Friday, August 24, 2012

Wait, What Did You Put in That Pie?

I'm getting more experimental with my baking. There's a certain point where you've done a recipe so many times that it gets, well, boring. So I've been throwing the recipes aside and following through with some of the what-ifs. And this is definitely a what-if pie. It turned out well except that I was over zealous with some flavors and forgot to add enough sugar. There isn't anything a scoop of ice-cream can't fix but I changed the amount below so you can do it better.

As for the fruit, I took everything we had: a pint of forgotten blueberries, two plums, and a bag of frozen mixed berries as well as a couple roasted beets for kicks. (I know what you're thinking, beets? Well, I'm convinced a vegetable that sweet definitely has its place in the dessert world. I don't recommend it for this pie, but I'm through with my theory!). I also added a little sweet white wine. I'm not sure it made much of a difference, so its place might remain with savory fruit blends. The best success of this pie is the crust, a perfectly flaky and buttery gluten-free mix.

For Crust:

2 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (I use a mix of the King Arthur Flour and Bob's Red Mill, I think the more variety you have in the mix, the more disguised the gluten freeness).
2 tsp xanthum or guar gum
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup shortening
6-8 tbsp cold water

1. Preheat oven to 425 F
2. Whisk the flour, gum and salt together well. The more you whisk the finer the texture of the flour. It's like sifting without the sifter, a trick that works well to smoothen out undesirable chunks of bean flavor.
3. Add the butter and shortening in pieces and combine in the mixture until there are pea sized crumbs. I like to mix by hand.
4. Add water in stages and fluff with a fork until the mixture comes together willingly into two balls.
5. Take a sheet of plastic (I re-use plastic bags for this) and roll the crust out in between two layers, using flour to dust both sides. Measure the circle you roll to approx. the size of your pan.
6. Place the pie tin upside down over the crust and slip your hand under the plastic sheet to flip the dough into the pan and form it to the pie tin shape.
7. Roll out the second crust the same way.

For Filling:

1 pint blueberries
2 pints mixed berries
2 plums
Whatever other fruit you need to use up
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp minute tapioca
2 tbsp gluten free flour
2 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg

1. Add all the ingredients together and stir until well combined. You can usually tell just by tasting if you need more sugar or citrus to balance out the flavor.
2. Pour the mixture into the pre-made crust (above) and cover with the top crust.
3. Pinch the two layers together, removing excess crust as you go.
4. Paint the top with an egg wash.
5. Cut a hole for ventilation.
6. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or until the crust is crisp, then reduce heat to 350 until you fill your home with the smell of fresh baked pie (approx. 45 minutes).
7. Cool for 20 minutes and ENJOY!

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