Almond Pecan Pie Crust
This is a handy pie crust recipe to have, because it’s relatively quick and easy to make. You can press the dough into mini tart pans to make single-serving treats, or use a standard sized tart pan for family-style serving. This recipe calls for coconut butter, which you can buy ready made, or you make your own (see inset below).
I picked up the maple sugar used in the recipe from Trader Joe’s, but if you can’t find any, you can use whole cane sugar or sucanat (and if you think you’ll miss the maple flavor, you can use maple syrup in place of the agave syrup).
Fear not, I won’t leave you hanging for long on what to do with these pretty little pie crusts, I just wanted to give this component its own post, so that we can refer to it for other recipes in the future. Stay tuned for more!
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1 cup fine almond flour
- 2 T. maple sugar
- 1/2 t. fine sea salt
- 2 T. coconut butter
- 3 T. raw agave syrup
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- 1 T. water, or more if necessary
Generously grease six 4-inch tart pans or one large one with coconut oil. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Pulse the pecans in a food processor until you get small pieces, but not so long that they turn to dust (see photo, right, for reference). Pour the chopped pecans into a medium bowl, then add the almond flour, maple sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
Add the coconut butter, agave syrup and vanilla extract, and use a pastry blender or fork to cut the coconut butter and other wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until it becomes a “crumble” consistency.
Add one tablespoon of water and begin kneading the mixture with your hands. Keep adding more water — a half tablespoon at a time — until it’s a slightly sticky dough. It took me a total of about 1.5 tablespoons of water to achieve the right consistency, but I think this will depend on your climate.
If you want to make single servings, drop 2.5 tablespoons of dough into each of six 4-inch miniature tart pans, or turn all of the dough out into a standard tart pan. Use your fingers to press the dough into the pan(s), working it all the way up the sides, to the edge.
Place your tart pan(s) on a cookie sheet and slide them into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool before removing from the pans.
Coconut butter is not the same as coconut oil. The latter has been extracted from the coconut flesh and looks more like oil, especially when melted. Coconut butter, on the other hand, is basically coconut flesh whipped into a purée, and has the consistency of natural peanut butter. If you have some unsweetened shredded coconut, some coconut oil and a high-speed blender, you can make your own coconut butter! Simply pour shredded coconut into your VitaMix and turn it on, gradually adding coconut oil a teaspoon at a time, until you start to obtain a creamy consistency. You may have to stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the blender. The proportions I had success with were 2.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut and one tablespoon coconut oil, but it might be different for you, depending on the oil content of your coconut. Give it a try and see how it goes!