Gluten Free Macadamia Nut Pie Crust

Source: Micki Seibel, October 2006

Source: Micki Seibel, October 2006

Lately I’ve have been inspired by the Raw Food movement. Raw food recipes use nuts and seeds to re-create foods like crackers and pie crusts without using processed ingredients. Most notably, raw food recipes do not use flour or dairy. Whether or not you follow a raw food diet, there are many principles and recipes that can be applied to gluten-free and dairy-free cooking. That brings us to this pie crust.

This pie crust uses macadamia nuts and pecans as the base. It works extremely well with pies whose fillings do not require baking–-e.g. cheesecakes, key lime, fresh fruit pies etc. The pie crust is held together from the natural oils in the macadamia nuts. Their binding power is magnified by refrigerating the crust. The final product has a consistency that is very similar to a graham cracker crust except that it’s a wee bit more dense and less crumbly.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Add the macadamias and pecans to a food processor and grind until fine (about1-2 minutes).
  2. Add kosher salt and vanilla and process for an additional 15-30 seconds to combine
  3. Remove the mixture to a 9×9 pie pan and using your hands or a spatula move around to fill the pan and form the crust.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour before adding your filling.
  5. To cut the pie, soak the pie pan bottom in warm water for 1-2 minutes to make it easer to separate the crust from the bottom of your pie pan.

How Not to Screw It Up

  1. Make sure you purchase unsalted and unroasted nuts. It’s easy to accidentally get the roasted or flavored kind, especially when buying them in the bulk aisle of your grocery store.
  2. Do not toast the nuts. Use them raw. If you toast them, you lose some of the oils that give this crust the “glue” to keep it from being a crumbling mess.
  3. I use a glass pie pan. You definitely have to soak the pie pan in shallow very warm water before cutting. Otherwise, the crust will stick to it.
  4. If you don’t want to deal with slicing the pie and bringing your creation to possible destruction, you can make this crust and put it into indivdual ramekins like a tart. Basically, you create about 6 individual servings of pie.