Friday, February 1, 2013

Flaky, Delicious Pie Crust!

Ok, I don't have pictures, so you'll have to build your own mental picture of the ultimate melt in your mouth flaky pie crust.

I made this crust off the cuff for Christmas dessert for my sister, she wanted a Cherry Pie, but really didn't give me enough fruit to fill one from scratch, so it became Cherry and Blueberry pie.

Personally, in my humble opinion, this crust is the absolute best I've made or had since going gluten-free so long ago. This crust is very flaky, and melts in your mouth. And really it's easy to make, just need a little time for it.

I doubled the recipe to make a double crust for fruit pie. And I must say there weren't many left overs, yeah, the family LOVED it!

Here goes, double the recipe if you need to make two pies or a top crust.

1 1/4 cup of my cake flour blend (175g)
1/4 cup Almond meal (flour) (35g)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cane sugar
4 Tbl cold butter or 3 Tbl cold coconut oil
3 to 5 Tbl Ice water
1-2 Tbl cane sugar (optional, to sprinkle on top)
1 egg yolk lightly beaten, or 1 tbl buttermilk, your choice.

Mix flour blend, almond flour, gum, salt and 2 tsp sugar together. Cube the butter or oil in small cubes and cut into the flour until it's pebbly, and it's ok if you have some large pebbles, do not overwork the flour. Slowly add in the ice water 1 Tablespoon at a time until the flour mixture comes together and you can form a cohesive ball in your hand.
At this point stop working the flour and turn out onto a piece of parchment paper. Work it just enough to form a disk (if doubling, halve the dough and form 2 disks). Wrap the disks in parchment paper and put in the refrigerator.

Now, you can let it chill at minimum for 1 hour, I put mine in overnight, the longer it can chill the better. . Remove one disk and roll out between parchment paper, fold over twice, and roll out  to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick in a circle, enough for a 9 inch pie plate, and gently form into the ungreased pie plate. Place the plate and bottom crust in the fridge if you are doing a 2 crust recipe and have to roll out the top. And it's OK if you still have little pebbles of butter/coconut oil dotting the flour! This makes the flakes and melt in your mouth goodness!

If you are doing a fruit pie, make sure your filling is cool (if you made from scratch) and pour your filling into the chilled pie shell. Cover with the top crust, and pinch the edges or flute them to close them. Cut slits into the top, if you have left over crust from the edges, you can make fancy little toppers.
Brush the top crust with the egg yolk or buttermilk (you can sub coconut cream for the buttermilk) and be sure to get the edges. Sprinkle the top with some sugar and bake your pie as directed.

If you are doing a single crust pie, brush the bottom with a little yolk or buttermilk, use a fork to poke a few holes in the bottom and bake at 375 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes in the center rack of the oven. You want it to just starting to turn golden. Remove and cool fully before filling with your pumpkin or other filling. Then bake as you normally would for the pie recipe.

The yolk gives a nice golden color and really helps the crust get that ultra flaky top, the kind when you put your fork into it, flakes into those pieces you want to consume immediately! 

You can also use it for a savory pie like quiche, omit the sugars. 

Try it and let me know what you think! I would love to hear how it worked for you!

My Cake flour mix is as follows:
1 cup (140g) white rice flour or blend of white and brown rice flour
1 cup (140g) tapioca flour
1/2 cup (70g) Arrowroot or potato starch

You can mix this up and store it in a jar in the fridge. Makes for very moist cakes and cupcakes too! 

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