My mother, Val is the best pie maker I know. Hands down, no argument. The best part of all? The crust. That crispy, flaky crust. She makes pies year round: strawberry rhubarb, peach, blueberry with whipped cream on top. It all culminates in an extravagant showcase on Thanksgiving of multiple pies. We can’t wait for it. We drool over the sight of them upon arrival on that 4th Thursday. The turkey is always moist and delicious but those pies are to die for.
Throughout the years, my sister suffered through the Thanksgiving meal. Never realizing until recently that she cannot tolerate so many of the ingredients on the table. Most of all: gluten.
Well there goes the pie eating. That glorious moment when you feel you may burst and you need to lie on the couch and secretly unbutton your pants.
I attempted to make her feel better by offering substitute desserts. A Cranberry Lime Curd Pie with gingersnap crust. Tart and gloriously magenta. Beautiful and tasty but not quite a replacement. The quest for a gf pie crust that may possibly come close was on. It has taken a few years but I think I may have stumbled upon it.
GF Pie Crust and Fruit Pie Filling (makes one 9" pie) Crust: 1 1/3 cups King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour, plus extra for rolling out 1/3 cup almond meal (flour) 2 teaspoons sugar pinch of salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed 1/4-1/3 cup cold water 1 egg turbinado sugar (about 1/4 cup) Filling: 6 cups fruit 1/2-1 cup sugar (1/2 cup for sweeter fruits like apples) 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon pinch salt 3 tablespoons King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour Squeeze of lemon juice Add flour, almond meal, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture looks like small peas. With the motor running, slowly add water until mixture just comes together. Remove dough and pat into 2 flat disks. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. Alternately, refrigerate overnight or freeze until ready to use. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix all ingredients for filling and set aside. Generously dust a piece of 12"x18" parchment with KA flour. Place one disk in center. Dust top of disk with KA flour and place plastic wrap on top. With plastic wrap between rolling pin and dough, roll out dough into a round circle large enough to reach up just past sides of pie plate. Slide rolled out dough into pie plate with plastic side up. Gently pull off plastic wrap. Trim rough edges and discard. Using plastic wrap as a barrier, fold in edges along pie plate (be careful not to touch your fingers directly to the dough as it will tear. Fill pie. Place in refrigerator while rolling out top crust. Roll out top crust (2nd disk) using the same technique as the first. Cut a hole in the center for a vent. Slide top crust onto the pie and trim edges. Crimp edge of pie with a fork. Brush pie with egg wash: egg whisked with 2 tsp water. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then, turn down oven to 375 degrees and bake for 35-45 minutes more or until the fruit juices begin to bubble through the vent. Remove from oven and cool before serving. *If pie begins to brown too much, lightly cover with tinfoil until baking is complete.