I might have to confess to being more of a chocolate cake person than a pie person, but this article may convert me. Once again, Living Without has a host of amazing recipes for making delectable gluten-free pies. The sugar in these recipes can be scaled back depending on how ripe your fruit is and how sweet you like your desserts.
Click on the title or links at the end for the whole article and recipes for apple, peach, plum and strawberry rhubarb versions. As always, I’m very grateful to Living Without for their information and creativity!
Slice into the season’s sweet rewards
I had the opportunity to work in a local pie shop where I learned some new tricks for creating a perfect pie. I wasn’t at the shop long before I saw that making a gluten-free pie is much easier than making its wheat-filled counterpart. You can work gluten-free dough and make mistakes and the crust will still turn out fine. The only issue is that gluten-free slices may crumble a bit when they’re cut and served. A minor inconvenience, I say, in light of such a delicious treat!
Now is the ideal time for enjoying pie. Fruit that’s in season in your area is always the best choice. It has a higher brix value (measure of sweetness), allowing you to reduce the total amount of sugar needed in your recipe. Taste the fruit you plan to use. If it’s very sweet and succulent, you can lower the amount of sugar in your recipe accordingly.
If you decide to make a fruit pie out of season, there’s good-quality frozen fruit available in your supermarket. Larger pieces, such as peach slices, should be thoroughly defrosted before going into a pie. Smaller fruit, like raspberries, require less thawing prior to baking.
After one hour in the oven, check your pie for doneness by sticking a knife into it. The fruit should be soft and tender but not mushy. If you need to bake the pie longer than an hour, cover it loosely with foil to keep the crust from over-browning.
When I worked at the shop, I became thoroughly immersed in all things pie. The same thing happened to everyone who was employed there. The focus on pies was so intense that the shop owners’ young son even asked for a slice in his sleep. “I want pie,” he said, dreaming. For those of us who must avoid gluten (dairy and eggs, too), these flavorful recipes are like a dream come true.
Karen Robertson, author of Cooking Gluten-Free!, lives in Seattle.