we’re having a pie party

We’re having a pie party. And you’re all invited.

Last week, I was talking with friends on Twitter, late in the evening. All of us avid bakers, we traded stories about what we had made that day. It turns out that Irvin, Garrett, Justin, and Ashley had all made pies. This didn’t surprise me. It’s summer, finally summer. (Even if the weak sunlight only shone in Seattle for a few hours, obscured for the rest of the day by grey clouds. It’s still summer.) Summer, in my mind, means blackberries fat on the vine, peaches soft and juicy to the touch, raspberries ripe enough to plop on my fingers, and nectarines plums apricots blueberries huckleberries pluots cherries. Oh, the cherries. And strawberries. Is there ever such a time for fruit as the months of June, July and August? We wait all year for this perfect storm of sweetness. When the fruit is finally in season, I seem to make a pie a week. It just seems right.

When my friends and I traded descriptions of the pies we had made, we grew excited about baking together. Oh, we can’t bake in the same kitchen, with Irvin in San Francisco, Garrett in Sacramento, Justin in New Jersey, Ashley in Seattle, and me on Vashon Island, far away from them all. I dream of having a baking commune someday: all my favorite baking people here on this island, ready to borrow sugar from each other and crimping pie dough in each other’s kitchens. It’s probably not going to happen. But at the very least, we all realized, we could make pie on the same day. Garrett posts on Tuesdays. Could we post on a Tuesday? Easy. How about July 5th?

This was meant to be a fun little virtual party for friends. However, that’s not how we are. Baking is about welcoming, about feeding people, about bringing people into the home. So we put it up on Twitter. And made it a little Facebook event.

And then it went crazy.

There are now over 1000 people making a pie between now and next Tuesday. They’re all going to post photos and recipes and stories about their experience of making pie on Tuesday, July 5th.

Want to join us?

 

I’ve been thinking about pie a lot lately. (Again, see summer.) As much as I love to play with recipes and take on the challenge of gluten-free cakes or muffins, quick breads, or cookies, pie is the one treat I truly make for myself. I could easily go the rest of my life without another cupcake. But make me live without pie? That’s just plain mean.

When I was first diagnosed with celiac in 2005, I despaired of ever baking again. I gave away all my baking books, my pie pans, my muffin tins. I banished their floury selves from the house. However, it didn’t take long for me to start playing. I started slowly — a crumble. A crisp. Some cookies. But I knew I was really back to baking when I made a pie.

What is it about pie? Is it all that bubbling warm fruit? Well, yes. But no. I love pumpkin pie, lemon meringue pie, and coconut cream pie too. I’m partial to fruit pies most — peach lavender pie; cherry almond frangiapane; rhubarb; blueberry with a vanilla custard base — but other pies call my name too. I think it’s the crust, that buttery beauty that is born of four ingredients: flour, salt, fat, and water. It’s simplicity and beauty all wrapped up around fruit.

As much as I love the architectural wonders of modern desserts in restaurants, and the flaky perfections of puff pastry goodies, I love pie best. Pie is homey and special at the same time. Pie’s a sometime food around here — in fact, we’ve mostly switched back to having dessert once a week, the way Americans used to eat — but when we have it, we all feel happy.

Pie makes people happy.

I love making pie with our daughter. I hope that one day she makes pies for her children and remembers standing at the counter with me, crimping the edges of pie dough and humming a little song.

But pie? Pie scares people for some reason.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, in the past few months, “Oh, I’m afraid of pie dough.” Why? What’s the worst that could happen? You make a mediocre pie?

However, I think I can take a guess.

So many recipes for gluten pie dough call for everything to be cold, for you to work quickly, for you to do everything you can to not overwork the dough. Reading them makes me anxious. It’s like we are dismantling a bomb with thick fingers instead of making dessert. Yes, when you work with cold butter and cold flour and cold board for rolling, you get more flakiness in the pie.

But  you know what? I just want pie. If it’s flaky? Great. But tender is even better. Best yet? On the table.

And you know the best part about making gluten-free pie? There’s no gluten in there. The crust can’t get tough. You can tuck the errant piece of dough that clung to the parchment paper right alongside its brethren in the pie pan. It’s still going to be pie.

When we were in Austin a few weeks ago, I had the great good fortune to meet Nancie McDermott. She came up to us during the IACP conference to say how much she loved our work. I was amazed. But I didn’t know who she was. (She didn’t say her name!) The next day, we had the fast-talking pleasure of eating lunch with Pableaux Johnson. Later that afternoon, he and I sat talking when the lovely woman who was happy to meet us passed by. I asked him, “Pableaux, who is that?”

He pulled his head back and looked at me like I was plumb crazy. “You don’t know Nancie McDermott? That woman makes the best cakes and pies. In fact, I would drag my head through broken glass to eat one of her pies.”

That caught my attention. When I saw Nancie at the last dinner of the conference, I cornered her. (I’d also googled her.) “Nancie McDermott! Why didn’t you tell me who you are? It’s such an honor to meet you.” (The woman has written 1o great cookbooks.) We started talking, right away, laughing. I love her. And immediately, we started talking about pie.

She laughed when I told her what Pableaux had said. And then she said, “You know, people get all fussy about pie. They don’t make pie because they’re afraid of the crust. Hell, just go buy some Pillsbury from the freezer aisle and fill it up. Make some pie for your family.”

I’ve been thinking about that conversation, and Nancie, ever since. It’s true. All us food bloggers and people on Twitter and the foodie culture we’ve developed in this country? We might be doing everyone else a dis-service. Yes, I love when food is so beautifully presented that I ooh and ahh. And I love the challenge of creating new baked goods. But really, I’m not sure great food always arrives as the new.

I learned how to make pie by making pie, again and again and again. There’s something funny inherent in the nature of a recipe. We make it once, and if it doesn’t work, we blame the recipe. (Even I do this.) Some recipes are bad. But maybe you just have to know that food in your hands before it comes out right. I’d be happy if I could just make a pie a week for the rest of my life. Every time I make a pie, I am more relaxed with the process, and the pie turns out better than the one before it.

So make a pie. You can buy the crust, if you want, or buy a mix, if you are new to gluten-free. This recipe I’m about to give you is the best pie recipe I’ve ever made, mostly because it is now so simple. And so good. Make a savory pie, a peach pie for your daddy, a strawberry pie for your daughter’s birthday, a cherry pie for the Fourth of July. Just make a pie.

I can’t imagine you’ll regret it.

And we want to hear about it.

p.s. A few pie recommendations for you:

We’re loving Nancie McDermott’s new book, Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes, From Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan. Damson plum custard pie? Peach pecan pie? Old-fashioned chess pie? Yes, please!

Gina Hyams has put together a fabulous fun book/gift: Pie Contest in a Box: Everything You Need to Host a Pie Contest. There’s a great book inside, with recipes, pie history, and plenty of inspiration for gathering your friends together to see who can make the best pie. Plus, ribbons! And scorecards! This would be a great party.

Finally, Lu and I have been reading and reading and re-reading her favorite new book, Easy as Pie. Jacob loves pie so much he teaches himself how to make a peach pie for his parents’ anniversary. Trust me, if you bake with your kids, you’ll love this book.

Finally, this is my favorite pie plate of all time.

GLUTEN-FREE PIE DOUGH (AND IN THIS CASE, STRAWBERRY-CHERRY PIE)

This is a super-chatty recipe. Forgive the length, but I wanted to make it feel like I’m standing in the kitchen with you, showing you how to make this pie. You can do it. Read through, gather your ingredients, and then begin.

A happy baker makes a happy pie. Remember that. Don’t be afraid. What’s the worst that could happen? It’s pie.

For the dough
350 grams Aherns’ all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
230 grams (2 US sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup ice-cold water, plus a few splashes more

For the filling
1 pint strawberries (as red and juicy as you can find them)
1 pint cherries, pitted
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ cup sugar (or more, if you have a sweeter tooth)
70 grams (about ½ cup) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon Saigon cinnamon (we’ve been loving this one from McCormick Gourmet)
1 large egg, beaten

Preparing to make the dough. Cut the butter into one-inch cubes. Put them in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Making the dough. Put the flour and salt into a large food processor. Pulse them together until the flour is fluffy and aerated.

Add the butter cubes. Pulse ten times. (Count loudly, and firmly: one! two! three! as though you are a toddler proud to know how to say these numbers.) At this point, the flour and butter should look like a sandy mixture, with the butter chunks still visible.

Pour in the ½ cup of ice-cold water. Pulse five times. Look at the dough. If it still looks a bit dry, add a splash more water, not exceeding another ¼ cup. The finished dough should like curds of dry cottage cheese. (See photograph above.) Stop adding water.

Forming the dough into a disk. Dump the dough onto a clean, cool surface. (We love our marble pastry board.) Gently gather all the dough together in your hands. Working quickly, take half the dough, make it into a ball, then flatten it into a plump disk, about 2 inches tall. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Do the same with the remaining dough.

(Now let’s be honest here. If you want, you could roll out the dough immediately. Sure, the dough is better when you let it rest, because the flours hydrate more fully. But if you’re in a rush, you can roll out the dough immediately, if you work quickly.)

Making the filling. Meanwhile, prepare the filling of your choice. In this case, we’re working with strawberries and cherries. Take the tops off the strawberries. If they are large, cut them into cherry-sized pieces. If they are small, throw the whole strawberry into the bowl. Pit the cherries and throw them into the bowl. Pour in the almond extract. Toss the fruit to coat it with the almond extract. Put the sugar, flour, and cinnamon on top of the fruit.

(Now again, let’s be honest. I never measure these. These measurements are a guess. You simply want enough sugar and flour to cover the top of the fruit, lightly.)

Toss the fruit with your hands so everything is evenly coated. Let the filling sit while you roll out the pie.

Rolling out the pie. Take the pie dough disks out of the refrigerator and let them sit out for 15 minutes or so, or until it has come to a chilly room temperature. (Think Seattle in June.) Preheat the oven to 425°.

You have your choice here: a floured countertop, a floured marble pastry board, or two pieces of parchment paper. Once you have made pie a few times, you’ll know which one works best for you.

(If you’re brand-new to this, try the parchment paper trick first.)

Gluten-free dough can be a bit stickier than gluten dough. This is just a fact. So, be sure to use plenty of gluten-free flour to flour the board. When I use two pieces of parchment paper, I lightly oil them, to try to prevent sticking. (And I mean lightly.)

So, using the method of your choice, roll out the dough. Pat down the disk and put the rolling pin on it. Now, imagine that the dough is the face of a clock. Roll out once at 12 o’clock. Then, lift the pin and roll at 12:10. Moving in “ten-minute” increments, roll out the pie dough to slightly larger than your pie pan. Be patient. Think of this as meditation. Roll out the dough evenly.

Now, if you have worked with the parchment paper, lift the top paper, put the pie pan on top of the dough, and flip it over. Carefully, strip away the parchment paper. Go slowly. Voila! Pat the dough down into the pan.

Now, if some of the pie dough has stuck onto the parchment, do not despair. Simply peel it off and pat into the rest of the pie dough. With a gluten dough, this might make a crust tough. Guess what here? No gluten! No problem. Pat away.

(If you have used the marble board or countertop, roll the dough onto your rolling pin and transfer to the pie pan. Again, if it sticks, no worries.)

Crimping the edges. Crimp the edges of the pie pan by working with floured fingers. I press from the inside of the pie pan with my thumb and first finger on the left hand, then press between those with the first finger of my right hand from the outside. (That’s a lot of words. Try to visualize it. This will make sense.) This is one of my favorite activities in the world. Go slowly and enjoy it.

Fill the pie with the filling. Pat it down.

Roll out the remaining dough the same way. Lay it onto the pie gently, like you’re putting a blanket on a sleeping child. And if the dough sticks and breaks, just pat the pieces together. (That’s what happened with both the finished pies you see here. They didn’t suffer.) Tuck the edges into the crust.

Baking the pie. Cut a few slits into the top crust. Brush the top crust with the beaten egg. Slide the pie pan into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 375°. Bake until the juices are bubbling out of the pie, the crust is browned, and you hear a sizzle-whump when you put your ear to the baked pie, about 45 to 55 minutes. (That last part will tell you that the juices are boiling in the pie and are thoroughly cooked.)

And, you have pie.

But wait.

You HAVE to let it cool for at least 2 hours before you cut it. I know. Hard. But you want happy pie, not sad pie. Wait.

Now eat.

Makes 1 pie.

[print_link]

106 comments on “we’re having a pie party

  1. Pam J.

    I just love seeing her little hands in the pictures!! You just want to kiss those little dimples!! ADORABLE!! The recipe sounds great, and it is so true!! Pie crusts from scratch sends most of us running from the kitchen. I remember back in the day my Mom always made a great crust from scratch. We would take the leftover dough, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it, and bake it off. Delish!! But, I have never in my life attempted a crust on my own. Now with this recipe, there is hope!! Thanks so much for sharing all your discoveries with us!!

    1. katie

      My mom made great crust too, and the one time I attempted crust, it was a disaster, but reading this makes me want to try making a pie one more time! You seem to have solved my two biggest problems: (when I tried making gluten crust) the dough sticking to the rolling pin, and the dough falling apart while I’m putting it on the pan! Thank you so much!

  2. Juanita

    Then pie on Tuesday it shall be!
    Although I won’t be resisting taking a breaking hot slice fresh from the oven, as my July 5th pie must do its job of being warming in this chilly grip of Winter.

  3. flo makanai

    We don’t bake much pies in France (where they’re called tourtes), but we bake tarts all year long. Our once in a while tourtes are generally savory (chicken, potato and sage, spinach…). I do have extra fond memories of Sara Lee’s apple pies (frozen and industrial!!) my older sister and I ate with +++ pleasure when we were living in the US, but funnily I never baked one for my kids. Your pie party will be the occasion for me to enter pie baking in my kitchen, even if I don’t blog about it on the 5th.
    P.S : my GF tart crust includes flax seeds and sometimes vanilla seeds. Yummy :)

  4. Stephanie

    Thanks for posting this! I love pie and have been in a pie-baking mood, but wanted a new crust recipe. I look forward to trying this soon!

  5. Michelle

    Thanks for hosting this! I can’t wait to make a pie and I have a story that I have yearning to tell that will go great with my pie post! Cheers!

  6. Jackie Worley

    I am totally with the lady that said to go to the store and buy the crust already! I did just that. Whole Foods makes a great gluten free pie crust. My son ate the entire quiche in 2 meals!

  7. Suze

    That picture of your hands and Lu’s makes my heart sing! Print it, frame it, put it in your kitchen forever! What a joy! On another note — I have made tough GF pie crust. Even my husband wouldn’t eat it and he eats just about anything. I had made one a month before from the exact same recipe and it was the best crust ever. Never did figure out what happened. So it’s summer, and yes, I’m craving pie. I’ll try it again.

  8. Baker Girl

    Uh, that’s NOT four ingredients! Seven (see Aherns AP flour) + three. Kinda insults your readers’ intelligence to mislead like that.

    1. shauna

      Once we make up the flours and put it into a big container, it’s flour. That’s how we’ve been making recipes around here for the past year and people seem to really appreciate the ease of it. There was certainly no intention to mislead.

  9. Manoli García Sánchez

    Thanks for this beautiful post, Shauna
    I adore baking pie, and have been doing so every week since the summer fruit arrived at our tables here in the Mediterranean and to our bakery. It´s my favourite thing in the world. Absolutely love it. Can I just tell you? Your pictures were always fantastic, and always illustrated perfectly the story on the post, but I find that since you attended the Penny de los Santos workshop in Seattle, they have gone into a whole different level. Astonishing. Congratulations. Love, Manoli.

  10. Mandi

    Growing up, our gf pies were always the favorites at family gatherings. After making Bette Hagman’s pie crust successfully all my life, I’m hesitant to try anything else but I can’t pass up something as simple as 4 ingredients. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. MrsVJW

    Stupid “I’ve only been doing this gluten-free thing for 10 months and I’ve been scared of homemade dough the entire time” question… old (or not that old, only used a handful of times on some very oily pizza dough in my wheat days) wooden rolling pins need to be replaced?

    1. shauna

      Yep. Wooden rolling pins need replacing. Wood traps gluten, so goodbye to the wooden spoons, rolling pin, and cutting boards. Believe me, you’re going to be healthier.

      1. Anna Kane

        Is they same true for marble rolling pins/pastry boards? I invested in a set right before my diagnosis, used them once, and I have been terrified to use them since. Can they be cleaned or should they go to the giveaway pile?

        1. Mary

          Oh no!! :( I have a favorite old wooden rolling pin that I thought a good washing would take care of for getting rid of the gluten. I’m a fortunate/unfortunate soul that discovered celiac because of my sister– I don’t have any symptoms, so I don’t know when I’m cross contaminated. Well, I guess any excuse is a good excuse to go to the kitchen store. Anna, did you get your marble set locally or go online?

  12. Amber

    I’ve never made a pie in my life!! I’ve never really even baked much of anything. However, I am going to give this a try! I’m so excited! My only question, I don’t have a good processor..Can I use an electric mixer? Thanks for getting me excited about baking!!!

    1. shauna

      An electric mixer wouldn’t really work here, because you’d beat up the butter. You want the flour to coat the butter but let the butter remain someone intact. The food processor is so good because it cuts the cold butter fast without turning it into mush. However, you can also use a pastry cutter or even two butter knives to do the same thing.

  13. Ana

    Thank you so much for this lovely recipe. But, what to do when all the flour ingredients are not available? What is the best one to replace the others? Can we add more rice flour instead?

    Cheers

    1. shauna

      Ana, as long as you use the same weight of flours, you can substitute any gluten-free flour mix you have. As much as we have tried to make whole-grain flour pie crust, it just isn’t the same. So, you could use a GF white flour mix, like King Arthur’s or Pamela’s. They’re both great.

  14. Caneel

    I love what you have to say about pie here, Shauna. I also love Nancie’s take on the pie: Just make pie for your family. Thanks for the reminder that it doesn’t have to be a perfect presentation — it’s the eating it and having fun with it together that counts. :)

  15. Dena

    This is really inspirational, thank you. One question …
    If I’m making a savory pie with something like eggs or chicken, 2 hours is a long time to let it cool and I’d worry a bit about food safety.

    Any guidance with how long to wait before cutting into a savory pie?

    Thanks!

    1. Mary

      I have a feeling the wait time is so that everything can gel and have good form on the fruit pies. For a savory/dinner pie, perhaps 15–20 minutes???

  16. i-geek

    What perfect timing. I was just telling my mom last night that I need to conquer homemade pie crust. Okay. Mom’s 60th birthday is on August 19th. That means I’ve got just shy of a month and a half to master pie crust so that I can make her a peach pie with the local Michigan peaches that will be in season then, since I know she’d rather have that than cake. Thanks Shauna, this looks doable. :)

  17. Jean Layton

    Pie. pie. pie! Finally summer fruits for pie are arriving at the farmers market.
    And Ed’s birthday was yesterday and that man deserves a pie.
    So even though I’m making him mincemeat galettes for a treat today, there will be another pie for the 5th.
    Although, I might just make a chicken pot pie since it is still in the 60’s up here.
    I’ve missed double crust chicken pot pies for a long time.
    Love the picture of Lucy’s hand, and the idea of a gluten free baking retreat truly resonates with me. Now to find a great location!

  18. jeanelane

    I have almost always made my own pie crusts. Even if they aren’t as tender and flaky as what Mom would have made, they certainly tasted better than the premade ones. Except for the mess of flour all over, it is a very quick process. Now that I am wheat-free, it has been a chore. But this seems so easy. Now I just have to figure out the filling I want! Since I have to have air conditioning on anyhow, may as well really put it to work!

    Thank you so much for this recipe, Shauna!

  19. Lilias Pettit-Scott

    Give me an excuse to make a pie…yes please!! I love this celebration of pie. I was chatting with some friends the other day about whether they were cake people or pie people. I am soooo a pie person!!

  20. Melissa @ Dash of East

    I really enjoyed this post about pie, Shaua. I absolutely can not wait for Pie Party! I already made mine, the post is done and is scheduled for July 5!

    And, I am so looking forward to the 1000+ pie posts that will go up on Tuesday. Oh my!

  21. Emily G.

    We at HCPDishes are excited to be participating! I think it’s a fantastic idea, and it just goes to show you how amazing social media is in spreading ideas and bringing people (especially foodies!) together. We will see you with a Fig and Grape Pie on Tuesday, and happy baking!

  22. Elisa

    You are my pie soul mate! I completely related to your sentiment about cupcakes; could happily live without ever eating another one. But PIE … it’s always been what I want on my birthday (late June, lucky me). It’s all about the fruit. My husband and I just made a sour cherry pie for my birthday, in fact, with the one bag of cherries we get from our tiny backyard tree … and it was predictably fabulous. If we weren’t going to be at someone else’s house through July 6, I’d make another one!
    Oh, and I love Nancie McDermott, too. We’ve never actually met, but I had the pleasure of working with her on two stories for Delicious Living. That reminds me: I am NOT missing the next IACP.

  23. bethington

    Yay pie!!! I’m so excited.

    I have a question for folks. In my gluten days I always made lattice crusts. Now, my gf crusts are always too delicate to hold up to the lifting and weaving. I’ve tried using recipes that call for egg to no avail. Any ideas? Who has been successful with a gf lattice? What are your tricks?

  24. Sunny

    Any pie party is a great party to me! Thank you for sharing your gluten free pie crust recipe. I can’t wait to make it for my gf friends!

  25. Bellingham Barb

    I’ve been using Ali Segersten’s pie crust recipe for a pecan pie, and it is very, very forgiving, but I can hardly wait to try this one. I just plain miss making pie crust in a food processor. (Is that whacked, or what?)
    Barb

  26. Annie

    I am in love with pie and have yet to make my own pie crust since going GF. I usually just buy a frozen one. I’m here in my kitchen as I type, and I’m wondering — 350 grams — I’m getting 110 grams to 1 cup. So, 3 cups of flour? I’m using almond flour because it’s all I currently have in the house. I’ll let you know my results! I simply could not wait til Tuesday!!!!

    1. shauna

      I read on the Facebook page that you had success with the almond flour. yay! however, generally you don’t try to translate to cups that way. you really do have to weigh it!

      1. Annie

        I don’t have a scale, but your commenters may have convinced me! I don’t bake often because I’m not an exacting cook — baking really is chemistry and I don’t have the patience for it. I bake when I have to or when I’m inspired. :) My butter wasn’t really as incorporated as yours looks from the pictures. It was either too cold or I need a few more pulses with the almond flour I used. I was still able to roll it out like dough, but it didn’t have that homogeneous texture yours appears to have.

        The flavor was tremendous with the almond flour, I must say.

  27. Nancie McDermott

    Shauna, you are the BEST!!! What a wonderful post and not just because you baked me into the pie of it all. Just talked about July 5th Pie Party on radio, on Wisconsin Public Radio’s program, “Here On Earth”. Food Friday and host Jean Feraca and I talked about home baking and sweets and making some PIE! Still deciding what kind to make, grinning and deciding.

  28. Nicole

    I noticed that you linked to your flour mix recipe that includes the gum. Will this work with the mix that doesn’t have gum in it also that was in a blog post not too long ago?

    1. shauna

      The flour mix itself doesn’t have xanthan gum in it, just the recipe on that link. You just mix up the flours in that combination, by weight.

  29. Christie Freeman

    I’ll definitely be trying to join in on the pie-making fun on Tuesday! I can’t wait to see the many end results!

  30. Lorena I.

    Mmmmmmm your pie looks delicious… but I guess I’ll have to fight my own war and find a flour mix that really works for pies, because here in my country I can’t find most of te ingredients you use in yours, and I did’nt achieve the results I’d like to have so far.… sniff sniff.
    It’s going to be hard to drag myself away from drooling over your photos…

    1. shauna

      Lorena, you can substitute whatever flours work for you here as long as you do it by the weight. Make it slightly more starchy than whole grain (60–40) and you should be good!

  31. Julie

    Brilliant, and i couldn’t agree more! I always say you learn to make pie by making pie.. and being afraid of the crust is no reason not to attempt it. Is there really bad pie? (OK, there is. But not if it’s homemade!)

  32. Amy

    Thank you for this awesome idea & recipe. Your wild abandon about pies and pie crusts has inspired me to make them with joy and not worry about the consequences. I currently have an apple pie baking in the oven using your crust recipe! I really liked your tip about using parchment paper to roll out the crust; it made life so much easier.

    1. shauna

      That makes me very happy! That’s what it’s all about! And having made one pie, you’ll make another. And then another.

  33. Jody

    What size pie plate do you use for this recipe? They come in so many different sizes. When I baked w wheat flour it didn’t seem to matter because the crust is stretchy, but do you have the same flexibility with non-gluten crusts?

      1. Jody

        I ended up using a 9.5 inch pie plate this morning and the crust fit just fine. I needed about a pint more of berries. It looks great — still waiting my 2 hours!!

  34. Llysa

    A thought to the gal who doesn’t have a food processor to cut in the butter -
    my best trick is to use the wide holes on a cheese grater to ‘grate’ the butter into the flour, then cut it in — MUCH less frustration! Superfast!

    I’m going to get up right now and go make a crust — I just got two pints of strawberries! Yippee! thanks for the momentum, everyone!

  35. GFCF cookin up a storm

    Made this pie tonight with organic cherries and blueberries. Ridiculously good and dare I say…easy?? I’m a cook, not a baker and this recipe was very easy to accomplish. I even took pictures of it…I wish I knew how to upload or share them! Thanks Shauna…finally pie that a gfdf person and a regular gluten eater can both enjoy. Using a scant 1/2 cup of sugar made the pie not so sweet so you could taste the fruit, some tartness and the delicious crispiness of the crust. It was great to eat a pie that didn’t have such a cloying sweetness to the filling. Super. Delish.

    substituted: earth balance sticks for butter, used a half/half of white sugar and sucanat.

  36. ellen

    It’s official, you two are the freakin bom. I used the crust recipe to make a blackberry and raspberry pie. My partner, also gluten-free, stood up and announced that I was in fact a culinary genius. Thanks! p.s. I did give credit where credit was due.

  37. Winnie

    Shauna– your photos for this post are seriously stellar…I would love a slice of this pie right now! I love the idea of pie day– I went in a different direction and did a raw, vegan pie (that’s also gf)- but now I am dying to try your crust :)

  38. Rebecca

    Love making pie…I am stoked to give your crust a try! Your recipe lists the old Ahern’s AP flour mix. How does it perform with the whole grain mixture that you’ve been using more recently? Also, I am curious as to the ratio for the flour, liquid and fat? Thanks very much and have a Happy 4th of July!

  39. Heather

    I made a chocolate cream pie for a fireworks party yesterday, with gluten free graham cracker crust (courtesy of Kinnikinnick graham-style crumbs!). everybody dug in before I could get a picture!

  40. Marilyn

    Why make crust for just one pie when you can make a whole bunch and freeze them for future use? Here’s a recipe I’ve used for years to make 20 single crusts at a time, and I also adapted it for the 600 double-crust fruit pies created for Braham Pie Day (MN) the first Friday in August (www.pieday.com)
    Use a big mixing bowl, a pastry blender, clean hands and a scale if you have one.
    One 5 lb bag unbleached all purpose flour (adapt for gluten free)
    3-pound can vegetable shortening (I prefer 3 pounds lard)
    2 tsp. salt
    2 1/2 c. water
    1/2 c. vinegar (the acid in the vinegar reacts with the fat to make a flaky crust so forget all the advice about ice cold this and ice cold that)
    Combine flour & salt. Cut in lard or shortening with pastry blender until well blended. Combine vinegar and water and add all at once to flour/fat mixture. Mix well. Divide dough into 20 oblong rolls (each about 8 oz.) Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze what you don’t need. To use, remove one or two log from freezer, depending on the type of pie you are hankering for and let thaw at room temperature for a few hours. Use a little flour if you need to when rolling the crust(s). You’ll be amazed at how easy the crust is to work with. And it stays flaky even if you have to re-roll. Pies will soon become your easiest dessert!

  41. Mandy

    Oh what a wonderful post, I love the little hands :-) Thanks so much for the recipe we don’t tend to eat sweet pies but couldn’t resist trying it for quiche yesterday and it turned out AMAZING the whole family loved it!! Thanks so much Shauna that was my first quiche in years …before going gluten free was allergic to eggs and since going gluten free (2 years ago) am no longer allergic to eggs and making a quiche has been on the my wish list for the longest time. Thank you :-)

  42. kimberley

    There’s an amazing woman where I live who is baking and giving away a pie a day as an act of gratitude (she plans to do it for a year!). I was one of her lucky recipients — it was delicious but the sentiment of the project is even more amazing than the beautiful pies.
    http://pieadaygiveaway.com/

  43. Erin

    I absolutely love this post! Every year, for the past 8 years, I host a Festival of Pies on the second Saturday of November (last year boasted 43 different pies!) This past year I found out that I am allergic to gluten and decided to eat pie and moan later. This year I have been practicing my pie crust skills sans gluten so that when November comes around I can have my pie and eat it too! I’ll be making some kind of berry pie tomorrow in honor of your fabulous bake off idea! Yippee for pie!!!!!

  44. Andrea

    I made a blueberry pie with this crust tonight (for pie party day of course). And it worked! I was jumping up and down with glee when the crust rolled out AND rolled onto my pin to transfer it to the dish. I am in gluten free pie heaven! Thank you Shauna.

  45. Melisa

    Hooray! 6 months after giving up gluten I started to wonder…what about pie? Could it be made gluten free? And then along comes your great pie post which gave me the confidence to try. It came out well–too delicate to do anything fancy like a lattice top but I made it work: http://magpieeats.blogspot.com/2011/07/pie.html My question is this: have you tried recipe for a pre-baked crust? Would it hold up to 20 minutes of blind baking before filling? Thanks for any info on this.

    1. bethington

      Couldn’t do anything fancy? Ha. I LOVE the stars on that pie. It’s perfect for the 4th of July. I’m making a peach pie tonight (free bruised produce FTW) and if I can find my cookie cutters I’ll try the same thing.

  46. Kassi Marks

    Believe it or not, I’ve been using your Rugelach recipe for a pie crust for a couple of years now. We love it! Even my non-gluten free family and friends have commented on how lovely a crust it is for pie. I used that as a crust along w/ the filling you described in your cookbook for a peach/blackberry crisp and made a pie out of it for a dinner party. Everyone wanted seconds! Thanks for the constant inspiration!

  47. Tania

    What a beautiful pie! And what a beautiful photo of you and Lu making pie together. I have not attempted to make pie with the boys.…but it will definitely be on the agenda soon!
    Thank you for starting up this Pie Party.…and for sharing your love of food. You inspire me.
    much love.

  48. Julia Stuble

    Before diagnosis, I adored making pastry and it was the one thing that terrified me after — especially after a dismal failure with a Glutino mix. I was so nervous while making this recipe, but you’ve done it again! What bliss! My world seems so much freer and open as I dream of the things to make now… For the record, our Tuesday pie party was a blackberry-nectarine, eaten cold, on a hike. Thank you thank you! For this weekend, raspberry peach… and then… and then…

  49. Mary

    This, we call “Thank You Pie” and I adapted the recipe to be gf– it’s one of the rare things that my family actually likes better the way I can eat it! Sorry it’s not been converted to grams. :)

    Crust:
    1 cups Pamela’s baking mix (or favorite substitute??)
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 cup finely chopped (or food processed) pecans-walnuts will also do, though not as sweet
    1/3 cup butter, room temp
    Mix all ingredients, cutting in butter last. Press into a 9x13 pan and heat at 400 degrees for 2 min, or until the top is starting to brown. Cool completely.

    Center:
    2 envelopes dream whip, prepared according to directons
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    8 oz. cream cheese– room temp
    Mix the dream whip up until peaks form when you tap the top with your spatula. In separate bowl whip the powdered sugar and cream cheese. Gently fold into the dream whip. Add to the crust layer and refrigerate at Least 2–3 hours. More is better so it will firm up.

    Top:
    The original asked for a can of cheery or blueberry pie filling, but this way is much better
    1/2 small pkg of jello mix, whatever flavor you like. (that’s 1.5 oz)
    a little boiling hot water
    lots of chopped up fruit– my favorites include raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, plums, blueberries, nectarines, and maybe a kiwi for color. You can reallly vary the amount, but less guess about 6 cups. Enough to cover the top of your pie.
    Mix in the hot water into the Jello mix until it dissolves a bit. Let it return to room temp and gently stir in the fruit. Spread over the dream cheese layer and keep refrigerated until it’s time to serve.

    This is a dish that needs to be eaten quickly when you use fresh fruit, but it’s oooh so worth it! Enjoy!!

    1. Mary

      Oh no, the time to cook the crust should have been 12 minutes, not 2! Darn you proof reading skills!

  50. Julie

    Better late than pie-less, right? I managed some little strawberry-rhubarb pies. Looking forward to them for breakfast tomorrow.

    Lovely post, as always!

  51. Shelby

    Thank you so much for setting up this event! I’m an expat living overseas and have recently moved to yet another new country with my husband and our three kids. We were without our household shipment, as its was en route, when I read about your pie party. I thought ‘hmmm, i’ll make up a recipe, use a cake pan that i brought on the plane with me, bravely check out a new produce stand and pantomime my way through a new language and entertain my kids all at the same time.’ Thank you! The pie party was a great way to connect with my American ‘home’ during the holiday weekend. :)

  52. prunella

    Shauna,
    The pie crust is beyond amazing (and so easy to make!). I almost cried. I had fresh strawberries and cherries from the farmers’ market, so I made the exact same pie and it was divine.

    Thank you so much for experimenting for us!

  53. Amanda

    I LOVE pie! I have been making my own pie crust for years and must admit I enjoy the oohs and ahs. People are impressed by homemade crust. I was afraid of losing out on pies since I’m gluten free, so I look forward to trying this one. Thanks so much for your always fantastic blog.

  54. D

    Shauna,
    I tried making this pie crust recipe. It was great! It came out much better than any other gluten-free pie crust I’ve made. For me, it came out very savory. It was more a pie crust that I’d want to put on a quiche than on a fruit pie. I know some other pie crust recipes include some sugar. Would this crust recipe work with the addition of some sugar?

    Also, I’ve seen suggestions in some pie crust recipes to substitute some of the water in the crust with vodka. Would vodka have a benefit in a gluten-free pie crust, or does the benefit relate specifically to some of the gluten-containing aspects?

  55. Tianna

    4-yr Celiac, novice baker, afraid to attempt the efforts to bake GF (I know you get this a lot!). I want to attempt to make TARTS out of this with the blueberries I’m going to go pick tomorrow in Snohomish (for $1.80/lb!). I cook daily and love it ever so, but I am so out of my element here it’s not even funny. Could you help make sure I don’t make a flop of my first tart? I would assume this can easily be tarted up but lack the basic baking know-how to just DO…

    Thx!

      1. Tianna

        So I went for it last nite at midnite (with the help of a baking friend and some wine!) and turned this crust recipe into little blueberry and lemon curd tarts. We even made our own lemon curd (so easy, I had no idea). They were/are amazing! Thank you for going through all the trial and error FOR all of us to share these great GF successes! :)

  56. a

    finally got some time to try this — was in the midst of a very busy work month when the pie party rolled around. I have only made gluten pie crust once in my life. Despite my novice status and my bottom crust getting pressed into my pie plate in pieces, the pie that is now cooling on my counter looks glorious. Thank you for the inspiration and I am so excited to practice more till this is familiar in my hands.

  57. Audrey

    I’m dying to make this recipe, but I don’t have all the flours the flour mix calls for, could I substitute a different flour blend, or just use different flours? If you could let me know, that would be great!

    Thanks!

    1. shauna

      Of course you can! That’s why we use weights in our recipes. Simply substitute the flours you want with the same weight.

  58. Connie

    Holy moley and hellllloooo fall! I just made a fabulous GF deep dish apple pie! Thanks for directing me over here from the previous pie-crust post. This is a fantastic recipe with a tender and flaky crust. Our newly gluten-free girls are definitely going to have a safe Thanksgiving pie or two. I saw above that someone inquired about replacing the water with vodka. I typically use vodka in gluten-pie crust so I’ll give that a try and report back.

  59. tjewell

    I make a darn good wheat-based pie crust. Since my roommate went GF, I have been experimenting with various gluten-free crust recipes but until this one nothing measured up. You knocked it out of the park, Shauna. I used it for Thanksgiving apple pie with coconut oil instead of butter (no dairy for her either) and it came out delicious and delicate. Everyone ate their “pie bones”, which is the ultimate measure of how good a pie crust is. There was plenty of dough for a 9″ pie plus leftover crust to be rolled out with cinnamon sugar.

  60. Beth

    For the sake of anyone else making GF pie crust for the first time: You know up there in the recipe where Shauna says, “Stop adding water”? Yeah. I should’ve stopped adding water :) . My crust was a bit of a sticky, melty mess. I used a pastry blender (don’t have a food processor) so that made it hard to tell when the dough was the right texture. It won’t stop me from trying this over again, though!

  61. Marjorie Bonadies

    I am thinking of starting a bakers guild or a coop. I want to bake and sell my baked goods but you can’t do that out of your own home. I make jams, chutneys, breads and healthy baked goods. I figure there are many other home bakers who would like to do the same. I would set up a Health Department approved kitchen and invite home bakers to lease time and bake to sell at the coop. I am wondering if you have ever heard of anything like this or any thoughts as to making this idea work. I also want to coop to function as coffee house and cafe.

  62. Erica

    For those wondering about adding vodka to their pie crust recipes, it shouldn’t be necessary with gluten free recipes. The vodka in a wheat-flour crust assists the recipe because it inhibits the gluten proteins from forming chains that in a pastry like a pie crust can result in toughness. This is also why in gluten pie crusts one is admonished not to knead or “over work” the dough. Like Shauna has often written, with no gluten to worry about, these issues, you really can just play with the dough and it should forgive you more.

    I say “should” because, having given up gluten for lent, I’m about to try this recipe for the first time. I need a baked shell for my husband’s chocolate cream birthday pie, any thoughts on baking time? One comment hinted at 20 minutes above … :)

  63. sippitysup

    Count me in. I have a cookbook coming out in November on Ullysses Press called coincidentally, “Savory Pie”. Which means I have lots and lots to contribute here! I made and photographed 75 pies this spring for the book! You’d think I’d be done with pie, but nope, this sounds fun! GREG

  64. Angela Cunningham

    I am a total novice in the world of GF baking and the most intimidating thing is the contradictions in recipes I find from site to site. Shauna, your site has come HIGHLY recommended as fool proof. What I don’t understand is if this is such a GREAT pie crust, why don’t you list it under ‘the best pie crust’? Your posting from 2009 has many different ingredients. I love that this one is so straight forward, but don’t I see to include Xanthum gum?
    I am preparing to make apple pie for my mother in law whom is coming into down on Wednesday. I am probably over thinking this, but definitely want it to be perfect and not cause her stomach problems. Please clarify if I need to add any sort of gum ingredient. Thanks and looking forward to making more gluten free baked goods!

  65. Barbara Greenwood

    I’ve been following your posts for a couple of years and always recommend your site as my favourite for GF information and recipes. I’ve never tried a pie crust before so of course I turned to GF Girl.
    I, too, am confused about the two different recipes: Gluten Free Pie Crust (2009) and Gluten Free Pie Dough (2012).
    — Does the later one replace the earlier one as your most recommended or is it meant to be a different type of pie pastry (e.g a pate brisee)?
    — Is the addition of xantham gum and guar gum, and leaf lard no longer required for a traditional pie crust (e.g for pumpkin pie)?
    — Are the quantities in the new Pie Dough recipe enough to make two single-crust pies?
    Looking forward to your response. Thank you for all your great work.

  66. Keyla Escribano

    Hi!

    Thank you so much for this post. I love your 321 Ratio! Simple and easy. I have a pie in the oven right now. Fingers crossed, my first gluten free apple pie. I will follow up and let you know how it turned out.

  67. Deb

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve inherited the love of pie and baking it from my grandmothers. Yes there was an occasional cake, but PIE was always the best and choice of all. I use to bake them frequently, but desiring to eat healthier and recently learning I have a gluten intolerance, has made me steer away from them. I’ve been looking at this huge pumpkin that I promised my 8 year old son we’d make a pie together and dreading it…mainly because of making a gluten free crust that comes out flaky. I am now looking forward to making it and will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing your valuable info :)

  68. Leta

    Ohhh.. what a sweet moment in time you have captured.. baking pies with Mom and Dad.

    Love the tip to cool down the flour in in freezer/fridge.

  69. sarah

    i made this pie crust for some chicken pot pit tonight–wow! so much better than any pie crust mixes i have purchased…i guess i should have known to just trust the amazing Ahern Gluten Free Baking Mix!! thank you once again.