Since everyone knows that the pie crust is the best part of the pie, it better be perfect. For a while after I couldn't eat gluten anymore, I just didn't like pie. After all, my childhood memories of Thanksgiving consisted of my cousin and aunt making pies and baking the pie crust scraps topped with cinnamon and sugar for everyone to fight over. I just wanted something to live up to those memories again.
So I know that the title of this post is a pretty big claim, but I have tried a lot of pie, and a lot of gluten free pie. This is the best gluten free pie crust out there. It is light, flaky, buttery, melts in your mouth, and bakes beautifully. It definitely lives up to and exceeds my Thanksgiving memories. I have made my Thanksgiving pies with this crust for two years now, and every other (non-gluten free eating) person loved and devoured them!
So here is my base gluten free pie crust recipe, but there are a few tricks of the trade to ensure the tender flakiness of this crust. The most important thing to remember when making pie crust is to keep the butter very cold throughout the whole process. This allows the flour to laminate the butter and create the distinctive layers.
While people will debate forever about butter vs. shortening in piecrusts, I am convinced that both have great properties and therefore deserve to be included. Another heavily debated topic in pie crust is how you incorporate the butter: hand cut, stand mixer or food processor. While all have their pros and cons, the stand mixer always wins out for me. I find that I have more control over my dough because I can see it better in the mixer, and my hands are always way too warm to incorporate the butter by hand.
Cut your 2 sticks of butter into pieces the size of grapes. Place the pieces of butter along with the shortening on a piece of wax paper and into the freezer for 10 minutes. Chill the mixing bowl from your stand mixer in the refrigerator.
Once your butter has chilled, take out the mixing bowl and add the flour, sugar and salt and blend with the paddle attachment.
Then add the butter and shortening, mixing on low speed and gradually increasing to medium high until the flour looks crumbly and there are no longer large pieces of butter, (about 3-5 minutes).
Add the cold large egg and mix again until just incorporated.
Gradually pour in the milk while the mixer is running on low speed, and add just enough for the dough to start pulling away from the sides of the mixer and come together in a playdough-like consistency. You may not need all the milk.
Add the apple cider vinegar and the vanilla extract at the end and mix just to incorporate.
Separate the dough into two flat disks wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 days. You can freeze the dough for up to 1 month.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and press into pie pan.
I hope this recipe adds to the enjoyment of your holiday season, and that you keep checking back for more fun recipes to fill the pie crust with!