Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gluten Free Pie Crust

Yes, I'm mixing Thanksgiving & Christmas posts together, but it's all good, right? We had a lovely quiet Thanksgiving with just the 4 of us. It's the first time in about 7 years we've actually celebrated on a Thursday. We generally have our special meal the Friday after, but it just so happened that Mr S was off on Friday & we had Cricket that Friday. Thursday it was!

Our feast was completely allergy friendly with no gluten or dairy.. or egg or corn for that matter either, & not it wasn't complicated. I actually thought we'd have to settle for using Macro Chickens from Woolies because the Macro Turkeys that I found were all washed & injected with some form of corn. Don't ask, I dunno.. Wednesday evening, however, we spotted that awesome Turkey!

Here's a quick breakdown of our menu:

Mashed Potatoes -- I cook them in my pressure cooker because it takes 10 minutes. Seriously. Mr S mashed them by hand because the piece I needed on the Electric Mixer is broken. I use Nutlex, Coconut cream, garlic powder, chives, & the typical salt & pepper to season them with.

Green Beans -- generally I prefer fresh ones sautéed on the stove top or in the air fryer with a bit of garlic as well, but I went for simple & used some frozen ones & did them in the microwave instead. Easy peasy.

Cranberry Sauce -- Normally I purchased dried cranberries & pour a cup of them in saucepan, cover with water & boil for 2-5 minutes. Then use a stick blender to puree them & season however you want. I generally use Orange & Stevia. This year I went mega simple & found a jar of OceanSpray whole berry sauce that I heated on the stove top. Let's just say Ocean Spray is not $1 a jar/tin here..

Turkey -- I don't do stuffing due to the gluten issue, in fact I can't remember the last time I made stuffing. I know there are many recipes for a sausage or other meat based form, but honestly we're all good without stuffing. Instead I used 1 lemon, 1 orange,  1 lime, 1 head of garlic {yes the whole thing}, & one onion to stuff the bird with. I just quartered the fruit & the onion & sliced the garlic head in half horizontally. Brushed the bird with olive oil & sprinkled salt & pepper on top. It took about 4-5 hours to cook in the 200C oven. I left it uncovered until it was golden & then covered it with foil.

Apple Pie -- I wasn't actually going to make Apple pie, but I forgot when I made the pie crust that the recipe is for a double crust! Whoops. I was then going to make an open faced berry pie, but yeah I didn't have any berries in the freezer! I did, however, have apples set aside that I was going to use for the main meal. Instead I made apple pie filling up & put a crumble type topping on it. The crumble topping was coconut sugar, almond flour, & buckwheat flour with Nutlex cut in. I didn't really measure much to be honest.

Chocolate Pie -- This was the only pie I'd intended to make! I got the crust all made up & popped it in the oven & used our traditional standby, allergy friendly, chocolate pudding recipe to fill it with. I've never added the optional seasoning or the coconut. I use Dairy Free dark chocolate, coconut sugar, & skip the vanilla due to corn issues.

Apple Juice -- I was going to make punch, but realised, way too late in the day, that I'd forgotten to get things for it. Thankfully we have an amazing Apple Orchard that bottles Juice not far from our home & that means that pretty much every shop in our area has their amazingly awesome fresh juice on hand. I nipped down to my local IGA & snagged a bottle. The fancy cups were leftovers from a few years ago when we surprised Nana with fizzy apple juice when her house sold after being on the market for nearly 3 years.

Chocolate Covered Cranberries -- A total splurge. While we were fetching the Apple Juice we popped in to our local Health Food shop which is right next door to the IGA. I was hoping to pick up a small sack of Maple Sugar for the apple pie topping. I couldn't find any on the shelf & while the girls were busy with other customers had a wander around & found the cranberries. It's a pretty rare occasion that any boxed food, much less a sweet treat, can be purchased for people in our home to eat, so one this one passed the test they made it to the desert table.. the maple sugar, however, was not in stock.

Pretty simple menu, really, but we enjoyed ourselves. We played a few games of Tic-Tac-Toe before heading out to walk off dinner & make room for pie. We normally kick off the end of Thanksgiving with a watching of Christmas With The Kranks, but our anxious child asked if we could watch something funnier instead.

I've been meaning to share our Gluten Free Pie Crust recipe for a long time now & since we're talking about pies it seems a great time to share! Growing up I used the recipe in the back of the Betty Crocker 1-2-3 cookbook for oil pastry, my family dubbed it the best pie crust ever & I was forever given the task of baking the holiday pies. I took my roll seriously until the year I had 2 small children under foot & decided to cut corners & buy some pre-made Pillsbury Pie Crusts. Yep, next year I made the pies in October & popped them in the freezer, which was a huge relief to my brother who made a surprised visit & wondered why I was making Thanksgiving Pies on his birthday.

Gluten Free fours don't behave in the same way glutenous flours do, & it can be crazy hard to manipulate taste & texture. For a long time every pie crust I made was considered an abomination, mostly by me, all though the guys rarely complained. Then one day I stumbled upon THIS pie crust recipe. While it wasn't exactly like the one I'd been making for years it was Gluten Free & it wasn't an abomination. It wasn't exactly perfect but it was pretty darn close!

Then one day I was standing in the kitchen with my chicken pie filling all ready to go & needed to whip up the amazing pie crust, only to discover I was out of certain ingredients. I decided I had two choices. I could cancel dinner & suggest everyone go to bed {I was totally in favour of this idea} or I could sub ingredients. I'd subbed things before, but not as much as I was going to have to sub this time. In fact, I was kinda quaking a bit as I started pulling other flours out of the pantry & imaging the mess I was going to end up. Funny thing is, it turned out to be the BEST version of the pie crust EVER. I jumped up from the table & quickly jotted down my alternate ingredients & the very next week we had the same meal again, you know, to be sure it wasn't a fluke that the crust had come out so awesome. It wasn't. We've made it a half dozen times now & it's been beautiful each & every time.

Here's the measurements & flours we ended up using:

5 ounces almond meal -- I know the recipe says Almond Flour & Meal are not the same thing, but where I live Almond flour is actually called Almond Meal. I use the Nature's Works brand.
2 ounces Buckwheat Flour -- I use the white version, I did attempt it once with the brown version that still had some small husks in it & the pie was a disaster. Yes, Buckwheat Flour is Gluten Free & it's amazing stuff too!
2 ounces Arrowroot Flour -- I buy it in bulk at a local health food store, or in a pinch the small tubs of it from Woolies, either one works
2 ounces Millet Flour -- I just get the stuff from my local health food store that comes from a local farm
3 ounces Potato Starch -- Again, from my bulk health food store, just make sure you're using starch & not flour they are different.
2 ounces Sorghum Flour -- I tend to use the Sweet White by Bob's Red Mill or the White from my local bulk health food store, they both work exactly the same.
2 t Guar Gum -- I forgot this last time & it still worked just fine
1/2 t salt -- I usually use Pink Himalayan Salt
9 T coconut oil -- DO NOT MELT, I just scoop it right out of the jar & into the food processor
11 T ice-cold water

Measure out all your flours, gum, & salt out & dump them in the food processor. I give it a blitz to incorporate it with the salt & guar gum. I measure out my coconut oil & just dump it into the food processor. Blitz it again to get it all worked in. The crust doesn't hold together at this point, so don't freak out. With the blender running I add in my water at this point & if it's not one big lump of dough in there I add in more water 1 tablespoon at a time until it is. I've only had to add more water once.

I roll this out just like normal pie crust, all though I've not attempted a lattice top with it yet. Best part is, if it falls apart or rips while I'm putting it in the pie plate I can just smooth it back together without effecting the texture of the dough. The recipe generally makes enough for a top & bottom crust plus a little left over. I generally roll the extra out reasonably thin & put on baking paper on a cookie sheet. I sprinkle it with a little cinnamon & maple or coconut sugar, bake for 15-20 minutes & attempt not to burn yourself when it comes out of the oven.

I've used this pie crust now on a few different, non GF, friends who've all dubbed it amazing. I guess the real test will be making it for my US relatives to see if it passes with them or not..


Melissa said...

Sounds Yummy. You are so smart to whip up that pie crust! I'll have to try it myself..

Angie Tester said...

I bake gluten free here too so should give this pie crust a try. Some pastry fans in the house :) do you think it would still work if you used more sorghum instead of the millet? Or that would turn out too "Bready"?

Kendra said...

It's only a minimal amount of millet, I'd give it a go..