As many people become more aware of food allergies and intolerances, many are looking for updates on traditional recipes that use allergy-free substitute ingredients but taste just as delicious. Making the effort to turn a recipe gluten, dairy, and nut-free can be the key to make everyone around the table feel included – which is exactly what we want all year around, but especially during the holiday season.
How to make pecan pie allergy-free? Let’s start with the crust. Traditionally, it’s made with butter and wheat flour, but it doesn’t have to be.
Easy gluten and dairy-free pie crust
- 2 cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp of light brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- ½ cup coconut oil (chilled/solid)
- 1 egg (beaten) – if you’re egg-free, try one of these egg replacements
- 2/3 cups of cold water
- Whisk the gluten-free flour and the sugar in a large mixing bowl until combined.
- Add the solid coconut oil into the bit by bit (try to press it into the flour with the back of a fork) until you get a crumbly texture.
- Add the beaten egg until the mixture turns pale yellow. The texture should still be crumbly.
- Add the cold water in small increments and mix with a spoon until a dough forms. Don’t worry if it’s a little moist.
- Shape the dough into a disc and then roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper. The dough should be a little larger than your pie tin.
- After removing the top parchment paper, flip the dough onto your pie tin and slowly take off the other sheet of parchment paper, then press your dough into the tin. Don’t worry about breaks or cracks, just press the dough back into place – it will look good once it’s baked.
Now that the pie crust is sorted, let’s talk about the filling. Pecans are tree nuts – which many nut-allergic people can’t eat. If you want to make your pecan pie nut-free, try using a substitute with a similar satisfying crunch: pretzels.
Faux pecan pie filling with pretzels
- 1 cup of light brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- ¾ cup of pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp of vegan butter (melted/cooled)
- 3 eggs (room temperature) – if you’re egg-free, try one of these egg replacements
- ½ tsp of sea salt
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups of crushed pretzels (gluten-free options available)
- Whisk the sugar, maple syrup, vegan butter, eggy, sea salt, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, then stir in the crushed pretzels.
- Pour your filling into your unbaked pie crust and place it on a baking sheet, then bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 30 minutes.
- To prevent too much browning, cover the pie with foil for the last 30 minutes of baking.
- Allow your pie to cool before serving.
Switching up a traditional recipe to make it allergy-free can be daunting at first. When it comes to baking, it’s a great idea to look for vegan recipes, as the ingredient list will be dairy and egg free. Traditional wheat flour can be replaced by a variety of gluten-free alternatives. Replacing nuts is all about finding a substitute with a similar texture – for example seeds, or in this case, crushed pretzels.
Don’t hesitate to try something new, especially if it means that everyone around the table can enjoy dessert without having to worry about allergy or intolerance reactions.