Making a gluten-free Thanksgiving? Arrowroot powder is your friend

Arrowroot powder is a gluten-free thickener that can be used in pie crusts, casseroles and gravy.

Arrowroot powder is a gluten-free thickener that can be used in pie crusts, casseroles and gravy.

In our big pie section today, I wanted to make sure to share a gluten-free pie crust in case you’re looking for one this holiday season.

This version comes from “Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion” (Ten Speed Press, $35), and it’s based on arrowroot and blanched almond flour. There are lots of different gluten-free flours on the market, and though any combination of them might work in this recipe, I’d stick with the ones she calls for if you’ve never made a pie crust before.

But the real takeaway is that arrowroot powder might be the handiest gluten-free tool you have in your pantry this Thanksgiving because of its thickening power.

If you want to make gravy that even the gluten-free folks at your table can eat, sprinkle a little of the arrowroot powder in broth to make a slurry, just like you would with regular flour, before continuing with the gravy. Arrowroot powder is available alongside the other specialty flours in the baking aisle of many grocery stores. It might also be in the bulk section if you only need a little.

Gluten-Free Pie Crust

You can substitute 3 tablespoons grass-fed unsalted butter or ghee for the palm shortening if you’d prefer. Omit the coconut sugar if you’d like to use this crust in savory dishes.

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1 cup arrowroot powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 eggs, chilled
3 Tbsp. cold water
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
4 Tbsp. palm shortening, chilled

To make the pie dough, combine the almond flour, arrowroot, coconut sugar, eggs, water and salt in a food processor. Process for 10 seconds, or until combined. Add the palm shortening, spacing out where the tablespoons are dropped into the dough. Pulse 4 to 5 times, until pea-size bits of dough form.

Gather the dough into a tight ball and flatten it into a disk. Wrap tightly and freeze for 1 hour.

Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and press it into the bottom and up the sides of the plate, using the palms of your hands to ensure the crust is even throughout. Press together any breaks in the dough, then crimp or flute the edges with your fingers.

To partially bake the crust, cut a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the crust and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, remove the weights and parchment paper, and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the crust is golden. Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes enough pastry for one 9-inch single-crust pie

— From “Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion” by Danielle Walker (Ten Speed Press, $35)

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