Since I started baking gluten-free almost a decade ago, so much has changed. For starters, people actually know what “gluten-free” means. Now at the holiday table, almost all of the traditional foods are possible to make gluten-free.
The best part? Baking gluten-free can result in better-than-regular baked goods. This pecan pie is all the proof you need. The recipe delivers that classic, flaky pie crust you’ve come to expect on Thanksgiving, and I’ve also swapped in maple syrup and coconut sugar for the more commonly used refined sugars, like corn syrup and white sugar. Believe me, you’ll want to make these upgrades part of your new holiday tradition whether you’re gluten-free or not.
Gluten-Free Pecan Pie
1 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend (below)
2 ¾ cups pecan halves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or non-hydrogenated shortening, ½ cup chilled and cut into small pieces
¼ cup ice water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, ¼ cup of the pecans, baking powder and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Add the ½ cup chilled butter pieces and pulse until coarse crumbs form, about 5 seconds. Drizzle in the ice water and pulse to combine. Wrap in plastic wrap; flatten into a disk. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round; transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Cut the excess dough to leave a ½-inch overhang. Using your fingers, roll the dough edge under and crimp. Prick the bottom of the pie shell with a fork; refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line the shell with foil and pie weights or dried beans; bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake for another 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a heavy, medium saucepan, whisk together the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and ½ teaspoon salt with the coconut sugar, maple syrup and vanilla over medium heat until melted and smooth; let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisking constantly, add the sugar mixture into the beaten eggs. Stir in the remaining 2 ½ cups pecans. Pour the filling into the crust and bake until set, about 25 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before slicing.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend
3 cups (435 grams) white rice flour
1 ½ cups (187 grams) tapioca flour
¾ cup (123 grams) potato starch
1 tablespoon (8 grams) xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoons (5 grams) salt
In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt.
Channel German chocolate cake: Remove the hot filling from the heat and stir in ¾ cup sweetened (or unsweetened) flaked coconut. Scatter ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips over the baked pie shell before topping with the hot filling.
Remove the hot filling from the heat and stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons of bourbon or rum.
Spice Things Up
Remove the hot filling from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste).
Pulse together the grated zest of 1 orange with the pie ingredients.
Silvana Nardone is the author of the Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed.
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