Friday, August 21, 2009

Gluten Free Cooking Adventures + Pie Crust Recipe

I'm going to be honest. I've never intentionally made a gluten free meal. I never "had" to. Well, we made a new friend, JL, and he is gluten-intolerant. Also lactose intolerant, which lucky for him is not an issue whatsoever in a vegan kitchen.

I can relate now to people who try to cook for vegans and don't know what they are doing. As a cook, I view it as a challenge and a chance to get my feet wet, not a chore. I think as a vegan, I can sympathize. (Do they really have to put whey in an otherwise vegan cracker/soup/bread? Why is there gluten in almost all soy sauce?) I think instead of lamenting, we should COOK! And once you look into it, you may find foods you never knew you liked. If any GF vegans want to post resources in the comments section, feel free!

I will share another secret. I totally made this crust up and hoped for the best. I feel it turned out well, and I would make it for a pie whether or not it was gluten free. It tasted like a mild shortbread, in my opinion. It could work for pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, etc.

Gluten Free Pie Crust (vegan)

1/2 c whole oats
1/2 c whole unpeeled raw almonds (can probably used roasted almonds)
2- 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar (I used brown sugar)
3/4 c rice flour
1/4 c potato starch
1/2 c cold vegan margarine (make sure it's gluten free. Shortening can probably work, too)

In a food processor, chop the almonds with the oats until fairly fine. I like a little texture. Add sugar and pulse. Then add flours.

Cut the margarine into chunks and add. Process until even texture throughout. Mixture should hold when pressed together. If too dry, add a TINY amount of non-dairy milk or icewater.

Bake 10-15 min in a 400 degree oven. Crust will not be very golden, so don't overcook. It's a little cake-y when hot, but when cooled it's like a crust should be. This picture is a 9-inch plate.
If anyone wants to play with this recipe and report back, I'll post your findings and link to your blog if you have one. I think it would work fine with All Purpose Flour (would NOT be gluten free) and pecans.

In case you were wondering, I made the VegNews chocolate peanut butter cup pie. If using extracts, make sure they are GF. Tones is definitely (it's on my bottle) and I am 99% sure McCormick is.

Here is JL and Rocco (and my Kirby). Rocco is the dog on the left. He's 9 years old and very active and has a lot of zest! The dogs really like him!


Ashley said...

Yum!! Looks and sounds delish. said...

Awesome, I'm trying not to eat too much wheat so I'll be trying this soon!

Cindy said...

Looks so yummy! Where can I find the peanut butter cup pie recipe? Is it in one of the issues, or online? Thanks!

PamelaCooks said...

The pie is Peanut Butter Cup Pie (?) from VegNews magazine. If anyone can find the link, please post it here!

Amanda said...

Hi Pamela.... I just wanted to let you know that the vast majority of oats are NOT gluten-free due to cross contamination from gluten-containing grains (though oats themselves don't contain gluten). So if you want the crust to be truly GF (and safe for people with allergies) you have to check to make sure that the oats aren't contaminated. :)

I'm not sure where you live but in the USA there is at least one brand of certified GF oats available... just google gluten-free oats and you should be able to find them! (I live in NZ so don't know where/how to get them, sorry.)

I haven't come up with a GF pie crust recipe that's really worked, but one thing you should beware of is that they usually can't be rolled out like a regular crust and they tend to fall apart, due to not containing the binding agent of the gluten... so you may have to put the dough in the plate, then pat and "smoosh" it out to fit! BUT if you've got a good binding agent in the crust (like guar or xanthan gum) then it should, in theory, hold together after it has baked.

Hope this helps... I'm vegan and avoid gluten except for oats (which don't bother me as much) but I'm still learning too. Props to you for teaching yourself to bake GF for your friend! I agree that as vegans it's easier for us to relate to not being able to find foods suitable for our diets... being vegan AND gluten-intolerant is even more limiting! But at least it gives us an incentive to be even more creative in the kitchen! :)

- Amanda

PamelaCooks said...


Thanks so much for your tips! This month was my first ever foray into gluten free cooking. The oats I have say they are gluten free and they were just store brand, I think. Maybe coincidence.
If you have access to affordable GF oats, try mt pie crust and see if you like it.
Yeah, I did just pat it into the pan but I do most of my crusts like that anyway.
Thanks for scoping the blog and thank you for helping other readers as well!

Elana said...

That pie crust recipe is amazing. I got a new springform pan from KaTom, a restaurant equipment store, and I can't wait to try this out