“That’s good pie!” These are the golden words every pie maker hopes to hear. So often I’ve heard at pie socials and potlucks, “Well, for a gluten-free pie, it’s pretty good”. My goal has been to create a Gluten-Free baking mix and pie dough that will leave them clamoring for another “Piece ‘o Pie” with a capital “P”. When I serve these pies to family, friends and students, they can’t believe they are gluten-free.
In my Art of the Pie Gluten-Free workshops, I ask students to forget everything they know about “Gluten-Full” pie-making as there are some major differences from the techniques I use for “Gluten-Full” pie making. Here are a few:
- In “Gluten-Full” pie making, I prepare the dough by hand and while it chills, I make the filling. But, in Gluten-Free pie making, I make the filling first and use a food processor to make the dough. When the pie is completely constructed, then I pop it in the fridge to chill the fats in the dough back up.
- Once the dough is rolled out, it can be re-gathered and rolled out once again if needed. This is one of the best parts of working with Gluten Free pie dough!
- I let the baked pie “cure” for up to a day. The crust holds together better when I cut into it.
- I have found that beaten eggs and a bit of an artisan apple cider vinegar provide the liquid needed. The vinegar also gives a nice boost to the flavor of the crust.
There are many good recipes for Gluten-Free Baking as well as Gluten-Free Pie Dough. I hope that you will find this to be one of them so you, too, will hear the words, “That’s Good Pie!”
GLUTEN FREE BAKING MIX
The flour mixture that I use for my gluten-free pie baking is the culmination of much of what I have learned on my six year journey of adapting to a gluten-free lifestyle. I make this baking mixture up in advance and always have some in the freezer bagged and dated for late night experiments and those moments when I feel I just have to make a pie.
- 2 1/4 cups brown rice flour
- 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 1 cup millet flour
- 3/4 cup sweet rice flour
- 2/3 cup tapioca flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- Sift each ingredient,
then place into the bowl
of a standing mixer;
mix on low speed until
- Sift again into an
date and freeze.
GLUTEN-FREE PIE DOUGH
3-1/2 cup Basic Flour Mix (see above)
1-1/2 t xanthan gum (optional)
1/2 t salt
2 T sugar
8 T well-chilled leaf lard, in 8 pieces
8 T well-chilled Kerrygold Irish Butter, cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoons an artisan apple cider vinegar
Egg White Wash
1 T sugar for sprinkling on top of unbaked pie
Extra Sweet Rice Flour for rolling
- Chill the work bowl and blade of the food processor and then place in the Gluten Free flour mix and all fats.
- Pulse approximately 15 times.
- Add the beaten eggs and vinegar and pulse about 15 times more. Remove the dough from the work bowl and quickly gather it all together into a ball.
- Divide the dough in half and cover each half with plastic wrap.
- Immediately proceed to rolling out.
Note: In my experience, I have found it easier to work with a Gluten Free dough immediately after it is put together than trying to roll it out after it has chilled. I still have areas where I have to patch the edges but not nearly as many as when I faced chilled Gluten Free dough which can turn out more like a patchwork quilt!
ROLLING OUT DOUGH, CONSTRUCTING & BAKING THE PIE
- Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter and sprinkle it with a tablespoon or so of Gluten Free flour mixture or Sweet Rice Flour.
- Place one disk of dough on plastic wrap. Sprinkle more flour on top of dough and cover with a second large piece of plastic wrap.
- Roll the dough out quickly. As you roll lift the plastic wrap from the dough occasionally and place it back down loosely. Flip the dough over and continue rolling, occasionally lifting the plastic wrap from this second side also.
- When it is about 1 inch larger than your pie pan carefully and slowly remove the upper piece of plastic wrap.
- Place your hand underneath the center of the dough. Plastic wrap will still be there. With great confidence, quickly and lightly flip the dough into the pie pan. A bit of practice here may be needed and your first attempts may leave you laughing!
- Once it is in the pan, with the plastic wrap still on, quickly smooth out the dough and make sure it has eased down into the pie pan.
- Carefully peel the plastic wrap off.
- Some of the edge pieces may have folded in or over the edge of the pie pan. Quickly place them back on with a little squeeze.
- Put the filling into the pie and repeat steps 1-8.
- Cut or pinch off excess pie dough so that you have about 1 inch extra . The dough will be soft at this point so quickly finish your edges with a crimp, a flute or a scallop.
- Wrap the pie in plastic and let chill for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.
- Just before you are ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap from the well-chilled pie, brush lightly with an egg white wash, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar and bake in a preheated oven.
- I let a baked Gluten Free pie set (cure) for 8-24 hours. I find that the crust of a Gluten Free pies is not as crumbly when served the day after it is baked.
A version of this first appeared in Easy Eats Magazine