Gluten free pastry is a challenge to work with! Creating one that is flaky, has the pie-holding capacity and great tasting is an amazing pull-off. Having tried many in the recent past few months, I always end up throwing my arms in frustration! If not using non-hydrogenated palm shortening which I have yet to find on my shopping ventures, or the more readily available grass-fed butter, then the options are limited – or so I thought. Going through the contents of my home grocery stock, I discovered both lamb tallow and lard and substituted lard for shortening, for a Paleo pie pastry – my aged mum told me that in the early days, lard made the best pastry doughs and is the shortening of choice! I guess hardened ghee or coconut oil could also be used…but I failed dismally with using coconut oil or ghee in the past.
This is combination of recipes that I have used, from my Paleo Indulgences recipe book, by Tammy Creddicott and those I have come across on the internet. While this recipe may seem labour intensive, the time factor of 1.5 hours to put the entire pie together is not off-putting for those wanting to indulge in a pie pastry. Chilling of the pastry well while the pie filling is being cooked is the imperative to this pies’ success.
This recipe presents great comfort food eating without the guilt of gluten or sugar. The ingredients for the filling may be varied to suit individual tastes…however, the use of cauliflower puree which was cooked in chicken stock, instead of coconut milk or water, and tapioca flour or arrowroot flour to make a ” creamy pie sauce”, adds amazing creaminess and depth to this great tasting pie.
2 cups almond flour
3/4 – 1 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup lard OR Lamb tallow OR Ghee OR Grass-fed butter
6 tblsp cold water
To put this together
- Using a fork, stir together the almond flour, tapioca flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar.
- Add in the lard, tallow or grassfed butter / ghee and mix until the mixture resembles course crumbs as for a scone dough.
- Stir in the cold water and bind as a dough.
- Cover the pastry dough with clingwrap and chill in the refrigerator while the filling is prepared.
The Chicken Filling
2 tsp coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped or 1 tsp garlic paste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, diced
500g chicken, preferably breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
Freshly ground black pepper and Himalayan or Sea Salt to taste
Seasoning as preferred. I used Paprika and dried mixed herbs.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (to bake the pie)
- Add oil of choice to a pot, add in the onions, carrots and garlic and saute until the onions have softened.
- Now add in the chicken, mushrooms, and seasoning and cook until the chicken is tender.
- Pour the creamy cauliflower sauce over the cooked chicken and vegetable and stir well to combine. Cover and leave aside to add to the pie pastry.
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
2-3 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups chicken stock, preferably home made, preservatives and sugar free
1/2 tsp onion or celery salt or Vogel Herbamare Seasoning
- Add cauliflower, chicken stock and onion salt to a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender.
- Drain the cauliflower, reserving the liquid in a separate bowl.
- Add ⅓ cup of reserved liquid to a food processer or blender, with drained cauliflower. Blend until very smooth.
Putting it all together
- Check on your pastry–if it’s chilled completely, it’s ready. If it’s still a bit sticky and not cold, wait another 15-20 minutes. Note: The pastry dough MUST be cold in order for it not to stick!
- Divide the dough in half and place ½ in a 23cm pie plate, and put the other ½ back in the fridge.
- Place a piece of baking paper on top and press down with another pie plate until flat. Use your fingers to spread the dough to the sides if necessary.
- Pour in the chicken filling and spread evenly onto the pastry.
- Remove the other ½ of the pastry dough from the refrigerator and place between 2 pieces of baking paper. Use a rolling pin to roll into a circle, then lay it on top of your pie.
- Note: You may need to use some more almond flour or tapioca flour for the pastry topping. You need to work quickly to get the top pastry on. It may not be perfect looking, but it tastes amazing!
- Place on baking sheet (it may bubble over), and bake in oven for 40-55 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
- Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.