Fool-proof pie crust

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” David Mamet, American author and playwright

I have ruined many a pie crust in my day. There are two problems. I am often too impatient to wait for the dough to chill properly. My lack of skill also tends to lead to an over handling of the dough that makes it tough after baking.

Add in the fact that our family manages to require both gluten-free and dairy-free foods and it’s pretty safe to say I will never attempt to roll out a pie crust again. (You’re welcome, world.)

But, that doesn’t mean I won’t be making and eating pies. There is hope — and it all started with a tart crust recipe I found in an old Fanny Farmer cookbook. This dough is pressed in instead of rolled, which eliminates the textural problems associated with gluten-free baking. It also means it’s made to be handled, which eliminates the toughness issue.

So, if you’re gluten free, dairy free or simply vegan, this is definitely one to try. It works well for quiche. Add a spoonful of sugar and it works well for custard and fruit pies. Just look for filling recipes that are intended for open-topped or struessel-topped pies and tarts. The lack of a top means you must have extra moisture going into the oven or you will wind up with a literal crisp.


Fool-proof Pie Crust

Thoroughly mix 1 cup flour (rice or wheat both work just fine) and 1/4 teaspoon salt. (For sweet fillings, add a Tablespoon of sugar.)

Add 6 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 Tablespoons water and 1 egg yolk. Mix with spoon or fork until barely combined. Then, gently knead until well combined.

Use the heel of your hand to press into deep-dish pie pan (there’s enough dough for an 8-by-8 glass dish if you prefer). Make sure the dough is even so you don’t get goo in the middle.

Fill and bake as directed. If you need an empty shell, prick the crust all over with a fork and bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Want more recipes? My new fiction title Dune Girl includes a handful. It is now available as an e- book for Kindles, smart phones and tablets at 🙂

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