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August 23, 2009 in desserts, gluten-free, PIE, vegetarian23 comments

walnut-oat pie crust

mmm, gluten-free walnut-oat pie or tart crust, ready for your abuse

Now there’s a mouthful. Know why? Because it’s so versatile. It works for the gluten-free folks. It works for the pie folks. It works for the tart folks. It works for the don’t-make-me-get-out-the-rolling-pin folks.

Even better, this walnut-oat pie crust recipe is just a prelude to the fresh blueberry pie I made it with, coming up soon. Thought I’d get you going with this amazing crust first, because it will work with more than just blueberry pies. It’ll work with cheesecake, other pies, all sorts of tarts.

And it’s press-in-the-pan easy.

the mad day of baking for gun lake

Last week, as usual, I totally miscalculated time to food ratios. I was leaving on Thursday to visit J and B at the lake and for some reason I dicked around doing comp stuff all of Tuesday, totally forgetting this meant I’d overcompensate on Wednesday in a mad rush.

chopped toasted walnuts, to be sacrificed to the food processor gods

Wednesday I wound up making a double batch of no longer gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, a variation I use when doubling that replaces some of the oat flour with white whole wheat. Makes for a more traditionally taller cookie.

another view of the lovely gluten-free walnut-oat pie crust

Then, or rather simultaneously — I wound up washing a lot of dishes that day — I tried out KAF’s zucchini bread. KAF, I love your cookbook, but one of your recipe developers has a serious nutmeg fetish. Many of the recipes have about twice the nutmeg I’d normally add to things, taste-wise, and I like nutmeg. On the bright side, my victims friends thought it was just the right amount.

oats, walnuts, sugar and salt ready to go!

The zucchini bread came out fine, cooled fine, cut a few slices to photograph, perfect texture. Until it sat a few hours, and became an uber-moist blob. Ick. All I can think is perhaps I should have chopped the zucchini up more finely after grating it, or let it sit and drain a bit before adding to the batter. Maybe my zucchinis are just really watery. It improved upon toasting, at least, and K liked it a lot that way. :p

Also simultaneously, I was madly putting together this crust and the blueberry pie, which I’ll go into in more detail in the next post. I know. Such a tease.

a more awesome crust you will not find

No siree. Not if you like oats and walnuts. And if you don’t like those, you don’t like food, and you aren’t reading this anyway.

this is when the walnut-oat crust is "cohesive"

It’s a crunchy crust, of decent thickness, about 1/4 inch. Crunchy kind of like those crunchy granola bars, but not to quite that tooth-breaking extent. The crunchiness crumbles right away in your mouth, and the butter and brown sugar enhance the warm toasty flavor of the baked oats and walnuts. This walnut-oat crust is the perfect foil for lightly sweetened fresh fruit pies. I’d like to try it with the currant pie. I bet cream pies like that would work great with the contrast of smoothness and crunch.

yet another view of the lovely gluten-free walnut-oat pie crust

Look no further. This is the perfect press-in-pan crust.

gluten-free walnut-oat pie or tart crust

This recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking, aka My Favorite Baking Cookbook Ever. Reprinted with permission.

prep: 20 minutes
total time: 35 minutes
servings: 8
special equiment: food processor, 9- or 10-inch pie plate
oven: 350 degrees

    1-1/3 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant — and be sure the label says gluten-free)
    1 cup walnuts
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt

Spread the oats in a round cake pan. Spread the walnuts in another round cake pan. Bake the walnuts until they smell toasty and are beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Bake the oats until they begin to brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Watch both the oats and the walnuts carefully; they go from brown to burned quite quickly.

After removing the walnuts from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes. Then, while the oats are still toasting, coarsely chop them. There’s no need for fineness as they’re going into the food processor.

When the oats are done, remove them from the oven. Transfer both the toasted oats and chopped toasted walnuts to a food processor. Add the sugar and salt and drizzle in the melted butter.

Process until the oats and walnuts are finely ground and the mixture is cohesive. Happily for us, this stage will be obvious — all the ingredients will be moist and stick together.

Remove the mixture from the food processor and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9- or 10-inch pie plate (not deep dish) that’s at least 1-1/4 inches deep, or a similar tart pan.

Bake at 350 degrees until it’s just barely beginning to brown, 14 minutes. Remove from the over and set it on a rack to cool. Use with your favorite prebaked-crust pie or tart recipes.

Variation: Use pecans instead of walnuts.

Nutrition information per serving: 235 calories; 19g fat; 23mg cholesterol; 138mg sodium; 14g carbohydrate; 2.1g fiber; 6.1g sugars; 5.2g protein; 5% vitamin A; 0% vitamin C; 2% calcium; 5% iron

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your comments

  1. ruth says:

    Im not a sweets person but I would quite happily eat that crust all by itself! Yum!!

  2. Dina says:

    this looks great…will have to try it…sounds good with blueberry pie.

  3. Reeni says:

    What a delicious crust! I love the flavor of oat flour for baking, so yummy.

  4. As one who has sampled it in person, I can tell you it is the best crust I’ve ever tasted.
    And I’ve been to France.

    • Amy says:

      Thank you. Thank you veddy much.

      You went to France and didn’t take me? Oh right, I’ve been there, but to Cannes, not anyplace cool like gay Paree.

  5. Guess I should add, I had a slice of the blueberry pie (tee-hee) not just crust!

  6. colondetox says:

    i have been in a gluten free diet ever since last year because i have food allergy.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have gluten allergy since childhood. I am always on a Gluten Free diet and i use guar gum in some of may baked foods.

  8. gna says:

    love it and i’m not on a gluten-free diet.

  9. Michele says:

    Have you tried this with sunflower or pumpkin seeds for people who are also nut-allergic?

    • Amy says:

      I hadn’t thought of that. I think pumpkin seeds might be a little fibrous for pie crust, but I bet unsalted sunflower seeds would work, pulsed once or twice in a food processor so they’re broken up but not yet flour.

  10. Picador says:

    I relied on the baking time above and got a burned, inedible mess. My fault for not being more careful, I guess, but I found the baking times above to be far too long — maybe 4 minutes instead of 14?

    • Amy says:

      Wow, I’m really sorry that happened to you. Any substitutions or anything? Not that you did anything wrong, but I wonder what went awry. And if we can track down what happened, I can amend the post or add a caveat to it.

  11. Teresa says:

    Same thing happened to me. I think I started with the oats and nuts too toasted. So, I re-did the recipe and only pre-toasted the oats 10 minutes and the nuts 5 minutes. Then the 14 minutes baking the pressed-in crust worked perfectly.

  12. [...] adapted from Shiny Cooking Makes four 4-inch [...]

  13. Annie says:


    It’s a lovely crust, but I’ve made it for someone with celiac disease, and they’ve just informed me that they do not eat oats unless they are labeled gluten free. I should have done a bit more research before making it. You might want to add a note to check your oats if you want it to be 100% safe.

  14. Leah says:

    I was wondering, do you think this might work for a pecan pie?

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