I’ve never had to make my own crust before. I gave it a try last year with a cookbook a real sweet friend bought me for my birthday one year. So, I totally love chicken pot pies! And not being able to eat them makes me sad… but since I saw the recipe in Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten & Tom Malterre, I thought I’d try. Just because owning a cookbook doesn’t make a matter chef. I’ve tried their pie crust on 2 occasions and each time, I remember why I don’t regular make pies, and why I thought it would be impossible to make any crispy tarts or pastries.
I tried once again but with a different crust recipe that was a lot better to roll out and tasted much better. The crust in Nourishing Meals, was tasty but much too crumbly and fell apart too easily before and after baking.
I made this pie at 5pm in the evening, and didn’t finish until 11pm. All that time keeping the crust cold, you have to stick it in and out of the fridge to keep it the right malleability. I also made a lattice top and some deco crust pieces, which added to the time, but well worth the effort. For once in my life, my crust actually looks beautiful.
We got the apples at an orchard, just 45-50 minutes away, at a farm called Riley’s Farm.
There was actually 2 areas. The outer orchard was much less crowded and we picked so many… $20 worth! They seemed to only have winesap apples, which the lady at the front said were great for baking, cooking, and juicing. The farm extended much further in than we expected, waited a long time to get a stick to actually pick some granny smith apples, but managed to finally snag a few. My friends brought their cute corgi, Spock, and he got all the pets and the loving. Good bois are the best.
Such fun times together with friends! Cheesy, I know, but these days I relish quality memories made with people I care about.
If I was to redo the pie again, I’d probably cut the apples a lot smaller. Peter complained that they weren’t soft and jelly-like in a lot of store bought pies. I will attempt to readjust as such.
I liked the taste of the apples though! They were cumbersome to cut with and scoop up with a fork. The apples you pick really make or break your pie. I now know this. The very first pie I made wasn’t good at all. This may have been right before college, some time in high school. The granny smith apples I bought in the store was super tart. The pie lacked a lot of sugary flavors despite me following the recipe…. funny enough I met someone in a church group who googled the exact same recipe, but when I ate her version, it was delicious! To this day, I haven’t quite figured out why. But it’s probably the ingredients and the apples.
For the Gluten free crust I used a “Better Batter Pastry Hack”:
- 113g Better Batter Gluten-free Flour Mix
- 12g GF nonfat dry milk – I used Carnation brand’s powdered dry milk.
- 15g Arrowroot Starch – (lots of people list cornstarch, but I will always list arrowroot in place)
My GF Better Batter is actually Gluten-free On a Shoestring’s Mock Better Batter recipe. She uses a weighted system for her flour blend, which truth-be-told is better than the American metric system for making gluten-free baking. (But no lie, sometimes it’s easier to just grab a cup measurement when you just want to throw all the shit together fast.) And fortunately, I have this very cheap weighted measurement scale. It’s more of a ‘guestimate’ sometimes, since it only reads in increments of 20g and the lettering is very small. I’d like to invest in a metal scale some day; I will probably use it all the time.
Here is a doubled version of the flour blend, if you have a weighted scale:
- 320g (halved 160g) brown rice flour
- 320g(160) white rice flour
- 160g(80) tapioca starch
- 160g(80) potato starch
- 40g (20) potato flour
- 16g (8) powdered pectin
and if you want to add in your gum: 36g (18) xanthum/guar gum.
I don’t normally add the gum into my premix, because what if the recipe doesn’t need it? So I always put in 1 tsp of gum, and usually if they’ll call for an egg too that helps hold it together, or extra pectin powder.
I have another GF flour I mix, with either quinoa or teff, but some flours are better than others taste-wise. Quinoa and teff are both good for like baked sweet breads or muffins, but not sandwich bread or cookies. It’s hard that gluten free flours aren’t “all-purpose” the way wheat is, but its also very versatile in terms of what whole grains you want to have. Rice is known to break down very fast and into sugars, so sometimes eating only rice isn’t the best idea even though its the most easy of gf flours to obtain. And this is true, even as an Asian person, I really want to eat rice everyday, in fact I used to, but I’ve gained a lot of weight when I used to eat it twice a day. I’m sure its because I don’t do hard labor so it doesn’t metabolize for me fast enough. But if I don’t eat it for dinner, I feel really hungry at night and the next morning.
GF Pie Crust – Pastry Hack
- 1 1/2 cups (210g) gf flour blend* + extra for sprinkling
- 3/4 tsp guar gum
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 6 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- a cup of ice water – keep in fridge until ready to use
- Make pie crust dough: Place all flours, guar gum, baking powder, salt into a mixing bowl and sift together. Chop cold butter (easier to chop into squares) and add. Flatten each better square with fingers and flour by pinching them. Add sour cream ingredients sour cream and lightly mix together. The dough should be crumbly and shaggy. Knead the dough with clean hands until it forms a ball — add ice water by the teaspoon to help keep it together only if necessary. If not, skip this step, sometimes I don’t even need it because the sour cream is enough. The dough should seem rough and not over kneaded (just enough!). Cover with some wax paper or a top (or plastic, I guess… I don’t condone this as an environmentalist.) and flatten. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Grease baking pie pan.
- After chill time, take out the dough. If making 2 crusts, now is the time to split it in half, refrigerate the other one until ready to work with, as dough needs to be cold to be workable.
- Sprinkle some flour on your work surface; I use a piece of taped down parchment paper, and some flour on the dough. Move dough frequently and sprinkling flour to keep from sticking, roll out the dough flat and rectangular/square-ish and 1 in thick. You’ll fold it 3 ways like paper origami, or folding a 8.5×11 paper into 3 folds, and then turn over, and fold 3 ways again into a square. Flatten out and do this 2 more times.
- After you’ve rolled it out 3 times, roll into a 12 inch round circle, 3/8 inch thick. Roll loosely on your rolling pin, and unroll over the baking pan. Lift the dough up and out to adjust as necessary. Cut excess edges with scissors, and tuck excess edge under the dough, and between the pan and dough. With forefingers and thumb, make indents on the edges to create crust edges — one hand will be shaped like a “v” and the other forefinger will press into the “v” with the dough.
- Cover crust and refrigerate for 30 minutes or 3 days.
- Set oven to 375°F while refrigerating and pop in if par baking.
*I actually copied my last baking hack from the light muffins and substituted half a cup of Birch Bender’s pancake paleo mix because I didn’t have enough flour, and it worked out! The only bad thing was that it puffed up a lot! It almost freaked me out, but that just means more crust, which was kind of tasty anyway. However, if using this hack, don’t add anymore baking soda!
Apple Pie Filling – deep dish:
- 6-8 Fresh picked apples, cored and thinly sliced or chopped small — I used winesop and granny smiths.
- 1/2 cup sugars and extra for sprinkling if you want– I used brown sugar and raw turbinado sugar for sprinkling since it was big and course.
- 2 TBSP arrowroot powder
- 1 TBSP lemon juice, if none, use apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp grated or powdered nutmeg
- egg wash
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease your 9in baking pie pan and roll out dough, keep refrigerated.
- Combine apples, sugar, arrowroot powder, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and toss well.*** Add filling to pie. If using a second crust, you can make a lattice-top or just roll out a dough top, add some poked holes on top to vent steam.
- Flute the edges, and brush the top with an egg wash to get the nice browned color. Sprinkle some course sugar crystals on top.
- Place pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for about 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes more, or the filling is bubbling and crust is golden around the edges. Cool for 1 hour before serving to help ingredients solidify (otherwise filling will not gel and won’t marry well).
Serve a la mode with ice cream of choice or by itself.
All the little hearts were hand cut, since I had no cutters that small.
Lots of little hearts, an apple, and a bow. I wanted to see what little designs I could make and not waste any extra crust.