Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MomoSarah's Stellar GF Pie Crust

I'm a pie lover.  I'd take pie over cake pretty much any day, if that pie was homemade.  My Mother makes excellent pie crust, and because of that, I'm a pie crust snob.  Like her, I can tell right off if pie crust is homemade, and also, if it is made with Crisco.  Real pie crust is made with real fat, friends, and for my Mom, that means lard.  For me, that means butter, or if I'm making pie for a dairy-free friend, coconut oil.  Yes, I have made pie crust with a liquid oil, such as grapeseed or olive, but these 'pat in the pan' crusts are never as nice as the kind you roll out (something about the melting point of the solid fats makes their crusts more flaky and delicious.) One day, while still in high-school, my sister and I wanted to make a pie.  I insisted that we needed to learn now to make good pie-crust, otherwise how would we make good wives?  (This was obviously, pre-Santa Cruz).  My sister insisted that the kind you buy and unfold and roll out work just fine.  I ended up making a pie crust using the Joy of Cooking, and have been making pie crust ever since.  I'm pretty sure this was also instrumental in my 'catching' of a husband, as the first meal I ever cooked for him (and two equally deprived men who hadn't had enough homemade pie) was Thanksgiving dinner, including two kinds of pie.
Fast-forward 20 years, and here we are, needing a Gluten-Free Pie Crust.  What?  Impossible you say?  Well, I am certain I heard my skeptic of a brother say, "You really got this gluten-free thing nailed," after he ate a slice of the pie I made for Easter.  Pie-crust is one of the first baked things I learned to make gluten-free.  I got the recipe from a friend and have adapted it to make it even more yummy:

Stellar Gluten Free Pie Crust
Makes a double-crusted pie, or 2 9-inch crusts, or an 11-inch tart crust
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup almond flour (if you don't have this, use 3/4 cup each of the starches)
1 rounded tsp xantham gum
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt 
3/4 cup butter (or lard or coconut oil)
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp vinegar or buttermilk
2-3 Tbsp cold milk or ice water

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  Cut in the butter (or other fat) using a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers, until the mixture is thoroughly mixed.  Combine the beaten egg and the vinegar or buttermilk in a smaller bowl.  Add wet mixture to dry, and mix gently with a fork.  Add the milk or water 1 Tbsp at a time, until the pasty holds together enough to form a ball.  I actually have used a bit more than 2-3 Tbsp, just until it was a cohesive ball.  

Depending on the size of pan you're using, decide whether you need 1 or 2 balls.  Roll 1 ball at a time between two pieces of parchment paper.  (Yes, I have done it without this, between two plastic bags.  You could also use plastic wrap, dusted with rice flour.  You could also use wax paper.)  Roll the crust evenly between the paper, until it is your desired thickness and size.  The crust is quite fragile, but, relax, it will all work out.  Peel off the top layer of parchment paper.  Invert your pie plate on the top of the crust, then flip the entire thing (plate and crust with parchment) and press the crust into the plate.  Now remove the parchment and flute the edges as you like.  

Fill this with your favorite filling and then do the same flip-trick with the other piecrust over the top of the pie.  Bake according to the directions you have for your desired filling.  I use an edge protector, as the edge of this crust will get dark.

For a crust to be used later, bake in a apreheated 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

Call up your friends and invite them over for pie.  But, watch out, you may get more than one marriage proposal.


Alena said...

I cannot wait to make when I can make time. I love you Sarah. So so wish we lived nearer. We have gone GF two years ago, I am especially careful with my youngest because she carries the Celiac's gene. I have enjoyed GF baking because it is a bit of a challenge and I got pretty good at it. The real challenge is Paleo pie crust I have found, any chance you have tackled that?

Heather said...

Hi Sarah! I'm Heather and I was wondering if you could answer my question I have about your blog! Please email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

sarah said...

I forgot the salt! I added it now! I often use salted butter, so it still tastes ok, but it definitely needs a bit of salt!

sarah said...

Alena! I love you, too! My fourth kiddo and I have been gluten free since he was 10 months old and exclusively breastfeeding with a monster rash all over his cute chubby chin and neck. We called him Red Beard. I did a round of the GAPS diet, and slowly added things back in, but not gluten, because it makes me feel not so good. My younger daughter and husband are experimenting with GF now, too. Most of the baked goods I've made for the past 3.5 years have been GF, and I agree, it's fun to rise to the challenge of it. I have had some huge fails. I found this recipe for paleo piecrust, but have not made it: