Friday, December 11, 2015

Perfect Pie Crust for Any Occasion (gluten free, dairy free, vegan)

Pumpkin pie?  No problem.  How about a chicken pot pie?  Check.  Blueberry?  Apple?  Minced meat?  Yep, yep and um, sure why not. This pie crust is not only versatile (save a few ingredients between savory and sweet) the only way anyone will know that this is a gluten free, dairy free and vegan pie crust is if you tell them.  It is that good.  Forget those nasty cardboard tasting pie crusts that they sell at the store. You can actually enjoy this one!

For best results invest in a scale to measure the ingredients by grams. It is the most accurate and when baking gluten free, it is really important to have the right ratio of flours.

Please note: Always check labels and manufacturing processes to ensure there is no evidence of any food allergens you may be sensitive to.  

Sweet Pie Crust (gluten free, dairy free, vegan):
1/2 cup (63g) brown rice flour --I use Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice Flour - 3lb
1/4 cup (43g) white rice flour --I use Authentic Foods Superfine White Rice Flour - 3lb
1/4 cup (30g) quinoa flour --I use One 18 oz Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flour
1/2 cup (60g) tapioca flour --I use Bob's Red Mill Tapioca Flour - 20 oz
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cane sugar --I use Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar - Jug - 48 Ounce
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum--I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Xanthan Gum, 8-ounce 
1/2 cup unsalted shortening, room temperature -I use Spectrum Organic Shortening -- 24 oz
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
2 Tablespoons coconut milk --I use Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk, 13.5-oz. Cans (Count of 12)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Up to 4 Tablespoons ice cold water

Makes one pie crust.

In a large mixing bowl combine the brown rice flour, white rice flour, quinoa flour, tapioca flour, salt, cane sugar, xanthan gum and cinnamon (if using).  Whisk together until all ingredients are blended well. 

Using a fork or knife "cut" the shortening into the flour mix to create a crumb mixture.  If using a fork and your shortening is soft, hold the fork sideways and cut through the mix like a knife as opposed to mashing. You can also use a pastry blender like a Cuisinart CTG-00-DB Dough Blender  if you have one handy.

Once you have your crumb mixture, add the lemon juice and coconut milk and continue to cut it into the dough.  Your crumbs should be getting larger but you should not have actual dough at this point.  Then add the cold water one tablespoon at a time until the crumb mixture starts to stick together into a ball.  It is important not to add too much water as your dough should be firm yet malleable. You can use your hands to form the dough into a ball.

Using wax paper or parchment paper, line a flat surface with it to roll out the dough. Form the dough into a disk and lay it in the center of the paper.  Cover the top with more wax/parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick.  Remove the top sheet of paper and flip your dough into the pie pan.  Alternatively, you can lay your pie pan face down in the center of the dough. Then with one hand on the pie pan and one hand under your dough, flip them over together.  Make sure the dough sits nicely in the pan and then shape the edges using your fingers or with a fork.  Voila!

I recommend freezing your pie crust and filling it while still frozen.  I have not had to pre-bake it before use and have only used it frozen.  I've made both a pumpkin pie and a chicken pot pie (double the recipe to make a top crust) and both have come out beautifully! 

For a savory crust simply omit the sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice and add 1 teaspoon of vinegar. I also use Earth Balance instead of palm shortening as it has salt in it and then I reduce the amount of salt to 1/8 teaspoon.