F. For a new gluten free baker, this gluten free cream cheese pastry dough is the most forgiving. The cream cheese creates elasticity in the dough making it easy to work with, yet produces a tender and flaky pie crust for sweet or savory dishes, crackers, pastries, and more.
This dough freezes extremely well. I had some scraps in the freezer for over 13 months. With the scraps, I made this beautiful 5-inch lemon meringue pie and 2 bite-size pies. I had frozen the crust for 13 months an I d it was as moist as the day that I made it. I defrosted it at room temperature, refrigerated it overnight, and then, I let it set out at room temperature again just before using it.
For the 5-inch pie, I used a pie pan that measured 5 inches wide at the top and 4 inches wide at the bottom. I used my toaster oven to bake it. I baked it at 425ºF for about 5 minutes, turning the pie about every minute to promote even browning. Doing so, caused the oven’s temperature to lower to about 350ºF. Then, because the crust was browning too quickly, I lowered the temperature to 400ºF for about 3 minutes, but because I was opening the door so much, the temperature stayed at about 300ºF. After it cooled for about 3 minutes, I saw that the bottom of the crust hadn’t browned at all. So, I removed it from the pan and placed it upside down on the rack, in the toaster oven. The oven had cooled down to 300ºF from opening it up so much, but I set it for 350ºfor 5 minutes. It was nicely browned, maybe too much (see below). I used a Hamilton Beach 31333 Convection Toaster Oven.
For the two mini-bite-sized pies, I baked them for 10 minutes at 425ºF in a conventional oven. It was just a tad too long. I recommend 8 minutes.
Gluten Free Cream Cheese Pastry Dough Pie Crust
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons, plus more for rolling out the dough
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, each tablespoon cut into 4 pieces
- 5 ounces gluten free cream cheese (Philadelphia) at room temperature, cut into 1/2-pieces
- 1 tablespoon water, or as needed
- Egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon heavy cream or water)
- Place two sheets of plastic wrap out on the counter overlapped to make one large piece; set aside. Using a tablespoon of cold butter, rub all over the bottom and sides of 10-inch tart dish.
- Add the flour to a food processor. Add the cold butter and cream cheese. Pulse until small balls form. Scrape the bottom of the food processor to bring up any flour that did not blend with the moist ingredients. Add 1 tablespoon water and pulse until dough forms. Do not over mix. It's okay if there are loose pieces of dough.
- Place the dough on the plastic wrap. Using your hands, form the dough into a flat, round disc. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. If you chill it longer, you may need to leave it at room temperature for 5 - 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF degrees for fillings that need baking and 425ºF for no-bake fillings.
- Place on a floured rolling surface. (I use a silicone baking mat.) Pound out the dough using a flour-dusted rolling pin. Roll once soft enough to roll. Pat any cracks with cold water. If the cold water makes the dough sticky, pat the top of the watered spot with flour. If the dough at any time becomes soft and sticks to the rolling pin or your hands too often, refrigerate until cold and firm. Turn the dough over, dust the rolling surface again and the top of the dough. Roll out some more until you have a 14-inch circle. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to the tart dish and ease into edges. Using a paring knife, cut off the excess dough by slicing along the top of the dough. Refrigerate the dish for 10 minutes. (Freeze any scraps for future use. Then defrost them at room temperature. Use them for mini muffin tin pies.)
- If using for a no-bake filling baste the entire crust with a mixture of egg and cream or egg and water. This makes it nice and golden brown. (If not, do this prior to filling and baking your pie.)
- Poke the bottom in about 20 places with a fork. (This prevents the crust from bubbling up and allows steam to escape.)
- Par-bake (partially bake) the crust for 15 minutes if using a filling that will need to be baked or 20 minutes for no-bake fillings. If the crust bubbles up stab it with a fork a few more times mid baking.
- Use for quiches, meat pies, homemade hot pockets, fruit turnovers. You can also roll out any scraps and baked them until crisp to use as crackers.
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