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Old 12-02-2013, 06:45 PM   #1
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Default Gluten Free Pie Crust

Gluten Free Pie Crust (food processor method)

The GF pie crust I made is based on a recipe from King Arthur's Flour, found here: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recip...e-crust-recipe

I tweaked it a bit, so here's my version with some notes.

NOTE: For best results, this crust must be baked in a metal pie pan. A glass pie dish will prevent the bottom of the crust from becoming crisp. You may also want to place the metal pie pan on top of a metal baking sheet. The sheet will help diffuse the heat so the crust bakes evenly all around.


INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or brown rice flour blend *1
1 tablespoon sugar *2
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg
2 teaspoons lemon juice OR vinegar *3
1 to 3 tablespoons icy cold alcohol (rum OR vodka), OR water *4
Potato OR tapioca starch (flour) for dusting
*5


*1 - I used the GF Baking Mix from Bob's Red Mill, as I had some on hand. But any GF baking mix would work, homemade or pre-mixed, as long as it's based on brown rice flour. White rice flour just doesn't work as well. In order to avoid the gritty/sandy texture common in GF baked goods, I also gave the flour blend a 2nd grind in the grain mill to make it as superfine and smooth as possible.

*2 - I used about 1 1/2 tsp. for the crust for a pumpkin pie. That, combined with the flavor of the pumpkin filling, was enough to help mask the faint bitterness that comes from some of the GF flours. In the future, when I make this to blind bake (bake unfilled) for something like a fresh berry pie, or a cream pie, I might increase the sugar. When I make this pastry for use in a savory dish, like a pot pie, I'll use just a pinch of sugar.

*3 - Many GF baking recipes call for the use of an acid like lemon juice or vinegar to act as a dough enhancer. I couldn't detect any lemon flavor in the finished crust.

*4 - I used just barely 1 tablespoon of liquid. The amount needed will vary depending on the various GF flours used in the baking mix. I borrowed the alcohol idea from America's Test Kitchen. When making a pie crust, recipes always say to add just enough cold water as the last ingredient to make the dough moist enough to come together. The moisture is needed during the mixing process, but once the dough is together, the water can actually make the dough soggy during the baking process. ATK's research, and my experience, shows that by using alcohol instead of water during the mixing process, you get the needed benefit of the moisture to bring the dough together during mixing. But then, because the alcohol will mostly evaporate due to the heat of the baking process, the crust doesn't retain as much moisture, which prevents it from being soggy after it's baked. I used rum because that's what I had on hand. There was no discernible taste of it after the pie was baked but if you're concerned about taste, you could use vodka.

*5 - I omitted the Clear Jel called for in the original recipe. If you do opt to use it, make sure that you're using the INSTANT Clear Jel, and not the type that requires heat to work.


DIRECTIONS:

MIXING:

Spread out a piece of plastic wrap about 12" long on the counter and spray very lightly with PAM. OR use parchment baking paper with the smooth side facing up.

Place dry ingredients in food processor fitted with pastry blade (not steel cutting blade). Pulse several times to until the ingredients are combined.

Add the cubed butter and pulse a few times, just to break the butter up. Then let the food processor run for about 20 seconds. Stop it and use a knife or spatula to scrape any dry flour from the sides and bottom of the work bowl. Repeat 2 or 3 times, until most of the butter has been incorporated and the flour looks a little like sand. It's okay to have small (pea sized) pieces of butter that haven't been mixed into the flour. They'll melt during baking and help to make the crust flaky.

Mix the egg and lemon juice together in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined and the egg is frothy. Pour it into the food processor and use several quick pulses to combine everything.

Add about 2 teaspoons of cold alcohol or water and pulse again. The dough should come together and fall away from the sides of the work bowl. If there is still flour that hasn't been incorporated into the pastry, add another teaspoon of liquid and pulse. Repeat this step until the dough has come together into one large ball.

Scrape the dough out of the work bowl onto the plastic wrap or parchment paper and flatten it into a disc. Wrap the dough and place in the refrigerator to chill and rest for at least 30 minutes or over night.

ROLLING:

As with most GF baking, the dough will be stickier and more fragile than a wheat based recipe. Once you begin working on the dough, you want to do it as quickly as possible, before it becomes warm and too sticky to handle. Have your pie pan ready and at hand. To help make it easier to work with, try to make the area you'll be rolling it on as cold as possible. You can put a couple of cookie sheets in the freezer ahead of time and then, just before rolling out the dough, place them on the counter for several minutes. This will help to chill it.

Tear off 3 pieces of foil, about 4" long. Fold them in half lengthwise and set aside.

When ready to make the pie, generously dust a work surface and rolling pin with potato or tapioca starch. Do NOT use the GF flour blend/baking mix for dusting as it will make the crust gritty.

Unwrap the dough and place on the dusted surface. Sprinkle some additional starch on the dough, then turn it over and dust again. Roll the dough into a circle, turning it as needed to make it evenly shaped and of uniform thickness. Use small amounts of starch as needed to prevent sticking. When the circle is the correct size for your pie pan, carefully lift the dough off the counter and transfer to the pan. A bench scraper is very helpful for this step, but you can also use a knife or thin spatula to help lift the crust off of the counter.

Trim off any excess pastry and finish the edge of the crust with a decorative crimp if desired. Fill the crust with your chosen filling.

Because this dough is very tender, a typical metal pie crust shield may be too heavy to use. Instead, take the foil strips, fold them in half lengthwise again and carefully tent them over the edge of the crust.

BAKING:

Follow temperature and time directions given in the recipe for your pie filling.

If blind baking (unfilled), preheat oven to 375 and bake for 35 minutes, or until crisp and dry.
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