“Good job, Mom. You didn’t even yell at the pie crust that time!” That’s what my daughter said as I prepared our Christmas pies. It should give you an idea of how well pastry and I get along. Gluten-free and vegan pie crust has been my nemesis for a while, but not anymore! Most allergy-friendly pie crust recipes are fiddly, frustrating, or just plain bad. After a lot (and I mean a LOT) of testing and trialing (and a few angry words snarled at some poor, innocent pastry), I’ve solved our problem! This gluten-free and vegan pie crust recipe is exactly what you want for Pi Day and every day!
Pie Crust Ingredients
Part of what makes this gluten-free and vegan pie crust simple is that there aren’t any crazy, hard to find ingredients. It’s all standard stuff that any food-allergy baker should have on hand!
The flour that I used is my standard mix that I talk about in other recipes like my Snickerdoodle Muffins. You can absolutely substitute in any grain-based gluten-free all purpose flour mix here. You may have to adjust the amount of water slightly depending on what grains are in your mix. Just don’t try to swap out for nut flours here as they require different types of recipes.
I strongly believe that the best vegan baked goods use a mix of fats. You need palm shortening and vegan margarine for this recipe. The palm shortening helps to give stability to the crust while the margarine offers moisture (which helps with flakiness) and some flavor. The key is to keep your fats very cold before adding them in!
To make a sweet pie, use a little cinnamon to up the flavor factor of your pie crust. If you’re making something savory like a quiche or pot pie, though, use some garlic powder and dried herbs in place of the cinnamon.
Pie Crust Method
When I say this gluten-free and vegan pie crust recipe is simple, I mean it. The method is similar to what I described in my sugar cookie recipe and is so easy that even my 12 year old can help make it!
Make this pie crust dough in a food processor. Not only does it make things a lot simpler, it helps to keep the fats cold because it can incorporate them much quicker than doing it by hand.
Roll then Chill
Typically pie crust recipes tell you to chill the dough before rolling it out. My recipe kind of turns that on it’s head! For this you roll it out and put it in your pan, then chill it well, and then bake it.
I’m about to get really crazy here for a minute. Some pies require blind baking your crust. That means baking it partially or completely before filling it. The best way to do it is actually to line your crust with plastic wrap (no, it won’t burn or melt) and fill it with dried beans. I know that sounds crazy, but I saw it recommended on Great British Bake-Off years ago and it really works!
Make-Ahead Pie Crusts
If you’ve ever had a dessert emergency you know the advantage of having things stashed in the freezer. Now you can make your crust ahead of time so that pie can be on that list of emergency desserts to have on hand!
Your Best Bet
The best method for making my gluten-free and vegan pie crust recipe ahead of time is to follow all the instructions until you get to baking and stop there. Then just put some plastic wrap on top and freeze the raw dough right in the pan. When you want pie just pull it out of the freezer (you want it to be chilled anyway) and bake as your recipe calls for.
What NOT to Do
The one thing to 100% avoid is freezing the unrolled dough. This is the one time that this crust will become a real pain to deal with! If you want to make it ahead, just follow the tip above.
Chilling the Dough
If you must chill the unrolled dough, let it return to room temperature before you try to roll it out. Overly cold dough will be very brittle and you’ll be back to saying angry words to your pastry!
Gluten-Free and Vegan Pie Crust for Pi Day and Every Day
Your gluten-free life just got a whole lot better. No longer do you have to fight with frustrating pie crusts that fail to satisfy! Use this gluten-free and vegan pie crust recipe to wow your friends and family with delicious pie. Be the hero of your next family get together with my fabulously simple gluten-free and vegan pie crust recipe!
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- 355 grams GF flour mix
- 3 tbsp (40g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon*
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 8 tbsp (113g) margarine, cubed and well chilled
- 8 tbsp (120g) palm shortening, broken into pieces and well chilled
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp ice water
- Mix your vinegar, maple syrup, and water together in a small bowl and place it in the freezer.
- Put your flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon*, and xanthan gum in a food processor and pulse (one second pulses) about 10 times to mix together.
- Add the margarine and shortening to the food processor and pulse 4-5 times (one second pulses).
- Add the water mixture to the food processor and pulse 8-10 times, until dough starts to come together a little. You don't want it to be completely smooth and combined but it should hold together if you pinch it in your hands.
- Turn the contents of the food processor out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and press into a flat disc. Let it rest at room temp for 15-20 minutes.
- Once the dough has rested, lay a large piece of plastic wrap out and lightly dust it with tapioca starch. Lay the dough on that, lightly dust the top of the dough with more tapioca starch, and top with another piece of plastic wrap. Roll to the size you need to fit your pan, being sure to leave a little overhang to fold under for a decorative edge.
- Gently lay your pie dough in your baking dish and lightly press it into place. If it tears, don’t worry, just patch it up with some of your excess dough. Fold the edges under and crimp. Prick holes in the bottom and sides of the crust.
- Put the pie pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to let the fats in the dough chill. You can leave it in your freezer for a few months if you want to. Just wrap it in plastic wrap for long-term storage.
- While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 375*F. Line the dough with plastic wrap and fill with dry beans or baking beads (no, the plastic wrap won’t melt in the oven). If you are baking the crust completely to go with a no-bake filling, bake for 30-35 minutes. If you will end up baking the filling, par-bake for 20 minutes, then remove the plastic wrap and beans/beads fill and bake as your pie recipe directs. This will help prevent your crust from being soggy.
- If you’re making a double crust pie, fill your bottom crust then roll your other crust out, top your pie, and crimp together before baking as your recipe directs.
- *If you're making a savory pie, replace the cinnamon with half granulated garlic and half dried herbs.