Sunday, October 12, 2008

Easy Gluten Free Pie Crust



If I could give you the best recipes on to try from Ginger Lemon Girl... I would say try those incredible chocolate chip cookies, my Everyday Carrot Cake, my sandwich bread, my cream cheese meltaways, and the lovely pie crust we're featuring here today!

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this pie crust. It's EASY. Really, really easy, and it's so simple. It rolls out beautifully, even compared to that other crust I really love (yet actually made me so mad two weeks ago that I threw my rolling pin across the kitchen in a moment of sheer "pie-crust-roll-out" anger!)

This crust is also flaky and delicious. Keep in mind that it is also not one bit healthy. It uses an entire stick of butter for ONE CRUST. It's also an "all-starch" crust, save for the redeeming bit of sorghum flour... but for goodness sakes, is a pie crust really supposed to be healthy? Of course not! IT'S PIE crust!

This recipe is actually a revamp of my Cream Cheese Meltaways cookies. Last Christmas when I made these cookies I realized that they completely did not spread when I baked them. So I decided to roll them out and make sugar cookies with them as well. The dough made PERFECT sugar cookies and it rolled out like a charm. The wheels started turning way back then about using the dough as a pie crust. I exchanged most of the sugar in the recipe for a bit more flour and said a prayer! It worked. It made a PERFECT crust. A gluten free crust that was easy to handle. A gluten free crust that was forgiving. It's the best pie crust I've ever made.

Don't shy away from the long directions! They are NOT hard, simply thorough! I will add pictures the next time I make the crust, so you can see how delightfully easy it is!


Easy Gluten Free Pie Crust

4 ounces cream cheese **
4 ounces (1/2 cup, or 1 stick) butter**
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Directions:


*30 minutes before making pie crust, remove butter and cream cheese from fridge and set on counter to soften.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together softened cream cheese and butter. Mix remaining dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Add dry mixture slowly to cream cheese mixture. If you use a stand mixer this will be easy, and you can slowly combine the ingredients on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until dough forms a stiff ball. If mixing by hand, this may take 5-8 minutes to combine well enough to form into a stiff ball.

You can chill dough if you like, but you can also use this dough immediately. When ready to use dough, place two sheets of a good quality plastic wrap on your counter or table. Place the sheets of plastic wrap side by side, slightly overlapping, to give you enough space to roll out a 9"or 10" crust. Sprinkle white rice flour on the plastic wrap and place the dough in the center.

Sprinkle additional white rice flour on top of the ball of dough. Then, place a new sheet of plastic wrap on top of the ball of dough (so it won't stick to the roller) and start to roll out your pie crust starting from the center. Roll out the crust to 1/4" thickness, or however thick you desire. I actually had enough dough to make a large 10" pie crust along with a smaller 8" pie crust. So you could probably make 2 (9") crusts with this dough if you desired.

Gently place crust in pie or tart shell and bake as directed in your recipe of choice.

*** Please be aware that because the dough does not contain gluten it may STILL tear while you are transferring it to the pie tin. That is OKAY!! This dough is very forgiving and you can simply press the dough back together in the pie tin and even "patch" the dough if necessary with leftover crust! It will "mesh" together beautifully and is very, very forgiving!! ***

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Additional Gluten Free Pie Crust Hints and Tips:


To prebake shell for fruit pies or savory pies and tarts: Simply press crust into your pie tin or tart shell and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Add fillings and follow your recipe as directed.

** Casein Free Pie Crust Options: While I have not tried, this, I believe you could successfully use Tofutti in place of the cream cheese and a casein free shortening such as Crisco or possibly Spectrum in place of the butter with successful results. If you try this, please let me know how it works for you!

Sweet and Savory Crust Flavor Options: For sweet pie crusts or for fruit pies, I would add an additional tablespoon or two of sugar to the crust. You could even add a splash of vanilla or cinnamon. For a more savory crust for meat pies and tarts, add italian seasonings, fresh dill, or garlic... there are SO many things you can do with this crust!

Make your own pie crust mix: Simply mix together all dry ingredients together and place in a ziplock bag or tightly sealed container of your choice so that you can quickly put together a gluten free pie crust in minutes. I am going to make 6-8 bags of this pie crust mix for the upcoming holidays!

Corn-free option: If you cannot use cornstarch, arrowroot flour or sweet rice flour can be used in place of the cornstarch.

Using Quality Plastic Wrap to roll out dough: I have learned that cheap plastic wrap will not work properly when you are trying to roll out a pie crust. Trust me... you'll end up throwing your rolling pin across the kitchen and shouting things that are never normally uttered from your mouth. I recommend using a product such as Saran Wrap, or something similar, which will perfectly stick to your counters and the dough without being TOO sticky or not sticky enough (either of which can make the dough VERY hard to work with!!)



Stay tuned for the recipe for that delicious Sweet Tomato and Feta Tart you see pictured above!




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20 comments:

  1. You had me at 'easy'. I have to bookmark this..I have been dying to make an apple pie with my munchkins, and this look fun, and I think it would go well with the apples. :)

    SM

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  2. SM - lol... i'm ALL for easy!! I hope the crust will work for you! I think if I were making it for an apple pie crust i might add about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar instead of the 1 called for, I might also add just a pinch of cinnamon to enhance the flavor of the dough. It is a bland dough, which really makes the filling stand out, but I think I would add the extra sugar and spice for the apple pie! ;-)

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  3. As long as it turns out as goos as this tart, I don't care how long it takes!!

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  4. I will be excited to try this. I had a disaster last Thanksgiving with my pies and have been looking for a good crust ever since!

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  5. I must tell you that I love you. Not in the creepy stalker-at-your-window way, but more like the I've-been-wandering-in-the-desert-and-you're-holding-a-glass-of-water way.

    :)

    This is my first gf holiday season, and I was just starting on the daunting task of Christmas cookies and pie crusts when my husband found your blog.

    I am SO excited! I have the 2007 entry on different cookies bookmarked and I am making PIE tomorrow!!

    Thanks again for sharing!
    Come visit me at hereswhatletsdo.blogspot.com, if you like.

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  6. Do you know if you could substitute gluten-free all purpose flour for the sorghum, rice, and tapioca flour mix?

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  7. Anonymous -- You could certainly try using the gluten free all purpose mix. I haven't tried it, so I don't know for sure if it would work, but give it a shot!

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  8. THANK YOU!!!!
    This was my first Thanksgiving GF,dairy,yeast free. My husband and I have tried many recipes but NONE compare to the ease and perfect result from your recipe! Thank you so very much for reopening the doors to pies! I gave thanks indeed to you this past day and I'm sure many times in the future!

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  9. We tried and this we agree: Best gluten-free pie crust we have found.

    The only negative is that it's a bit gritty. Anyone have any ideas on what might be bringing the sandiness to it and what a remedy might be?

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  10. MRubenzahl -- Thanks so much for your very kind comment! I'm so glad you enjoyed this crust! As far as being gritty, it could be the white rice flour. I would recommend trying a very finely ground brown rice flour such as arrowhead mills or using sweet rice flour in place of the white rice flour which could be causing your grittiness! Hope this helps!! -- Carrie

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  11. It was interesting that the second crust we made wasn't gritty. Not sure why! Regardless, we liked it a lot. The grittiness was slight anyway.

    Thank you, again!

    I will be posting a story on my own food blog(http://feedme.typepad.com) soon.

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  12. Thanks for this great recipe! I had to find another one as the first one I made gluten-free burned way before it was supposed to be done. This was great--not as easy to work with as wheat, of course, but much better than the other, and delicious! My friends loved it with strawberry-rhubarb pie on the 4th of July. One suggestion: Use waxed paper. It is easy, and biodegradable, too! I rolled out 3 of the 4 crusts beautifully with the same 2 pieces. On the 4th time with the same 2 pieces of waxed paper, it started wrinkling and turned the crust into kind of a mess (I was trying to make a lattice, which was kind of a mess anyway, but really looked ok once it was baked. It was so good nobody seemed to care anyway!) So 3 crusts seems to be the limit with the same 2 pieces of waxed paper. Thanks again for the great recipe. I'll be checking your blog for more as I just started eating gluten-free in January and my chronic heartburn is so much better--I was on daily meds, and now I rarely have to take them, can eat & drink things I couldn't before without symptoms, and feel much better in general.

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  13. Bonney! Thank you so much for the very kind comment! I'm so glad this pie crust worked for you!! What a wonderful tip on the wax paper! I'll definitely remember that!! Thank you so much!

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  14. Love this recipe! My husband said it didn't taste gluten free which is a huge endorsement!

    I tried it a second time and added just a teaspoon of xantham gum and it was infinitely easier to work with :)

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  15. I tried this with the Bobs Red Mill all purpose flour tonight and it came out GREAT. Considering it was my first ever GF pie, and I'm baking it as as birthday cake for someone who is not gluten intolerant, that is saying something. Thank you so much.

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    Replies
    1. Eileen so you used the Bob's to replace the rice, sorghum and tapico flours or also the cornstarch?

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  16. Thanks for the recipe, plan to use it making mini quiches for a bridal shower this weekend :)

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  17. I tried this recipe this evening using Better Batter in place of the GF flours. I used the cornstarch and remaining ingredients exactly and my dough was very dry and crumbly. I added a bit more cream cheese to give a bit of moisture. It rolled out well but did not want to stay together long enough to be moved into a pie plate. It did patch well though. I made a cherry pie and it browned quite nicely and I think it baked a little faster too. But the crust was definitely harder than usual and had a more crisp, cracker-like crunch to it. It tasted a bit bland too. I think I will try this recipe once again using the exact ingredients called for before I come to a final decision about it.

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  18. I have trouble at times even with a regular pie crust but recently had good luck with a (gluten) cream cheese crust for the rest of the family. So I'm interested in trying this one for me and glad to see in the comments that Bob's GF Flour Mix works in this recipe. I'll keep this one bookmarked for the next special occasion and report back if I try it, thanks!

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Thank you for commenting on Gingerlemongirl.com. I appreciate your comments, ideas, stories, and feedback!

To send me recipes to try or for gluten free baking help, feel free to email me at gingerlemongirl (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sincerely,
Carrie

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