My first pie – ever – and the crust was light, crisp, and flaky! I have never had the need to make pies – my mom, Mary, is known for her pies, gluten free and not, and she delivers a steady stream of these tempting treats: apple, rhubarb, lemon, coconut cream, the list goes on. Last week was chocolate – awesome! Here is her recipe for gluten free pie crust and since I’m posting it, I figured I better give it a try so I know what I’m talking about. It’s not the easiest thing to make, but it’s certainly worth the extra effort!
Below is the recipe for Mary’s Magnificent Pastry along with the recipe for peach pie filling, adapted from Bon Appitina.
What you’ll need:
2 cups Bob’s Redmill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (Cloud 9 flour also works well)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 cup butter (chilled and cut into cubes)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg white (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
TIP: For a lighter crust use 1 1/2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill and 1/2 cup corn starch for the flour and use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening instead of 1 full cup of butter. The result will be lighter but more difficult to work with.
What you’ll do:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Put flour and xanthan gum in food processor and pulse a few times until combined. Add butter and pulse until the dough comes together in pea size balls. Add sour cream and pulse until the dough starts to hold together.
Remove from food processor and work together into 2 balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 4 hours. According to Mary, overnight works better.
Roll out bottom crust. Now the directions get a bit tricky.
Mary’s method for the bottom crust: Divide a ball of dough in two. Roll half out onto a flat, floured surface until its diameter is slightly larger than your pie plate. Place the dough into the bottom of the pie plate and press it down around the inside of the plate.
My method for the bottom: When I tried to roll the dough out, it just stuck to everything and it tore when I tried to lift it. Instead, I chose to use the playdough method. I worked the dough a bit to make it more pliable and, taking smallish gobs, pressed it into the bottom of the plate and up the sides with my fingers! Remember: this was the first pie I’ve ever made! (BUT to see just how workable this pastry is, see gf and me’s recipe for turnovers!)
Fill pie with your favorite filling – in this case it was peach. See the recipe below.
Cover with top crust.
Mary’s method for the top: Roll the other half of the dough out onto a floured surface until it is the same diameter as your pie plate. Pick up off the surface, place on top of pie. Cut around the edge of the plate with a sharp knife and work crusts together by pinching between your thumb and index finger to seal.
My method for the top: I did manage to roll the top out by rolling it between 2 sheets of greased parchment paper. I lifted it up with the paper and pried the dough off onto the pie. It tore a bit, but I made patches. Turns out the dough is pretty forgiving … the patches just melted into the rest of the crust. I made the top a bit larger and folded the edge back over towards the center to make a finished edge, pinching it as I went, hoping it would seal to the bottom crust. Miraculously, it did!
Cut air vents in the pastry.
Whip the egg white with a whisk until foamy and brush over the surface of the pie. Sprinkle with sugar. This will brown the crust and make it flakier.
Bake on middle rack for 45 minutes.
TIP: Check at 25 minutes and if the rolled edge of the crust is browning too fast, cover it with strips of tinfoil. According to Mary, the GF crust tends to burn easier than non-gf.
MARY’S TIPS: Do not cover left over pie with plastic wrap. The crust will go soggy. Instead, cover it with a clean tea towel. Also, it’s best if you leave any leftovers on the counter overnight. Don’t refrigerate them. Refrigeration causes the pie to soften and to lose some of its flavour.
For Peach Pie Filling:
Adapted from Bon Appitina:
4 cups of fresh peaches (about 4 medium peaches), peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
dash of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
Combine sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl. Add peaches and stir to coat. Mix in lemon juice.
Pour filling into bottom pie crust and dot with butter. Cover with top crust and bake as above.
TIP: Trust me, you’ll appreciate the pie more if you let it completely cool. The peach and spice flavours come out a lot more at room temperature.
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