I know how easy it is to reach for that ready-made pie crust and I get it, it’s convenient and less time consuming than making your own, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t really add anything to your pies. In fact most people I know seem to dislike the crust and I can’t blame them, usually pastry crusts are bland and almost floury tasting, and they seem to be almost an afterthought or merely a vessel for the filling. I wanted to change that and I’m happy to say this recipe did just that and proved to be the turning point of pie crust dislike in my home.
If I had to describe it, I’d say that this pie crust is honestly a borderline cookie crust, or perhaps I should classify it as being more of a marriage between a pastry and a graham cracker crust but with a wonderful flavor. Either way, it’s incredibly easy to make and works well for both fruit (like my heavenly Homemade Apple Pie pictured above) and custard pies such as my Pumpkin Pie. In our family it’s our go-to pie crust for our desserts that uses just 9 ingredients and is as simple as mixing everything together. Best of all, it’s clean eating, gluten-free, and paleo friendly!
The ingredients needed for this pie crust include super fine blanched almond flour, coconut flour, melted butter, an egg, coconut sugar, cinnamon powder and vanilla extract.
Now, a note about the butter for those on the paleo diet: while I use a regular salted butter, opt instead to use clarified butter also known as ghee (which is butter with the milk solids -which aren’t paleo – removed) that is preferably organic/grass-fed. Now can you make your own clarified butter? You absolutely can by melting the butter in a pan, skimming off the foam that floats to the top, letting the melted butter simmer on low until the milk solids settle to the bottom of the pan and then straining the separated butter through a cheese cloth so that you’re left with a golden liquid that is clarified butter.
You can also use coconut oil in place of the butter for a wholly dairy free option, but note that doing so will change the flavor profile of the crust.
In one bowl we’ll combine all our dry ingredients, and in another we’ll mix our wet ingredients together until fully blended. Be sure that the melted butter is cool to the touch before adding in the egg so that it doesn’t cook the egg.
Add your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once and mix it together.
The mixture will be crumbly at first…
…But as you continue to mush it all together, a dough will form. Once there is no more almond flour showing, your dough is done.
At this point if you’re making your crumble/streusel topping, you should reserve ¼-⅓ cup of the dough and set it aside. I’ll show you how easy the crumble topping is to make in just a moment…
Finally, press your dough into a lightly greased pie tin and dock it with a fork to create air vents that will prevent it from puffing up and making uneven bubbles when we give it a quick 12-15 minutes pre-bake in the oven. This is necessary to help the dough set and be firm enough to be filled with our moist filling be it an Apple Pie or a Pumpkin Pie or a berry pie.
After pre-baking, our crust is ready to be filled and baked, full of pie potential, it’s up to you to turn it into whatever tasty treat your heart desires.
Now, let’s talk about the crumb topping. This topping is perfect for any fruit pie and is made primarily from the crust dough. To make it we’ll need the reserved 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the crust’s dough to which we’ll be adding more almond flour and some maple syrup (as well as extra spices – I recommend cinnamon and nutmeg – if desired) to it. This will make just enough to cover a 9-inch pie while still giving a reasonably thick crust coverage.
Add all the ingredients for the crumb/streusel topping together and work it with your hand to combine it. Once combined, break it down into crumbles. If there isn’t enough, you can always add a touch more almond flour and/or maple syrup.
Sprinkle your crumb topping over the filling in your pre-baked pie crust and bake for 15-20 minutes or as directed, being sure to keep an eye on it to ensure it’s cooking and browning evenly and not burning.
Once done, the tops of the crumbs will have a golden brown touch to them and it will add a fantastic texture to the soft fruit and almost chewy cookie-like crust of your fruit pies as well as looks so pretty 😍
Give this clean eat pie crust a try and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. It’s a lot easier to make than most pastry doughs and it is both convenient and delicious compared to most traditional pie crusts out there in my totally-not-biased-view!
Almond Flour Pie Crust (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Clean Eating)
For Pie Crust:
For the Pie Crust:
- Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, salt, and nutmeg and cinnamon (if using) in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
- In another bowl mix together the melted butter, egg and vanilla. (Ensure that the butter is cool to the touch so as to not cook the egg).
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix until a soft dough forms and no almond flour is left dry.
- NOTE: If making the crumble topping, reserve ¼-⅓ cup of the dough and set aside.
- Press your dough into a pie tin (lightly greased with coconut oil or any oil or butter of choice) and dock it (poke it) with a fork before baking at 350°F for 12-15 minutes as a means of prebaking and setting your crust. Let your crust cool before filling.
- Fill and bake as directed with your choice of filling.
For the Crumble Topping:
- Combine the reserve ¼ - ⅓ cup of pie crust dough with 6-7 tbsp of blanched almond flour, maple syrup and cinnamon powder.
- Once combined break down into smaller crumbs using your fingertips or two forks. (note that your crumb will be slightly moist and sticky but should crumb easily)
- Sprinkle the crumb topping over your pie and bake as directed.
- Your dough may be a bit crumbly at first but as you keep mixing it will come together.
- I've found that using the back of a spatula to press and drag through the dough helps to mix the dough and allows it to form much quicker.
- Once you set your dough into your pie dish, chill it for 10 minutes before (pre)baking.
- If you do not want the crumb topping then use the pie crust dough as needed without reserving the 1/4 -1/3 cups of it. It will lead to your crust being on the slightly thicker side.
- This recipe makes enough for a standard 9" pie tin.
- Estimations for the nutritional info is calculated only for the pie crust and does not include the additional ingredients (almond flour, maple syrup and cinnamon powder) for the topping.