Gluten-Free Pie Crust Doesn’t Have to Be a Nightmare

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I’m a pretty decent gluten-free baker, but gluten-free pie crust makes me want to pull my hair out every single time. It’s not because I’m under-practiced (I’ve been baking since childhood), or because I’m opposed to fiddly kitchen tasks (ask me about my gluten-free sourdough!), but pie crust isn’t exactly a casual endeavor. To make a gluten-free pie crust—or, even worse, a gluten- and dairy-free pie crust—is to enter an alternate realm where your ingredients are working against you and all hope is basically lost. And often, you have only mediocre results to show for your efforts.

It’s enough to make a person wonder: Is making pie crust from scratch even worth it? To answer that question, I turned to King Arthur Flour, maker of gluten-free mixes that yield the fluffiest pancakes, the most fail-safe yellow cake, and phenomenal batches of blueberry muffins. If anyone could create a mix from which a beautiful crust might emerge, Excalibur-like, into my flour-dusted hands, it’s King Arthur. So I armed myself with a few boxes of His Majesty’s gluten-free pie crust mix and set out to bake some test pies.

King Arthur Baking Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix

Let me be honest here: This mix isn’t going to change your life, but it will make it easier. I keep many different types of gluten-free flour on hand, and most recipes involve weighing and measuring the contents of at least a few different bags. With the King Arthur mix, all you’ll need to add is cold butter (or margarine) and water, which is a welcome simplification when you’re juggling holiday kitchen tasks.

All gluten-free pie crust is fragile and downright difficult to work with, and this one is no exception. After adding the suggested amount of water, I was left with a shaggy pile of powder that refused to stick together. I added a few more tablespoons of water and ended up with a dough that rolled out nicely between sheets of parchment. It did break around the edges when transferred to the pie pan when I attempted a double-crust apple pie, but this was nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a little patching.

I’ll admit I had concerns about the final result of that first pie, but they turned out to be largely unfounded. When I pulled the golden-crusted pie from the oven, I texted a photo to my friend.

“My ugly pie,” I declared.

“Okay wait,” she said. “It’s sloppy but it’s not ugly.”

The longer I looked at it, the more I realized it wasn’t sloppy, it was homemade and charming.

While a double-crust pie is totally doable, single-crust pies are where this mix shines. Ahead of Thanksgiving, I churned two single-crust pumpkin pies out of a single box of mix in record time. I successfully transported them to two separate feasts, where they got rave reviews.

Even though this pie crust isn’t perfect (perhaps no gluten-free pie crust is), I already have an extra box of this mix stashed away for emergency baking needs. It tastes just as good as the stuff I make from scratch, but uses far fewer ingredients. Pies already feel like two recipes in one—the crust and the filling—so the ease of using a pie crust mix is especially appealing. I’d rather make sure my apples are perfectly spiced or my pumpkin smoothly puréed than worry about measuring six types of gluten-free flour.

If nothing else, King Arthur’s gluten-free pie crust mix decreases the countertop mess and increases predictability. What more could you really ask for, especially during holiday baking season?

King Arthur Baking Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix

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Author:Kori Perten |

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