I think the secret to being a great cook is having basic recipes that never fail you. They are tried-and-true favorites to use and build upon to make really delicious variations. A good, flaky pie-crust is one of those essential recipes. From pies and galettes to savory chicken pot-pie, memorizing this crust recipe is worth every step.
This recipe was inspired by the gluten-free pie crust on Four Spoons Gluten Free recipes. The site is awesome! Created by husband and wife duo Matthew and Nicole Knegt, this team started their own micro bakery specializing in gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free goods. Their entire site is beautiful and full of great ideas for any meal of the day. Nicole even stars in a helpful video to show you how she makes the crust.
For my version, I eliminated the commonly used tapioca flour (made from ground cassava root) that is frequently found in gluten-free recipes, since it’s on the list of foods to avoid for a healthier thyroid.
Instead, I used sweet rice flour, a very light and gluten-like flour, to mimic the flexibility of traditional AP flour.
Following my Gramma’s never-fail pie crust recipe (which until I went gluten-free, had never failed!), I combined both frozen shortening and butter to improve the pastry dough flakiness and pliability. The combination also helps it to taste as close to the “real thing” as possible (my taste testers didn’t even know this was a gluten-free crust).
My Gramma’s other secret: vinegar. I haven’t been able to find the scientific reason for why this works, but beating the vinegar with the eggs not only adds a little extra moisture (essential for GF baked goods) and helps bind everything together.
A few notes about this pie pastry:
– It’s soft and needs a gentle hand (because it lacks the traditional gluten binding it together), so you’ll want to handle it with a little TLC
– Like all pie pastry, give it time to chill out in the fridge before rolling it out (if you’re in a rush, you could put it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes)
– Covering the surface you’re rolling the dough out on with plastic wrap is key!
– You’ll probably love this pastry more than the gluten version
Freezing the butter and shortening allows little bits to be spread out throughout the entire pastry, making it extra delicious. And flaky. And so, so good.
Thyroid-friendly, Gluten-free Pie Crust | Makes 2-3 pie crusts
Inspired by Four Spoons Gluten-free Pie Crust recipe
1 1/4 rounded cups brown rice flour (plus extra for rolling out dough)
1 rounded cup sweet rice flour
1 teaspoon Xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup frozen shortening, chopped into small cubes
1/2 cup frozen butter or margarine, chopped into small cubes
2 cold eggs, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup ice water (ice doesn’t count in quantity)
1) Pulse the dry ingredients to combine in a food processor. Add the cubed frozen shortening and butter; pulse until mixture is the size of large peas (it should resemble wet sand).
2) Add lightly beaten eggs (don’t forget to beat them with the vinegar) and 1 tablespoon of ice water. Gently pulse to combine everything, adding 1 tablespoon of ice water as needed to bind the pastry together. Turn dough out, kneading into a ball until just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Keep the dough chilled until you are ready to roll it out. (or be prepared it could be one hot mess).
3) Wipe down your counter or cutting board with a damp cloth and then lay a large piece of plastic wrap over the surface. Place 1/3 of the pastry dough into the center of the plastic wrap without flouring. Roll out the pastry slowly, sprinkling dough and rolling pin with brown rice flour.
4) Place pie pan over the pastry, slip a hand under the plastic wrap and flip it over onto the pan. Press the pastry into the pie pan and gently pull back the plastic wrap. Trim any excess dough.
IF FREEZING: You can freeze this dough both rolled out or in a ball. If rolling out, wrap one side of the counter plastic wrap over the bottom edge of pie dough and begin rolling into a log. Place rolled dough (or dough ball) into a freezer safe closable bag. Put it in a safe area of your freezer where it will not get beaten up or have other food set on it. Will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator until ready to use.