Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a wonderful day with family and friends. I started my Thanksgiving with dessert — baking them, that is. I like to put on a little music and bake. Now cake calls for happy music, and I’m not too embarrassed to let you know that I baked a superb chocolate cake and made the creamiest of chocolate frostings while listening to the likes of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA.” Cakes are easy, happy desserts. Pie, on the other hand, calls for absolute silence, at least while I make the crust. Crust is, for me, challenging at the best of times, but gluten-free pie crust (as necessitated by my significant other) is a whole different ballgame.

mama's gf flourIt starts with the flour, and there are a plethora of gluten-free flours out there suitable for exchanging one-to-one with regular flour in recipes. However, some have a distinct flavor of, um, garbanzo beans, which can be tolerated and even disguised in some dishes. However, it is not a great taste for a pumpkin pie crust. After trying many (King Arthur, Bob’s Red Mill, even Pillsbury), I’ve found I like Mama’s All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour, with its coconut, tapioca, and rice flour blend. Mild tasting, soft, and works like regular wheat flour.

Also, for the shortening, I used coconut oil in its solidified white form (looking like the Crisco of my childhood), not in its liquid form. It works really well.

I’m not going to lie: rolling out this gluten-free pastry is nearly impossible, even after chilling, so I usually press it onto parchment paper with my hands, then attempt to transfer it to the pie plate. Et voila — abject failure!

gluten free pie crust

The dog thoroughly enjoyed cleaning up the pieces that fell on the floor. However, I still needed a pumpkin pie, so I gathered up the pieces and pressed them into the pie plate and baked it for about 10 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Then I added the filling, baked the pie for the required time, et voila again — this time success!

successful pieSorry, I forgot to take a photo of the pie before we ate it, but it was pretty darn good. Flakey as it is supposed to be. And no one screamed out, “Hey, this is gluten free, isn’t it?” The chocolate cake was also gluten free (an old Hershey’s recipe using Mama’s gf flour), as was the delicious stuffing (thanks, Trader Joe’s).

A happy, gluten-free time was had by all, and most of the guests never even knew. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Easter, 2017!

I simply want to wish my fellow human beings and animal friends a very wonderful Easter Sunday.

Now, here’s a sweet treat (and naturally gluten free). My gentleman friend (GF) and I made a Martha Stewart recipe for coconut almond macaroons. We added chocolate chips and they came out quite delicioso!

Coconut Almond Macaroons

The very simple recipe:

1 cup natural cane sugar

3 large egg whites

3 cups unsweetened shredded cocounut

3/4 cup sliverred almonds

1 & 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a medium bowl. Stir in coconut, almonds, vanilla, salt, and, if desired, chocolate chips.

3)Drop the coconut mixture by 2 tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

(I used a giant cookie sheet and this made about 24, but you may want to use two sheets.)

4)With moistened hands, squeeze each mound tightly together to form a compact ball.

5)Using a spatula, flatten one side at a time to form a pyramid shape. (I didn’t have the patience for this, but my GF did.)

6)Bake in oven until golden brown on bottoms and edges, 15 – 18 minutes. (Switch baking sheets top rack to bottom rack halfway through if you use two sheets.)

7)Transfer sheets to wire racks and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer macaroons to racks, and cool completely, about 20 minutes. (No, we didn’t wait that long before tasting.)

ENJOY! Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.