For those of you not active on Google+, take my word for it, there’s a lot of fun food things happening over there! There were already a lot of people sharing photos of food in various states of preparation … and enjoyment, and the recent launch by Google of the communities feature has ratcheted things up a few notches for sure! I’ve found the medium a great one not only for sharing what I’m doing, but searching for interesting things on whatever ingredient may have nabbed my interest.
For the past several months, Shinae Robinson has been hosting these cookalongs where she shares a recipe, and those interested cook the dish along with her, sharing pics and recipe tweaks along the way. Sometimes, if its something traditionally Korean, she’ll bring her LAM into the picture to demo noodle massaging techniques
Well this month, I did a little inner squee when she asked if I would cohost the February cookalong on February 17th! something gluten-free!
FAQ for how the cookalongs is here: http://ridiculoushungry.blogspot.ca/p/cookalongs.html
Since I’ve been making a lot of pie, and I love pie of all kinds, I figured I would do a gluten-free pie cookalong! After the fact, I learned February is actually pie month, so for those of you who are into that kind of thing, you can just pretend this was premeditated pie synchronicity ;P
Anyhow, for this cookalong I’ll be sharing a basic pastry with you, which we are going to use for chicken pot pie OR tourtiere (a French Canadian pork-pie), and also for dessert — an apple crumble pie. None of these are terribly difficult, but do be warned, the gluten-free pastry is a little more finicky than regular pie crust. I’m going to try and get Jeffrey to take a video of the rolling out process early next week so you can see a couple of ways to roll things out. The other tip as you go, is smaller pies are easier to manage for your first time! so you might want to pick up a couple of 6″ aluminum pie plates and make a few smaller pies.
The one “must” ingredient for this cookalong is xantham gum. While it is possible to make pie crust without it, it really is easier to make with it — it provides the stretch and binding you would normally find in wheat flour. Once you’ve made a couple of pie crusts, I would encourage you to experiment with a couple of other binding options, but it really does require a deft hand and rolling pin. Due to the increase in people doing gluten-free baking, you can find xantham gum in smaller quantities in most health food stores. If you’re looking for other cool things to use it for, check out some of David Chang’s recipes in Lucky Peach
Finally, a word about gluten-free oats which we’ll be using for the Apple Crumble Pie. Oats are one of those things that do not naturally contain gluten, but are a highly cross contaminated ingredient. Often oats are grown right beside wheat, and can get contaminated in the field. They are also usually harvested with the same combines that harvest wheat, and are ground and packed in mixed facilities. To produce gluten-free oats therefore requires a collective of decidated growers, who are using dedicated equipment right from harvesting through milling and packaging. There are few good quality products out there, including Bob’s Red Mill, Montana Gluten-free Processors, Lara’s Oats by Cream Hill Estates, and Only Oats from Avena Foods here in Canada. For those of you preparing these for someone who is Celiac, please check with them to see that they can tolerate oats. Even though these dedicated products test their products, not all Celiacs are able to tolerate them. Other options for the rolled oats include Soy Flakes, or Buckwheat Flakes. Brown rice flakes produce a stiff-textured crisp, and Quinoa flakes, while tasty, are too finely textured to stand up in a crisp.
On the day of the cookalong, I’ll be hanging out holding “office hours” in the early afternoon for those of you with questions. I hope you can join us on Feb 17th! Let’s make pie!
- 1 cup amaranth flour (or finely milled brown rice flour)
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1 cup cornstarch (or potato starch)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (omit if making savoury crust)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (optional)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons xantham gum
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups butter or shortening, cut in small pieces
- 1 eggs (or 1/4 water if making eggless)
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- Pastry (prepare in advance)
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Cut in the butter or shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles dry oatmeal. Combine the egg and vinegar, and add slowly to the mixture until the pastry is moistened. If you are not using egg, use 1/4 cup water (or slightly more as needed) instead/
- If making in the food processor, combine all dry ingredients and pulse to mix well. Add the butter or shortening, and pulse until the mixture resembles oatmeal. Add the liquid ingredients slowly, pulsing until the mixture comes together in a ball.
- Form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- When rolling, dust the surface with amaranth flour. It is easiest to roll out on a silicone mat, or between two sheets of plastic wrap.
- Pastry can be kept in the fridge, well wrapped for up to 1 week, or rolled and frozen.
- 1 Recipe Gluten-free Pastry Crust (prepared in advance)
- 2 T grapeseed oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 1 cup vegetables of your choice, diced or cut into 1" pieces (this can include bean, zucchini, peppers...)
- 1 cup peas (frozen is fine)
- 1 1/2 lb boneless chicken (thighs are best, but chicken breast also works fine)
- 2 tsp Herbs de Provence
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 white wine or vermouth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup water combined with 1 T cornstarch or tapioca starch
- Season your chicken pieces with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat your saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the grapeseed oil and heat for 30-60 seconds until it just starts to shimmer.
- Add the onions with a pinch of salt, and stir to avoid scorching. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion just begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic and celery, and continue to cook until the onions are soft and beginning to soften.
- Turn the heat down to medium.
- Add the other vegetables except for the peas, and add the vermouth, and water, and Herbs de Provence and bay leaf. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Place the chicken pieces on top (flatten out the boneless thighs if you are using them), and place a lid on the pan. If your chicken pieces are thin, turn after 5 minutes, and cook for a total of 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan, slice thinly and hold in reserve.
- You should have approximately 1 cup or slightly more of liquid. Remove the bay leaf, turn the heat back up to medium-high. Add the frozen peas and cook until just thawed. Then stir in the starch/water mixture, stirring everything until the gravy thickens. Add the chicken pieces back in and stir to evenly distribute. Let cool before filing your pies.
- To make the pies:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Roll out the pastry, and line the bottom half of 4 6" pie plates with pastry. Some overhang is good and will help you seal the pie crust. Roll out 4 additional pastry circles for the top and hold in reserve.
- Fill each pie with approx 1 cup of chicken filling. moisten the edges of the pie crust, and place the top circle on each. Press down around the edges, and work your way around to trim and crimp. Slash a few vent holes in the top of each crust. Brush with egg wash to get a shiny crust. (a good non-egg option is cooked tapioca gel).
- Place the pies on a heavy baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes on the lowest rack in the oven. The pie filling should be starting to bubble when done, and the crust lightly browned.
- 1 Recipe Gluten-free Pie Crust
- 1 T grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
- 2 cups onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups peeled & diced potatoes
- 1 ½ pounds ground pork
- 1 cup carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 apple, peeled and finely diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp fine salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 cup water as needed
- Heat a 12” saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the grapeseed oil and heat for 30-60 seconds until it just starts to shimmer.
- Add the onions with a pinch of salt, and stir to avoid scorching. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion just begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onions are soft and beginning to soften.
- Turn the heat down to medium.
- Add the pork, and saute, stirring until the meat begins to brown. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you go. Cook uncovered adding 2-3 T more water if needed to keep things moist. Cook until the potatoes and apples are soft and the potatoes are beginning to thicken the mixture.
- Let the filling cool before making your pies.
- To make the tourtieres:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Roll out the pastry, and line the bottom half of 4 6" pie plates with pastry. Some overhang is good and will help you seal the pie crust. Roll out 4 additional pastry circles for the top and hold in reserve. If you want to make 1 larger tourtiere, use a 9” pie plate OR an 8” springform pan.
- Fill each pie with approx 1 cup of tourtiere filling. Moisten the edges of the pie crust, and place the top circle on each. Press down around the edges, and work your way around to trim and crimp. Cut out a central vent holes in the top of each crust. Brush with egg wash to get a shiny crust. (a good non-egg option is cooked tapioca gel).
- Place the pies on a heavy baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes on the lowest rack in the oven. If you are making a large tourtiere, increase the baking time to 40-45 minutes, decreasing the temperature to 350 degrees after 20 minutes. The pie filling should be starting to bubble when done, and the crust nicely browned.
Gluten-free Apple Crumble Pie
- 1/2 Recipe Gluten-free Pie Crust
- 8 cups apples, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 T tapioca starch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup gluten-free oats (Bob's Red Mill makes a good one)
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine chilled and cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Roll out the pie crust and line a 9" pie plate with a bottom crust. Flute the edge and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to fill it.
- Meanwhile, peel and dice your apples into a large bowl. Add the sugar, spices, and starch and toss well to combine. Pour into the pie plate and arrange the pieces so there are no spaces.
- In the same bowl, combine the oats, flour, and brown sugar and mix well to combine. Cut in the butter, and work it with a pastry blender (or your fingers!) until the butter is no larger than pea-sized. Gently arrange the crumble filling on top of the apples.
- Bake the pie in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes until the apples are soft and starting to bubble. If the crust begins to brown too much, shield it with a foil collar.
- Let cool for 15-20 minutes before digging in!
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is a personal chef who specializes in creating customized catering and baking for people with food sensitivities. A recipe developer and baker by day, by night, she enjoys delving into the history of classic cocktails and created a line of cocktail bitters
for no other reason than she wanted chocolate bitters in her Manhattans! In her spare time, she documents the antics and unbearable cuteness her two Shiba Inus over at Life in the Shiba Shack