Almond Meal & Coconut Flour Crust (Grain Free or Gluten Free)

Tarte au Poires

Tarte au Poires

By Cat, July 2013 (Photo, right, by Cat)

I’m trying a new experiment – not only avoiding wheat, but also all other grains and pseudo-grains (buckwheat, quinoa, etc.) as I try to reverse my insulin resistance. That experiment did not get the success I’d hoped for, so in 2013, I am trying another experiment: ketogenic (low carb, high fat) diet, with the same goal in mind. So far, the ketogenic diet is helping – I no longer crave sweets, the dark gray puffy circles under my eyes are gone, and my complexion glows.

Nuts are a good substitute for grains/pseudo-grains in many baked goods, so they should work well in a pie crust, provided they are not over-baked.

If using whole nuts, it is helpful to chop them, then put in the freezer after grinding, to chill. Then when you mix in the butter, it quickly cools to be more pliable.

Sweetener: The Paleo (1) pie crust page has several crusts using dried dates instead of sugar, when using ground nuts. However, their instructions require a food processor, which I don’t have. Instead, I would try using date sugar, which is dried and ground date, or coconut palm sugar (made from the tree’s sap).

To sweeten the filling, I mix stevia with the cinnamon, then sprinkle on the fruit after arranging on the crust for the pre-bake.

Almond Meal & Coconut Flour Pie Crust

Although this recipe, adapted from the Walnut, Almond or Pecan Crust recipes, was originally just an experiment for an alternative to spelt-yogurt crust for my Fruit Kuchen recipe, I’ve come to like it so much that I will try it for other pies such as pumpkin during the holidays, and will continue to use it for my kuchen.

This recipe is for my 9”x13” glass cake pan; see below for 10” quiche or tart pan (or 9″ square pan) size.

2020 update: I no longer use date sugar, so use Rapadura brand, minimally processed cane sugar. You could also use coconut sugar (made from the sap of the coconut palm tree), but note that it has a stronger molasses flavor; also, I’ve not tested this option.

Crust Ingredients & Equipment for 9″ x 13″ pyrex cake pan, or two 9” pie pans: 

  • 1 ½ cups almond meal flour (ground almonds)
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp date or coconut palm sugar, or Rapadura sugar
  • ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt
  •  ⅔ cup cold butter (about 10 ½ Tbsp)
  • ⅓ cup cold water
  • Equipment
  • medium bowl
  • 9″x13″ cake pan, or two 9” pie pans


  1. Preheat oven to 4000 F, with rack in middle of oven.
  2. Combine flour, date, coconut, or Rapadura sugar, and salt in bowl. Cut in butter or coconut oil  to the size of peas. don’t overmix.
  3. Add water gradually by sprinkling a little at a time over the mixture, using only enough to hold the pastry together (too much and it will be tough).
  4. Press into bottom of pan and up sides. Prick here and there with fork.
  5. Bake 12-15 minutes before cooling and adding filling, or as follows for Kuchen:
  6. Kuchen instructions (see Fruit Kuchen recipe for more detail)
    1. Arrange desired fruit over pastry; sprinkle with ⅔ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp stevia and ½ tsp sugar mix, then baked 15 minutes. Lower oven to 325, add custard (1 egg + 1 yolk, 2 tsp maple syrup, and ½ cup cream/milk mix); and baked 40 minutes
    2. Bake in preheated oven 12 – 15 minutes.
    3. Cool before filling.

Testing July 25, 2012: The first 9×13 test batch: I’d intended to make just enough for a 9” square baking pan (small kuchen), but this made more than that, and might have been enough for a 9×13” pan. I put the extra in a storage container for future use.

For this first test, I did not presoak the almonds. Pastry would not hold together, and was too loose to prick with fork after pressing into pan. Probably could have used more butter as in Almond Pie Crust recipe (⅔ cup). Placed pan in fridge for overnight – next day added 7 ½ Tbsp more butter (⅔ cup total). This still wouldn’t hold together but I didn’t add more butter nor water (coconut flour absorbs its volume in water and can make it tough).

For fruit I used 5 peeled apricots, cut into wedges and a handful of service berries (June berries or saskatoons).

Second test kuchen (9×13), A week later I used the reserved crust for another kuchen, this time using a 9×7 pan. This turned out better – perhaps because of the long rest in fridge, or because it was thicker in the pan that the first one, or because it baked a bit longer before I added the custard.  Perhaps all of these. I used 2 peeled fresh peaches, cut into wedges, and a handful of blueberries. Otherwise the same as previous, except the initial baking time was about 18 minutes (at 400° F). very good; the crust was a little dark in color (from longer time at 400° F) but had good taste and nice texture too.

Crust ingredients for 10″ Quiche or tart pan

volume 79 cubic inches if 1deep (40 cu inch if ½ deep)

  • ¾ cup 1 cup almond meal flour (ground almonds)* (or 1 cup?)
  • ½ cup 1 cup coconut flour* 
  • 2 tsp 1 Tbsp date or coconut palm sugar
  • pinch tsp unrefined sea salt
  • ⅓ cup (5 ½ Tbsp) 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp 3 – 4 Tbsp cold water

‘* or try ⅔ cup each, almond and coconut flour

Testing 10/6/12

Used 1 cup each almond meal and coconut flour; 1 Tbsp date sugar, pinch salt. Started with just 6 Tbsp butter, but that wasn’t quite enough so added 2 Tbsp more, total 1/2 cup. Used 4 Tbsp water. Otherwise, as written. I note that an overnight (or longer) rest in the fridge before pressing into pan is helpful. Was too much for quiche pan – there’s enough left for a 7.5″ tart pan. Modified ingredient amounts accordingly, as shown in red, but these modifications need to be tested.

I used this crust for my Tarte aux Poires that I make every year using pears from my tree. Usually I use my Yogurt Pie Crust-II recipe that I use for the Fruit Kuchen, but since I’m avoiding grains right now, I decided to try this recipe. It is quite delicious with the pears, and my French friend Marc says that having almonds in a pear tart is very French.

Crust ingredients for 9″ square pan

[volume = 20 cubic inches if ¼″ high at side of pan; or 143 cubic inches if 1⅝″  high at sides of pan (same as 10″ quiche pan, 1″ deep).

The following are for 1⅝″  high at sides of pan, but have not yet been tested

Testing: Details of first test are lost, but based on July 2012 testing (above), an overnight (or longer) rest in the fridge before pressing into pan is helpful.

Crust ingredients for 6″x8″ Pyrex pan with storage lid

[volume = 78 cubic inches if 1⅝″  high at side of pan (same as 10″ quiche pan, 1″ deep); or 72 cubic inches if 1½deep (height of crust on sides of pan)]

The following modifications were tested and updated as necessary for 1⅝″ high at sides of pan, 2/15/20:

  • ¾ cup almond meal flour (ground almonds) (used blanched almond meal flour) 
  • ½ cup coconut flour* 
  • 1½ – 2 Tbsp  date or coconut palm sugar; or  2 – 3 Tbsp if you want it sweeter
  • pinch unrefined sea salt
  • ⅓ cup (5½ Tbsp) cold butter
  • 2 – 2½ Tbsp cold water

Testing 2/15/20: Used ¾ cup blanched almond meal flour and ½ cup coconut flour, 2 tsp coconut palm sugar, pinch salt, 5 Tbsp butter (plus about ½ Tbsp to butter pan), and 2 Tbsp filtered water. No sugar or stevia. Pressed into 6×8 pan bottom and up sides about 1½ inch. Baked at 425 for 15 min, then removed (6 PM). The top of the sides were lightly browned; the rest not browned at all, but crisp. Rested on counter to cool; see Low-Carb Berry Clafoutis for the 2/15/20 testing of filling.


  1. Paleo (
  2. Bob’s Red Mill (link removed at their request); you can find it by doing a search: “bobs red mill almond pie crust

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