I am eating my way through the five color groups of the food rainbow, and I’m starting with the color white. Cauliflower is my veg of choice because it is accessible, versatile, and low carb. It’s also fat free, cholesterol free and rich in vitamin C and folate. All of which makes me feel far less guilty when I top mine with crème fraiche, bacon, and onions for a gluten free tarte flambée.
This recipe uses a whole head of cauliflower which yields a 12 inch crust. A half recipe works just as well and will yield an 8.5 inch crust. I rice my own cauliflower because I only purchase whole cauliflower so I have the versality in my weekly menu. Plain store bought riced cauliflower will also work. Just be sure to precook it in a dry non stick skillet to remove the excess water.
Gluten Free Cauliflower Crust
by Erica Collins
1 Head of Cauliflower 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt 1/2 Cup + 1 Tsp Tapioca Flour 1 Tsp Bacon Fat (or EVOO) 4 Tbs Egg (a bit less than 1 egg)
- Arrange the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Place a pizza stone or a sheet tray (aka cookie sheet) upside down in your oven and preheat the oven and pizza stone (or sheet tray) to 500F.
- Separate the cauliflower florets from the leaves and large stalk. Break up the florets and add them to a food processor with the kosher salt. Process the cauliflower until it looks like rice or couscous. Note: If you are only using half of a cauliflower, cut the entire head in half before breaking up the florets. Wrap and refrigerate the unused portion.
- Add the “riced” cauliflower to a dry non stick skillet and place over medium low heat. Cook the cauliflower enough to remove excess water, but do not let it brown. Stir constantly until fine bits of cauliflower begin to stick to the bottom of the skillet. No need to panic if the sticking bits begin to brown. Transfer the warm cauliflower to a mixing bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Once the cauliflower has cooled, add the tapioca flour and mix. Add the tablespoons of lightly beaten egg and the bacon fat (or EVOO). Briefly mix until the cauliflower “dough” loosely holds together and has a consistency similar to thick cornmeal batter. Set aside.
- Draw a 12 inch circle in the center of large sheet of parchment paper. Turn the parchment over, so the ink/pencil is against your work surface. Scrape all of your cauliflower mix onto the center of your circle stencil and place a large sheet of plastic wrap on top. Tip: You may need to overlap two sheets of plastic wrap like a cross or “t” to make sure the mixture remains covered while you shape it.
- Use one hand to gently flatten the “dough” underneath the plastic into a thick disk. Starting from the center of the disk, carefully rub your hand in a circular motion over the dough (think Karate Kid “wax on, wax off”) to flatten and spread your cauliflower crust dough into a 12 inch circle.
- Carefully remove the plastic wrap. Use the parchment paper to slide the unbaked crust onto an upside down sheet tray. Tip: Hold the long edge of the second upside down sheet tray against the countertop then slide the parchment paper on top.
- Use the same technique to quickly transfer the cauliflower crust to the pizza stone or sheet tray that has been preheating in the oven. Open the oven, pull out the oven rack and hold the sheet tray flush with the oven rack. Use the parchment to slide the crust onto the hot stone and quickly close the oven.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. After the 10 to 12 minutes, use the two sheet tray technique to remove the crust from the oven. Allow the crust to cool enough where you can handle it with your bare hands. Approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
- The side of the crust that was in contact with the pizza stone will be darker than the other side of the crust. Remove the crust from the parchment paper, turn it over and place the lighter side back in the oven directly on the hot pizza stone or hot baking sheet (no parchment paper). Bake for 3 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool completely.