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Finally, A Gluten-Free Pie Crust That Works!

This pie crust is a big improvement over my earlier attempts. I use xanthan gum and flax meal as binders, so when I swoosh in the liquid, those dry ingredients pull together like magic.

Gluten-free pie crust

*BAKING TIP*  Roll dough between two pieces of wax paper.  First, cut two sheets wax paper and spritz with a light coat of cooking spray. Lay the bottom sheet on counter top. Set the ball of dough on top. Then lay top sheet over. Begin rolling. Take your time, and don’t roll the dough too thin. When you have a nice circle, peel off top sheet of wax paper.  Lay the crust evenly over pie pan. Peel off the second sheet.  Pat neatly around the corners. 

Crimp edges all around by gently pinching dough between middle and index fingers and pushing in with thumb. It’s that easy!

*BAKING TIP * To make sure your crust doesn’t bubble up: Cut a sheet of aluminum foil to fit the pie pan, including the edges. Gently lay foil over the unbaked crust. Fill the bottom with a handful of beans or pennies – maybe 25. The beans or pennies act as a weight to keep your crust flat.

I always pre-bake my gluten-free crust for  7- 10 minutes. Pre-baking gives the crust a head-start, before adding a heavy pie filling that must be baked or heated through. (When it’s done pre-baking, the bottom will appear only slightly underbaked. Be careful not to brown the edges too much. They will become golden brown after you add the filling.)

For a “refrigerator” pie, bake the crust through to a golden brown, cool, and add filling.

GLUTEN-FREE PIE CRUST

Preheat oven to 425° F

Mix together dry ingredients:

2/3 C brown rice flour

1/3 C arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

1 tsp. xanthan gum (sold at health food stores)

¼  tsp. salt

Cut into dry ingredients (or use food processor):

6 Tbs. butter

In a small bowl, mix and let stand for 5 minutes:

1 Tbsp ground flax

3 Tbsp cold water

Add water and flax mixture to bowl with dry ingredients. Quickly gather dough into a ball. Do not overwork.

Gently roll dough into a circle between the two sheets of wax paper.

Peel dough off waxed paper and press into  9” pie pan. Bake for 7 minutes. This gives the crust a head-start. Add filling and return to oven.

For fruit pies: Follow recipe on pie filling. (Or if making your own filling: Reduce heat to 375° F and continue baking for 20 – 25 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown (or as directed by recipe).

*BAKING TIP* To prevent crust edges from browning too quickly, make a foil “sleeve” to go around. Lightly lay over the crust edges.

For quiche: reduce heat to 400⁰ F and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Then reduce heat again, to 350⁰ F.  Bake another 20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. (I take my quiche out before it’s completely set, because it continues to bake for a while outside the oven.)

My first filling for this new crust was a ZUCCHINI-RICOTTA PIE (recipe follows). The second was CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE. For this pie, I baked the crust completely before filling with a recipe I found online and adapted it using natural cocoa. Often gluten-free baked goods are more difficult to brown. I make sure to turn my crust during baking to ensure even heat, and am happy with a lightly browned finished product.

ZUCCHINI-RICOTTA PIE FILLING

1 cup ricotta cheese

¼ cup feta cheese (or other crumpled or grated cheese)

3 eggs

1 tsp. salt

Few dashes pepper

¾ cup grated zucchini PLUS 1/4 cup for topping (substitute asparagus tips, crumpled bacon and spinach, etc.)

½ chopped onion or several stalks diced green onion

Topping: Tomato salsa

Mix in bowl: ricotta, feta (or other) cheese, eggs, squash, onion, salt and pepper. Pour into lightly baked crust. Drizzle salsa in a circle and sprinkle remaining zucchini in the center.

One slice left over!

 

Take out the crust and pour in filling. Drizzle salsa on the top.

Bake 10 minutes at 400⁰F, and then reduce heat to 350⁰F. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until fork comes out clean.

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