Gluten Free Butter Tarts and Pie Crust for Anything

Gluten-free Butter Tarts - and Pie Crust that Works for Anything | The Baking Beauties
I admit it. I never had a butter tart until AFTER I was diagnosed with Celiacs. My Mom made these during the holiday season nearly every year. I’m not sure what I thought was in them, but when I was younger, I refused to eat them, and it just stayed that way. After seeing my Mom make them, and my husband drool over them, I decided to try making Gluten Free Butter Tarts. Now…I try to play the “hey, that’s gluten-free and only for me” card. It doesn’t work at our house, because these little tarts are so delicious, no one keeps their hands off of them.

Gluten Free Butter Tarts
Butter Tarts are a popular Canadian dessert. This recipe is just for the filling, you need to buy or make your own gluten-free tart shells to put the filling into.
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup re-hydrated raisins (see below)
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Combine all ingredients and beat until well blended. Spoon into tart shells, filling 2/3 full.
  2. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven until the filling is set.
  3. The dough I used to make the tart shells, is from a recipe that my friend Tamara contributed to the Holiday Baking E-Book that I compiled in November, 2010. This was my first time trying this dough, and I loved it! It worked fantastically, and held up really well. Not to mention, tasted GREAT! Since I was making tiny bite-sized tarts, I cut small circles, and pressed them into my mini muffin tins using my Mini Tart Shaper from Pampered Chef. It worked really well, a little time consuming, but worth it, I think.
To rehydrate the raisins, I put them in a microwave save bowl, cover with water, and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. I then let them sit for 5 minutes, and drain before using. This way, they won't be dried out and "stealing" liquid from your recipe.

Gluten Free Pie Crust for Anything
This dough can be used to make tarts or pie crusts. I used this dough for the tart shells for my Butter Tarts, and it worked beautifully and tasted great. This recipe was submitted by my friend Tamara to the Holiday Baking E-Book that I compiled in November, 2010.
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (see NOTE)
  • 1 cup shortening (I prefer doing 1/2 shortening, 1/2 butter)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 large egg (yes, it HAS to be large)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup cold water
  1. Use stand mixer and non-whisk for best results. Mix flour, shortening, salt and xanthan gum on low speed until mixture is pebbly.
  2. Add egg, vinegar and 1/3 cup water, mix on low speed until well mixed and dough becomes ball-like. If dough is not soft and pliable, add a few drops of water at a time until it is. This dough feels exactly like the dough you would make with wheat flour, so don't feel like you have to scrimp on the water. If it takes more than 1/2 cup, oh, well, the weather might be dry. If it's less, it just might be raining!
  3. Bake at whatever temperature you need for your filling, from 300 degrees F to 450 degrees F, or on 350 degrees F for 20-22 minutes for pre-baked crust. Although this recipe doesn't rise, it can bow in the middle, so baking stones are recommended if you are pre-baking the crust. Fruit fillings are best if baked for 1 hour at 350 degrees F.
Tip for Pie Crust: Wipe your counter with a damp cloth. Lay plastic wrap on the counter, overlapping to make a piece bigger than you want to roll your crust. Place dough on plastic wrap, cover with another sheet of plastic wrap, and roll to desired size. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, and lift the dough, along with the plastic wrap that you rolled it out on, and carefully place the dough over your pie plate. Pushing on the plastic wrap, form the dough to the pie plate. Carefully peel the plastic wrap off, and you have one pie crust ready to bake or fill.
Flour Mix (makes 9 cups total):
3 cups brown rice flour (finely ground)
3 cups white rice flour (finely ground)
2 cups potato starch (NOT potato flour!)
1 cup tapioca starch
As long as you make the 3:3:2:1 ratio, you can cut/multiply this down/up to any size. The ratio for 3 cups flour mix is 1:1:2/3:1/3.


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36 Responses to Gluten Free Butter Tarts and Pie Crust for Anything

  1. Dinners and Dreams January 9, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    I love to bake GF but so far I've only made cakes. Great pie crust recipe.


  2. betty r January 9, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    You are a wonder woman can make anything gluten free..way to go! Great photo.

  3. Neva January 9, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    What is the note about the raisins? Do you soak them in water?

  4. Jeanine January 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Nisrine, you'll do great with gf baking, if you can do cakes. :)

    Thanks, Betty! I get a lot of help, the internet has a fantastic community of great GF bakers.

    Neva, so sorry! Totally forgot to add a note, I've added it now though. Thanks for pointing that out!

  5. Kim-Cook it Allergy Free January 10, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    Jeanine, my Mom has always made a similar treat. She called them Pecan Sandies. YUM! These look awesome. I cannot wait to try them. And they look so so easy to do. Love this pie crust recipe too!

  6. Sarah January 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    My friend makes these with gluten and they are my favorite holiday treat that she makes. Now I can make them for everyone at our house.

  7. Jeanine January 12, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Kim, Pecan Sandies, huh? Guess different regions have different names. Either way, I'm sure they're both delicious!

    Sarah, I'm sure you'll all enjoy these GF ones, no one will know the difference.

  8. Paul January 12, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Mmm … butter tarts, so yummy.

    Thank you for the excellent post and the extra pounds that will surely follow haha!

  9. Jeanine January 12, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Ha, let me tell you, food blogging is not good on the waist line! But, everything in moderation. 😉

  10. Tasty Eats At Home January 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Ooh, these little tarts could be really addictive. Yum.

  11. Paul January 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm #



  12. Heather Smith (519-267-1677) June 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    O-M-G! Jeanine, this is a fantastic pastry recipe…the best I have ever tried, GF or otherwise. I haven't tried the butter tarts, yet, but it was oh so yummy in my Strawberry Rhubarb Pie today.
    Mmmmmm! :o9

  13. Tanya C September 25, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Hi Jeanine! This is the best gf pastry I have tried! Thanks for sharing. I love that it does not break apart during the rolling out process or transferring it to the pan. My girlfriend tried it and said it did not taste gluten free:) I have used it for meat pies and am now going to use it for jam tarts. Thanks again :)

  14. Darlene December 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    I have just found your site…Tried the pastry and yes it was GREAT for gf……I rolled it on my counter with some sweet rice for tarts..It worked well but l wonder if l had enough water as when putting into tins some of the pastery split but fixed dough with alittle water…..maybe l should of used wax paper to roll….anyway the end result was perfect…just like the flour ones l used to make…Thanks for sharing.

  15. Elaine December 28, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    Hi Jeanine, you asked on FB for people to comment on any recipes of yours that they tried over the holidays. I made these tarts twice – the first time I followed the pastry recipe exactly and they were good, however, I had used a couple of other GF pie crust recipes that called for butter, or at least half butter and half shortening – liked the butter in the pastry. So……made them again and used half butter, half shortening and only 1/2 tsp. salt. MUCH BETTER!!! Also – used muffin papers and it worked out great – no mess and no problem getting them out of the muffin pans!! Also – used all chopped pecans instead of a mix of nuts & raisins. I put 1 cup of chopped pecans in the tart filling. Wonderful tarts!!!!

  16. Barb June 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Hi! I would love to try these. Two questions. Did you prebake the tart crust first? What is an estimate of how long the filling takes to set? Thank you!

    • Jeanine Friesen July 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      Hi Barb, I didn’t prebake the tarts, just pressed them down, filled them, and baked. How long you bake them will depend on whether you are making standard 3″ tarts, or mini tarts, like I did. The larger tarts could take 15-20 minutes to bake. Once they cool, they set up though.

  17. Joanie August 2, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Hi Jeanine,
    I’ve been hunting for a good pie crust recipe. I will try this one but would like to know if I can substitute a different shortening. My reason is the crisco-type classic shortening has trans-fats (I think) because the oils are hydrogenated to make the shortening solid at room temperature.

    Your thoughts? Would coconut oil work for this?

    I love your recipes and your website – thank you very much for making these wonderful things available!

    • Jeanine Friesen August 2, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      You can do 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening with success, but I haven’t tried using coconut oil at all. If you do try, please let me know how it works!

  18. Evelyn September 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Hi Jeanine…..Can you use lard instead of shortening for your pie crust? Thanks Evelyn

    • Jeanine Friesen September 23, 2013 at 11:54 am #

      Hi Evelyn, I’ve never tried using lard, but I have done 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening without any problems. I’d think if you used lard in the past for wheat-based pie crusts, it ‘should’ work here too.

  19. Peggy October 12, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Hi, While I adore your website & all that you put into it I am unsubscribing.
    Tired of all the pop ups you allow to sneak into my computer.!!!

    • Jeanine Friesen October 12, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Sorry to hear that Peggy, but I do not have any pop ups on my site. I have 2 ads on the right hand side bar, and one at at the bottom of the page. I would suggest you scan your computer with Malwarebytes. I had popups happening last week, and it was due to the malware on my computer. Scanning it helped to remove it. Hope this helps, if not, I’m sorry to see you go!

  20. paul November 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    hi Jeanine
    I was gluten free surfing last week, and I have no idea how many left turn links I made, but I somehow ended up on your pie dough butter tart page.
    this is a book marker.
    I am the celiac in our family and fortunately I also like to cook and bake. I have no idea how celiac people survive that can’t cook and bake.
    my entire family love these butter tarts. have you tried freezing them. I would like to try it so I can hide them in the back of the freezer so I can have a few.

    thanks for the wonderful site and recipes.
    edmonton, canada

    • Jeanine Friesen November 5, 2013 at 7:02 am #

      Welcome here, Paul! :) No matter how you found your way here, glad to have you. I’ve often wondered how those that don’t like to cook & bake survive, but I guess that’s where the multi-million dollar sales in gluten-free foods comes from.
      To answer your question – these tarts do freeze beautifully! I usually make them a few weeks before Christmas & store them in the freezer to take out a few at a time, and it works great.

  21. katherine December 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    I made a pecan pie for thanksgiving with this pie recipe and it was amazing! I used lard in place of the shortening and, while it smelled like bacon when it was baking, it didn’t taste like it at all! It was so flaky and buttery, my fam couldn’t believe it was gluten free! Thank you so much for your recipe. I’m about to go make another pie tonight! :)

  22. Chrstine December 24, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Your recipe saved my tourtierre today. I had tried another pie crust recipe on two days ago and it was horrible! I really thought we’d have to do with out our Christmas Eve tradition this year. Thank you!

  23. Lesley February 6, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Can you omit the vinegar? It’s the only ingredient I don’t have on hand.
    In comparison to regular pastry does it roll well? I have tried a few GF pastry recipes and the dough is always crumbly and fragile and I end up moulding the tarts by hand – they pastry tastes great but its way too time consuming!

    • Jeanine Friesen February 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

      If you don’t have vinegar, do you have apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice? I’d replace it with one of those.
      As long as you roll the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, then use the wrap to lift & form the dough into the pie plate, it works great! Otherwise, it could maybe be a problem, but leave it on the plastic wrap, and it should work just fine. :)

  24. Tina May 25, 2014 at 1:22 am #

    I am allergic to eggs. Can I substitute anything to replace the egg?

    • Jeanine August 11, 2014 at 9:22 am #

      Sorry, Tina, I’ve never tried replacing the eggs in this recipe.

  25. Karen August 10, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    This is the BEST pie crust! You cannot tell that this is GF at all. I did use all butter, no shortening (personal preference). The pie not only looked beautiful but tasted delish! I will never buy a GF pie crust mix again as this is way way better. Thanks always Jeanine for sharing your recipes.

    • Jeanine August 11, 2014 at 9:23 am #

      So glad to hear that you like it, Karen! It really is a great recipe, and homemade from scratch is always better than bought. 😉

  26. Kathleen Midgley November 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    I am new to cooking could you tell me what Use stand mixer and non-whisk is. Is a plain hand or stand mixer.
    Thank you,

  27. Stephanie December 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    Hi Jeanine, this is the only pie crust I use and love it! I have never tried freezing it after being baked, have you? I would like to pre-make these for Christmas. Thank you!


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