I’m sure I can’t be the only one who serves gluten-free guests from time to time. Even if you don’t eat gluten-free yourself it doesn’t have to be stressful to feed someone who does. It’s becoming much more popular to eat this way and thanks to that, there are far more products and recipes that are truly delicious, and will have even the biggest wheat lovers asking for more. Since it’s becoming such a common thing, I thought I’d start sharing some of my fave gluten-free recipes with you on occasion. These will be recipes that can be served to (and enjoyed by) everyone – gluten-free eaters or not. That way there’s no need to make separate food for everyone.
With the holidays approaching there will be plenty of pies being baked so I thought I’d share my favourite recipe for gluten-free pie crust. I made it for the first time for our (Canadian) Thanksgiving and it got rave reviews. I was only able to capture the photo above with my phone before taking it to our celebration, but the crust was so spectacular I just had to share it with you pronto. The dough is so easy to work with and the results are flaky and crisp – no one will ever guess it’s gluten-free.
My first tip, for those who normally don’t cook gluten-free, is to by a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix and stick with recipes that call for that. That way you don’t have to stock your pantry with a bunch of ingredients that will only be used every once in a blue moon. Most grocery store stock them nowadays but just remember that the better the quality, the better the results!
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg
- 2-4 tablespoons very cold water
- Using a food processor: Place the flour and salt in the processor bowl fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and no large pieces of butter remain. Add the egg and 2 tablespoons of water. Pulse again until mixture sticks together when formed into a ball. If necessary add remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Form into a disk and use immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Mix by hand: Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add butter and cut it in using a pastry cutter or your fingers, until the mixture is crumbly and no large pieces of butter remain. Add the egg and 2 tablespoons of water. Toss with a fork until mixture sticks together when formed into a ball. If necessary add remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Form into a disk and use immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
There have been mixed reviews with this recipe. Since every gluten-free mix is different it’s difficult for me to say without further experimentation why that is. I have had great success with the Cup4Cup flour from Williams-Sonoma. Feel free to read through the comments for others suggestions of flours and substitutions. Once I have experimented enough myself to have confidence to say why it works for some and not for others, I will be updating this space.
Adapted from Every Day Food Sept/12.