mary’s magnificent pastry – just in time for pie season!

My first pie – ever – and the crust was light, crisp, and flaky! I have never had the need to make pies. My mom Mary is known for her pies, gluten free and not, and she delivers a steady stream of these tempting treats: apple, rhubarb, lemon, coconut cream, the list goes on. Last week was chocolate – awesome! Here is her recipe for gluten free pie crust and since I’m posting it, I figured I better give it a try so I know what I’m talking about. It’s not the easiest thing to make, but it’s certainly worth the extra effort!      Mary's Magnificent Pastry. gf and me 2013.

Scroll down for the recipe for Mary’s Magnificent Pastry along with the recipe for peach pie filling, adapted from Bon Appitina.

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gluten free rustic apple tartsrustic tarts of galettes

gluten free cream cheese pastry tartscream cheese pastry tarts

Mary's Magnificent Pastry

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: difficult the first few times 🙂
  • Print

For Pastry:

What you’ll need:

2 cups Bob’s Redmill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (Cloud 9 flour also works well)

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 cup butter (chilled and cut into cubes)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 egg white (optional)

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

TIP: For a lighter crust use 1 1/2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill and 1/2 cup corn starch for the flour and use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening instead of 1 full cup of butter. The result will be lighter but more difficult to work with.

What you’ll do:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Put flour and xanthan gum in food processor and pulse a few times until combined. Add butter and pulse until the dough comes together in pea size balls. Add sour cream and pulse until the dough starts to hold together.

Remove from food processor and work together into 2 balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 4 hours. According to Mary, overnight works better.

Roll out bottom crust. Now the directions get a bit tricky.

Mary’s method for the bottom crust: Divide a ball of dough in two. Roll half out onto a flat, floured surface until its diameter is slightly larger than your pie plate. Place the dough into the bottom of the pie plate and press it down around the inside of the plate.

My method for the bottom: When I tried to roll the dough out, it just stuck to everything and it tore when I tried to lift it. Instead, I chose to use the playdough method. I worked the dough a bit to make it more pliable and, taking smallish gobs, pressed it into the bottom of the plate and up the sides with my fingers! Remember: this was the first pie I’ve ever made! (BUT to see just how workable this pastry is, see gf and me’s recipe for turnovers!)

Fill pie with your favorite filling – in this case it was peach. See the recipe below.

Cover with top crust.

Mary’s method for the top: Roll the other half of the dough out onto a floured surface until it is the same diameter as your pie plate. Pick up off the surface, place on top of pie. Cut around the edge of the plate with a sharp knife and work crusts together by pinching between your thumb and index finger to seal.

My method for the top: I did manage to roll the top out by rolling it between 2 sheets of greased parchment paper. I lifted it up with the paper and pried the dough off onto the pie. It tore a bit, but I made patches. Turns out the dough is pretty forgiving … the patches just melted into the rest of the crust. I made the top a bit larger and folded the edge back over towards the center to make a finished edge, pinching it as I went, hoping it would seal to the bottom crust. Miraculously, it did!

Cut air vents in the pastry.

Whip the egg white with a whisk until foamy and brush over the surface of the pie. Sprinkle with sugar. This will brown the crust and make it flakier.

Bake on middle rack for 45 minutes.

TIP: Check at 25 minutes and if the rolled edge of the crust is browning too fast, cover it with strips of tinfoil. According to Mary, the GF crust tends to burn easier than non-gf.

MARY’S TIPS: Do not cover left over pie with plastic wrap. The crust will go soggy. Instead, cover it with a clean tea towel. Also, it’s best if you leave any leftovers on the counter overnight. Don’t refrigerate them. Refrigeration causes the pie to soften and to lose some of its flavour.

For Peach Pie Filling:

Adapted from Bon Appitina:

4 cups of fresh peaches (about 4 medium peaches), peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

dash of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Combine sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl. Add peaches and stir to coat. Mix in lemon juice.

Pour filling into bottom pie crust and dot with butter. Cover with top crust and bake as above.

TIP: Trust me, you’ll appreciate the pie more if you let it completely cool. The peach and spice flavours come out a lot more at room temperature.

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photo credit:

Gluten free recipes from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada


53 thoughts on “mary’s magnificent pastry – just in time for pie season!

  1. Looks beautiful! I just read Janet’s comment with interest – back in April, I was lucky enough to have a bit of a pastry lesson from a pastry chef who now produces a beautiful line of commercial artisan pastry. Leaving the butter in little bits in the mixture was a key to the success and texture of the pastry. I must try that grating in method… Thanks for sharing. I love the use of sour cream!

  2. I could so relate to my own first attempt at gluten-free pie crust. I swore and swore and swore because I know Mary’s method very well and it didn’t work for me either in the gluten-free world. Good for you for persevering and thanks for sour cream inspiration.

  3. That looks great. I’m not a pie person either. I usually just eat the filling but I do make pies at Thanksgiving and I’ve started planning how to make as much of the meal as possible gluten free so I don’t have to worry about cross contamination. I think I’ve found my crust. 🙂

    • It is really, really good. As I said above, it’s better than any store-bought crust I’ve ever had – including those with wheat flour. Just a bit finicky to roll.

    • Thanks! It was delicious. Certainly better than any store-bought pie I’ve ever had – including those with wheat flour. Not as good as Mary’s wheat based pastry – but then again, nothing much is 🙂

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  6. I’ve made a lot of double crust fruit pies over the years and would have to say that I thought I really had it down to a science. All of that experience went out the window when I tried making my first gluten free crust though. I will definitely be trying this recipe on my next pie. Your pie looks really good. Thanks for posting the recipe & thanks for checking out my blog.

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  12. This sounds wonderful! Thanksgiving has turned gluten-free for us – except for the pies! Now I can delight my company with yummy dessert, too! Thank-you for passing on this recipe! I am also planning on posting a link to your site in an upcoming holiday recipe post on

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    • Hi Beverly. You could try a soy based sour cream if you need a dairy free version. I haven’t done this so I’m afraid I can’t say how it will work.

      • Thank you for the information, but she can not have any soy as well. I just read that yogurt can be substituted for the sour cream when a small amount of apple cider vinegar is added. I can thicken the yogurt by draining in cheesecloth overnight to make it thick. Will that work do you think. Beverly

      • Hi Beverly. I would think that would work – yogurt alone might do the trick. Please let us know how it turns out!

  22. I will let you know as soon a I make a pie for my grand daughter. I bakes so many things for her this Christmas that I won’t be making a pie for her until Valentines Day.

  23. Use Glad Press & Seal instead of parchment, Saran or waxed paper. It’s amaaaaaazing. You can invert the crust into the pan and just peel it off the other side. Love it!

  24. This is an excellent recipe. I have had fairly good luck making pie crust, but this recipe took my gluten free pie making to a new level. I didn’t use the optional egg white, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. I rolled dough out between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment (easier to transfer to pie plate).

    • Thanks for the kind words. I will pass them on to Mary 🙂 And thanks also for the idea of using 2 sheets of parchment. That will make life much easier for me!

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