I’m not gonna lie to you.
Paleo crust is a bitch to work with. And I really mean that. In fact, you can even capitalize that B.
Without gluten to hold it together, it wants to rip and break and fall to pieces and it will probably have you swear and curse like nobody’s business.
Mind you, I’m probably not the best person in the world to sing the praises of pie dough, as I’ve always profoundly despised making / working with the stuff. Yes, even the one that has gluten in it, which happens to be a real charm to work with compared to this stuff.
BUT, if you asked me whether I was planning on ever making this again, my answer would be, without so much as a second of hesitation: YOU FRIGGIN’ BET!
This stuff is truly DA BOMB!
Despite the presence of a faint, barely discernible coconut-y taste, this pie crust is pretty true to the real thing. Flaky, crispy, melt-in-your-mouth crusty goodness.
Trust me, you really ougha give it a try. Just pop your favorite cd in, or go for a good yoga or meditation session before you start and you should be fine.
First, freeze and grate your lard with a box grater.
If you wanted to give a little bit more of a buttery rich flavor to your pie crust, you could replace about half a cup of lard with ghee. Just freeze and grate it in the same fashion.
Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and delicately place grated lard on top.
Using your fingers, gently mix and rub the flours and fat together until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs with a few larger pieces.
You really want to sort of delicately roll the mixture between your palms and fingers, so that the ingredients rub and grind against each other.
Think of this of something similar to washing your hands without your hands ever actually touching.
That is actually the only cool part in the process of making dough. Well, according to me, anyway. I could do this for hours, if it weren’t for the fact that it heats up the fat. So yeah, you don’t want to be overdoing this. In fact, you never want to be overdoing anything when it comes to making pie dough.
Once you got your flour / fat mixture down to the right consistency, mix water, vinegar and eggs together in a large measuring cup.
Make a little well in the middle of your flour and pour your egg mixture right in.
Again, stir briskly and delicately with your fingers…
…until some sort of a ragged dough forms.
Turn that dough over onto a clean working surface, such as a counter or a wooden cutting board.
Press the dough into a ball while being careful not to overwork it.
Cut that ball into 4 wedges and press each wedge into a flat disc
Wrap each disc individually with plastic film and send to the fridge for about 30 minutes.
I find this pastry rolls best between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Make sure you let it sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before you use it to give it a chance to get back to room temperature.
I know, it’s weird. You need to refrigerate this for a half hour then leave on the counter for another half hour. Don’t ask. That’s just the way it is… Pie dough is funny like that. One of the reasons why I have no patience for it… But I’m telling you, if you attempt to roll this while it’s cold, it’ll only crack on you like it’s trying to auto-destroy or something. And if you don’t refrigerate it, it’ll be way too soft.
So be patient. Wait. Making pie dough is a food of love!
While rolling your dough, don’t forget to give it a flip every once in a while.
And when you feel that the dough starts to adhere to the paper and refuses to expand any further, peel off the paper off, scrape it clean with a plastic scraper if necessary and place it right back over the dough.
When your disk is large enough to fit into your pie dish, slide it with the parchment paper onto a pizza plate.
Peel off top paper and place pie dish over the dough. Flip the whole thing upside down so the dough falls right into the pie dish.
Peel off parchment paper, reposition dough if necessary and fix inevitable cracks and tears.
Not so bad, after all, is it? I’d say this pie shell is looking pretty decent! Just be thankful for the fact that pictures don’t record sound…
If individual pies is what you are after, you can most certainly do that too.
Simply cut out small disks in the dough with the help of a cookie cutter of the appropriate size
Fit the disks into individual pie dishes or muffin pan.
Be warned, though. Despite being smaller, these disks crack and tear just as much, if not more, than the full size deal. But, as you can see, they are very easily fixed. Simply position the dough right and press on those cracks: they will virtually disappear.
And finally, here’s the finished product! See? It’s even possible to make pretty designs.
Sure, this pie dough will try your patience, but I think that you’ll find it all worth your while in the end. And very rewarding, too!
Oh, and did I mention deliciously tasty? Oh yeah! That too!
- 2 cups almond flour, sifted
- 2 cups coconut flour, sifted
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1 tsp Himalayan or fine sea salt
- 2 cups lard, frozen and grated
- ½ cup icy cold water
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- In a large bowl, whisk flours, tapioca starch and salt. Add grated lard and, using your fingers, gently mix and rub it in until the mixture resembles fine crumbs with a few larger pieces.
- In a measuring cup, whisk water, vinegar and eggs together. Pour over dry ingredients, stirring briskly with your fingers until some kind of a ragged dough starts to form.
- Turn onto a working surface and gently press into a ball.
- Cut into 4 wedges and, while being careful not to overwork the dough, form each wedge into a disc. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes (At this point, you can safely refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days.)
- Take pastry out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to rolling it to give it a chance to come back to room temperature. This will help it roll better and not crack so much.
- Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Take care to flip it over from time to time and when you feel that the dough starts to adhere to the paper and not expand all that good, peel the paper off, scrape it clean with a plastic scraper if necessary and place it back over the dough.
- When disk is large enough to fit into your pie dish, slide it with the parchment paper onto a pizza plate. Peel off top paper and place pie dish over the dough. Flip the whole thing upside down so the dough falls right into the pie dish. Peel off parchment paper, reposition dough if necessary and fix inevitable cracks and breakage.
- For top crust, if using, simply turn the disk over the pie filling while it still has the bottom parchment paper attached to it, then peel it off once the disk is in the right position. Press down and seal both layers by pinching the edges together. For better adherence, brush the bottom edge with beaten egg, coconut milk or a mixture of both before adding the top layer.
- Brush egg / coconut milk mixture all over the top crust (if using) and bake in 400°F oven for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.