Almond Flour Pie Crust (gluten-free)

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.

Almond Flour Pie Crust (gluten-free)
Greasing the pan is not necessary when baking traditional wheat flour crusts. When baking with nut flours, I highly recommend it--or line the pan with parchment. The following crust tastes delicious straight out of the oven, but I like it even more on the second day.  Wrapped tightly and refrigerated, this crust will maintain its freshness for one week.

Yield: 1 pie crust
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  1. Grease a 9-inch pie dish very well, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a food processor and pulse several times.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla, and then scatter small pieces of coconut oil over top.  Pulse until the mixture forms a ball.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
Notes
  • 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.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/
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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.

Maple Pumpkin Pie (with optional GF almond crust)

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.

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Comments

  1. Ellen

    I baked this for a pumpkin pie yesterday and we ate it at a family dinner tonight. Delicious. I did use the crust protector as I noticed the almond flour does brown much more quickly than crusts made with regular flour. We liked the texture and that the crust tasted good in and of itself. It wasn’t just a tasteless base for a pie. Thanks for the helpful baking tips and the great recipe!

    Reply
  2. Mary Lou Keller

    I have to try this!! I am so reluctant to try traditional pie crust due to rolling it out and so on, but this looks right up my alley.

    I will let you know if I try it. I have nice little pie pumpkin in our cellar (ha ha basement) and plan to roast it like you had recommended a while ago.

    Mary Lou

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I hope you enjoy! I have a maple pumpkin pie recipe coming tomorrow, if interested. It’s especially good after sitting in the fridge overnight!

      Reply
      1. Ben KARLIN

        How on earth do you keep a fully cooked, ready-to-serve pumpkin pie overnight in the refrigerator?

        Reply
        1. Ann

          Ha ha. You could certainly eat it right away, Ben. But when serving pie for, say, Thanksgiving, I always bake a day or two in advance. I also think the flavor of linked pumpkin pie recipe improves as it rests.

          Reply
          1. AMA

            My mom had a fridge in the basement with a padlock. Nanaimo bars under lock and key- say no more.

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  4. monica

    would this crust work for making into savory meat hand pies without the sugar & vanilla of course? would adding 1 Tbsp. of water & 1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, be helpful additions to the dough make a flakier texture? How many 6 inch hand pies would I be able to make out of this one recipe. thank you

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Monica, I don’t think this particular recipe would work so well for hand pies, but I will link two other possibilities below. The first is my favorite GF pizza crust, although it is a softer dough so may be difficult to work with for hand pies. The second is a great basic pizza crust where I have successfully substituted my all-purpose GF flour blend that is on this site. You could likely use your favorite cup-for-cup mix in it’s place. That recipe should be enough for about 6 hand pies. I hope this helps!

      https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/gluten-free-pizza-crust/
      https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/gluten-free-grilled-pizza/
      And here is a link to a blend that I really like, if interested: https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/helpful_tips/all-purpose-gluten-free-flour-blend-2/

      Reply
        1. Ann Post author

          Hi Aimee, I think I would try the pizza crust. Like many gluten-free doughs, it’s on the sticky side which makes it a little harder to work with than traditional pizza dough. The flavor and texture once cooked, however, are excellent. If you try, I’d love to know how you make out!

          Reply
  5. soniaO

    This GF pie crust is the bomb! Thank you for sharing a truly flakey, delicious pie crust. I paired this with a Southern-style fudge pie, craving a pie from my childhood at the old Zim’s restaurant in San Francisco (closed long ago). Simply divine — and your GF crust is a keeper.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I’m thrilled this was a hit, and the thought of your fudge pie is making me hungry! Feel free to share the recipe.

      Reply
      1. soniaO

        I tweaked this recipe, subbing a basic GF flour (organic brown rice, potato flour, tapioca starch) for the wheat flour. I also add a large pinch of salt to your pie crust recipe to contrast with the fudge filling. This pie needs a small scoop of vanilla ice cream to cut the tooth achingly sweet filling. So good.

        Reply
  6. Cheryl Hutzell

    We are going to try your gf almond meal crust to make lemon bars. Will try to let you know how they turn out. Thanks for posting your hints.

    Reply
  7. Amy

    Your tip of liking the crust better the second day, after refrigerating it… Do you mean mix, press into pie plate, pre-bake 8-12 minutes, then refrigerate? Or, do you mean, make the completed pie, then refrigerate? Or, refrigerate after pressing into pie plate, before pre-baking? Thank you!!!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I think it’s better once the completed pie has been refrigerated overnight. Thanks for checking in, and if you try, I hope you like!

      Reply
  8. Mary

    I just popped this into the oven, not sure what I did wrong, it’s totally greasy. I made the dough into a ball and it was dripping oil. I put into the fridge for 10min hoping he coconut oil would solidify again but it didn’t. I pressed into the pie dish and there was a layer of oil over the whole thing which I poured off, then pressed with paper towel for a while. I only used 2 tbsp coconut oil, and made the almond meal myself which was powdery but dense. Is there maybe some oil from the almonds in factor here??

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      With only 2 tablespoons of oil to 2 cups of flour, it’s to believe it was dripping oil. I think you’re right that it must have something to do with the homemade almond meal. I have only used finely ground almond flour for this–and I haven’t ground it myself.

      Reply
  9. Amber Post author

    I have a standby, healthy pumpkin pie recipe that I have used many times. This year, I found a new one! The almond flour crust is more substantial than recipes I have used in the past and has an awesome nutty texture. I like that the filling in your maple pumpkin pie uses coconut milk (dairy free), and is extra smooth. All I can say is YUM! Delicious AND nutritious!

    Reply
  10. Naomi

    Going to try this for a bakewell tart so I can share a taste of home with my gluten allergic friend. Going to try it hand mixed though, since I don’t have a gluten-free food processor! Thank you for the recipe.

    Reply
  11. margaret

    I find this almond flour recipe makes tasty pastry but it crumbles too easily to be used as a normal pie crust in quiches or fruit pies. Any suggestions for making a low carb pie crust that behaves like normal short crust pastry would be appreciated

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I agree, Margaret. Nut flour-based crusts aren’t as versatile as a traditional crust–and I haven’t even attempted using this for a top crust. There are other options, but most are not low carb…

      Reply
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  13. Alecia Flores

    I made 1 & 1/2 times the recipe, using 1 whole egg & 1/8 cup of ‘lite eggs’, I pressed the dough into a 10″ pan and had enough left for a top crust, but I rolled it out between parchment paper & cling wrap, froze it for 6 minutes, and it worked fine.

    Reply
  14. Debra

    Would this almond meal crust freeze well? I would like to pre-prep for a special occasion.
    Do you think it would work well with a cheesecake filling?

    Reply
  15. Katie

    Have you ever tried whipping egg whites and folding them into the crust? I am trying to see how to make a really crisp crust and thought this might be the best way to do it!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I haven’t tried that, Katie, but I’d love to know how you make out if you do. You could be on to something!

      Reply
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  19. Terry Post author

    I greased the pan well as recommended–good suggestion as I never used to do that with “regular” crusts–and followed your directions exactly using your maple pumpkin pie filling. It was divine! Thank you for two wonderful recipes that created one memorable dessert! (Ate a piece for breakfast this morning, by the way!)

    Reply