The perfect pie deserves the perfect crust. Traditional rolled crusts can be daunting for many, and some simply can’t eat the wheat flour. Whatever the reason, this nutty, cookie-like crust is a breeze to whip up–grain-free with a hearty dose of protein, too.
To make this recipe more similar to a classic pie crust (as opposed to a graham cracker crust) I adapted my original almond crust recipe in several ways. Importantly, I added an egg to mimic the protein in the traditionally-used wheat flour. An egg was the key to success in this pizza crust, so why not in a pie crust? I have also tried this recipe with two egg whites (the crust sticks more to the pie dish this way, but tastes virtually the same) and varying amounts of sugar. For a sweeter crust, you could add another tablespoon or two of sugar. For a savory pie, the sugar should be eliminated.
As an extra note, I’ve also experimented with this crust by substituting a portion of the almond flour with Bob’s Red Mill’s hazelnut flour–which complements pumpkin pie beautifully. There is a crust recipe using all hazelnut flour on the Bob’s Red Mill package, which I tried when I was working on a new pumpkin pie filling. The package recipe tastes amazing but is a bit crumbly when cut. I recommend trying if you aren’t striving for a perfect-looking wedge of pie. Additionally, I once baked the hazelnut crust recipe with coconut oil in place of the butter and coconut milk instead of the cream for a dairy-free guest.
We especially love this crust paired with Maple Pumpkin Pie.
Yields 1 pie crust.
- 2 cups (225 grams) blanched almond flour (almond meal--which often has bits of the dark brown skins in it--works but makes a heartier, more rustic crust)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional; omit for a savory crust)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (chilled briefly to firm up, if necessary; may substitute cold butter)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional; omit for savory crust)
- Grease a 9-inch pie dish very well, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a food processor and pulse several times.
- Add the egg and vanilla, and then scatter small pieces of coconut oil over top. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball.
- Press the dough evenly into a 9-inch pie dish, working the dough all the way up the sides. (For added ease, I like to press the dough ball into a flat disc first.)
- With a fork, prick the crust several times over the bottom and sides, and then bake for 8-12 minutes. If you are baking again with a filling, bake the crust until the bottom is just dry. If you are adding a filling that does not require further baking, bake until the crust is lightly golden around the edges.
- When using this crust recipe with a filling that requires a second baking, I recommend a "crust protector" as crusts that include nut flours tend to brown much more quickly than standard all-purpose flour crusts. To fashion your own crust protector, simply fold a 12-inch square of foil into quarters. Cut a 7-inch hole out of the center. Unfold and loosely mold the foil over the edges of the pie. If the foil is too close to the filling, trim so that it does not touch. Keep this on the crust edges for the entire baking time.
This almond flour crust recipe can be pressed into the pie plate instead of rolled out and transferred and will fit a 9-inch pie plate perfectly.
This Maple Pumpkin Pie is pictured in a hazelnut crust, but the filling is equally delightful in the above recipe for Almond Flour Pie Crust.