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Canadian Maple Pie Bites (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

comfort food cultural & ethnic dairy free desserts & baked goods gluten free kid-friendly recipes special diets traditional Dec 29, 2021

My family and I have lived in a few different tropical cultures, and have embraced local ingredients and cuisine everywhere we’ve rooted down. But as a true small-town girl, growing up in rural Northern Ontario, there is one key ingredient that I always asked friends and family to bring us from my childhood backcountry home - real Canadian maple syrup! There is truly nothing like it. 

If there’s one resource my ancestral land is abundant in its maple in all its variants. Maple pancakes, maple cookies, maple butter, maple sausage and bacon, maple candy - maple everything - check! Maple in baked goods - lots! And here I bring to you, Canadian Maple Pie Bites - a gluten free and dairy free version, for those of us who still want to enjoy traditional maple baked goods!

They taste like delicious maple custard. They are simple, unique, and very flavorful, and most importantly, safe for those of us with gluten and dairy sensitivities. Maple Pie is traditionally made with eggs or heavy cream and a store-bought glutinous pie crust, but I experimented for you, creating these Canadian Maple Pie Bites. I served them for Christmas dessert and they were a hit.

I made these in mini muffin trays. Last but not least, the pecans are optional but absolutely scrumptious. If you want to make these nut-free, use ground sunflower seeds instead or omit them altogether.

 

 

Canadian Maple Pie Bites (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

A delicious Canadian classic - maple pie - in a mini bite-size version! Made without gluten,  dairy, or refined sugar. Tastes like maple custard.

 

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Yield: 32 mini maple pie bites

 

INGREDIENTS

 

For the Gluten-Free Pie Crust

 1 cup superfine brown rice flour (see tips below)*

 1/2 cup arrowroot starch (or tapioca)*

 1/4 cup amaranth flour*

 1/4 cup white rice flour (use more brown rice flour if you don’t have white)*

 1 tbsp maple syrup

 Optional: 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (I personally omit gums)**

 1/4 tsp salt

 12 tbsp butter (cold, cubed)

 1 large egg (lightly beaten)

 1 tbsp water (with ice, plus more if needed)

 

If you do not have all of these flours on hand, you can substitute Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. 

** I do not use gums in my gluten free baking, as they can cause digestive problems for some. This pie crust works well without, but some prefer to add xanthan gum for extra binding.

 

For the Maple Pie Filling

 1/4 cup crushed pecan pieces (see notes above re: nut-free version)

 1/2 cup real maple syrup

 1/2 cup coconut cream (scooped out of a can of full-fat coconut milk chilled overnight)

 2 tbsp tapioca flour (or arrowroot)

 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

 1/8 tsp unrefined salt

 

Tips

  •  Superfine brown rice flour is powdery, unlike some brown rice flours which are more coarsely ground and gritty. If you can't find superfine brown rice flour, try grinding regular brown rice flour in a coffee bean grinder just until it is a finer consistency.
  •  Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans, and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.

 

DIRECTIONS

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Canadian Maple Pie Bites recipe is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

 

Make the Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Gather the ingredients.

Measure dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Use a large whisk to thoroughly blend ingredients.

Pour the dry ingredients into a food processor bowl, fitted with a metal blade. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the butter cubes are reduced to the size of peas and the mixture looks like coarse, dry crumbs.

Add the lightly beaten egg and pulse just until the egg is incorporated into the flour-butter mix.

Add 1 tablespoon of ice water and pulse several times.

Remove the processor lid and squeeze a small amount of the dough into your hand. If it holds together don't add more water. If the dough is too crumbly and dry, add 1/4 teaspoon additional ice water and pulse several more times. Check the consistency of the dough again. If the dough holds together and you can form a ball don't add more water. Adding too much water will make the dough sticky and harder to roll out and shape.

Scrape the dough, which will look crumbly, on a clean, gluten-free work surface covered with waxed paper. Gather the crumbly dough into a ball.
 
Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out the dough. (If you're making this dough ahead of time, it is at this stage where the dough can be frozen. Place wax paper wrapped dough in a freezer bag, label, and freeze for future use.)

Roll Out the Dough

Remove dough from refrigerator and place dough between two sheets of waxed paper. Let dough sit just until it's soft enough to roll.

When workable, divide the dough into 32 equally sized balls to be rolled out like mini pancakes to fit into each mini muffin mold. If the dough should get too warm and sticky, place it in the freezer for several minutes and then continue rolling it.

Gently place each rolled-out dough “pancake” into the muffin molds, and press down into the tray without making holes.

Your mini pie crusts are now ready to be filled.
 

Make the Maple Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 350 F. 

Place all remaining filling ingredients in a small blender (a magic bullet works well) and process until smooth. Add an equal amount of chopped pecans into each mini pie crust. Pour the filling mixture evenly over the pecans, into each mini pie crust. (Note: it will be very liquid at this stage — that is normal. It will set as it bakes).

 

Bake the Maple Pie Bites

Bake in a preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. Allow the mini pie bites to cool thoroughly to set before removing from molds. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

 

 

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