Sometimes a good idea seems to just spring from the ether.
An idea that resonates with so many people that, when it is shared, it is embraced by all who hear it and so it spreads.
That is what seem to happen when the idea of a pie party was mentioned on Twitter. As of an hour ago, it looks like 1500 people are baking, photographing and tweeting about pie.
Everyone who thought for even a moment, embraced the idea. Pie is needed by all, and so pie it would be, all day, all the time.
After all, isn’t anything better with pie? I know my husband considers Pie to be a food group all its own.
But for some of us, pie seems to be a bit more difficult. After all, when you can’t use wheat flour, its just too hard to get a nice flaky crust, Right?
WRONG! The gluten in wheat flour is actually what makes pie crust inflexible and tough.
It is the pieces of fat, held cool till the heat of the oven makes them melt, and the moisture contained by a protein structure that create those lovely flakes.
Gluten-free flours can make this physical chemistry happen just as easily as gluten full flour. Without the toughness!
So, in honor of pie party, here is my contribution.
From my upcoming book, co-authored with Linda Larsen.
Raspberry Custard Pie
Yup, my book! Yippee, and watch me do the happy dance of joy that this book is manifesting just in time for Christmas.
My nose has been kept firmly on the grindstone for the past few months with creation, writing, editing and verifying the information.
And I loved every minute of it.
Thank goodness for the support of my family. They tested more recipes in a very brief time frame than I would ever have thought possible. And now I’ve got a couple of young food bloggers in the house!
So, here for the first time in cyberspace is a pie recipe I created one deep winter’s day from ingredients I had on hand in my pantry.
If you would rather work with fresh heavy cream, just picked raspberries and sugar, feel free to make those substitutions.
But you will need a couple of recipes behind the main one.
First, there are two flour mixes used throughout the book to make baking as simple as grabbing a bit of this and a bit of that, like my mom used to bake.
The first mimics the softness of cake flour with its high starch content.
The second replaces an unbleached flour in protein and softness.
I use these two mixes throughout the book in different proportions to create the perfect breads, pastries and crusts. So go ahead, make up a batch of each to test for yourself.
White Flour MixAnd yes, the book is written in weights as well as cups, I love my scale and the accuracy and ease it provides while baking.
Light, fluffy and white are the qualities of white pastry flour this mixture mimics.
Just be certain to use potato starch, not potato flour for the mixture. Potato flour is the entire potato ground and dried. Potato starch is solely the starch- light and smooth.
If you substitute flour for starch, nothing will work.
Then add the tapioca flour- for this flour the words are interchangeable, just for confusion. So tapioca flour is the same thing as tapioca starch.
Lastly to provide a bit of structure, I blend in sweet rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour) a high starch flour that sticks together nicely. If you have ever eaten sushi, this is the rice that they use to create those pretty bites.
I use this starch mixture to lighten the baked goods to a texture similar to white wheat flour. It is not impossible to use just this for all your baked goods but the crumbly tender qualities you hope for will be harder to achieve.
So use a bit of the whole grain flour mix as well even if you love white, white baked goods.
For the whole wheat lover, who misses the more developed flavor of whole grains as well as the higher fiber and vitamin content.
This combination has
whole brown rice flour working as the backbone,
sweet (aka glutinous, no not gluten) rice flour to recreate some of the structure,
sorghum flour to help develop the rounded flavor and
millet flour to recreate the ability to have a tender crumb,
When you make the batch, make sure to blend it thoroughly so there are no pockets of an individual flour.
This works far better as a quartet than a solo.
You will have a lovely batch of pale brown goodness, reminiscent of whole wheat pastry flour.
If you are like me and desire to use whole flours primarily, realize that you can substitute this flour blend- by weight- for the white flour mix at any time. The finished product will likely be a bit more dense but still tasty.
I use a large Cambro container with a tight fitting lid to mix my batch since it gives a bit of room to mix.
- 1 single crust pie shell
- 3 large eggs
- 1 12 oz can condensed milk - preferably organic
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ? teaspoon nutmeg ground
- 3 tablespoons water
- 240 grams 2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place a piece of parchment paper in the pie crust and pour in 1 cup of rice/beans to weigh the pie crust into the pan or use pie weights.
- Bake the pie shell for 6 minutes.
- Beat the large eggs till light and fluffy.
- Add the milk, vanilla extract, salt, nutmeg and water, making sure to beat them well into the eggs.
- Scatter the raspberries into the pie pan and pour the egg mixture on top of the raspberries, allowing them to float to the top in the custard without moving them too much. If you do move the frozen raspberries, then the custard will be tinted pink.
- Bake for 10 minutes then reduce oven to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 25-28 minutes or till the center is risen and firm.