Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Delish PIE CRUST ... I am SO happy!

Okay...I spent pretty much my entire day Monday determined to PERFECT and MASTER a Gluten Free Pie Crust...
I am happy to say that I accomplished what I set out to do!
At least as far as the taste factor goes...
still working on making them look PERFECT...
not sure if that is going to happen, but I'm giving it my best shot!
Those of you who know me well know that I don't give up easily!!!
The truth is though, if I can only have one thing pretty close to perfect, I'd prefer it were the taste...if it doesn't look quite so beautiful, maybe that's okay...it really is all about how happy it makes your mouth feel, right?

After spending most of the day, I started to wonder if it was really worth all the effort...
That was about the time for taste tests...yep, I'd say it was worth it!
Pretty yummy!

When my hubby came home from work,
he asked what we were having for dinner...
I looked at the clock a little shocked at the time and suggested,
"PIE?" 
He smiled his great smile,
so pie it was for the whole family...
I had all my little judges critiquing which crust was the tastiest and the flakiest and the prettiest...

I tried a couple different recipes, one that I found on the internet and another that I reworked from my FAV Recipe ever...
in the end, "THE CHOSEN ONE" turned out the be the one I had re-invented to be Gluten Free...
it turned out very flaky...and reminded me very much of a shortbread flavor and texture.
Oh Happy Day!!!

So without further adieu...let's get to making a delicious, flaky GF pie crust...

Your list of ingredients:

3 Cups All Purpose GF Flour Mix
2 Cups GF Mix for Goodies
(Flour Mixes are on a past post that you can find here: Gluten Free Flour Recipes...
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar (packed)
2 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 3/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Crisco
1 Cup Butter
1 Egg
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Cup (or less) Ice COLD water

Mix all dry ingredients together with a fork
Add Crisco and Butter, sliced into small pieces, into flour mixture.
Use your pastry blender for the first couple of minutes to help break up the fats.
Then put it to the side and let your fingers get busy...this works the very best!

The motion you will use is NOT like Kneading bread dough...
You are kind of massaging with your thumb and your first two fingers and just gently working the dough...This breaks up the fats and allows them to bind with the flours nicely.


You are done when your mixture resembles small pebbles in your bowl ~ a cornbread type consistency.


Now you will beat your egg and apple cider vinegar together and pour into your flour mixture, spreading it as evenly as possible over the top, then simply work it in with your fingers just as before.


Now take your ice cold water...I prefer to have a larger bowl of ice water and then pour it into my measuring cup...
















SLOWLY add your water,
a LITTLE at a time until you end up with a nice ball of dough. 


IF you have some crumbly stuff on the bottom, LEAVE IT...
take out the nice ball you have and set it to the side. 
NOW you can add a smidgen more water to pick up your leftover crumblies...
when they have formed a nice ball, just stick them right into the middle of your larger ball...
they will mesh together very nicely.

At this point...
grab out your parchment paper
your rolling pin
and a little tapioca flour.

Also, this is a great time to choose the pie plate you will be using.
I LOVE using my glass pie dishes...
I think they cook more evenly and I just love the way they look compared to the little metal tins...
BUT those will work just dandy if that's what you have.  :0)

Okay, ready to roll???
;)

You will need a nice amount of pie dough in your hands,
I like to just mold it nicely into a small disc and then place it on my parchment paper that I've put just a little flour onto...
FLOUR TIP -- 
You only need to place your hand into your flour bowl
(Fingers out, just like you would do if you were going to trace your hand to make a lovely little turkey!) 
What comes out on your hand is plenty enough flour to add to your parchment paper...place your little disc down and do the same with the flour on your rolling pin...One hand print will do...You will reapply it as needed when the dough starts wanting to stick to the rolling pin.

Rolling pin in hand???
Let's get to it!


Roll a couple times back and forth (same direction) always starting in the center and working out.
This will ensure an even crust...if you start from the edges and work in...it's just not good, so don't do it. 
Then FLIP your dough and do the opposite side, back and forth.
If necessary, do again and again...

YOU do NOT need to make a perfect circle here, so don't even bother with such craziness...you will be cutting off any excess in a minute anyway, so save yourself the bother.

When it looks just as you'd like, roll your parchment paper and pie dough and then place over the top of your pie dish...this is so much easier than trying to lift the dough...
one sad note: 
GF pie dough is not as easy to work with as regular dough...it is a little more fragile and less forgiving...BUT never fear, you can always do a little patchwork if needed.  :0)

After you've got that pie crust in your dish just so...you can grab yourself a little butter knife and trim away the edges...super easy!  NOW, IF you are wishing to add a top crust, you will want to trim a little less so as to have some extra for adhering the top layer to.

After you are done there, add your favorite "insides"
This scrumptious looking one was a hit for dinner...
Cherry/Blueberry Pie,
yeah, it was gooooood!

Something to make note of here:
Make sure to NOT fill your dish TOO FULL
or it will just bubble out all over and make a nasty mess.
I fill it to just barely below the top of my pie dish.

Next, you'll add your top crust...
do just as you did for the bottom layer, rolling it up to place over the top...
this is where you may have to do a little patchwork...
I had to, sadly, but it still turned out pretty nice. 
And again...what matters the most???
The taste...
If it tastes yummy, they will get over it not looking Perfect!

If you add just a little water to your finger tips, it makes the two layers of crust stick together quite nicely as you flute the edges.

Make sure to put a few little slits (4 is fine)
to vent.  This will also help with not having it bubble over.

If you wish to make it adorable...
use your favorite little cookie cutter right in the middle.
(this is actually done prior to placing it on the pie)
I cut out the shape and set it to the side.
After the pie is all nice and ready for the oven, I place the little cut out shape right back in its place and let it bake...looks just cute as can be when it's baked!

If you like, you can add a dandy little wash over top to make it shine...

This again, would be done, PRIOR to BAKING...
Simply beat an egg and brush over the top,
then sprinkle evenly with a dusting of sugar.
YOU will love the shine!

Sadly, I left out that little detail prior to my baking, so no shine happening here, but next time, ya better grab your sunglasses cause I won't forget!!!
 
THIS NEXT STEP IS A SUPER, SUPER, SUPER IMPORTANT ONE!!!
Place your pie in your preheated oven ~
I chose to set mine at 400*
Move your bottom rack ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE VERY, VERY BOTTOM!!!
That's the IMPORTANT part if you didn't catch it.
Your top will NOT burn and will turn out just lovely this way...
no need to do any covering of the edges at all...
AND the bottom crust turns out just right...
nice and flaky ~
none of that ooey, gooey, yucky mushy crust goin' on here!

Just cook until the crust is nice and golden on top...
I think mine cooked for about 4o minutes...just watch for that golden color.

Check it out!!!
And the next picture speaks for itself!

This pie was a hit!


So what do you think? 
A wasted day???
Or a day to treasure?