Pie crust...again!

Tracey_OHDecember 24, 2013

First of all, Happy Holidays to all! Wishing everyone a great holiday season.

I'm attempting to make a coconut cream pie. Pie crust is my nemesis and lately I've been trying to eat gluten free simply because I feel better when I do. I'm a pie crust loser, so I'm making a gluten free no roll crust. I need to pre bake it so I started looking at a bunch of different recipes and they all seem to bake at a different temperature. And some say to cover with foil or parchment and pie weights while some simply just say to dock the crust and bake.

So my question is, how do you bake your crust for a cream pie? What temperature do you bake it at and do you use foil and pie weights?


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Foil and pie weights..it will slump without.
I also add a sprinkling of Panko bread crumbs on the bottom if I plan on baking a fruit pie to keep the bottom from tasting gummy.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Need more information... What type of gluten-free flour/s are you using, or wanting to use? There are so many recipes and variations for gluten-free recipes that there's not a single "best" answer to your quest.

I've found a pretty good recipe I've made a couple times from "The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking" - by Peter Reinhart & Denene Wallace. I need to cover the crust edge with foil because nut flours can easily burn, but it doesn't need pie weights, docking it is enough. I also need to rotate the crust to make sure the bottom doesn't over-brown (another problem with nut flours).

It will depend on the type of recipe you make - a soft dough made with gluten-free flour or flour blends, or a crumb-like crust.

Pastry isn't my nemesis, I just hate making them - PERIOD (lol), but I understand your frustration. I'll look through my collection of gluten-free cookbooks and see if they have any "helpful hints" for gluten-free pastry that might help you out. Otherwise, use the method suggested in the recipe you are using.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Thanks. I ended up using trader joes gluten free flour and melted coconut oil. I've made this recipe before for a derby pie using cooking oil instead of the coconut oil and it turned out much better than this one. I patted it into the pie plate and baked it covered with foil and dried beans. I baked it at 350ð. It ended up cracking and never did brown up much. I think I'll try it at 450ð next time with the foil and beans. Any easy recipes or suggestions appreciated! Here's the finished pie before I sprinkled on the coconut.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 11:37PM
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Oh my--looks too beautiful to eat.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 1:06AM
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Exactly my thoughts.... MUCH too beautiful to eat.

-Browning is aided by the addition of a sweetener and/or milk.

-Xanthan gum, vinegar, and baking powder are ingredients that will help extensibility to help prevent cracking.

-The addition of tapioca flour and/or cornstarch in a recipe will improve handling.

-I wonder if using the coconut oil that remains a liquid would make a difference? Carrington Farms Coconut Cooking Oil (I find it at Wal-Mart) has a lot of uses in the kitchen where you want the coconut oil to remain liquid, and this pasty recipe may be one of them.

-I found recipes that mist the pie tin with oil, and then mist the crust with oil just before baking. This may help prevent cracking, but it would also add a lot of fat and possibly make a greasy crust.

-An egg wash would give it some strength, and that may help.

Here's a crust recipe from "Gluten-Free 101" by the queen of gluten-free - Carol Fenster, Ph.D. (link to her web site is below).

Coconut Pie Crust: Grease 9-inch pie plate. Combine 1-1/2 c. shredded coconut, 2 T. soft butter or margarine, 1 T. sweet rice flour, 1 t. vanilla extract, and 1/4 t. salt. Press onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 325-degrees F. until lightly toasted -- about 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning, Cool thoroughly. Add filling of your choice. Serves 6.

Nutrition: 160 calories; 12g fat; 1g protein; 14g carbohydrates; 43mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol; -Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Carol Fenster Cooks

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 6:47AM
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That is one lovely pie, Tracey, although I wouldn't let that keep me from eating it, LOL.

I don't have much experience with gluten free crusts, I generally just get gluten free gingersnaps or graham crackers and use that for crust when cooking for Elery's daughter.

I do make regular pastry crusts for cream pies, I use a Pyrex glass pan and I don't use either pie weights or foil, I am careful not to stretch the pastry too much or it will slump, and I always dock the bottom. I bake at 425F per the Farm Journal Pie Cookbook recipe I sometimes use, it says 450F but I use glass pans so I reduce the heat by 25 degrees. It does help to stick the formed pastry in its pan into the freezer, that helps with the slumping down the sides.

I mostly use SharonCB's "Nathan's Never Fail Pastry", it's easy to handle and turns out well, every time. I don't know if it could be made with gluten free flours but I'm betting it could.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Thank you for the advice Annie and Grainlady! The holidays have kept me busy and I've just gotten back to this. Sorry for the delay! I made another pie today with a gluten free no roll crust and I did not pre bake it. It's a derby pie and I baked it on top of a pizza stone to help with the bottom crust. I will have to post a pic after we cut into it.

Annie, I printed out that Nathan's recipe awhile back but never made it since pie crust always defeats me. I hate rolling out dough but I hate the chemicals in store bought crusts more so my compromise is the no-roll. Maybe one of these days I'll get ambitious and try this recipe.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:57PM
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Ah, but Tracey, if it's the bottom crust no one sees it, so you can patch as much as necessary. Yes, I know this, LOL.

I'm glad to see you here again, BTW. I missed you.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 8:03PM
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Thanks Annie! I would definitely have to be patching since I can't seem to roll out a pie crust:)

And I'm not on here as much as I used to be but I always come back. This is where I learned to cook!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 10:41PM
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