This flaky pie crust is made with only white rice flour and tapioca starch, two staples you may have bought if you are new to a gluten free diet. A simple bottom only tart shell is a good place for gluten free bakers to start but it’s also my favourite because you can make them look beautiful. As you get practise working with pastry and gain confidence you can tackle pie with a top and a bottom crust.
“Everything is hard before it’s easy.”
One of the reasons pie crust is intimidating for home cooks is because they never make it. You can’t expect to be good at something you only do once a year. But once you have made pastry at least three times, you can make pie only once a year. I guess it’s like riding a bike, you never forget. I don’t make pie too often but I’ve done it enough to know the techniques.
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Pastry is intimidating to many people so you might think gluten free pastry is even more difficult to make. Well it isn’t. Baking in general requires more precise measuring than cooking so here are a few tips to pay attention to.
Chilled fat (butter and shortening) is one of the keys to making pastry in general. Butter provides flavour and shortening makes pastry flaky. Incorporating fat into the flour is a fairly easy step that can be done by hand with a pastry cutter or more quickly in a food processor using the dough blade.
Another tip for working with pastry is to use waxed paper or plastic wrap on both sides of the dough. This makes it easy to flip the dough back and forth while shaping it to fit the pan. Pastry is delicate and the paper helps prevent it from tearing. Keeping it cool is also important so put it back in the fridge for 10 or 15 minutes when it feels too warm.
I made this flaky pie crust in my long rectangular tart pan with removable bottom because I like to make a desserts that looks a little different. That involved also buying a similar shaped serving dish that doesn’t fit in any cupboard in my kitchen. I’ve made many purchases like this but doesn’t that presentation look awesome! I think so.
Tart pans with removable bottoms are easy to use for many desserts so I have quite a collection:
Another bonus with these pans is the protection you get when transporting the dessert. I keep the sides on to prevent breakage in the freezer or the car, then remove it for a nice serving presentation.
I filled this tart with vanilla cream and topped it with blueberries. A simple glaze of melted jelly, mixed with a little liqueur if you like, gives it a shine and that store-bought, gourmet look. Finish it off with some edible flowers it they are available. Check out this most I wrote about the edible flowers I grow if you’re interested.
I say homemade pie crust is easier than you think. Try this recipe and let me know in the comments below what you thought.
This Fruit Pizza has a cookie crust but it is a similar technique.
If you love Pumpkin Pie, or pie in general, then learning to make it is worth the effort. Plan to make one pie each season to keep up your skills.
|1¼ cups white rice flour|
|1 cup tapioca starch|
|1 Tbsp sugar|
|½ tsp baking soda|
|½ tsp xanthan gum|
|½ tsp salt|
|½ cup vegetable shortening, cold and cut into chunks|
|¼ cup butter, cold and cut into chunks|
|½ cup cold milk|
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