I found that the expression “easy as pie” holds true for gluten free crusts as well. My first experiment was with a peach pie this summer and since then, I’ve made all kinds of pies every week. I eat them for desserts, for dinner, for breakfast! Pies are very versatile. Apple, strawberry rhubarb, lemon, lime, quiche, salmon, beef, chicken and the list goes on. It’s an easy recipe that will be the base of many delicious creations.
Before last month, I had never made a pie in my life and I had no clue where to start. Fortunately, I came accross this amazing recipe and I was totally hooked! It seems the secret for a perfect crust is butter. I was actually a bit shocked at how much flour and butter was required for it, so I tried to cut down the quantities a little bit. Having to spend over $4.00 on butter (I never use vegetable shortening) everytime I make a pie did not seem cost effective. Here is what I came up with: (the recipe is for a double pie, top and bottom. If you only need the bottom crust, cut the recipe in half. Still use a full egg, just no egg wash and less water)
- 2/3 cup amaranth flour
- 2/3 cup brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup millet flour
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1 teaspoon guar gum
- 3 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon sugar
- 2 sticks cold butter
- 3 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 egg (+1 egg wash)
- 8-10 Tablespoon ice cold water
- White rice flour (for rolling)
The first step is to mix in all the dry ingredients and cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender until it looks like coarse corn meal. If you don’t have a pastry blender, two forks will also work: it just takes a little while longer.
Make a well in the center and add the egg and lemon juice. Mix and fold. Now, add water, little at a time, until the consistency is just right. It should leave the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky. You can adjust with more water if it doesn’t stick together or white rice flour if it’s too sticky. Make a ball out of the dough, sprinkle with white rice flour, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
Two hours later! Cut the dough in half: one for the bottom, one for the top. Dust a clean dry work surface (I like using parchment paper) and your rolling pin with white rice flour so the dough doesn’t stick. Pour about 1/4 cup of white rice flour on your work surface and slowly start rolling the dough. Keep flipping it to be sure it doesn’t stick and that the dough is evenly coated in white rice flour. Roll it to the size of the pie and carefully, with both hands, pick up the dough and slide it on your pie pan. Cut off the extra pieces of dough. If you’re like me and don’t like wastes, you can use the extra dough to make cute mini pies in a muffin tray!
Pour in the desired pie filling (or if it’s a pie with no top crust, you may need to precook it, just follow the instructions for your recipe), cover the pie with the second half of the dough and brush egg wash on top so it’s nice and golden when cooked.
Bake according to your pie recipe. And there, you have it: easy as pie.