It’s week 2 of A Gluten-Free Holiday and the theme is Thanksgiving Favorites— from beverages, appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and side dishes, to luscious desserts. In the dessert category, can you think of Thanksgiving without thinking of pie? We can’t in my family … we LOVE pies! Mr. GFE is always singing “P.I.E. spells pie, pie,” when the holidays roll around, or just about any time pie makes its appearance. Like I said, we love pies … even enough to sing about them. But what about pie crusts after one goes gluten free? How does one deal with them? Well, I’ve shared before what a life-changing moment it was when I found out that I could add ¼ cup of gluten-free flour mix to just about any pie recipe to make it crustless. The beauty of crustless pies is that not only are they easy, but nobody eating them ever misses the crust. If you don’t tell them, there’s no crust, they don’t notice. These pies just sort of stand on their own merit—yes, pun intended.
My Crustless Pumpkin Pie is the most popular post here at gfe, but then there’s also Easy Crustless Pecan Pie, Crustless Coconut Pie and another crustless pie recipe of mine will soon be appearing over at Tia’s (Glugle Gluten Free). Plus, using a slightly different pour-over method, there’s Easy, Crustless Apple Pie (Mir even made this recipe using peaches). Sometimes though we want a crust for our pies. Yes, you can run to Whole Foods or another gluten-free friendly grocery store and buy a prepared gluten-free pie crust, but what’s the fun in that? You lose control over what’s actually in your pie crust. Gluten free, yes, but maybe there are some other ingredients you don’t want or are intolerant to. I didn’t use such prepared crusts before I went gluten free, why would I want to now?
The pie crust method that I used instead and the one that I still use for the times when I don’t want to take the crustless route is a gluten-free Never-Fail No-Roll Press-In Pie Crust. I briefly mentioned this pie crust when I shared my Cushaw (or Pumpkin) Pecan Pie over at Linda’s (Gluten-Free Homemaker) for her Squash Fest series. (By the way, Linda is hosting the Make a Gluten-Free Pie Challenge for her Gluten-Free Wednesdays event his month, so be sure to link up any of your pie or pie crust recipes the next two weeks.) The Cushaw Pecan Pie is shown below with its gluten-free Never-Fail No-Roll Press-In Pie Crust.
This pie crust is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan, soy free, nut free, and even rice free if you use a gluten-free flour mix that does not contain rice. Note that it is a bit different from a traditional rolled pie crust in taste and texture. I’ll tell you though that nobody who has eaten pies with my press-in crust has ever disliked them. Furthermore, while Mr. GFE and Son would always leave those traditional pie crusts on their plates, they would eat every morsel of this pie crust … and still do, even though it’s gluten free. It just has that crunchy crumb-type appeal, and I tell you that in full disclosure. I know that not everyone likes crumbs. Personally, we find these pie crust crumbs to be a good thing, but if you are looking for that “perfect rolled pie crust look,” this won’t be the crust for you. (For that type of flaky, rolled pie crust, you can head over to Linda’s (Gluten-Free Homemaker) and check out her Gluten-Free Pie Crust or her Multi-Purpose Pastry Dough. Amy (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free), our lovely event hostess, also has a Flaky Pie Crust. I know just by looking at both of their photos—that their pie crusts are delicious.)
Let me tell you more about this gluten-free Never-Fail No-Roll Press-In Pie Crust. You sift the flour mix and mix most of the ingredients right in your pie plate/pan. Then as the directions indicate below, you use your hands to pat and press-in the pie crust right there, as you like. Then you fill as usual. You can’t mess this pie crust up, no matter how hard you try. Seriously. Don’t you love it? It’s gfe for sure!
Gluten-Free Never-Fail No-Roll Press-In Pie Crust Recipe
- 1 ½ cup gluten-free flour mix (I use my Two-Ingredient Flour Mix)
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- ¾ tsp xanthan gum (optional; see notes)
- Sift flour, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum into 9-inch pie plate.
- In a separate small bowl or large glass measuring cup, add milk to oil and stir vigorously with a fork until oil turns into little droplets. (I usually measure my oil in a glass measuring cup and then add the milk to that cup.)
- Pour milk and oil mixture over dry ingredients and mix. (I just use the same fork that I used to mix the oil and milk. It works great.)
- Pat crust out with hands, trying to make thickness the same throughout and extending crust as high as you would like on the sides of the pie plate.
- Fill and bake per your recipe.
I don't recommend blind baking this crust (without a filling).
Adapted from Kevin Roth’s Never Fail Pie Crust in Woman’s Club of King George Favorite Recipes Vol. 3 Cookbook
Do you need more recipe ideas for Thanksgiving? Check out my post on Thanksgiving—The GFE Way. There are ideas for salads (one even non-salad eaters will love), main dishes (turkey breasts made in the slow cooker—traditional and special), side dishes (including stuffing made using tortilla chips—super easy!), more desserts, and even delicious breakfast ideas (casserole, volcano pancake, or scrumptious muffins—you choose) for your overnight guests. Want to add a seasonal soup or serve that instead of a salad? This pumpkin soup might be just the thing you are looking for. Looking for a special ice cream to serve with those pies? Perhaps you want one that will impress, but not bog down your already busy schedule. Make this non-cooked gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, egg-free Honey Cinnamon Grand Marnier ice cream a few days in advance and have it ready to pull out of the freezer right before the pies are served. (It’s made with honey and a little alcohol, so it stays “scoopable.”) Your guest will be both delighted and impressed. Mine sure were last Thanksgiving.
Are you new to gluten free and/or still concerned about eating safely at group gatherings? You’ll want to read my 5 Tips for a Safe Gluten-Free Thanksgiving (or Group Event) as well as my gfe readers’ comments on this post.
Plan ahead for Thanksgiving leftovers, too. Are you “over” the stuffing by Day 2 or 3? Turn your stuffing into croutons. This method is the easiest way to make gluten-free croutons ever. Do you know you’ll have turkey left over and want a specific way to use it rather than winging it? How about making Turkey Tortilla Soup or Turkey Pot Pie? (Both recipes are gluten free, dairy free, and more.)
Still have a holiday quandary, check out my Recipes and/or post your question on my gfe Facebook page where you’ll be able to get not just my input, but other experienced gluten-free folks’ opinions as well.
Is it the schedule that gets to you when hosting Thanksgiving? Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) walks you through the big day and the days before, step by step, in her Ultimate Thanksgiving Prep Series. Kim’s kickoff post is here.
UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
Full disclosure: The cookbooks for this giveaway were graciously provided by the cookbook authors. However, opinions expressed in this post regarding these cookbooks are strictly my own.