This paleo pie crust has literally been a labor of love. I learned how to make pie crust from my mother at a very young age. Every Thanksgiving she made TONS of pie. Given all that she had to get done for the rest of the meal, I remember at an early age, she put me in charge of making all the crusts for those pies. Many hands make light work, so “to work” my hands began! The recipe and technique she used, she learned from her Home Economics teacher from when she was in junior high school. So it goes way back to around the early 1950’s, and it was full proof! Albeit totally different than any other pie crust recipe around.
Fast forward about 35 years, Thanksgiving 2013 we indulged in the standard pie crust fest. We were celebrating my angel momma at this point, it was our first Thanksgiving without her, so lots of tender memories about her were shared along with the pies!
When Thanksgiving rolled around last year, I made many attempts at making a Paleo pie crust and nothing I tried seemed worthy of what my mom would have considered a true pie crust, there were tears. Many of them in private. Pies are “Thanksgiving” to our family almost as much as the big turkey bird itself! So, to not be able to provide that tradition, and warm fuzzy of my mom, for my family was painful. I ended up making pies, with Paleo fillings and the standard crust my mom taught me so many years ago. We cut pieces of pie like always, only eating the insides and leaving the crust on the plate. It was not exactly the same, but gave us our “pie fix” I suppose.
Now, here we are, Thanksgiving 2015! I started experimenting a few weeks ago with pie crust and was anxious to see if using Otto’s Cassava Flour would be the game changer I was hoping for. We LOVED the tortillas we made with them, so I was optimistic that I would have great results! I started by just trying my mom’s recipe and using the same 1:1 ratio of standard wheat flour to Otto’s flour, it did work better than I’d expected. However, once cooked was just a bit tough so I knew that I’d have to tweak it a bit to get the texture and feel of what I was hoping for. I knew it was lacking some elasticity, so I began scouring the web to see what other’s had tried or not tried. Paleo baking is a lot like chemistry sometimes…gah!!
It has been a wonderful journey of exploration and education coming up with what I think is a winner recipe for pie crust. Nothing short of what I was expecting, our journey for nearly the last two years has been just that. A journey of healing, wellness and bonding for our family. I believe that my sweet angel momma was lingering around helping me figure this one out, she’s amazing like that. Always was in life and continues to be present from her Heavenly home.
Otto’s cassava flour…just not sure where to start. It’s made ALL the difference this year for our Thanksgiving! Because as I mentioned above, Thanksgiving = Pie for our family. So this year, we’re having it, Paleo pie – filling and CRUST!!! It will be an emotional day on Thursday when we pose for pics of pie this year and all the happy faces.
Otto’s cassava flour is a wonderful product and I’m anxious to try making many more things with it! My next exploration will probably be muffins with this amazing flour! Before we began our Paleo journey, I made muffins. Lots and lots of them. Almost opened a bakery because people loved them so muc. Stay tuned for that. I’m thinking it’ll be just as amazing!
Please enjoy this recipe and if you feel like there’s a short little brunette momma angel hanging around while you’re rolling this crust out, it’s probably my momma! Enjoy that too, she’s a wonderful lady!
paleo pie crustCourse: dessert, main dishCuisine: universalDifficulty: moderate
paleo pie crust, for all your pastry needs
1 cup Otto’s Natural Cassava Flour, well fluffed
2 tblsp arrowroot flour + additional for dusting
¼ tsp (opt) cinnamon
¼ tsp Redmond Real Salt
½ cup organic shortening or grass fed butter (let butter set at room temp for about 10 minutes, cut into about 1″ pieces) can sub ghee or even coconut oil (would not recommend a vegan butter)
1 lg egg, whisked
¼ cup room temp water
1 lg egg, whisked in separate bowl for egg wash (opt)
2 sheets of parchment paper
- For a cooked crust like lemon meringue or fresh fruit, preheat oven to 400° and for filled crust, refer to recipe being used.
- Mix together, cassava flour, arrowroot, cinnamon (if using) & salt.
- Drop shortening (or fat of choice) into a bowl. Use a pastry to cut fat into dry ingredients until incorporated and resembles coarse crumbs.
- Pour whisked egg into flour mixture and work together with a wooden spoon until it again resembles a coarse kind of crumb mixture. Or if you need to, use your fingertips, sometimes this is just easier.
- Add water to the mix and work it into the crumb mixture, add more water a little at a time if needed. You should be able to touch it and not have dough stick to your fingers, so you can form it into a ball.
- Lay down one sheet of parchment paper and dust with a bit of cassava flour. Place your dough ball in the center and flatten slightly into a disc and dust with more flour. Place a second sheet of parchment on top and slowly begin to roll out the dough into a large circle.
- For COOKED CRUST: Roll out thin, you’ll want a quick bake on it, so try to get it to around ¼” – pull back top sheet of parchment and dust with more flour if needed and continue to roll. Once it’s the size you need for your pie tin, remove top sheet and place pie plate upside down on top. Carefully turn over and flip the crust on top of the pie plate, don’t worry if it tears a bit, this dough is very forgiving! Remove the parchment paper and press any tears together and finish the crust edge however you’d like. Using the tines of a fork, poke holes on the bottom and around the sides of the crust to allow for steam to release during baking. I like to sprinkle mine with a bit of cinnamon and coconut sugar, but this is optional. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and brush the egg wash around the edge of the crust. This will give it a nice brown finish, but is also optional. Bake for another 10-12 minutes or until brown.
- For FILLED CRUST: Roll out to just over ¼” or so – pull back top sheet of parchment and dust with more arrowroot or cassava flour if needed and continue to roll. Once it’s the size you need for your pie tin, remove top sheet and place pie plate upside down on top. Carefully turn over and flip the crust on top of the pie plate, don’t worry if it tears a bit, this dough is very forgiving! Remove the parchment paper and press any tears together and finish the crust edge however you’d like. Follow recipe directions for baking. After about 45 minutes, you may need to cover the edge of the pie crust to keep it from browning too much.