This flaky pie crust is made with only white rice flour and tapioca starch, two staples for people new to gluten free baking. A pie made with a top and a bottom crust is a little more challenging than a simple bottom only tart shell.
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. You need to make pastry a few times to increase your confidence and get the hang of the technique. A little practice is all it takes.
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Pastry can be intimidating to anyone and you might think gluten free pastry is even harder. Well it isn’t. Baking in general is more precise than cooking so there are a few rules you need to follow.
Be precise with your measurements. Liquid cups should sit on the counter and be read at eye level rather than holding the cup in the air. Dry cups should have flour scooped into them and then be levelled off with a straight edge.
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.
A final tip is to use waxed paper or parchment 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.
So if you are up for the challenge make a pie crust. Not once but two or three times over several weeks or all in one weekend…that is when the real learning happens. Then you will be surprised how much more confidence you have when you go to make a pie crust several months later.
I made my flaky pie crust and fit it into a large rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom. I love the ease of tart pans with a removable bottom and I have several different shapes and sizes. After the pastry is baked carefully remove the sides of the pan and place the tart onto a serving dish. But keep the pastry in the pan with the sides to prevent breakage in the freezer and keeps your pie safe during transport.
This tart was filled with vanilla cream and topped with fresh fruit. A glaze of melted jelly with a little liqueur gives it a shine and a gourmet look. Finish it off with some edible flowers for a simple, elegant gourmet look. I wrote this post about edible flowers if you are interested in growing your own.
I say homemade pie crust is easier than you think. Try this recipe and let me know in the comments below what you thought.
|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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