top crust into a round 1/8-inch thick and 11½ inches in diameter. Quickly fold, lift, and unfold the pastry over the top of the pie. Trim the edge ½-inch larger than the pie pan.  Fold the top crust edge under bottom the bottom crust. Gently press all of the layers together. Decorate the edge with fluting or make indentations with the tines of a fork. Cut 5 or more vents in the top of the pie. Bake according to your filling recipe or bake until browned at the edges, about 50-60 minutes.

Cooks Notes:

How to freeze pastry dough:

Wrap the dough in wax paper then place in a tightly sealed freezer-safe container or wrap in freezer paper. Use within one month. Thaw the dough at room temperature until workable, but still cold, about 2-3 hours. Proceed with rolling out the dough.

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How to pre-bake a pie crust:

Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven. Preheat to 425 degrees F. Use a fork to pierce the entire surface of the crust. Bake until the edges brown, about 17-20 minutes. Most fillings for pre-baked crust should be fully cooled before being used in the recipe.

This post was shared on Mouth Watering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale, Mingle Mondays at Add a Pinch, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop at Penniless Parenting, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, Gluten Free Wednesdays at Gluten-Free Homemaker, and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

About Dori

I develop recipes, blog, teach, and consult about gluten-free recipes, fermentation techniques, and nutrient-dense foods. Visit NourishingFoodways.com. (Some posts contain affiliate links which help to pay for this site.)
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22 Responses to Gluten-Free Flakey Pastry Crust Recipe

  1. How beautiful! I am not very good at making a regular pie crust, but attempts at making a GF crust were even more dismal. The problem that I face is that I have to cook dairy and soy-free as well. I may try this though with a Palm Oil shortening. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Dori says:

      Hi Michelle,
      You may want to try rolling the dough out between two flour-dusted sheets of wax paper. You may have to adjust the liquid (more or less) when you use palm oil- but it should work out. Good luck!

  2. Kelleigh says:

    Aw yum! That pastry looks absolutely scrumptious. Just like regular wheat pastry. I can almost taste it through my computer screen. Is that a bit of drool on my keyboard? (forgive me). A million thanks for sharing this recipe!

  3. Sahirah says:

    This looks awesome! Do you think I could use Millet in place of Sorghum? I can’t tolerate sorghum :(

  4. Alea Milham says:

    What a gorgeous pie! We are a gluten free household, so I know how hard it is to make a beautiful gfree pie crust. I can’t wait to try your recipe, thanks for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

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  7. Dori,

    I made the pie crust today in an apple pie and it was a huge success! I have a history of making terrible pie crusts (even with wheat flour), so I am very excited about this. I made a few changes based on our food allergies and what I had on hand.

    - I used millet flour for the sorghum. It seemed to work great for me.
    - Corn allergy so I used 1 package unflavored gelatin for the xanthan gum.
    - Dairy and soy allergy: used Spectrum Palm Oil shortening for the butter.
    - Almond Milk instead of coconut milk.

    Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction. I plan to post my apple pie recipe on my blog later in the week. I will link back to your recipe here.

    Thanks again,
    Michelle

    • Dori says:

      Hi Michelle,
      I’m so happy that you were able to adjust the recipe to your own needs. I’m going to try some of your substitutions especially the millet.
      Thanks for getting back with your results!
      Best wishes-

    • Roslyn says:

      Michelle,

      What were your proportions for the Palm Oil Shortening? Did you do a straight substitution?

      I’m dairy free and wonder if Earth Balance vegetable shortening would work just as well as the butter…

      Trying to gluten/dairy free my grandmother’s apple pie :)

      Thanks!

      • Dori says:

        Hi Roslyn,
        I have used earth balance coconut spread, substituted 1:1. I would suggest using the buttery spread to get some butter flavor in there. Make sure to get the dough good and chilled before rolling it out & you should be happy with the results!
        Best wishes-

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  11. This looks wonderful! I’ve tried converting dough recipes to be GF, and they’ve turned out ok, but this looks flakier and fluffier by far! I’ve had a problem with my crust being a bit too hard when cool, but much softer when warmed a bit, have you found any difference with this crust?

    • Dori says:

      Hi Danielle!
      Thanks for your comments! This crust holds up well even when warm. I think it’s best while still a little warm from the oven (but maybe that’s just because I’m impatient!). I worked and worked on this combination of flours and gums when I was trying to get a all-purpose, flakey pastry style dough. In fact, I’m going to use this crust to make GF hand pies today! Some folks can’t believe this is a GF dough – it’s easy to work with, tastes great, and you can use any of your favorite filling recipes with it!
      Best wishes,
      Dori

  12. anne says:

    Hi, thanks, this is a great recipe. I omitted the xanthan gum entirely (not a fan of the stuff) and threw in some buckwheat and it turned out beautifully. My first attempt at any pie (gf or no), and I’ll stick with this crust in the future.

  13. Lisa says:

    I made the pie crust today the only change I did was omitted the gum and used while husk psyllium husk. I had in the the frig for a few hours when I took it out it was quite hard. Tried to roll it out could not it stuck to the floured wax paper I got so frustrated thru half of it away. I am new to gluten free baking but I am a experienced baker. What do I do wrong? I am getting very upset about not being able to bake my pies.

    Lisa

  14. Lisa says:

    I baked the other half of the pie crust in the oven like a cookie and it came out delicious!!!!! The best pie crust I ever tasted. I need help to figure out how come I could not roll out the dough.

    Lisa

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