In our house, we eat a lot of gluten, but I know that’s not always the case. I remember the first time I even heard the word gluten– it was about 8 years ago. I met this lovely, delicate women at a party, and she wasn’t eating much because she told me that she had Celiac disease. She explained how sick eating glutens made her, and how difficult it was to find foods that were truly gluten free. Shortly after meeting her, I met two other women with Celiac Disease, and I saw how challenging it was for them to find good foods to eat. Times have changed, and so many products are gluten free now. Right now, many of your favorite General Mills cereals are now gluten free– like Honey Nut and Chocolate Cheerios (as well as Lucky Charms!), and you can pick them up at Publix (my favorite grocery store). Besides being gluten free, Cheerios are also an incredible versatile food for snacking and baking needs, and if you are looking for a gluten free equivalent for a graham cracker crust, try this Honey Nut Cheerio Crust and filling to making a completely Gluten Free Vanilla Cream Pie! Not only is it gluten free, it’s also No Bake!
Making a gluten free Honey Nut Cheerio crust isn’t much different than making a graham cracker crust. All you need is:
- 2 Cups of Well Crushed Honey Nut Cheerios. (You could also use Chocolate Cheerios.)
- 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Stick (1/2 Cup) unsalted butter, melted.
There are two easy ways to crush your Honey Nut Cheerios— either with a rolling pin and large zippered bag, or with a food processor. Just make sure that they are thoroughly crushed. I then mixed the brown sugar and melted butter thoroughly in a large measuring cup. Once everything was blended, I dumped (it doesn’t really pour) the mixture into a glass pie pan, and smoothed it down and up the sides. Once it is all distributed and mushed together, stick the crust into the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour. (In a rush, try the freezer for 20 minutes!)
Since you aren’t baking this dessert, make sure that it “sets,” but if you decide to use this Cheerio Crust recipe for a baked cheesecake or some other pie, you can skip the “chilling” step. While you are waiting, see if your little helpers want a few Cheerios.
About 20 to 30 minutes into the crust chilling, you can make the cream pie filling. It’s super easy! Gather your ingredients:
- 2 Small boxes of Instant Vanilla Pudding (3.4 ounces; read ingredients to confirm that the pudding is Gluten Free)
- 3 1/2 cups of Milk (I used 2% for some fat, but go with a personal preference)
- 2 Cups of Thawed Whipped Topping (again, you can go for the light or low fat version if you’d like, but that’s up to you.)
In a large bowl (I used my KitchenAid Mixer), add your two boxes of instant pudding. Pour in the milk, and mix them together well. Once they are blended, let the pudding set for a few minutes, say 8 to 10 minutes. Then add in your thawed whipped topping into the mixture, and blend well. Make sure that it’s really mixed up since you are using less milk than the pudding normally requires. By this time, your pie crust should have set, so remove it from the fridge, and generously add your pie filling.
Put your pie into the fridge for at least 2 hours to really set. I let mine set overnight, and then 30 minutes before cutting it, I moved it to the freezer. My experience is that an extremely chilled pudding pie is easier to cut and serve. While it was in the freezer, I slide some Strawberries for decoration since they were in peak season. Blueberries, raspberries or peaches would work well also.
Oh, and there is no requirement that you use vanilla pudding. This recipe would work with any instant pudding. Try it with your favorite flavor, and let me know how it turns out!
One last note, I had some pie filling left over despite a well filled pie crust. I put the filling in small ramekins, and gave them to my little guys. They practiced dipping their Gluten Free Honey Nut Cheerios into the topping, and thoroughly enjoyed their sweet snack!
Did you know that so many General Mills Cereals are Gluten Free?