Looking for a great gluten-free pie crust that's easy to work with? This one from Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free: 75 Recipes for Irresistible Gluten-Free Desserts and Pastries, by Karen Morgan, is deliciously flaky and buttery, and rolls out beautifully. Morgan likes to use European-style cultured butter, which is slightly tangy and has a higher fat content than regular butter. If you can't find it, you can substitute regular unsalted butter.
Makes 1 double-crust 9-inch pie
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup sorghum flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons guar gum
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted cultured butter, diced
3 large eggs
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to blend. Add the butter and beat until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the eggs and mix on high speed until the dough is well blended and looks like thick cookie dough.
Turn out the dough onto a work surface that has been dusted with rice flour and knead for 3 turns. Divide in half and form each half into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days.
Dust a piece of waxed paper with rice flour and place one portion of the dough on the paper. Dust the top of the dough with more rice flour and top with a second sheet of waxed paper.
Roll out the dough between the two sheets of waxed paper into a circle about 1/4-inch thick. Peel off the top sheet of waxed paper and invert dough into a 9 inch pie pan. Remove second sheet of waxed paper and fir the dough into the pan. Fill and bake as desired. If you're making a double crust pie, repeat to roll out the second half of the dough, place over the top of the filled pie shell, and press or crimp the edges closed. Cut 2 or 3 vents for steam to escape and bake as directed.
Olive Oil Pie Crust
This delicate, tender crust from Vegan Pie in the Sky by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2011) goes deliciously with fruit pies. About an hour before beginning the recipe, place the olive oil in a plastic container. Freeze the oil until it's opaque and congealed but still somewhat soft, like the consistency of slightly melted sorbet. If it's over-frozen, just let it thaw a bit so that you can work with it.
Makes top and bottom crusts for a 9-inch pie
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup olive oil, partially frozen (see headnote)
4 to 8 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Working quickly, add the olive oil by the tablespoonful, cutting it into the flour with your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the flour appears pebbly.
In a cup, mix together 4 tablespoons of the ice water with the apple cider vinegar. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the water and vinegar mixture, and using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir into the dough. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together to form a soft ball. Take care not to over knead the dough.
Divide the dough in two. Press each half into a disk about an inch thick and place each between two 14-inch-long pieces of waxed paper. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a circle about 1/4-inch thick. For a more even, uniform circle of dough, roll the pin one or two strokes outward, turn the dough a few degrees, and roll a few times again and repeat. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Refrigerate the rolled dough wrapped in waxed paper until it's ready to use, or as directed in the recipe.