Easy Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Pie Crust (NO Rolling Needed!)

Uncooked Gluten-Free Pie Crust Patted Into the Pie Plate
Gluten-free Pie Crust Recipe
Just pat it into the pie plate, no rolling out necessary!

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I've been using this easy gluten-free pie crust recipe for many years now. Dairy free, as well as gluten free, this is the best gluten-free pie crust recipe ever because you don't have to roll out the crust.

Rolling out the crust is the most difficult part of the gluten-free pie making process, so this particular gluten-free dairy-free recipe saves time in the kitchen, which can be helpful for the holidays or other special occasions.

Not having to roll the crust definitely paves the way for a fool-proof single-crust pie, especially since a rice-flour pie crust doesn't behave like an all-purpose flour crust does.

When you choose to use this gluten-free recipe over a recipe that requires you to roll out the pie dough, you won't have to worry about making a mistake. If you accidentally poke a hole in the dough while patting it into the pie plate, just pinch the hole closed and smooth over the crust. No one will ever know.

Nothing could be faster or easier.

If cutting down on time or simplifying the process of making a flaky gluten-free pie crust is your number one concern, then this recipe is for you.

Since the crust is not rolled out, but pressed and patted into the pie pan, you avoid overworking the dough and you can bypass some of the hardest steps in making a gluten-free pie.

Unlike most gluten-free dairy-free recipes you'll find online, this quick-and-easy pie crust makes a great starter crust for those who are brand new to gluten-free baking.

There is only one drawback to using this crust:

Pinterest Image: Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Number One Drawback to Using This Simple Gluten-Free Pie Crust Recipe

This recipe was designed for a one-crust pie.

I have never tried to use this recipe for a two-crust pie. I don't know how well it will work if you double the recipe and then chill half the dough for a couple of hours before trying to roll it out.
I have always used this recipe for a pumpkin pie or a coconut-pineapple filling.

It would also be great for a rice-flour quiche crust.

Pudding pies and non-bake cheesecake pies are better made with a pre-baked almond flour crust that closely resembles a graham-cracker crust.

Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes

Glass cracked like a spider web with hold in the center
Just expect to make mistakes when baking gluten free.
Baking without gluten is a trial and error process.

I wish I could say that with all of the years of experience I had in the kitchen before going gluten free (both professionally and personally) that it really made a difference in how easy it was to switch to gluten-free baking, but that isn't true.

Cooking with wheat flour and using gluten-free flours and starches are as different from each other as cooking with natural gas versus cooking with electricity or going from a gas oven to an electric convection.

There are different principles that apply for each type of cooking or baking method, and the experience I had with all-purpose flour didn't help much.

I still had to start all over from scratch when we went gluten free over 10 years ago.

To make a flaky gluten-free dairy-free pie crust, you'll have to allow yourself a bit of space to make mistakes. Experimentation and practice is the name of the game, and no matter what your background is, you won't always get lucky the first time you try something new.

For example, I once tried making this recipe with a hefty portion of sweet rice flour. It was all I had in the house that day. I didn't really understand the difference that sweet rice would bring to the crust until I got into the middle of mixing up the dough.

It turned into a big wet mess and then shattered like broken glass while baking.

Tips for Making the Best Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Choosing the perfect gluten-free pie crust recipe is going to be difficult. Partly, because everyone has a different favorite method of making pie crust, and partly, because taste is relative.

Some people use only butter, while others prefer solid vegetable shortening. Some swear that lard or vegetable oil is the only way to go, while others declare a particular combination is necessary for ultimate perfection.

We prefer vegetable shortening over butter because the crust comes out flakier. Vegetable shortening has no water added, so it isn't as moist as butter is. Plus, it's dairy free. Whenever I've tried to use butter, the crust has come out tough and hard to slice.

It wasn't a flaky gluten-free pie crust.

I ran into a recipe once that talked about grating frozen butter, so I tried that method too, but it turned into another wet mess for me. I only use dairy-free shortening now.

How fine you cut the shortening into the gluten-free flour mix also matters. A tough crust isn't always due to a bad recipe. Sometimes, a perfect flaky gluten-free crust is a matter of technique. You want to keep the chunks of pie crust about the size of a large pea. Cut too small, the crust won't flake properly.

As for the liquid:

I’ve read about those who swear by ice water, tap water, and even warm water to make the perfect crust.

I am partial to ice water because it keeps the shortening from melting. You want the fat to create pockets in the crust when it bakes, which is why you want to keep large chunks. You don't want the fat melting before the crust makes it to the oven.

This means it is also a good idea to whip your filling up first and get the oven pre-heating before you make the crust. That way, you can pop the pie into the oven just as soon as it's ready.

Easy Gluten-Free Pie Crust

  • 1-1/4 cups gluten-free flour mix
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (I use NOW Foods)
  • 1 tbsp pure cane sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, well chilled (I use Crisco)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2-1/2 tbsp ice water
Lightly grease a deep-dish pie pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour mix, xanthan gum, sugar, and salt.

With a pastry blender or fork, cut in the shortening until crumbly, about the size of large peas. If you want a super flaky gluten-free pie crust, it is very important not to cut the chunks of fat too small. You also don't want to handle the dough more than necessary. While you can't overwork the dough, due to its lack of gluten, the longer you handle it, the more likely it is for the fat to start melting.

Melted fat will make the dough tough.

In another small bowl, fork-whip together the egg white and vinegar. Add the ice water, and stir to combine.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the liquid ingredients into the well and fork-whip everything together gently, working in the flour a little bit at a time. When the dough begins to form a ball, use your hands to bring it all together.

Form the dough into a flattened disk, rather thick still. Set the disk down in the center of the prepared pie pan. Work from the center outwards, patting the dough into your pie pan. Be careful when patting out the dough. You don't want to stretch the dough, just gently ease it into shape.

Leave a thicker crust around the top edge.

Stab the pie crust several times with a fork. This will allow steam to escape while baking. Those pricks will keep the rice-flour pie crust from puffing up too much as it bakes.

To pre-bake the crust:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Be very careful. You don't want to over bake or the crust will crack all over. Since this is made with white-rice flour, it might not brown like a traditional crust does.

Mine never does.

At 20 minutes, I always take it out, even if it doesn't look done and let it cool on a wire rack.