Working with pie dough is a scary thing for people, novice or experienced bakers alike. It was one of my toughest days to teach at school because I found everyone was scared of the dough and that led to easy mistakes. Pie dough is like bread, you just have to feel and listen to it to know when it’s right. It can definitely be tricky, but it will only be an Achilles heel if you let it!

Allergy friendly pie dough, especially gluten free, is not that hard to master. The gluten free factor actually makes it a hit easier because the gluten in wheat flour is what makes the dough shrink and hard to work with. Obviously, that issue isn’t there with gluten free dough. It does make it a bit more likely to break, so that’s where the delicate hand comes in.

This is classic 3-2-1 pie dough, meaning it’s 3 parts flour (regular or gluten free), 2 parts fat, and one part ice water. Any variation of substitutions works here which is why I love this dough. I make everything from pizza pockets to fruit galettes to apple hand pies with this dough. It freezes well and doesn’t take more than a few minutes to pull together. Because it is very neutral in flavor, it is ideal for sweet or savory dishes.  Get creative…and enjoy!💙

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**

 Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Flour – I use gluten free flour for this recipe, but you can use wheat flour interchangeably. This is one of the recipes that I like to measure the flour to get it just right. Remember, different gluten free flours will have different weights depending on the density of the ingredients. I primarily use King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour but have also use Namaste and Authentic Foods with good results. Just be sure your flour has xanthan gum in it.
  • Fat – The fat that you choose to use here is entirely up to your needs. I use both regular butter and Spectrum palm shortening. I found that when I used Casey’s safe margarine it was way too greasy. The biggest key here is that you have the fat very cold before using. Have it wrapped in the refrigerator to get a nice chill on it. It is necessary to keep the pieces of fat on the larger size to create flaky layers in the dough. If it too small, the dough will be more like a paste and not bake properly. 
  • Ice water – Sounds like an odd thing to make a note about ice water, right? Well although this is pretty much as allergy friendly as it gets, the water at the wrong temperature can mess it all up. Let the ice water sit, then remove the ice and measure. Don’t measure the water and then add ice. The whole proportion will be off. Also, this is a guideline for water. A good rule of thumb is you can always add more but cannot take away. Depending on how large you’ve kept your fat and the humidity level outside (yes, weather affects pie dough and bread!), you may need more or less water.

Author: Katie Martino Lopez

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 12 oz. (340 g., scant 2 ½ cups) gluten free (make sure your blend contains xanthan gum) or regular flour
  • 8 oz. vegan shortening (I like Spectrum) or unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. ice water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar


  1. Measure and chill fat at least 10 minutes before starting recipe.
  2. Let water and ice sit while preparing dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients. Add fat to the bowl and toss lightly with your fingers to coat with flour. Using fingertips, a pastry blender (my choice) or two knives, gently cut the fat into the flour. Don’t squeeze or flatten or the fat will be too small and will not be flaky. The pieces should be about the size of blueberries.
  4. Measure out 4 oz. from the ice water. Drizzle about 2/3 around the bowl, not just in one spot. Gently blend until the dough comes together. It should not be sticky like a cookie dough but will hold together when lightly squeezed. Add more water by tablespoons if more is needed. Gluten free flour will require a bit more water because it absorbs more than wheat flour.
  5. Gather dough together and spilt in 2. Flatten into a disk on parchment or wax paper and wrap. Chill at least one hour before using.

Recipe Notes

  •  The yield will depend on what you’re making. I can get double crust 8-inch pie, 12-16 pizza pockets or fruit hand pockets and two 8-inch fruit galettes. You can always make things larger or smaller, but it will affect the yield.

  • This recipe is very easily scaled up or down.

  • The dough will freeze for up to a month. Wrap in parchment, then tightly in plastic wrap or a freezer bag with air removed.



As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…

Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.

And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!

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