Determined though, to see this gluten-free thing through, I wasn't going to cave and have wheat just for warmth and friendship, no - I was going to have it all! Warmth, friendship, and a gluten-free pie!
Now, substituting gluten-free ingredients for wheat flour in a recipe, as you might know is complicated. There is no ONE other flour that has the same consistency, absorbtion and taste. And then you need xanthan gum or guar gum to make it all work. Well, Bob's Red Mill supplies a wonderful array of gluten-free products, and I thought I'd give it a try. I used Bob's Red Mill All purpose gluten-free baking flour. It contains garbanzo bean flour (which I already use and love), potato starch, tapioca flour, white sorghum flour, and fava bean flour. No gums at all though! Oh horrors when I saw that and thought my pie-making might be a bust! (With only 14 degrees floating around outside, going to the store was not an option.)
So, in experimenting with the gluten-free flour, no gum, a traditional and simple piecrust recipe and an egg (egg = gum, right?) I gave it my all. I substituted margarine for half the butter in the recipe to hold it together a little better. The dough was crumbly and imperfect,
and when I first put it in the oven, it smelled a bit like potatoes (thank you, potato flour), but the pie turned out to be delicious. I believe I might have just overcome my fear of gluten-free baking! Mini-muffins - here I come?
For the crust:
- 2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, in Tbsp pieces
- 1/2 cup margarine, in Tbsp pieces
- 1 egg, plus one yolk
- cold water
for the filling:
- six or seven apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp agave nectar
- 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour and the salt. Cut in the butter until the dough is crumbly. Add up to 1/2 a cup of cold water, on tablespoon at a time. Add the egg and mix together with your hands. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin (I don't think it matters which flour you use for this - I used garbanzo bean flour), roll out the dough into one long piece. Cut it in half and line a 9 inch pie pan with one half of the dough.
- In another large bowl, toss the apple slices with lemon juice. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, nectar and flour and mix thoroughly. Fill the pie pan with this apple mixture and top with the remaining pie crust.
- Brush the top of the pie with one egg yolk and put on a baking sheet and cook at 425 for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 and bake for another 45 minutes.