Gluten-Free Flakey Pastry Crust
Makes 1 (8 or 9-inch) 2-crust pie; or 2 (8 or 9-inch) 1-crust pies
Many people prefer the speed and ease of combining pastry in a food processor. I shamelessly (and deliciously) use mine when quick and easy are the names of the pies. However, like many other shortcuts, the use of a food processor in pastry is a compromise. The best pastry is made entirely by hand using a dough blender or simply two butter knives. It’s not quick or easy; but neither is it incredibly time-consuming or difficult. The dough is much less likely to be over blended, it’s easier to work with, and your hands have created it entirely. Either way, this tender, flakey, gluten-free crust will delight you – whether blended with utmost attention or efficiency!
1 cup tapioca flour, plus up to ½ cup more for rolling out the dough
1 cup sorghum flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoons unrefined sea salt, finely ground
¾ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
4 – 6 tablespoons whole coconut milk, at room temperature (about 72 degrees F)
In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade) combine the tapioca flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix until well combined. Add the butter. Use a pastry blender or two butter knives (or short pulses of the food processor) to cut the fat into the flour. Cut until about 2/3 of the mixture resembles course cornmeal and 1/3 is the size of a large peas. Add the apple cider vinegar and 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk. Mix just until the liquid is evenly absorbed. Add the remaining coconut milk one tablespoon at a time and mix after each addition. Stop adding coconut milk when the dough begins to hold together.
Before handling, dust lightly with tapioca flour. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Wrap each in a piece of wax paper. Refrigerate until firm, about 45-60 minutes. Flakey pastry dough may also be frozen for later use (see cooks notes).
To roll out the pastry:
Work quickly; have the filling mixed, the pie plate ready, and the oven preheated. (Preheat to 425 degrees F, unless directed by your filling recipe). Place one piece of the dough on a generously floured work surface. Lightly dust the dough, rolling pin, and your hands with tapioca flour. Begin by hand-shaping the dough into a thick flat round. Use the rolling pin to roll out the pastry with light, even pressure. Every few passes lift or flip the dough and dust it with additional flour, if needed. If your pastry becomes oblong or misshaped, simply cut it and patch it back into a round by moistening the edges with a few drops of water then pressing them together.
For a nine-inch pie, roll the pastry 1/8-inch thick and about 11½ inches in diameter. When transferring the pastry to the pie plate fold it in half, gently lift, and unfold it into the plate. Repair any tears with a few drops of water and your fingertips.
To make a one-crust pie:
Use a sharp paring knife to trim the crust ½-inch larger than the pie plate. Fold under the excess pastry and gently press together the two layers. Decorate the edge with fluting or make regular indentations with the tines of a fork. Bake as directed in your filling recipe or pre-bake (see cooks notes). Use the other ball of dough for a second pie or freeze for later use (see cooks notes)
To make a two-crust pie:
Trim the pastry even with the edge of the pie pan (add the trim to the second ball of dough). Lightly moisten the edge with a few drops of water. Add the filling and dot it with butter (or follow the instructions for your filling recipe). Roll out the top crust into a round 1/8-inch thick and 11½ inches in diameter. Quickly fold, lift, and unfold the pastry over the top of the pie. Trim the edge ½-inch larger than the pie pan. Fold the top crust edge under bottom the bottom crust. Gently press all of the layers together. Decorate the edge with fluting or make indentations with the tines of a fork. Cut 5 or more vents in the top of the pie. Bake according to your filling recipe or bake until browned at the edges, about 50-60 minutes.
How to freeze pastry dough:
Wrap the dough in wax paper then place in a tightly sealed freezer-safe container or wrap in freezer paper. Use within one month. Thaw the dough at room temperature until workable, but still cold, about 2-3 hours. Proceed with rolling out the dough.
How to pre-bake a pie crust:
Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven. Preheat to 425 degrees F. Use a fork to pierce the entire surface of the crust. Bake until the edges brown, about 17-20 minutes. Most fillings for pre-baked crust should be fully cooled before being used in the recipe.
This post was shared on Mouth Watering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale, Mingle Mondays at Add a Pinch, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop at Penniless Parenting, Gluten Free Wednesdays at Gluten-Free Homemaker, and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.
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