The Allergy-Free Cook Makes Pies and Desserts

[Description]  [Recipe Index]  [Sample Recipes]


Incredibly rich and flaky crusts, delicate tarts, juicy cobblers, crunchy crisps, and sumptuous pudding cakes are now within reach of everyone! Using wholesome and delicious gluten-free grains and healthful, natural ingredients, you’ll love every recipe in this book–allergies, celiac disease, or not. Recipes include pies, tarts, galettes, cobblers, crisps, trifles, puddings, ice creams, refrigerator and freezer cakes and pies, cheesecakes, and every other dessert you dream of.


Details ranging from key ingredients to cross-contamination to information on flour substitutions and creating your own recipes from scratch.

Perfecting pie crusts in multiple ways, and making ice cream from scratch (even without an ice cream maker).

Numerous tables, lists, and tips offer invaluable guidance in selecting safe ingredients, interpreting labels, and converting conventional recipes.


Part I: Gluten Sensitivity and Food Allergies

  • Other Food Allergies and Sensitivities
  • Check the Allergen Information for Each Recipe
  • Interpret Food Labels Carefully
  • Seven Steps for Getting Started

Part II: Gluten-Free and Allergy-Free Ingredients

  • Pack Your Pantry: Flours and Starches
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Leaveners

Part III: Additional Ingredients and Smart Substitutions

  • Unrefined Sweeteners
  • Good-for-You Fats
  • Nuts, Seeds, Peanuts, and Coconut
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Flavor Enhancers
  • Chocolate and Cocoa
  • Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, and Allergy-Free
  • Essential Equipment
  • Seven Tips for Success

Part IV: The Recipes

  • Pies and Cheesecakes
  • Tarts of All Sizes
  • Cobblers, Crisps, and Other Fruit-Filled Desserts
  • Puddings, Pudding Cakes, and Layered Desserts
  • Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts


About the Author



Whipped Topping

Vegan Buttermilk

Pies and Cheesecakes

Peach Pie with Buttery Double Crust
This is the perfect pie to make at summer’s end, when peaches are at the peak of ripeness. The combination of juicy peaches and buttery, flaky crust is just like Grandma used to make.

Cherry Pie with Cacao Nib Pastry Crust
When it comes to making cherry pie, sour cherries are superior to their sweeter counterparts, producing a sweet yet tart filling. Here, the cherries top a flaky crust studded with cacao nibs. In lieu of a traditional double crust, this recipe creates flair by using decorative cutouts for the top of the pie.

Old Fashioned Raisin Pie
Loaded with raisins, this pie is also known as funeral pie, because it is traditionally served at a wake following a funeral—perhaps because the ingredients are readily available and the pie keeps well. Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t suitable as an anytime recipe! Brushing the crust with canned coconut milk adds extra flakiness, but any nondairy milk will do.

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel
In this rendition, classic pumpkin pie gets a flavorful makeover when it’s topped with pecan streusel and nestled in a flaky teff pastry. If you prefer extra-spicy pumpkin pie, add more spices to the filling to taste.

Deep Dish Apple Crumb Pie
Because I live near orchards, I have the opportunity to pick my own apples and then head home to bake a fresh apple pie. I like using Mutsu apples, which are grown nearby and have just the right balance of tart and sweet, but any baking apple will do. In this deep-dish pie, the apples are subtly spiced, and the teff pastry crust adds an earthy element.

Cranberry Pie with Maple Cashew Cream
Fall is the perfect time to make pies and tarts. After all, apples, pears, and pumpkin are plentiful, and cranberries also get a chance to shine. Lucky for you, they take the spotlight in this simple, autumn-inspired pie. If desired, swap the Maple Cashew Cream for Maple Ice Cream and serve with a steaming mug of apple cider.

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Almond Crust
This pie can be put together quickly and easily but should only be made when strawberries are at their ultimate ripeness—out-of-season strawberries just won’t do. This recipe features a nut crust, but if you’re craving a pastry crust instead, use half the recipe for the Buttery Double Pastry Crust or the full recipe for the oil-based crust, following the baking instructions for Cranberry Pie.

Creamy Lime Pie with Macadamia Crust
The mousse-like lime filling is rich, silky, and both sweet and tart at the same time. It provides the perfect complement to the melt-in-your-mouth macadamia crust. Be sure to zest the limes before juicing them; you’ll need about five limes to get the right amount of zest and juice.

Peanut Butter Blondie Pie with Cocoa Crust
If you love peanut butter and chocolate, you’ll love this pie––and we can be fast friends too. The bittersweet cocoa pastry crust holds a cake-like peanut butter filling that’s studded with chocolate chips. You’re just a few steps away from pure peanut butter bliss.

Chocolate Mousse and Brownie Pie
Chocolate lovers, get out your aprons! This dessert features a brownie that is baked in a pie plate, hollowed out to make a crust, loaded with a mousse filling made from an unexpected ingredient, then topped with brownie chunks and a sweet ganache. Chocolate nirvana.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Truffle Pie
This dense, rich, and creamy pie is the stuff that dreams are made of, especially with the class combination of hazelnuts and chocolate. The cookie crumbs for the crust are made from scratch, and the cocoa-dusted topping adds a final, elegant touch.

Blueberries and Cream Pie
This creamy pie reminds me of the cheesecakes from my childhood—not like the dense New York–style cheesecakes, but lighter and silkier, like ones hailing from Philadelphia. Wild blueberries add the best flavor, but regular blueberries will work too.

Coconut Cream Cheesecake
Rich, thick, and creamy, this cheesecake is made with a graham-style crust and loaded with coconut flavor. The dried coconut and coconut milk form a luscious filling that’s too good to pass up.

Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
Overflowing with tart cherries, topped with dark chocolate, and nestled in a brownie-like crust, this rich cheesecake is a decadent twist on the classic dessert. Unlike many dairy-free cheesecakes that rely on cashews for a thick filling, this cheesecake uses coconut instead.

Pumpkin Cream Cheesecake
Creamy, sweet pumpkin filling in a spicy ginger crust . . . you can’t go wrong with this fall-inspired combination in a unique cheesecake. This no-bake dessert is easy to prepare in advance, making it the ideal addition to your holiday repertoire.

Tarts of All Sizes

Raspberry Crumble Tart
Simplicity at its best, this tart comes together in a matter of minutes. It’s the perfect showpiece to highlight raspberries at the peak of their season.

Peanut Butter and Jam Tart
All of my cookbooks include a recipe featuring peanut butter and jam, one of my favorite combinations since childhood. Here, in-season strawberries and salted peanuts add to the flavor intensity, which deepens if the tart is served the day after it’s made. This tart is equally delicious warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart
Fans of turtle-inspired treats will recognize this time-honored combination of decadent chocolate, salty caramel, and toasted pecans. Yeah, I’ll leave it at that.

Lemon-Glazed Carrot Cake Tart
If you like carrot cake, you’ll love this tart, which features carrot cake batter baked inside a toasted walnut crust, then topped with a sweet lemon glaze. It’s especially nice served with Clementine Spice Ice Cream.

Holiday Fruit and Nut Tart
Loaded with toasted nuts, figs, apricots, and raisins, this tart is an attractive (and delicious) addition to any holiday table. The flavors become even more intense once the ingredients have a chance to meld, so baking the tart in advance is recommended.

Pistachio-Cherry Ganache Tart
Salty pistachios and sweet, dried cherries are colorful and complementary companions in a silky chocolate ganache enveloped in a flaky shortbread crust. The red and green hues in this decadent tart make it perfect for entertaining around the holidays.

Better Than Butter Tarts
Butter tarts are a quintessential Canadian dessert, traditionally filled with butter, brown sugar, eggs, and sometimes raisins or pecans or both . . . not exactly gluten-free or allergy-friendly. But with a couple of tweaks, my homeland favorite surpasses the original. It’s sure to become a standard in your baking rotation.

Shortbread Lemon Tarts with White Chocolate Drizzle
Delicate and delicious, these distinctive tarts feature a shortbread crust filled with lemon pudding that is topped with a drizzle of homemade white chocolate. Be sure to zest the lemons before juicing them.

Sticky Molasses Shoofly Tarts
A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, shoofly pie got its name because molasses, a main ingredient, attracts flies that have to be “shooed” away. A variation on the classic pie, these tarts combine a cinnamon-spiced crust, a sweet and gooey filling, and a cupcake-like topping.

Blueberry Toaster Pastries
Just as convenient and portable as commercial toaster pastries, this homemade version is more flavorful but has less sugar. If you prefer to toast these pastries, reserve the glaze and spread the pastries with it after toasting. The jam filling recipe makes extra, and the leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed jar for one week.

Nectarine and Red Currant Galette
At their peak of ripeness, nectarines are spectacularly sweet and look lovely alongside fresh red currants. If you serve the galette when it is still warm, the tart flavor of the currants will be dominant. However, the flavors will meld as the galette cools.

Flaky Winter Persimmon Galette
Accented with maple syrup, cinnamon, and a hint of orange, fuyu persimmons shine brightly in this galette with a cornmeal crust. For an extra flaky crust, use full-fat canned coconut milk for both the vegan buttermilk and finishing touches.

Cobblers, Crisps, and Other Fruit-Filled Desserts

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cobbler
The combination of chocolate and raspberry is guaranteed to make you swoon. Fruity, chocolaty, and decadent, this cobbler is best served warm and topped with a scoop of Very Vanilla Ice Cream.

Sweet Cherry Cobbler
The simplest of desserts––sweet cherries topped with a flaky, old-fashioned biscuit topping that comes together in minutes. Using defrosted frozen cherries saves the step of pitting fresh ones, and the rest of the recipe can be prepped while the oven preheats.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Snickerdoodle Cobbler
That soft, chewy cinnamon-sugar cookie that we all know and love—the snickerdoodle—makes its debut in cobbler form. The sweetness of the unique cookie crust perfectly complements the tartness of the classic strawberry-rhubarb filling. Plus, this sweet-tart flavor improves as the cobbler sits, so don’t hesitate to dig into leftovers for some midnight noshing.

Pear-Cardamom Pandowdy
Besides being a fun word to pronounce, a pandowdy is a rustic, homey dessert inspired by deep-dish pie. Instead of cutting a slice, scoop out a generous serving. In this version, spicy cardamom highlights sweet pears; however, if you find the flavor of cardamom too intense, use cinnamon instead.

Ginger-Plum Crumble
A double dose of ginger highlights the sweetness of Italian prune plums in this crumble. Candied ginger is sweetened, though not crystallized, and can be found at most supermarkets.

Maple-Apple-Pecan Crisp
I love maple syrup, and I’m lucky enough that some of the best maple syrup in the world is made just down the road from my house. Here, maple syrup meets apples and pecans, making this crisp a fall classic that you’ll want to make all season long. Don’t worry about peeling the apples—the skins soften as they’re baked.

Peach and Berry Buckwheat Crisp
Peaches, blueberries, and raspberries are the delights of summer, and they’re particularly delightful in this combination, which is accented with a crispy buckwheat topping. This crisp works equally well as a dessert or can be served at a late summer brunch.

Nova Scotian Blueberry Grunt
Prepared on the stove top, this traditional Nova Scotian dish features blueberries that are cooked until they’re thickened, and then topped with a dumpling mixture that’s steamed until tender. For added richness, I prefer to prepare the vegan buttermilk with canned coconut milk.

Blackberry Buckle
Can’t choose between cake and cobbler? You don’t have to. A buckle combines the best of both worlds. Try to find the juiciest, plumpest blackberries when making this buckle, which works equally well as a sweet dessert or brunch.

Stuffed Apple Dumplings with Cider Sauce
Traditional apple dumplings get a makeover in this recipe, with a caramel-like filling and a sweet apple cider sauce. For the best texture and sweetness, choose small Golden Delicious apples; if the apples are too large, you won’t have the right ratio of filling to pastry.

Puddings, Pudding Cakes, and Layered Desserts

Chocolate-Pumpkin Custards
Chocolate pudding plus pumpkin pie? Welcome to bliss! The flavors in these easy-to-bake custards develop as they cool. Serve the custards at room temperature or cold. They’re also great as leftovers the day after they’re made.

Baked Strawberry Polenta Pudding
This unique, not-too-sweet treat features creamy polenta studded with ripe strawberries and finished with Whipped Topping. For a little more decadence, serve with Maple Ice Cream instead.

Lemon-Blueberry Pudding Cake
Blueberries are at their peak in spring, and that’s the perfect time to make this pudding cake. Serve it when you want a simple weeknight dessert or a sweet addition at brunch.

Apple Cider Pudding Cake
This pudding cake is a lovely alternative to pastry-based apple desserts, and it comes together quickly and easily as the oven preheats. You don’t even have to peel the apples—the skins just meld right into the cake.

Fudgy Mocha Pudding Cake
Coffee naturally enhances the flavor of chocolate, and the combination creates a mocha flavor that’s hard to pass up. Brew some extra coffee one morning so you have an excuse to make this easy weeknight dessert.

Mini Maple Pudding Cakes
These individual pudding cakes feature a biscuit-like cake floating atop a gooey, maple syrup pudding. If you like pancakes generously doused in maple syrup, you’ll love these mini cakes.

Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls
If you’re a fan of chocolate chip cookie dough, you’ll count down the seconds until you can dig into these warm, gooey desserts. And here’s some really good news: you can assemble and refrigerate these single servings in advance and bake one or more on demand for an impromptu dessert.

Summery Peach Cornbread Trifle
A refreshing late-summer dessert, this trifle combines ripe, juicy peaches and lemon pudding with sweet, moist cornbread and nondairy whipped cream. Be sure to start preparing the Whipped Topping twenty-four hours in advance.

Black Forest Trifle
Chocolate cake, sour cherry filling, nondairy whipped cream, and a rich chocolate ganache join together in a trifle that is an homage to an old classic—Black Forest Cake. Be sure to start preparing the Whipped Topping twenty-four hours in advance.

Chocolate Strawberry Banana Bread Trifle
This trifle is definitely one of my favorites. Cookies replace the more traditional banana bread and mingle with chocolate pudding, fresh strawberry and banana slices, and nondairy whipped cream. Be sure to start preparing the Whipped Topping twenty-four hours in advance.

Lemon Cranberry Trifle with Pecan Crumble
This impressive five-layer trifle features a double dose of lemon, which shines in both the cake and the tangy sauce. Also featuring cranberries, a pecan crumble, and nondairy whipped cream, this combination is anything but ordinary. Be sure to zest the lemons before juicing them, and start preparing the Whipped Topping twenty-four hours in advance. For other advance-preparation ideas, see the tip.

Chocolately Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Box Cake
Decadence––you’ve arrived. This dessert sandwiches layers of rich chocolate buttercream and fresh strawberries among oversized chocolate chip cookies. Time in the refrigerator lets flavors mingle, resulting in a luscious icebox cake that will satisfy, well, everyone.

Gingersnap Pumpkin Ice Box Cake
This icebox cake features spicy gingersnap cookies layered with a rich pumpkin cream. And like other icebox cakes, it’s not only beautiful but also easy to prepare in advance, making it the perfect dessert for a holiday potluck.

Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts

Very Vanilla Ice Cream
This classic ice-cream flavor features not-so-classic ingredients. Use this recipe as a base for your own ice-cream experiments. Three variations follow the recipe to give you options and inspiration.

Classic Chocolate Ice Cream
Pure and simple, creamy chocolate ice cream makes me go weak in the knees. For a real treat, use this ice cream in the Hot Fudge Sundaes in Sugar Cone Bowls, then top with fresh raspberries and cacao nibs.

Grapefruit Ice Cream
Here’s an ice cream with a grown-up flavor that kids will enjoy too. Citrus lovers will adore its refreshing balance of tartness, sweetness, and slight bitterness. Be sure to zest the grapefruit before peeling it.

Peanut Butter-Brownie Bite Ice Cream
Silky, rich, and oh-so-nutty, this ice cream is easy to make and becomes even more flavorful with time. The brownie bites add texture and bursts of chocolaty goodness. This recipe makes enough brownie bites for two batches of ice cream, so store the leftover brownie bites in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer and use them within three months.

Mint-Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream
Mint and chocolate make a winning combination, and this frozen treat features a hardened swirl of chocolate that you’ll want to chase with your spoon. This ice cream relies on the freshest ingredients, so keep that in mind when choosing the mint leaves and avocados.

Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
Roasted strawberries bring incomparable richness to this sweet and fruity ice cream, which pairs up perfectly with brownie-like cookies to form unforgettable sandwiches. The cookies and ice-cream base can both be made one day in advance, making assembly a breeze the next day. 

Hot Fudge Sundaes in Sugar Cone Bowls
When I was a kid and we’d go out for ice cream, getting a sugar cone (over the plain variety) was such a treat. Now I know how easy it is to make sugar cones, and it’s even easier to make sugar cone bowls. These sweet, edible bowls are a must for this unbeatable hot fudge sundae.

Slow Baked Winter Fruit Sundaes with Candied Nuts
Featuring spiced apples, pears, and dried fruits, this sundae will steer you right in the wintertime. The fruit mixture is served warm with maple-spiced nuts and vanilla ice cream. If you have any leftover fruit, warm it and use it as a pancake topping.

Magical Caramel-Swirled Brownie Sundaes
Together, all the components of this sundae are magical, although the brownies alone can put you under their spell. The soft-serve ice cream can be made in mere minutes and the chocolate topping hardens as if by, well, magic.

Frozen Kahlua Mud Pie
The classic frozen Mississippi Mud Pie gets a makeover with Kahlua-Coffee Ice Cream. Once you add the chocolate ganache, chocolate cookie-crumb crust, and roasted almonds, you’ll have an irresistible and sophisticated dessert to serve your friends. The crust can be made one day in advance to make assembly quick and easy.

Frozen Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Pineapple, rum-spiked ice cream, coconut, and macadamia nuts are featured in an adults-only frozen cake that will make your taste buds feel like they’re vacationing in the tropics. The crust can be made one day in advance to make assembly quick and easy.

Frozen Cocoa Banana Pie with Crispy Peanut Butter Crust
This pie is inspired by an old family favorite, but this new-and-improved version eliminates refined sugars, highlights good fats, and includes whole grains and fruit. And yet it’s still really darned amazing—just like the original.

Sample Recipes

No-Bake Blueberries and Cream Pie

Apple Cider Pudding Cake

Lemon-Blueberry Pudding Cake