Now, I ask you-
Does this slice of pecan pie look any different than most pecan pies you've baked and enjoyed in the past?
Aside from the fact it's made with chopped rather than whole pecan halves (personal preference), I'll bet you can truthfully answer no – it doesn't look any different than a typical slice of pecan pie.
And does it taste any different?
Well, I'd guess it tastes better than the plastic-wrapped, palm-sized mini pies you get at the gas station. And I'd wager it tastes better than the pecan pie you've had at your local diner. It might even taste better than your mom's special, once-a-year-at-Thanksgiving pecan pie.
Which makes me really happy, because this pecan pie is gluten-free.
That's right – from its flaky, tender, buttery crust to its rich, nutty, vanilla-scented filling, there's no gluten present anywhere.
Baking Thanksgiving dessert? Need to make it gluten-free? The following pie crust can be filled with any of your favorite fillings. I just happened to choose pecan, but really, the crust is the star of this recipe.
Let's make it.
Your first key ingredient: King Arthur gluten-free multi-purpose flour, the ideal blend for all your gluten-free baking.
Don't have it? You're missing out on a wonderful ingredient.
But you can still make this pie crust, using your own homemade blend of tapioca, potato, and brown rice flours:
*Make your own brown rice flour blend: Many of our gluten-free recipes use our King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour, which includes ingredients that reduce the grittiness sometimes found in gluten-free baked goods. Our flour also increases the shelf life of your treats, keeping them fresh longer. The following make-at-home blend, featuring stabilized brown rice flour, works pretty well when substituted; and it tastes better than a blend using regular brown rice flour.
Whisk together 6 cups (32 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature. Note: You can substitute white rice flour for the brown rice flour if you like; it’ll make your baked goods grittier (unless you manage to find a finely ground version).
Let's start with the crust. Blend the following:
1 1/4 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or brown rice flour blend (above)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons Instant ClearJel (optional; not packed in a gluten-free facility)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
Next, you're going to add 6 tablespoons cold butter, working it into the dry ingredients. Here's how:
Place the cold butter on a piece of parchment or waxed paper, and flatten it with a heavy object – a rolling pin works well. Add the flattened butter to the dry ingredients, and work it in with the flat beater of your mixer (or with a pastry fork or blender, your fingers, or the tool of your choice).
Flattening the butter first brings your pie dough halfway to where you want it – flour and other dry ingredients laced with large "flakes" of butter. These flattened pieces of butter will yield a nicely flaky crust.
Whisk together 1 large egg and 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar.
Add to the dry ingredients...
...and stir until the mixture holds together. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons cold water if necessary, to make the dough cohesive.
Shape the dough into a rough disk, and chill for an hour, or up to overnight.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling.
Invert the crust into the prepared pie pan, and shape a tall, fluted edge.
Next, the filling.
Place 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans on a baking sheet or into a 9" x 13" pan. Sprinkle them very lightly with salt. Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, just until you can smell them. Remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.
Beat together the following:
4 large eggs
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir in the chopped pecans, and pour the mixture into the baked pie shell.
Bake the pie for 45 to 50 minutes, or until it's puffed, brown, and the center seems fairly set. Keep your eye on the crust; when it's starting to darken at the top, cover it with a pie crust shield.
Remove the pie from the oven.
Ah, a pie of beauty is a joy forever...
Allow it to cool on a rack. As the pie cools, the center will sink; that's OK.
Is that not one simply gorgeous gluten-free crust?
And look at how beautifully brown it is, both bottom and sides.
And now, the real test: dig in!
Tasty, yes? And look at how the crust is flaking into shards...
Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Gluten-Free Pie Crust.
Note: the recipe for this pecan filling isn't a formal recipe; it's a variation sent in by reader Chris Parks. To find it in our archive, check out the "baker's tips" at the bottom of our Pecan Pie recipe. The Pecan Pie recipe instructions are slightly different than these; they have you pre-bake the crust. I found that's not necessary with this particular crust, though you can certainly pre-bake if you like.