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It's All About the Baking came about because I want to share my Gluten-free baking. I've developed recipes and tricks over the past ten years so I could enjoy old favorites that tasted, well, just like the old favorites! Hundreds of experiments and tastings (including and especially friends who can eat gluten) later, I'm ready to share!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rhubarb Pie!

I'll have a slice!
Or cherry or berry! The trick is in the gluten-free crust. It isn't difficult at all, the hardest thing for me was forgetting all the years and dozens of pies in my gluten-filled, pie-making past. Gluten-free crust handles differently, so don't worry about handling it too much. You will likely have to patch it in places which is just fine; it won't be tough or ruined. This crust is crisp, really tasty and delicious. I hope you'll give pie a try soon!

this is adapted from the America's Test Kitchen Gluten-free Cookbook

Notes: The instructions call for use of a food processor. If you don't have one, cut the butter and shortening in by hand with a pastry cutter or two knives. For the flour, I made the ATK flour blend* but you can use your favorite GF flour, though results and taste may differ a bit. I would use a mixture of rice flour,** millet flour, and sorghum flour.

For the crust for one nine-inch double-crust pie***
5 TB ice water
3 TB sour cream
1 TB rice vinegar

13 ounces (2 3/4 cups plus 2 TB) gluten-free flour blend
1TB sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of xanthan gum
1 tsp psyllium seed husk. If you don't have this ingredient, double the gum. I use the husk because it makes the crust more pliable
8 TB unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and frozen
8 TB shortening cut into a few pieces (I use Spectrum organic shortening.)

Thoroughly combine the ice water, sour cream, and vinegar. Set aside.

Process the flour, sugar, salt, xanthan gum, and psyllium seed husk in food processor or whisk by hand for a few seconds. Sprinkle the frozen butter and shortening over the flour and pulse (or cut with pastry cutter or two knives) until the butter and shortening are about the size of small peas. Pour in the wet ingredients and pulse a few times until the dough comes together (or toss with a fork). Divide the dough in half, flatten it into a five or six inch disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour, taking it out 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to roll it out. Don't let it get too warm.

After it's chilled, roll one half out between two sheets of parchment or wax paper so it's 10 to11 inches in diameter. Peel off the top sheet and replace it with a fresh sheet. Flip the crust over and repeat with new paper for the bottom side. Remove the top sheet and carefully roll or flip the crust over your pie plate. Or you may center your plate on the rolled-out dough and gently flip both. If dough gets too warm/soft at any point, slide it back in the fridge on a cookie sheet for a few minutes.
Ready for the oven!

For the filling
The filling is adapted from Joy of Cooking.
Combine thoroughly and let sit for 15 minutes, giving an occasional stir:
5 cups rhubarb cut in one-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 to 2 pounds)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Set aside 1 TB butter cut in small pieces

Pour the filling into the bottom crust. Roll out the top crust using the same method used for rolling the bottom crust. Top with the pieces of butter.
You'll need to cut vents in the top which I did using the center from a donut cutter. You could just make slits or use another shape like a star.  Once you've flipped the top crust on to new paper, carefully center (using the "roll/flop" method) it on to the pie, then trim and crimp the edges. If desired, brush half-and-half or milk over the crust with your fingers and then sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. Turn the temp down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, watching for browning.
When making a fruit pie I always slip a cookie sheet on the rack below the pie to keep the inevitable drips from hitting the oven floor and burning.
Let cool on on a rack, then enjoy. If there's any left, you'll find that it's magically turned into Breakfast Pastry by the next morning!

* ATK flour blend:
24 ounces (4 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup white rice flour
7 1/2 ounces (1 2/3 cups) brown rice flour
7 ounces (3/4 cup) potato starch
3/4 ounce (3 TB) nonfat milk powder
If you want to understand the science behind why this works, please buy the ATK cookbook.

**I always use Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice Flour.

***This would be great with a streusel topping instead of a top crust.

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