This healthy pie crust is so good no one will believe it's gluten-free, dairy-free, AND oil-free! Even if you don't *need* a pie crust with these characteristics, you'll fall in love with this one because it's the perfect combination of easy and delicious! One bowl, no fancy equipment, and no need to keep everything cold. Perfect for both sweet and savory recipes.
Why You're Going to LOVE it
This almond flour crust has me SO excited about pies! Can you tell? My mind is swimming with possibilities - lemon, coconut, chocolate, pumpkin, pear, salted chocolate pecan, and even healthy pecan pie! And then there are the savory goals: tomato, kale, pot pie, quiche.
Before we get into the easy step by step process, let me summarize for you exactly why I love this crust recipe and think you will, too!
- It contains no butter, oil or shortening yet still tastes buttery and rich.
- It looks just like a traditional, white flour pie crust. If you're serving skeptical family and friends, you can imagine why this is important. The white rice flour and tapioca starch blend with the tan-colored almond flour to create the lovely, soft white color everyone is used to. And the natural fat in the almond flour creates a flaky, irresistible, almost shortbread-like texture.
- When I say this pie crust is easy, I'm not exaggerating. Even some experienced bakers find pie crusts intimidating, but this one will be your new best friend. There's no need to pre-chill the ingredients, bowls, utensils, rolling pin, etc. And you don't have to rush or worry about your hands warming up the dough. You also don't have to worry about overworking the dough since we're not dealing with gluten.
- No need for pie weights! While traditional pie crusts tend to slump and slide down the sides of the pie plate during prebaking, this one stays exactly where you put it.
- The dough is very forgiving. You can literally just tear off pieces of dough to patch holes or imperfections.
- Use your favorite granulated sweetener, such as coconut, date, or organic cane sugar. Omit the sugar if using this crust with a savory recipe.
- Other gluten-free pie crusts made with 1:1 flour blends can be bland and gummy (and they require added fat), but the texture provided by almond flour is spot on.
- There's no need to oil the pie plate thanks to the natural fat content in almond flour.
- And if you're okay with gluten and follow a whole-food plant-based diet, you can replace the white rice flour with a whole grain flour like spelt or whole wheat.
How to Measure Almond Flour
Even though this crust is seriously easy, we are still baking. For a successful pie crust, it's important to measure accurately and pay attention as you move through the steps.
For the easiest prep and most consistent results every time, I highly recommend using a kitchen scale. I use this affordable Escali digital scale. It's currently $25 on Amazon, and there are plenty of other inexpensive options out there, too.
If you don't have a scale, thankfully, measuring almond flour is different than measuring other flours. So it's pretty easy to get an accurate amount even without a scale. Instead of whisking the flour and then spooning it into the measuring cup, like you would with all-purpose flour, measure almond flour like you would brown sugar. Scoop it up, and then lightly pack it into the measuring cup.
Step By Step Tutorial
If you're still feeling intimidated, be sure to watch the video to see the whole process in action (5 min).
Step 1: Whisk together the dry ingredients - almond flour, white rice flour (or substitute), tapioca starch, salt, and sugar, if using.
Step 2: Add 4 Tbsp of water, and mix well with a large spoon. Then add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of water, and stir again. The dough should look crumbly and moist, but when squeezed together with your hand, it won't completely hold together just yet.
Step 3: If needed, add just 1 more tablespoon of water and stir again. For me, it always takes 6 or 7 tablespoons of water to reach the proper consistency. At this point the dough might remind you of sugar cookie dough (or maybe even Play-Doh), and when you squeeze a handful of it, it should look smooth and completely hold together.
If the dough still seems a bit crumbly, add half a tablespoon of water, and mix again. If you accidentally add too much water, mix in more almond flour.
Step 4: Form the dough into a ball.
Step 5: Place a piece of parchment paper (about 14 inches long) on the countertop. Place the dough ball on the parchment and use your palm to flatten it into a thick disc.
Step 6: As the outer edges crack, use your hands to gently smooth the cracks and reinforce the edges. Now you're ready for the rolling pin!
Step 7 & Troubleshooting:
Slowly roll the dough with firm and steady pressure, from the inside toward the outer edges. Keep rolling, inside to out, moving around the dough until you have a circle about 12 inches in diameter (this is large enough for a 9-inch deep dish pie plate).
- If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, sprinkle a little almond flour on top of the dough, and spread it around with your hand.
- If you realize the dough is too crumbly once you start working with it, return it to the bowl and mix in 1 more tablespoon of water. *Remember, you don't have to worry about over-mixing it because we're not dealing with gluten. So really get in there with your hand, and distribute the water!
Step 8: Pick up the parchment paper and flip the dough onto the pie plate (no need to grease the pan). Slowly peel away the parchment. Don't worry if there are a few holes, tears or imperfections. They can easily be patched with scrap pieces of dough.
Step 9: Without stretching or tearing the dough, use your fingers to gently press it all the way into the corners of the pie plate. Use a knife to trim off excess dough around the edges.
Step 10: Make it pretty! Decorate the edges of your pie crust any way you like. I typically use the knuckle-crimp method because it's so easy. Rotate the pie plate as you work your way around. The dough is very soft and forgiving, so you can use your fingers to smooth the tops and edges of the crimp as much as you need to.
Here's a great tutorial for various pie crust decorating methods: How to Crimp Pie Crust from Food52
And now you have a beautiful, oil-free, healthy vegan pie crust! Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the crust before baking.
For a pie with a no-bake filling, bake the pie crust in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until crisp and golden. Cool completely before filling.
For pies that will be baked, like pumpkin or pecan, prebake the crust for about 10 minutes before adding the filling. For pies with long bake times, like closer to an hour, a 5 minute prebake will suffice. Cover the crust edges with foil if it begins to brown too much.
Can the dough be frozen or made in advance?
Absolutely! It can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Wrap the dough well to maintain moisture.
It's also freezer-friendly. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then roll out and use as desired.
Use this healthy pie crust with:
More ways to use tapioca flour:
I hope I've inspired you to make your own vegan, gluten-free, healthy pie crust!
If you try this recipe I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and give it a star rating to let everyone know how your pie turned out. And if you're feeling social, tag a photo on instagram with @myquietkitchen.
Vegan Gluten-Free Pie Crust (Easy & Oil-Free)
- 1 ½ cups fine almond flour (168 g) If not using a scale, measure almond flour like you would brown sugar; pack it into the measuring cup.
- ½ cup white rice flour (70 g) If you don't need GF, you can replace this with a whole grain flour like spelt or white whole wheat.
- ½ cup tapioca starch (60 g) Sometimes called tapioca flour.
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt (use ½ tsp for savory pies)
- 2 Tbsp organic cane sugar (omit for savory pies) Or sub another granulated sugar such as date, coconut, or brown sugar.
- 5 to 7 Tbsp water
- In a large bowl whisk together the almond flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch, salt, and sugar.
- Add 4 tablespoons of water, and use a large spoon to thoroughly combine. Drizzle in 1 more tablespoons of water, and mix again. Refer to Notes section below and/or photos and video for help determining proper consistency. Be judicious with the water at this point. Add another 1 to 2 tablespoons of water (1 Tbsp at a time), if needed. When the dough is thoroughly moist and holds together when squeezed with your hand, form it into a ball.
- Place the dough on a large piece of parchment paper (about 13 inches long). Use your palm to gently flatten the dough into a disc. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle with almond flour.
- With a rolling pin, use firm and steady pressure and slow movements to roll the dough into an even, 12-inch circle.
- Pick up the parchment paper and carefully flip the dough onto a 9-inch glass pie plate (if using a metal tin, bake time may be reduced). Slowly peel away the parchment. Without stretching the dough, use your fingers to gently press it into the edges of the pie plate. Patch any holes or tears with excess dough from the edges.
- Trim and decorate the edges of the pie crust as desired (refer to post above for tips). Use a fork to poke vent holes in the bottom of the crust.
- For pies with a no-bake filling, bake the pie crust in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 28 to 33 minutes or until crisp. Cool before filling.For pies that will be baked, like pumpkin or pecan, prebake the crust for 5 minutes before adding the filling. Cover the edges of the crust with foil or a pie shield if it begins to brown too much.
Tips & Troubleshooting:
- If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, sprinkle a little almond flour on top of the dough, and spread it around with your hand. Another option is to place a second piece of parchment paper on top.
- If you realize the dough is too crumbly once you start rolling it out, return it to the bowl and mix in 1 more tablespoon of water. *Remember, you don't have to worry about over-mixing it because we're not dealing with gluten. So really get in there with your hand, and distribute the water throughout.