This all butter chickpea flour pie crust is perfect for quiche or any savory recipes requiring pie crust. It has tons of awesome flavor plus extra protein and fiber, and it’s gluten free!
Confession: For the longest time, I could not make a successful pie crust. My mom, on the other hand, has always made amazing pie crusts. She just seems to effortlessly toss some ingredients into a food processor, and out comes a perfectly workable pie dough that *no surprise* also tastes amazing with the pie crust texture that dreams are made of, no big deal. Meanwhile, I’m all like, “How? How?!” What’s more, I know her sisters also make exceptional pie crusts — I’ve had them at numerous family Thanksgivings — and I’m sure they all learned it from their mom, i.e. my grandmother, the queen of all things homemade. Or from Betty Crocker. One of the two. Regardless, I always wondered when my latent pie crust making genes were going to surface and reach their potential. Just when I was starting to think they would appear only shortly after I got my letter of acceptance into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (oh, we’re not fully ruling out this possibility yet)…
I made a successful pie crust! A chickpea flour pie crust. A rustic, imperfect, chickpea flour pie crust that turned out even more delicious than I thought it would be. And, I’m inclined to believe that my pie crust making is only going to get better from here. Before you know it, I’m going to be adorning pie crusts with those delicate fancy little leaf cutouts, like in this pumpkin pie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. And I’ll be baking pies for friends all the time, and it will be adorable. (This may or may not be wishful thinking. A girl can dream.)
But for now, I’m totally cool with a somewhat imperfect-looking — let’s call it “rustic” 😉 — yet successful pie crust that tastes delicious; however, I’ve gotta be honest… I may have broken my mom’s traditional pie crust recipe a little bit for what I think is better health. You see, she always insisted that the use of shortening was necessary for a flaky pie crust, but I just wasn’t convinced. Mostly, I just didn’t want it to be true that I had to consume something full of preservatives and trans fat in order to enjoy an excellent pie crust. I mean, you all know how I feel about eating nourishing, clean, real foods. There’s also the small fact that I love butter. Like a lot. As in — confession #2 — as a child I sometimes ate it plain at restaurants when they brought it out with bread… aaaannnnd I can’t promise I won’t do it again at some point in my adult life. That is how I steal the hearts of all my cute dates, you know. (I kid ;)).
Luckily, I found that shortening in and of itself doesn’t yield a flaky pie crust. In fact, the type of fat you use doesn’t really matter at all. What does matter is the temperature of the fat and the size of its pieces when you mix it into the flour. Here, I’ll explain the details in some quick tips:
Chickpea Flour Pie Crust Tips
- Chickpea flour vs. wheat-based flours. Chickpea flour is different than flours sourced from wheat, so it’s not going to be identical in taste, texture, and other properties. For one, it’s more dense. And two, it absorbs more liquid (similar to coconut flour). Likewise, you may notice these differences if you’re used to baking pie crusts with wheat flours. For instance, I noticed the flour absorbed a lot of moisture from the ice water and butter, and also wasn’t as flaky as a wheat flour pie crust (it still was a little flaky, though…and this could totally also be a result of my lack of skills :)).
- Keep those ingredients cold! And I mean ICE COLD. Do whatever it takes. I like to freeze my butter beforehand so it stays cold while cutting. You can even chill your mixing bowl and your flour if your kitchen gets super hot in summer months. It’s important that the fat stays cold because when tranferred to the heat of the oven, it melts and creates pockets in the dough, yielding a flaky pie crust. Don’t worry — we’ll be chilling the dough for a while before baking to help with this process.
- Avoid over-mixing. You can totally use your food processor (my mom loves making pie crust this way), but consider using a pastry cutter or two forks instead. With a food processor, it’s really easy to over-mix the dough and end up with a sticky mess. I made this mistake numerous times in my first attempts at pie crust making. With a pastry cutter, you decrease the risk of over-mixing, and you get larger chunks of fat, which also helps with flakiness. But if you’re a pro at making pie crust dough in a food processor, have at it! I’m still working on that skill 😉
- Flour your work surface generously. Seriously, generously flour your work surface, and then add more. And flour your rolling pin, too. The last thing you want is for the dough to stick to the surface or your rolling pin! This is yet another mistake I made consistently, until I started using enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the surface. (It even happened a little this past winter when I made the sugar cookies in this post!) You can use more chickpea flour or any other flour you have on hand. As for the surface underneath the flour, I love using a silicone baking mat, though you could also make due with parchment paper or just a clean kitchen counter.
See?? Look at you, you chickpea flour pie crust making natural! I’m so proud. And I’m happy to tell you that you can really feel good about eating this pie crust — it has completely clean, nutrient dense ingredients. While I still love a whole wheat flour pie crust, chickpea flour is an awesome way to get more protein and fiber per serving. I mean for goodness sake, the only ingredient is dried chickpeas ground to a flour consistency. So yes, you are essentially eating beans, which are incredibly good for you! Chickpea flour is freaking brilliant.
So, at this point you’re probably wondering where the heck you can find chickpea flour. Good news! It’s in most grocery stores now in the natural foods/baking sections for only a couple bucks (I always look for the kind by Bob’s Red Mill). You can also find it in the bulk bins at Whole Foods if you have one near you. If you can’t find it under the name ‘chickpea flour’, it helps to know that sometimes it’s called garbanzo bean flour, gram flour, or besan. Oh, and don’t worry about buying an ingredient you’re afraid you might only use once. I use chickpea flour aaalll ze time, so I’ll have more tasty ways for you to use it up. I’ve got you covered!
With that, I give you an all butter chickpea flour pie crust recipe, for pie crust making pros and novices alike. But seriously if you’re a pro… all the pie making tips pleeeaase :).
All Butter Chickpea Flour Pie Crust
An all butter chickpea flour pie crust that’s made with clean, whole ingredients and is perfect for savory dishes requiring pie crust.
- Prep Time: 45
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6-8
- Category: Basics
- Method: Bake
- 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
- a pinch of salt
- 6 tbsp butter, cut into cubes and frozen
- 4-6 tbsp ice water
- Mix chickpea flour and salt in medium size bowl.
- Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour until the dough forms a pebbly look. The bits of butter should be pea-sized or a little bigger.
- Using a tablespoon measure, add ice water (but not the ice) to dough mixture one tablespoon at a time. After each tablespoon, give the dough mixture a stir or two. After about 4-6 tablespoons, dough should come together in a ball. 6 tablespoons worked for me, but make sure not to add so much ice water that your dough gets sticky.
- Gather the pie dough together into one clump, shape into a rounded disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Once the dough is chilled and you’re ready to make the crust, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Let the dough sit on the counter for about five minutes, meanwhile flouring your work surface and rolling pin. Spray a 9″ pie dish with nonstick spray.
- Unwrap the pie dough and discard the plastic wrap. Set dough disk on the floured work surface and sprinkle more flour onto the dough. Begin rolling out with a rolling pin, turning it over occasionally while the disk is still very thick. Once it starts getting rolled thinner, though, take care when flipping or cease flipping in order to keep the crust in tact.* Reflour the work surface as necessary. Roll it out until it’s about 1/4″ thick (any thinner will break easily).
- Carefully transfer the pie dough to the pie dish. Press it down with your fingertips, correcting any broken parts by manually pressing the dough back together (it sticks really well). Trim any excess dough off the edges and press back into the center.
- Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
*This is where the difference between chickpea flour and wheat-based flour comes in. The chickpea flour has absorbed much of the moisture from the fat and water, so it’s a little more prone to breakage. My crust broke apart sometimes, but I stuck it back together easily using my fingertips. Hence the “rustic” look.
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