Editor's note: Check back Monday on Patch to see where you can find pie crusts and gluten-free flour for an oven-fresh pie of your own!
I am not a baker, and I'll admit that again and again. But sometimes I am inspired to take the plunge and tie the ol' apron on and warm up the ol' oven.
Such was the case after my mother was kind enough to bring two pies to gobble up after trick-or-treating recently at Huckleberry Railroad in Flint.
We were all gussied up in our Halloween garb, bag of allergen-free candy in hand, when we saw Grandma and Grandpa pull into the driveway. A pie in each hand, I wondered if my special dieter would be able to eat any of the special treats.
Before they got in the door, the questions started:
“Are they gluten-free?”
“Did you make them from scratch?”
There were a few more questions, but grandma came through with two safe and very delicious pies with flaky crusts: pumpkin and apple.
The look on my special dieter's face knowing that he could eat a homemade dessert from Grandma was priceless.
I, of course, wanted to achieve that same smile and was inspired to create a chicken pot pie of my own the next day (stay tuned!). For now, here is the recipe for pie crust and two filling options. They should come in handy if you have piles of apples from recent orchard trips.
My mother, a supreme baker, says the key here is to use the waxed paper or parchment because dough will be sticky and falls apart easily. Also, she says simply double the recipe for an apple pie with top crust and use a fork to add some air holes to the top, or make a fun design by cutting out shapes.
Mom's Gluten-free Pie Crust
3/4 cup gluten-free flour
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum
1/3 cup vegan butter, cold
2 tbs. cold water
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter and then stir in honey. Sprinkle in water a little at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon or fork until a ball is formed. Roll dough into 1/8 inch thickness between two pieces of waxed paper or parchment paper. Peel off top sheet and flip into pan. Press gently to fit into pan. Pinch edges to form crinkled border. Add filling of your choice.
8 medium apples, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Stir in apples and pour into crust-lined pie plate. Add top layer and cut slits or poke with fork. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 425 F.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk or 1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tps. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Beat together ingredients and add to pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Cover edges of pie crust with long strip of aluminum foil to prevent browning. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.