Monday, August 27, 2012

Easy Gluten Free - Pie Crusts & Quiche

As a kid I was never a pie person. (Give me cake, please!) But my mother in law, Sharon, is an amazing pie-maker, and after almost 6 years of being in her family, I'm kind of being won over by the pies. (This one is my most favorite of all. I seriously have had dreams of this pie. Amazing. Sharon, if you're reading this, I think this pie would make an excellent Christmas present for a daughter in law. Just sayin'...)

I wondered if my new found relationship with pies was over prematurely when I made the choice to say goodbye to gluten. But then my sister-in-law and nieces were also diagnosed with gluten allergies and I think the family started freaking out a little bit about never being able to enjoy Sharon's amazing pies ever again. So we started searching for gluten free pie crust recipes.

I don't know if I've settled on it as being the best gluten free pie crust ever, but this recipe is pretty great. I usually use a custom mix of gluten free flours for baking, but for this post I specifically tried using Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour mix to see how it compared. The results were good! It makes a nice, savory, flaky crust that you can use for desserts or savory dishes (like quiche!)

Pie Crust Recipe (Makes 2 Pie Crusts)

2 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour mix

1 tsp salt

8 tbsp (1 stick) cold salted butter

1 egg

1/3 cup cold water

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. Mix the flour and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the stick of butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

2. Whisk the egg, water and vinegar in a separate bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix well until dough is smooth. (I find it works best to use your hands for this.)

3. Divide the dough into 2 balls, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour. Note: this dough freezes well, and can be kept frozen for a month!

4. When you're ready to start some pie making, preheat your oven to 350*F. Roll each piece of dough out into circles between two pieces of plastic wrap (gluten free dough is awfully sticky.) Use one dough half to line a 9 inch pie dish (the second circle of dough can be used as a top crust or as it's own separate pie.)

5. Poke the bottom of the dough with a fork several times, (I believe the proper term for this is docking, though I have no idea why) or you'll get some unsightly bubbles and bulges in your baked crust. You can also do some fancy finger work to crimp the edges of the pie. (Don't look too closely at the job I did - my fingers don't do fancy very well.)

6. Bake the crust (sans filling) for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

7. Use this baked shell as you follow the recipe for whatever pie you're making.

That's a lot of directions but I promise - it's easy!

So. Last Christmas, my sister taught me how to make quiche, and I think it's become my most favorite way to use my gluten free pie crusts. So good. Here's how to do it:

Eggs. Lots of them. I use about 10 eggs to make two 9" quiche pies.

To the eggs, you add an equal amount of half and half. I'll simplify for you - for 10 eggs, you need about 2 cups of half and half. Whisk until blended and frothy!

This is where you can let loose and get creative. AKA - the best part of all. To the eggs, I like to add a couple of teaspoons each of tobasco sauce and worcestershire sauce. Sometimes I add a couple of dashes of nutmeg too. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it's amazing.

You can throw pretty much anything you want into a quiche. For these, I layered breakfast sausage (that I fried up before making the quiche) red peppers, spinach and parmesan cheese.

When you have your mix-ins layered in the bottom of your pie crusts, pour the egg mixture over the tops. The eggs should not rise above the tops of your crusts.

Bake your quiche for 45-60 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 375*F. A toothpick should come out dry when they're done.

Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Disclaimer: Bob's Red Mill does not know me from Adam and did not sponsor this post. 

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