Also, using alcohol instead of water yields both a better texture and more flavor, and the alcohol itself bakes off. I like using a dry white wine in my savory crusts, and rum or a vanilla-infused vodka in my sweet crusts.
The flour combo can be varied as needed; swap out 1/4 cup of this or that in the recipe as needed. I would avoid soy & corn flours (too strong) and millet or arrowroot (too cakey/fluffy for a pie crust). Nut flours would work well, though baking times may vary.
Recipe can easily be made vegan.
Basic GF Pastry Crust
- 1.5 cups total flours:
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
- 1/4 cup sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup potato starch or corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 oz. fat:
- 1 stick butter or
- 4 oz. (1/2 cup) shortening or lard or
- a mix of any of the above, totaling 4 oz.
- 1 egg yolk
- or 1 tbs. ground flaxseed mixed with 2 tbs. hot water
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- Or up to 2 tbs. brown sugar for a sweet crust
- 3-6 tbs. ice cold water or alcohol
- Dice butter/shortening/lard into small cubes and place in freezer while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Combine flours, xanthan gum, salt, and sugar in food processor. Pulse to combine.
- Add fat and pulse until crumbly and no large pieces of fat are visible.
- Add yolk or flax mixture.
- Drizzle in 3 tablespoons ice cold water/alcohol and pulse to combine. Check mixture: press it together with your fingertips. If it holds together, it's done. If not, add another tablespoon and pulse again. Mixture may seem a bit dry, but if it holds together, it's done.
- Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. (Can make ahead; when doing so, let dough warm slightly at room temperature before rolling out, otherwise it will be too brittle.)
- Roll out for desired use. Place in pie/tart pan. Refrigerate another 15 minutes before baking.
Bake at 350-375.
For custard-type tarts and pies (including pumpkin pie and goat cheese tart), I like to blind-bake the crust (with foil and pie weights) for 15 minutes; remove foil and weights, prick bottom of crust with a fork, and bake again another 5 minutes.
For best results, heat filling beforehand. Do this by bringing eggs to room temperature. If there is milk or cream, heat that to a bare simmer, then whisk it into the remaining ingredients and pour into pie shell. A heated milk-egg custard mixture should only take 15-25 minutes more in the oven, and your crust shouldn't get too dark.
I've had great results recently with a pear tart, goat cheese & herb tart, and pumpkin pie. I'm working on some of my own ideas; I'll post pics once that happens.