Flakey Grain-Free Pie Crust Recipe

Ali Segersten Oct 13, 2014 49 comments

I've got a delicious grain-free and gluten-free pie crust recipe to share with you today....just in time for holiday baking! Use it to make your favorite pumpkin pie, apple pie, berry pie, or chicken pot pie (pictured above). I've tested it with many different filling recipes and it works beautifully every time.

This recipe uses a mixture of blanched almond flour and arrowroot powder or tapioca flour. I've tested it using organic, pastured butter as well as a dairy-free version using Nutiva's Vegan Superfood Shortening. You can order organic blanched almond flour from Nuts.com (though I've found it is not as finely ground as other flours and does not work as well for pie crusts). I've also noticed that Costco sells blanched almond flour which also works beautifully in this recipe. 

I have recipes for healthy, refined-sugar free pumpkin pie fillings in the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and my Nourishing Meals Cookbook. Get the recipe for my favorite Pumpkin Pie here!


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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Can you make ahead, roll out and freeze with good results? This is my FAVORITE crust recipe! Thanks!

Wow this crust was amazing! I made the double-crust and used 1 cup Tapioca, 1 cup Arrowroot and the 2 Cups Almond Flour and everything else the same. I cannot believe how flaky and delicious this was, tasted soooo much like a wheat-based crust from my pre-IBS days!! Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe it's amazing!! KID approved as well :)

Thank you Marina for the sweet comment! I'm so glad you are enjoying the recipes and that they are helping you transition to a GF diet. Dietary transitions can be difficult.....but with delicious recipes it can be so much more fun! :)

Hi Ali, wow you are such a special person....5 kids, all these recipes you share are fantastic! For the last few months I'm more or less following the elimination diet....gluten free is so hard to get use to, but thanks to your cooking talent and knowledge in nutrition...sharing those amazing recipes, you are making my life so so much easier....from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU ALI, GOD BLESS YOU!

Hi Teri,

Yes this recipe can be used to make a deep dish apple pie. I've done it and it's delicious! :)

Just follow the instructions for a double crust to make an apple pie. Enjoy!

Hi I'm making a deep dish apple pie with a crust also on top. Is this recipe enough for two crusts and for a deep dish apple pie. Thanks for sharing your recipes. Teri

Thanks Dionne for the feedback! I'm glad to know that almond meal works well too! :)

I have not tried this but I'm imagining it could work, especially since there are no grain flours that could dry out during the freezing process. Just make sure to wrap it well and seal in a container. Let me know how it turns out. You will probably want to thaw it on the counter (not in the fridge) when ready to use it. :)

Thanks Amarit....this is good to know! :)

Thank you for the feedback! I've used it before too to make little apple hand pies and it works beautifully. :)

Can it be frozen until ready to use? Looking to make a crust a few days before making the pie. Thanks

Hi Julie,

I just go around and use my thumbs and index fingers. I don't even think about it. I guess it just takes practice. I've been baking pies from scratch since I've been in high school....over 20 years! Maybe I need to teach my technique in a video. Thanks for your comment. :)

Thank you! So happy you are enjoying this recipe. :)

Yes you can! :)

Do you have a trick for fluting the pie dough? It looks perfectly amazing!

Fantastic pastry! I was very skeptical about this crust because I have tried so many awful grain-free crust recipes but this is spectacular! I love pastry and this tastes and feels like a lovely wheat based pastry. It's great! I have used it to make an egg custard tart (sweet) and various quiches etc (savoury) - everything turned out beautifully! Thank you for sharing this excellent recipe!! I wil add that I didn't have almond flour, I used almond meal and it still turned out perfect. I also didn't roll the dough out, I just pressed it into my pie dish before sticking the whole lot in the freezer before blind baking - still turned out beautifully! Thanks again!!

This is a truly excellent pastry! I love pastry and I was very skeptical about making a grain-free one but you converted me. Absolute genius! Delicious!! I didn't have almond flour so I have consistently used almond meal and it still turns out beautifully. I have made this pastry about 6 / 7 times since I found your recipe. I have used itfor both sweet and savoury dishes and I have not been disappointed. Thank you so much for sharing this with us

Can I use organic palm shortening?

This is my go-to pie crust recipe and it has never failed me! Thank you for such a great recipe. I use Trader Joe's almond meal and Anthony's arrowroot starch both with superb results. It makes wonderful little apple tarts/turnovers as well.

I know it's been awhile since you posted this Sharon but I've substituted cashew flour for almond flour with success.

I totally understand that it helps, but as a mom of 5, sometimes you just toss things in the bowl and hope for the best. I (as a mom of only 2) have made nearly every recipe on her site and in her books and there is room for fudging around the measurements to some degree. I wouldn't worry about being too precise. My kids can make a lot of the recipes just fine and they sometimes forget to level their spoons or cups--or they pack it in tightly. It all seems to work out in the end with yummy results!

Please use weight measurements on your recipes for more accuracy. I had to go grain free recently from being gluten free. I had much success with gluten free baking by weight. I had to add 4 tablespoons of cold water for double crust. It is in the refrigerator now. I will comment again are actually eating the pie

When I make a 2-crust pie I just bake as you would a gluten-full pie crust…place the bottom piece of rolled dough into your pie plate, add your filling, then add the top crust, flute edges, cut steam holes, and bake! :)

Wondering when making a two crust pie are you baking the bottom crust then adding filling and top crust?

Hi, I just wanted to share that I've used this recipe a few times as a quick mix and drop crust without rolling it out. I use olive oil instead of butter and the dough is kind of crumbly, but then I use my hands to pat it into the pan and it comes together more. Sometimes adding an extra tbsp of water helps bind it as well. Thanks for the recipe!

Hi Angie~ I have not tested this recipe with any other nut flour but if I were to give it a try I would use cashew flour. :)

Hi Ali, I would love try this pie crust. The problem is I have a high sensitivity to almonds. Is there any other nut flour I could use instead. By the way, I am also sensitive to hazelnuts. Thanks, Angie

Thanks Holly! Good to know that the dough can last that long in the fridge and still bake up perfectly. :)

Hi Ali...I also made this crust with the chicken pot pie from your recent book. Super tasty and the crust was easy to handle, backed very evenly and held up really will in the fridge. I even made the dough ahead of time and it hung out, tightly wrapped, in the fridge for about 5 days. Splendid dough even after all that time. I've sent the link on to many friends as well. Thanks for all your fab recipes and wonderful insight!

Thanks so much for the feedback Melinda! :)

Last night I made the chicken pot pie from the Nourishing Meals cookbook with this crust and it was out of this world good!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us! I am new to baking but followed your directions and it turned out beautifully.

Thank you! Enjoy! :)

Hi Alli,

Thank you for the feedback! As far as the differences between the meal and the flour…..blanched almond flour is very finely ground while the meal is slightly coarser.

Sorry I must add another information :
this is water PLUS a little bit of salt (depend on the quantity of nuts).

Sorry I forgot. ;)

Thank you for your blog which truely inspiring me ! Merci from France. Damien

Hello Sharon,

Have you tried to soak the almonds/or almond meal for a few hours (7h for exemple) ?
According to what I read, this release the things that can cause a reaction.

Soaking the nuts/meal in water, then discard the water.

I am myself sensitive to nuts, and I started to try that method following Sally Fallon "Nourishing Traditions" book.

This works for every nuts.


This looks like a beautiful crust. I can't wait to make it!

I am loving your cookbook! I use it regularly, which I realized I would be able to do when I read you have a large family. It would have to have 'accessible' recipes and it does! Thank you.

What's the difference between the blanched almond flour and the almond meal they sell at the store?

Hi Jaime,

See responses above. :)

Hi Brett,

Yes, you can find the recipe in my Nourishing Meals cookbook in the main dish section. :)

Hi Darlene, I have not tried that so not sure if it would work. You could certainly try though and report back here with a comment. :)

Hi Sharon,

Like Jennifer mentioned below, it's hard to sub a whole cup of almond flour. I know some people use sunflower seed flour in place of almond flour for as a nut-free option, but I think it might burn during the long cooking time for a pie….good for cookies though! So I don't have an answer…..yet! :)

Thank you Jennifer for the suggestions! I bet there is an egg-free and grain-free pie crust recipe out there. Happy baking! :)

You could probably try ground chia seeds, or just search for a grain-free/egg-free crust recipe on the web instead of trying to invent your own substitutions. I am certain the recipe already exists out there! And to the person looking to replace almond meal, you simply need a different recipe! Subbing out 1 cup of almond meal isn't as easy of a substitution to suggest, especially if hazelnuts are out too. There are neat recipes using chestnut flour or coconut flour, but again, you couldn't do a 1 to 1 swap in this recipe, most likely.

I am excited to start making pumpkin pies this season, and I am thinking this is the just-right recipe. Although, the top picture has me craving something more along the lines of chicken pot pie! Yum! So many possibilities! Thanks Ali!

Is there a recipe for the filling of the chicken pot pie?

can you use ghee instead of butter or shortening?

Any egg substitute for egg in this recipe

Egg substitute???

What can I use in place of the almond meal. (Slight allergy to almonds and hazelnuts.)

This looks great! I use a very similar pie crust using a combination of almond flour and arrowroot too - it makes for a great crust! I'll have to try your version next time I make a pie :)


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