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To make pie crust dough by hand, combine the dry ingredients In a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the fat into the dry mixture until its uniformly the size of small peas. Make a well in the mixture and add liquid ingredients, combining thoroughly with a fork. If the mixture is crumbly, knead very lightly with warm hands until the dough holds together.
Gluten-Free Baking Tips
Gluten-Free Pie Crust
MAKES TWO 9½-INCH CRUSTS
This gluten-free recipe, inspired by chef Rebecca Reilly, contains millet flour, a highly nutritious flour that complements oat flour and the multi-blend mix. This flakey crust is indistinguishable from a wheat-based crust.
1⅛ cups Gluten-Free Multi-Blend Flour Mix
⅔ cup finely ground gluten-free rolled oats
¾ cup + 1½ tablespoons millet flour
1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
¾ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons sugar (omit for savory recipes, like quiche)
13½ tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into
½ tablespoon pieces
1 jumbo egg + one large egg, lightly beaten
2¼ tablespoons cider vinegar or gluten-free sour cream
Egg Wash for Top Crust
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon milk
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine dry ingredients. Turn mixer off.
2. Add cold butter in ½ tablespoon increments and blend on low speed. When butter is incorporated and butter pieces are the size of peas, gradually add eggs and cider vinegar until a soft dough forms. Stop the mixer and feel the dough. If it’s too sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until you have a soft dough.
3. Follow instructions, for rolling out the dough and baking the crust.
4. Gather a bit more than half of the dough into a ball and shape it into a 6-inch disk for the top crust. Shape remainder into a 4-inch disk. If the dough becomes sticky, wrap both disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes before rolling out.
5. On a cool countertop, between two sheets of plastic wrap, roll the 4-inch disk into an 11-inch circle. While rolling, frequently flip the dough over and lift up plastic wrap to ensure dough isn’t sticking. Remove plastic wrap from one side. Pick up plastic wrap sheet with dough and place it, dough side down, into pie plate. Peel off plastic wrap.
6. Trim overhanging dough or tuck it under itself. Crimp the crust by pinching a V-shape every ½-inch around the edge.
7. To partially bake the crust, cover it with foil and heap dried beans or pie weights inside. Then place pie plate in the refrigerator while oven preheats to 400 degrees. Bake crust for 15 minutes or until edges turn golden. Allow crust to cool for a few minutes. Then remove foil and weights. If a crisp crust is desired, return crust to oven to bake uncovered for 3 more minutes. Allow crust to cool for 10 minutes before filling with prepared fruit.
8. For a doubled-crusted pie, partially bake the bottom crust for 10 minutes to prevent sogginess. Roll out top crust to at least a 12-inch circle and place it on top of mounded fruit filling. Fold under the overhang of dough to create a thick edge around the pie. Crimp edges to seal. Cut 7 slits into the top crust for venting.
9. For a lattice top, roll out the second disk and cut into ¾-inch wide strips. Place half the strips horizontally and the rest vertically across the pie, weaving them together for a lattice look.
10. Brush the top crust with egg wash. For more about top crust washes, see “Easy as Pie,”.
11. Bake assembled pie in a 325-degree oven for one hour. Pie is done when a knife inserted meets with slight resistance but still easily penetrates the fruit. If pie bakes longer, cover loosely with foil to prevent over-browning.
TIP Leaf lard is a healthier choice than regular lard or a hydrogenated fat. It’s available at most local butcher shops or find it online at dietrichsmeats.com.
MAKES 4¼ CUPS
This all-purpose blend can be tripled.
2¼ cups brown rice flour
¼ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
⅔ cup tapioca starch/flour
¾ cup sweet rice flour
⅓ cup cornstarch or sweet rice flour or potato starch
Combine ingredients thoroughly. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.