When you’ve been gluten-free for awhile, you might have an arsenal of recipes you’ll make for Thanksgiving. (Then again, it’s alway a joy to try new recipes too.) But if you’re new at this, Thanksgiving is the hardest holiday of the year. All that gluten: stuffing, pumpkin pie, casseroles with cream of mushroom soup, rolls, gravy, cornbread, and all that cross-contamination, on top of it. I’ve heard tales of people eating nothing but salad for Thanksgiving dinner, to make sure they don’t get sick.
Pie. Pumpkin pie. Apple pie. Cranberry-ginger pie.
Please make pie. Please eat pie.
You can’t eat gluten? Oh heavens, you have no idea how lucky you are. Made with love and patience, gluten-free pie can be better than pie made with gluten.
Let us show you how we make it.
Let me emphasize a few things you saw there.
You want everything COLD. Much more important than gluten to a pie dough is cold. Weigh out the flours you’re going to be using and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes before you start. If you’re using the food processor, put the bowl and blade of the food processor in the freezer as well. Cube up your butter into 1-inch pieces and put them in the refrigerator. You want COLD. That’s what makes a pie crust flaky.
I like using the food processor for pie dough, since it cuts the cold butter into the cold flour so fast. If you’re newish to making pie, and you have a food processor, I recommend using it. Danny prefers to make pie dough by hand, putting his hands into the flour to feel it. He also likes to grate frozen butter into the flour instead of using cubes of cold butter. I love doing this too. But if you’re not adept at making pie dough yet, making pie dough by hand means it could grow too warm too fast.
It goes fast in the video, so I want to make this clear. When you pulse the butter with the flour? Pulse until the butter is the size of lima beans. Many recipes ask you to make them the size of peas but I think this is too small.
This is my favorite pie dough recipe. I’ve used it dozens of times. Use it as a structure and make it your own. Some of you like using a little lard with your butter. Cool. Some of you like shortening. That’s good too. Sometimes I stir a little sour cream into the ice-cold water to make the pie dough richer. Sometimes I put in some cold apple cider vinegar. Sometimes I add an egg to make sure it all holds together.
You see, pie is about hands on dough, feeling and listening, intuition instead of measuring, dribbles of cold water, and the joy of crimping. There are many, many ways to make pie dough. Take a look at our video and see what makes sense to you. And then make your own pie crust.
(Just know you definitely don’t need gluten to make a pie crust.)
And if you want to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? Well, take a look at this.
However, if you want to make the one we showed you in the video, it’s very simple. It’s essentially this recipe with coconut milk in place of the evaporated milk. This means that if you make this vegan pie crust, you can make a gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.
And it’s delicious.
Now, go make some pie.
p.s. There was an omission the recipe on our iPad app. The amount of coconut milk you need is one can, about 14 ounces.