Monday, June 2, 2014

Quick Pie Crust Recipe

I've been working on this recipe for my mom, who requested an easier, faster recipe than a traditional all-butter pastry crust without any egg.  This crust is every bit as good, and much easier to handle due to the egg.  Plus, it's just in time for making your first strawberry rhubarb pie of the season.

Gluten-free Pie Crust Recipe

Makes one crust.  Double for pies that need a top crust.
mix time: 5 min
rest time: 30 min (optional)
cook time: 
30-50 minutes filled (like apple pie) or 
20 minutes pre-cooked for a custard filling or as a gallette

First, put a stick of butter, cut into pieces, in the freezer while you get your other ingredients together.  In a large bowl or a food processor, mix:

150 g gluten-free Deluxe Pastry Flour
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt


1 stick very cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (You can use shortening instead of butter if needed.)

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or in the food processor until the pieces of butter are pea-sized.  It should look like this:


1 egg, whisked

Pulse the blender.  Add:

1/2 tsp vinegar
1 TBSP ice-cold water

Gently cut the liquid into the flour and butter until it looks evenly distributed and small balls begin to form.  Press the balls of dough together gently.  If they stick together, you have added enough water.

If they don't, add 1-2 more teaspoons ice-cold water and repeat as necessary.  Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap it and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to several days.  If you are in a hurry you can pack the dough into a flat disk and roll it out right away.

If you are having trouble getting the crust to roll out, you can lightly flour the surface and roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper.

Cooking Instructions: 
If you are going to use the crust for a liquid filling you will need to cook it first.  Carefully place it in the pie pan and press the edges into something decorative or remotely pie-like.  Patch any gaps with extra dough.

If you have a relatively dry filling such as apple pie, you can fill and cook the crust according to the pie recipe.  If you have a very wet pie filling such as a lemon custard, you will have to cook the crust before adding the filling.  Cover the crust with tin foil and weight it with uncooked rice or beans.  Cook in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove the tin foil and weights, then prick the crust all over with a fork and bake for another 5 minutes.  If you are going to fill the crust with something uncooked and very wet, glaze the crust with egg yolk and put it back in the oven for one minute.  Then fill the pie and cook as needed for the filling.

For hand pies or gallettes (pictured), divide the crust into 4-5 parts and roll out each one separately into a circle.  Cut away the edges or press into shape.  Fill as desired.  Gently work the crust into being pliable enough to fold into the shape you would like.  Optional: brush the tops with egg for a glossier look.  Bake for 20 minutes at 425º F.