When it comes to baking, Im more of a cake and cupcake kind of gal. Its not because I dont love a good lemon meringue pie or a sweet french macaron, but some desserts are down right intimidating, especially for a self-taught baker like me!
Despite my trepidation, this summers abundance of fresh picked fruit forced me to step out of my baking comfort zone. We have been strawberry picking, blueberry picking, and this weekend we are going peach picking over on the Eastern Shore. Theres only so many things you can do with gallons and gallons of fresh fruit before you have to make a pie! So make a pie I did!
I think its the fear of having a pie crust catastrophe that has held me (and countless others) back from baking pies. The crust is such an important part of a pie, and if it falls short of perfection, the whole pie is a disaster. Im pretty sure that this fear of failure is what keeps the store bought pie crust industry afloat (you know the ones Im talking about- crumbly, freezer burned, factory processed, and tasteless). I for one, think that summers sweet peaches deserve better than that, dont you?!
This pie crust recipe was another one of my gluten free baking experiments (you can read about my cake baking experiment here). Fortunately, this is an experiment that turned out even better than I could have imagined! Its everything a pie crust should be- rich, tasty, and oh-so-buttery. But this pie crust also has a secret, it contains absolutely no shortening or butter! The melt-in-your-mouth buttery flavor is achieved by using coconut oil, a much healthier alternative.
Thats right, its time to ditch the Crisco once and for all! Unless you have horses, because then you can use it on their hooves in the winter to keep the snow from compacting around their shoes. In case youre wondering how I know this fabulous factoid, well I really have done that before!! But thats a long story- one that involves about 6 of snow and a drill Sargent of a riding instructor- and today were talking pie not ponies So unless you plan to go horseback riding in the middle of a blizzard (and Im bettin you arent), go ahead and toss that Crisco.
If youve been fearful of pie baking, like I was, then I hope this easy coconut oil crust recipe gives you the confidence you need to pop on your oven mitts and go for it! Happy baking!
Coconut Oil Pie Crust
(recipe makes enough for one 9 pie crust only, double amounts if you want to include toppings such as lattice pieces or cut-out shapes)
1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I use Bobs Red Mill)
1/2 cup coconut oil (in solid, room temperature form- not melted!)
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4-5 Tbsp of cold water
1. In a large bowl, mix and sift together your dry ingredients.
2. Next, mix in the coconut oil until a dough-like substance is formed (its easiest to use your hands for this part!)
3. Mix in the water 1 Tbsp at a time with a fork, until the dough is moist but not saturated.
4. Using your hands, form a ball with the dough, then wrap it in plastic wrap.
5. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours (I usually let mine hang out over night).
6. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit out at room temperature for a0-60 minutes. Note: once the dough has been chilled in the fridge, the coconut oil will return to being a solid and the dough will be hard. Dont panic! It will quickly return to room temperature and be pliable.
7. On a clean work surface, sprinkle a little more of the GF all purpose flour.
8. Gently roll out the dough using a rolling pin (you may need to flour that too).
9. Place dough into pie dish carefully. It may not stay in one solid piece when you try to transfer it, but it easily molds back together when you press the pieces together with your hands.
10. Fill with your desired pie filling.
11. Top with lattice pieces or cut-out shapes, if desired.
12. Bake according to the type of pie you are making. Also, when baking your pie, be sure to wrap the outer edges with tin foil so that they do not burn (I learned this one the hard way!)