Topless three ingredient savory crust (grain free, gluten free and vegan)
Ok, hold on tight! This recipe might change your life if you are gluten intolerant, coeliac or just like to consume grain free meals. The texture and taste of this pie crust will surprise you. This is the first time I ever came close to making a crust that feels like a puff pastry pie crust. The combination of the ingredients is one that gives you the satisfying pleasure of indulging into home made comfort food. The fact that there is NO flour, butter or other junk makes it even more scrumptious. The filling options are endless… you could use this base to make any pie of your choice be it meat pie, chicken pie, ricotta pie, fish pie, pumpkin, anything!
Now, you might know that I am not into gluten free flours, because I feel that these are still full of nasty processed stuff. The fact that you can make pie crust out of one main ingredient; potatoes, is just a ridiculously rewarding experience. I would have not obtained the same texture, had I used any other alternative flour. I suggest anyone who’s coeliac or gluten intolerant to appreciate the benefits of real ingredients rather than choosing alternatives marked as gluten free. These alternative products unfortunately often mislead people in thinking that something marked gluten free is a healthier option. It would be much healthier and beneficial if instead you focus on 100% real ingredients.
I took some pictures to show you how the pie base transformed along the process. Enjoy the recipe and do leave your feedback in the comments below.
- 4 large potatoes 850g, unpeeled but washed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, + 1 tablespoon extra for greasing
- sea salt
- Big bunch of fresh spinach, stalks and leaves
- 1 leek
- 2 cloves garlic
- 250g ricotta / fresh cottage cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Start by boiling the potatoes whole, until they are fork tender. This should take about 30 minutes. Do not overcook and remove from heat immediately once cooked. It’s ok if the middle is still a bit hard.
- Preheat oven at 180°C.
- Allow the potatoes to cool down but not completely, then remove the skin.
- Cut the potatoes into smaller pieces and blend using an immersion blender. The blended potatoes will turn very sticky so give your immersion blender time to cool off to avoid overheating.
- Once all potatoes are blended you will end up with a very sticky dough consistency. Add a teaspoon of good olive oil and mix with a spoon.
- Prepare a bowl of lukewarm water on the side. This will help you work through your dough.
- Use your hands or a kitchen brush to grease the sides and bottom of a pie dish with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Use any extra oil to grease your hands.
- Now the fun part; immerse your hands in the bowl of water then take half of dough. Flatten it on the bottom of the pan using your hands. If you see that the dough is sticking to your hands, dampen your hands with more water.
- Take more dough if required and then use the remaining dough to cover the sides of the pie dish. Try to cover the pan with an even layer of potato mixture.
- Once all the pie dish is evenly coated with the dough, sprinkle some sea salt on top.
- Blind bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the crust turns golden. Use this time to prepare your filling. Refer to section below for a spinach and ricotta filling. Alternatively prepare your own favourite pie filling.
- When the pie creates a light golden crust, top it with the filling and bake for a further 50 minutes. Remove pie from the pan and bake for an extra 20 minutes directly on the oven rack. This will allow the bottom to cook properly and turn golden brown.
- Cut the leek in half, then slice cross-way.
- Stir fry leeks in a saucepan with some coconut oil if required.
- Add minced garlic and stir fry until cooked.
- Add spinach and sauté until wilted.
- When spinach is completely cooked, remove from the heat and mix in the ricotta, salt and pepper.
- Top the pie with filling and continue baking with the above instructions.