Some of the basics that help me feed my family whole foods with our busy lifestyle are my Easiest Coconut Milk, Easiest Almond Milk, Easiest Way to Peel Garlic, and Easy Homemade Sauerkraut, and Quick and Easy Meals. Well, if you're a pie lover, you know how hard pie crusts can be, but this Easy Pie Crust Recipe will change all of that for you.
Think an easy pie crust recipe is an oxymoron? No more.
Though I was always kind of in love with baking, I always steered away from pies and such.
The thought of rolling the crust perfectly thin and then getting it into the pie pan without it breaking all over kept me away from pies.
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Well, that all changed when I found this super easy pie crust recipe. I found it in Joy of Cooking years ago.
I've gotten quite a few good recipes out of that book. They typically need some kind of whole foodie or allergy tweak, but the recipe was just what I needed to be able to make pies. Pies without fear. Even Gluten Free pie crusts without fear.
Maybe that would have been a good title for this post.
I have always loved baking.
I remember baking all kinds of things as a young girl. Cookies at Christmastime and baking banana and zucchini breads are two specific childhood memories. I was a mess in the kitchen (my mom always noticed that I didn't like to clean up. Still don't. [Creating is soooo much more fun than cleaning, isn't it :-)?])
But no pies.
Until this recipe.
Pat in the Pan Pie Crust.
No rolling. No super careful, walking-on-eggshell lifting of the oh-so-delicate pastry.
Just mix–drop–form–and you're done.
A clutsy pie-lover's dream :-).
Joy of Cooking explains that flaky pastry depends upon developing the gluten in an expert fashion. (I guess I am not an expert.) Anyway, pressing the crust doesn't develop the gluten. The crust will be crumbly–not flaky–but that's OK with me.
Easy Pie Crust Recipe (gluten free option)
Makes 1 pie crust for a 9 – 10″ pie plate
1 1/3 c flour (for a gluten-free pie crust use gluten-free flour. See Gluten-Free Baking Tips for more on flour choices.)
1/2 tsp salt (I use Real Salt)
1/3 c olive oil (or alternative oil. If using a solid oil, melting first makes blending easier)
5 Tbsp cold milk (or substitute with my Easiest Coconut Milk, Easiest Almond Milk, or Homemade Rice Milk)
1. Mix together flours and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
2. Blend oil and milk together in a separate bowl. If using solid oil, melt first.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine.
4. Place dough into a pie plate.
5. Gradually press dough firmly into the bottom and up sides of the pie plate, covering bottom and sides evenly. Form fluted edges if desired.
6. If you plan to fill and bake the crust further, you should glaze the crust with egg yolk to prevent the crust from soaking up the filling.
7. If pre-baking, bake at 425 degrees F for 12-18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Of course, pre-baked with a wash on top of the crust is best, but when I'm in a rush (like all the time) I do none of it and just deal with things not being perfect. Our last pumpkin pie crust didn't stick to the pie plate much at all even without pre-baking.
1. This crust can be used in any size or shape of pan. I've been known to make multiple (umm….8 recipes) of certain family favorites (like pumpkin pie). I don't have 8 pie plates, so I will make use 2 pie plates, a few 9×13 baking dishes and whatever else I need to make the math work out pretty well. See – high school math does come in handy (like when you're baking in bulk.)
2. Though this crust doesn't easily lend itself to making the top of a double crust pie, or a lattice-top (though you could try and it might work kind of), I have rolled it out and made little leaf shapes to decorate the top of a pumpkin pie and it has turned out pretty well.
3. If filling the crust and baking further, brush the crust with a wash of egg yolk, or at least some milk or dairy-free alternative (like my Easiest Almond Milk or Easiest Coconut Milk) before baking. This prevents the crust from soaking up the filling and sticking to the bottom of the pie plate. I honestly don't do this typically as I am too busy and I think just greasing the pie plate would take care of this issue.
4. Flour choice. In our gluten-eating days I would use white whole wheat or freshly-ground kamut flour. The kamut makes for a buttery-tasting crust.
Since we are now gluten-free, I use my stand-by undefined GF blend. I use about 1/2 sweet brown rice, and then add in whatever I happen to have on hand. I like to mix in millet, buckwheat, maybe another rice and some amaranth. See my Gluten-Free Baking Tips for more info.
Hopefully soon I'll share our pumpkin pie recipe. In the meantime, I hope this easy pie crust recipe helps you make whole grain pie crusts with more ease.
And check out Joy of Cooking. I have learned a TON from this book. It's one of those “keeper” cookbooks.
How about you? What is YOUR favorite pie?