The more gluten-free baking I do, the more I try to get away from the common flours and binders used in gluten-free baking. A little less rice flour, a taking away of xanthan gum, a whole lot of experimenting (and often failing) with simple gluten-free whole grain flours.

All of these experiments can get a little gummy, tough, crunchy, crumbly, and dry at times. But then you find the right combination and end up with something that feels a lot like real pie dough and works with a simple combination of flours plus it’s really easy to make.

And that is why this pie crust is our current favorite. You can roll it out just like regular pie crust – and it works well for topping apple pies – but in a pumpkin or other bottom crust-only pie, I like to just pat it into the pan.

Using some Mabel cream and butter gives it a rich flavor but whole milk also makes for a delicious crust.

The only problem I’ve had is getting a photo before nearly all of the pie is gone. This crust filled with Homestead Honey-Molasses Pumpkin Pie is on rotation with pumpkins from our garden, eggs from our hens, and Mabel’s contributions.

Maybe you can make one too and catch a photo before it’s too late?

Gluten-Free Pie Crust (gum-free, starch-free)

Makes two generous bottom crusts or a top and bottom crust for a fruit pie

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups sweet rice flour (I used this one)
  • 1.25 cups freshly ground buckwheat flour (see note)
  • 1.25 cups GF oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon psyllium ground
  • 1 cup cream or whole milk
  • approximately 1/2 cup water
  • ½ cup solid coconut oil, lard, or cold butter

Directions

Combine the flours, salt, and psyllium in a medium bowl. Add fat and cut it into the flour until it becomes approximately the size of peas. Add the cream or milk and slowly add the water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until the dough just comes together.

Knead the dough briefly just until a cohesive, lightly tacky dough forms. Let rest at least five minutes at room temperature. When ready to use, divide the dough into two and roll or pat into two 9-10″ pie pans or line a pie pan and reserve the other half for a top crust.

Bake as per pie-baking instructions for your specific pie application.

Note: We have been using freshly ground buckwheat flour made from buckwheat groats. These are untoasted, hulled buckwheat groats that produce a greenish-gray flour. If you purchase buckwheat flour, look for the one that does not contain the black flecks which is made from unhulled buckwheat. These two flours bake up entirely differently.

Awhile back I purchased cream of tartar because I wanted to start making our own baking powder. Baking powder can get expensive if you use a lot of it and try to find a form with the least amount of additives, so I figured I could make a cleaner, cheaper version at home.

Well, I found the cream of tartar the other day and realized it had been probably a year-and-a-half since I stowed that bottle away. Not coincidentally, we just ran out of baking powder so I figured this was the day! And the process could not be simpler so I have no good reasons for procrastinating that long.

Baking powder is a leavening agent made with a combination of acid and alkaline ingredients which, when combined with moisture, produce the rise you want in pancakes, biscuits, etc. Baking soda is the alkaline ingredient and cream of tartar, an acidic byproduct of the fermentation of grapes, lends the acid. Together they produce carbon dioxide.

One interesting point of difference between this baking powder and the “double-acting” baking powder most commonly sold is that it does not contain calcium acid phosphate. This compound produces additional carbon dioxide when heated but I am more than fine omitting something like that from our food. And, after using this in pancakes, biscuits, and tamale pie, I am not convinced that this “single-acting” baking powder is at all inferior.

Homemade Baking Powder

Ingredients

  • 1 part baking soda
  • 2 parts cream of tartar

Directions

Whisk ingredients together until well combined. Transfer to an airtight container and seal tightly.

Use 1:1 in any recipe calling for baking powder.