This recipe is a little bit monumental. You see, making a pie grain free has been quite possible for some time now. Its not difficult to throw some nuts or seeds into a food processor to make a simple crust to press into the pie platter. But, a crust that could be rolled out, and manipulated EXACTLY like a traditional wheat crust. A recipe for that didn’t exist without eggs. Until today.
I love pie. I really do. Especially pot pie. BUT what’s a pot pie without a top crust? Its NOT a pot pie. I can tell you that much. This idea of being able to eat a REAL double crusted pot pie drove me to make this recipe 9 stinking times this morning to get it the way I wanted. It was so worth it to finally have this perfect beautiful crust sitting in my pie dish just smiling back at me. I am SO thrilled to share this recipe with all of you. This crust has a bit of a crispy texture while the inside almost has a biscuit flavor and texture. Its hard to describe- but I can tell you that it made my taste buds squeal with delight.
As usual, I’m sure a large number of you will have substitution questions for me. Today I’m sorry but I probably will be short on answers. You see, it took me hours of work and nearly 4 lbs of almond flour to figure out the magical combination of ingredients. It would take me a heap more of time and ingredients to be able to offer you suggestions on how to change things. So, my advice: If you can’t have a specific ingredient take the recipe into your kitchen and play around yourself OR keep on your searching for something that does work for you.
I can tell you three things though:
- DO NOT try to exchange the almond flour for coconut. Or else you will end up with a crust that tastes more like bread. If you cannot have almonds specifically then I would use another nut or see flour- though its important that you make sure they are extremely finely ground. Use a high powered blender or coffee grinder. I would recommend a mild tasting nut or seed like cashews, or sunflower seeds. Your results are not going to be exactly the same- but this is the closest suggestion I can offer.
- DO NOT exchange the almond flour for a grain based flour- If you are looking to use grains check out my Pate Brisee recipe instead.
- I tried making the recipe without Xanthan or Guar Gum and it still turned out great! It was just the slightest bit crumbly when I fluted my edges- though not overly so. I was still able to work the dough into what I wanted. I also noticed without the gum the crust ended up just a bit more tender. So, its 100% up to you if you want to use it.
In this recipe I call for Whole Psyllium Husks. They are essential and its important that you buy a canister that labels them as “whole”. Many brands are now certified gluten free (they are all gluten free, just be cautious of cross contamination if you are a super sensitive celiac.) They can be found in the supplement/vitamin section of most grocery and drug stores.
Grain Free Pie Crust
2 Tsp Whole Psyllium Husks
1/8 Tsp Xanthan OR Guar Gum (optional- see note above)
1/3 Cup of Warm Water.
1 3/4 Packed Cup of Blanched Almond Flour
1/2 Packed Cup Starch (Tapioca, Arrowroot or Potato)
1/4 Tsp Salt (I like to use 1/2 tsp in savory recipes).
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbs of additional water.
- In a small cup or bowl combine the Psyllium, Xanthan and 1/3 Cup of Water. Mix and set aside for a few minutes so that it can thicken.
- In the bowl of a food processor combine the Almond Flour, Starch, Salt and Baking Soda. Process to combine. Add the thickened Psyllium Mixture to the food processor. Turn on high and process- then add the last Tbs of water and combine until dough becomes a thick ball. It should be just slightly sticky and hold together really well. * If your dough is at all crumbly add a little bit more water ( 1 tsp at a time) until it starts to hold firmly together.*
- Remove dough from food processor. Place between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out thin. (Note: the crust will get thicker while baking). Once rolled out, flip the sheet of dough over the pie pan. Optional: Tuck the edges of the crust under themselves and Crimp or Flute (Use whatever technique suites your fancy.).
- If baking the shell empty: then bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes. (Note the crust is not going to get much color as it bakes- you will know its done when the outside is firm. If you wait until it browns then it will end up hard as a rock.