• Thanksgiving Pecan Pie

    Post image for Thanksgiving Pecan Pie

    by Ellen on November 24, 2010 · 0 comments

    Gluten Free Thanksgiving Pecan Pie. I never thought I would string those five words together in a sentence and live to tell about it.

    Pecan Pie is one of my top five favorite desserts in the entire world. And the fact that I haven’t had any for at least as long as I’ve been gluten free, which is since November 2006, you can imagine how much I was jones’in for a piece of it. It was worth the wait. You see the piece cut out of the picture above? That’s what I ate for dinner tonight. I couldn’t help myself. The caramel, gooey inside of the pie filling contrasted with the crunchiness of the toasty pecans made me swoon with delight. Thanksgiving delight. Thanksgiving gluten free delight.

    And no, there isn’t a second Pecan Pie waiting in the wings to serve for Thanksgiving tomorrow. The house we’re traveling to for our gluten free Thanksgiving feast has all the gluten-filled bases covered, so we are cooking tonight and tomorrow morning, and will bring our gluten free Thanksgiving feast (and dairy free too) with us. No need to bring the entire pie, and since I’ll be cutting out a few pieces for our traveling feast, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to cut a piece tonight and make sure it’s good enough for tomorrow:).

    This is an interesting crust. I know what you’re thinking. Kind of like “Oh, what an interesting baby that is!”. No, not that kind of interesting. Having only made this crust one time, I would say that it is a hybrid – a cross between a rolled out crust and a pressed in crust. If you know this going in, you’ll be less surprised to find out that after you roll the dough with a rolling pin between two pieces of parchment paper and then attempt to get the dough from the parchment paper into the pie plate, chances are you’ll need to begin pressing the dough into place. At least that’s what I found to be true. But heck, it worked, so it’s a keeper in my book. Oh yeah, and the crust tasted good too.

    Pecan Pie
    click here to print recipe

    Gluten Free Pie Crust:

    1/3 cup sorghum flour
    1/3 cup sweet rice flour
    1/3 cup potato starch
    2 tbsp blanched almond flour
    2 tbsp cornstarch
    3/4 tsp xanthan gum
    1/2 tsp guar gum
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold Earth Balance butter, cut into small pieces
    2 – 3 tbsp ice cold water
    extra gluten free sweet rice flour to dust the parchment paper

    Filling:

    5 tbsp Earth Balance butter (from the sticks)
    1 cup light brown sugar
    3/4 cup light corn syrup
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    2 cups halved pecans, toasted
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    3 eggs, lightly beaten

    For the crust:
    Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. and pulse a few times until the mixture is blended.

    With the machine running, add the Earth Balance and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand, with some of the butter remaining in pea-sized pieces. Add the first tablespoon of water and pulse several times. Repeat with the second tablespoon of water, pulsing several times. I would normally say that when you squeeze some of the mixture between your thumb and pointer finer, if it holds together, you won’t need any additional water. However, I think that my baked crust, while delicious, could have used a little more moisture, so when I make this again, I will add a third tablespoon of water to the basic dough.

    Pour the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and gather it into a mass. Wrap the plastic around the dough, covering it completely. Pat the dough into a disc and refrigerate it for two hours.

    Unwrap the dough and place it on a piece of floured parchment paper. Cover it with another piece of parchment paper. I found that this whole process worked best when the bottom piece of parchment paper was placed on a silicone pastry mat. This prevented the parchment paper from slipping when I rolled out the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is about 14″ in diameter.

    At this point, there are undoubtedly different schools of thought for how to get the dough into the pie plate. My method, while a little Three Stooges like, consisted of removing the top layer of parchment paper, sliding my left hand under the remaining piece of parchment paper, using my right hand to place the pie plate upside down on the dough, and then gingerly but quickly flipping the dough with my left hand into the pie plate, the bottom of which was being held with my right hand. You get that, yes?

    I then peeled the remaining piece of parchment paper off. In doing so, a small amount of the dough came away from the pie plate – I used that to patch what had fallen off.

    This is where the artist in you comes out. And it’s where the hybrid method of gluten free pie crust recipes come into play. While the dough had initially been rolled out, at this point, I found it necessary to use the dough that had fallen off to patch the parts of the crust that needed filling in. And I also took the opportunity to pinch the edges of the dough between my thumb and pointer finger, making a nice crimped edge. Chill for an hour.


    Place a piece of parchment paper on the dough and line it with either dried beans or pie weights. This is done to keep the bottom from puffing out when you blind-bake or prebake your pie. Then bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

    For the filling:

    Combine the Earth Balance, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan. Continue to stir while it comes to a boil over medium heat. Allow it to boil for one minute, remove from the heat, stir in the pecans and the vanilla.

    Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and whisk until it is well incorporated. Place the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the crust.

    Bake for 45 minutes. Halfway through the baking, check the edges of the crust and if they begin to get too dark, cover with aluminum foil or a pie shield.

    A few of my other Gluten Free Pie Recipes:
    Asian Pear Galette
    Apple Pie

    Other Gluten Free Pie Recipes from around the internet:
    Art of Gluten-Free Baking – Pumpkin Pie
    Gluten Free Easily – Crustless Pumpkin Pie
    Whole Living – Sweet Potato Pie
    Gluten Free Goddess – Pumpkin Pie with Praline and Coconut-Pecan Crust

    Enjoy. And Happy Thanksgiving!



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