*I do not receive payment for any recommendations listed in this blog post. I am simply stating what works for my household.
When it comes to the holidays, a few desserts draw googly eyed stares and a drooling mouth from family and friends. There’s apple pie, sweet potato pie, chocolate cake, pound cake, and pecan pie, to name a few. For my family, one of them is pecan pie! The worst thing to do is mess up a dessert that people love, but that sometimes happens when you have to eliminate an ingredient. For my family, it’s gluten (oh the horror!).
Because of gluten allergies in my family, I used to make two desserts and even two holiday dinners for my entire family (parents, sibling, etc.). After about three years of doing that, I had to stop. Cooking two meals was so time consuming, and I was incredibly tired by dinnertime. However, something else happened that made me stop. My family members, who were not gluten-free (GF), loved the GF dishes! That was my cue to stop working myself to exhaustion, and I changed the way I cooked holiday meals from that moment on. The blessing was that I used (and continue to use) a GF flour that everyone loves. With the wrong GF flour, unsuspecting family members can quickly taste the difference and ban you from cooking ever again. Therefore, it’s important to choose a flour that works for everyone, which takes some time (I have made some mistakes).
As you may know, gluten-free flour can taste very grainy and some brands have a horrible aftertaste. After testing multiple brands, I really like Cup4Cup GF flour. Many people recommend Bob’s Red Mill, which I am not against; I like that brand too, as well as King Arthur. However, I found Cup4Cup first, so that is what I stick with for most of my baking, but use what works for your taste buds.
For me, this brand of GF flour easily fools those who claim that they loathe GF products. It also has a 1:1 ratio, which makes it easy to use when following non gluten-free recipes. The easier, the better. This flour can be used for pancakes, cookies, added to cornbread dressing, and used in piecrust, of course. Once the piecrust is made, the filling is gluten-free as well.
So, the pie crust that I make is no different from any other buttery pie crust. The flour is simply different. You also do not need a food processor for this piecrust recipe because you will want everything forming together as much as possible. If you have never made piecrust before, this is great place to start. Let’s get to it.
Easy Pecan Pie with Gluten-free Pie Crust
- 1 Large Bowl For mixing the crust
- 1 Cup Measure
- 1 Pie Dish
- 3 cups Gluten free flour
- 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt Omit if using salted butter.
- 2 sticks Cold butter
- 1 Egg Yolk lightly beaten
- 10-12 tbsp Cold milk
- 1.5 cups Pecans chopped
- 1/2 cup Pecans halved
- 3 Eggs beaten
- 1 cup Molasses
- 1/2 cup Sugar or brown sugar
- 1 stick Butter Melted
- 3 tsp Vanilla Extract
Gluten Free Pie Crust
- In a bowl (minus the milk), mix all of your ingredients and blend well with your hands. Next, add the milk and mix again. You may use a wooden spoon this time if you do not want to get your hand dirty (but you will use your hands once more). Once the milk is well blended into the flour, use your hands to finish the rest of the kneading, but don’t knead too long. You will end with a semi crumbly crust that fits together. Think kinetic sand and that’s how the crust is different from a non-gluten free butter crust.
- Now, split the dough into two. Form a dough ball with the unused crust as best as you can and wrap it in plastic wrap. Then, place it in a freezer bag and pop it into the freezer, unless you are making a second pie. With the remaining dough, take handful of it and place it in the middle of the pie dish. Then use your fingers to press down on the crust, which will make it spread. Add a bit more crust each time and spread it in the pie dish. By the time that you are done, the pie pan should be covered.
- Finally, crimp the edges as best as you can (if you like the crimped edges). Bake the crust in a preheated 350-degree oven for12-15 minutes. Now, the crust is ready to use. Let’s move onto the pecan filing.
Pecan Pie Filling
- Pour all of the ingredients into a bowl, minus the halved pecans, and stir until everything is well blended. *Some recipes call for placing the chopped pecans at the bottom of the piecrust to form a pecan layer, which is perfectly all right. You choose based on preference.
- Next, pour the mixture into the piecrust. Top it with the ½ cup of halved pecans, arranging them in a circle. Bake the pie in a pre-heated350-degree oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, tent some aluminum foil over the pie and bake again for an additional 40 minutes. Let the pie cool for at least one hour so that it finishes setting and then serve. Voila!
The piecrust will form a semi-thin layer along your pie dish; therefore, you do not get a heavy crust in your mouth. This component really helps if you are using a GF brand of flour with an aftertaste. The pie filling will overpower the flour aftertaste.
You can use brown sugar instead of regular sugar. Brown sugar, along with the molasses, will give your pie a very rich taste. It can also be a bit overpowering for some. I have made pies using both kinds of sugar and I enjoy them both, but I use regular sugar when cooking for others. If you use brown sugar, then you might not need the vanilla extract. Experiment with it.
Remember that this recipe makes two piecrusts. The unbaked piecrust can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Some people say that it can store for six months, but the sooner, the better! Be sure to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer bag before storing it. When you are ready to use it, let it thaw in the refrigerator, first.
If a pie recipe does not call for baking the crust first, then you do not have to do so. Bake the entire assembled pie at once, if the recipe says to.
Enjoy and happy holidays!