So I have been trying to create a delicious pie crust that is gluten free and grain free, taste great, and is flakey! After many attempts, I realized that I would have to use a combination of flours to accomplish my desired flakey pie crust. One of the flours I am using is quinoa flour. I grew quinoa over the summer and had great success with it.
A lot of people refer to quinoa as a grain, but technically quinoa is not a true grain, but is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It is used as a grain and substituted for grains because of it’s cooking characteristics. The name comes from the Greek words, chen (a goose) and pous (a foot). This is due to a resemblance of the leaves of the plant to the webbed foot of a goose. The leaves are lobed or toothed and often triangular in shape. The succulent like plant grows from 4 to 6 feet high and has many angular branches. The flower heads are branched and when in seed looks much like millet, with large clusters of seeds at the end of a stalk. The plant will grow in a variety of conditions but favors a cool, arid climate and higher elevations. Beets, spinach, Swiss chard, and lamb’s quarters are all relatives of quinoa.
Quinoa flour can be made from milled or unmilled grains. Unmilled grains produce a more coarse, nutritious flour, while unmilled grains are used to make a much smoother flour. In either case, the flour is typically a creamy yellow to ivory color. Quinoa is gluten-free, so quinoa flour can be safely used in gluten-free baking projects for people with gluten intolerance. Bakers should be careful, however, as quinoa flour may be processed in a facility which contains gluten, in which case it can become contaminated.
The remarkably high protein content of quinoa grains holds true in quinoa flour, with the protein content averaging around 17%. Quinoa flour is also very high in dietary fiber. The high protein content can interfere with some baking, so many bakers recommend mixing quinoa flour with other flours, rather than using it alone.
- ¼ cup quinoa flour
- ⅓ cup potato starch + 1 tbsp (not potato flour) and some for dusting
- ⅓ cup tapioca flour
- ½ cup blanched almond flour
- ½ tsp unrefined sea salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) cold grass fed butter
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- In a food processor add quinoa flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, blanched almond flour and unrefined sea salt.
- Pulse a few times until well blended.
- Add in cold butter and pulse until mixture resembles a crumbly mixture.
- Add egg and pulse until dough forms.
- If dough is to soft or sticky, add a little more potato starch.
- Dust some potato starch between two sheets of parchment paper.
- Roll out dough into a 10? circle.
- Carefully place dough into pie dish and remove parchment paper.
- Crimp the sides of the pastry to build up the sides a bit.
- Add filling of choice and bake according to recipes instructions.
- If you need a pre cooked pie shell then prick pie crust with fork and bake for about 30 minutes.
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