Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gluten Free, Vegan Pie Crust

Thanksgiving is arriving soon. And while Thanksgiving is currently the farthest thing from my mind, other people are thinking about it. Recently a friend asked - how does one make a gluten-free and vegan pie crust? I told her as I'm telling you - it's very easy. This recipe below is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens (I still use their cookbooks on a regular basis, gluten-fee or not).

I have had fairly good luck using a rice and chickpea (High Protein) flour blend. I find that chickpea flour is essential in pie crust for taste and texture (it also makes the dough pliable and easy to work with), but some people really don't care for the taste of chickpea that case, a simple All Purpose Sorghum Blend will work fine. I do advise against using rice flour without the addition of chickpea flour as chickpea flour moderates the grittiness of rice flour. My best advice is to chill the dough before rolling and don't overwork it. Now get baking!

1 1/4 cups High Protein Flour Blend
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup palm shortening or Earth Balance Dairy Free, Soy Free margarine
1/4 cup cold water
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and the salt. Cut in the shortening or margarine with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles pea-sized meal. Add the cold water and vinegar all at once and stir until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of wax paper. Knead two or three times and form into a ball, dusting with a little flour as needed if the dough is too sticky. At this point you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for about an hour before rolling (but you don't have to... I often don't have time for this step so I skip it). Place another piece of wax paper on top of the dough. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. Roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 12 inch circle, or about an inch past the edges of your pie plate.

Carefully peel the top layer of wax paper from the dough. Set your pie plate next to the dough. Then with one hand carefully slide your hand under the dough. With your other hand lift the dough and turn it quickly upside down onto the pie plate, centered as best you can, so that the wax paper is on top. You can position the dough slightly, pressing the dough into the pie plate. Carefully peel away the wax paper from the dough. Don't worry if the dough tears, it is easily fixed.

Once the wax paper has been peeled away, finish pressing the dough into the pie plate. Repair any tears with your fingers as needed by pressing the dough together. Most likely the dough will fall away around the sides of the pie plate, at least it does for me as I like a thin crust. This is okay. Just take a knife and finish trimming the crust around the pie plate.

Here is where it gets a little different. You will not be able to roll the edges of the crust underneath itself and in fact, you don't want to as it will be much too thick. Simply press the dough down a bit into the pie plate to make a ridge all around the edges of the pie crust. Flute the edges with the tines of a fork or with your thumb and finger. Bake according to your pie recipe. Makes enough pastry for a single-crust pie. For a double-crust pie, double the ingredients.

Ta-da...gluten free and vegan pie easy as pie! (Sorry, I could not resist.)


Nicole said...

Looks good! I'm horrible with fluting the edges but as long as it tastes good, I don't complain too much. :)

I can't do chickpea flour. I've tried and it's not working. I just made Cybele Pascal's pumpkin pie crust recipe for the first time and it was very, very good. I used a combination of filling recipes for a pumpkin "pie" that was GF, soy/dairy and egg free. Turned out great! I've missed pumpkin pie so I'm so excited.

Erin said...

I will have to get that cookbook if only for a good egg-free pumpkin pie recipe. Replacing the egg with starch like I've seen others doing doesn't sound appealing to me. I'll have to go to the bookstore and flip through her book. Thanks for the head's-up. :)

Nicole said...

Just a note. I used her book for the crust, not the filling. I combined two recipes for the filling and turned out really good. Cook 1/2 c millet and let cool. Prepare crust and let cool. Filling: 15 oz pumpkin, cooked millet, 1 c canned coconut milk*, 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/4 c agave nectar, 1 tsp cinnamon and vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp ginger and salt, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and cloves. Put in high speed blender until very smooth (I used vitamix). Pour into crust and chill overnight.

*The pie was slightly runnier than I'd like on my first trial run so I'm using less next time.

But thumbs up from all who ate it - my kids to my "normal" eating husband and parents. :)

Erin said...

Nicole - millet? That's very interesting. Thanks for sharing that, I'll have to try it! :)

Nicole said...

Crazy, huh? But it's the binder (it thickens in the fridge even more which does make sense). I found that off Ali's blog, whole life nutrition kitchen. But I liked the taste of another pie recipe so I played around and combined the two and used Cybele's pie crust. And there you go. Yum!

Sophie said...

Whatan aeasy and georgous gf & vegan pie crust!!

Thanks so much for sharing this with us!


Jess said...

Just wanted to let you know I've used your recipe twice with great success! The dough is a bit difficult to work with - sticks to the wax paper and once on the top of the pie, difficult to stretch - but other than that it behaves and looks and tastes just like crust with wheat. My gluten free friend almost cried tears of joy when she had my apple pie last week, she hasn't had pie in 6 years! Thank you so much for this detailed recipe.

Erin said...

Hi Jess, thanks for your comment. I'm so glad the crust worked well for you, and that your friend enjoyed your pie! :)

acceptance with joy said...

Thanks for the recipe! making apple pies right now and I can tell already that this will be the best gluten free crust I have tried, yet.

Erin said...

Oh, I can't wait to make apple pie! The weather just needs to cool a little bit more...