Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gluten Free Pumpkin and Apple Pies

I hope everyone had a thankful Thanksgiving!  I helped my mom in the kitchen for two days.  We work well together in the kitchen and I really had a great time.  I learned more about making spaghetti sauce from scratch but I still have a lot to learn.

I decided I was going to make gluten free pies for Thanksgiving this year.  I usually forego dessert since I can't have it but this time, I was not going to skip it.  I found the most fantastic recipe from Gluten Free Girl, which was also featured on  This recipe had me searching all over town looking for teff flour but never found it.  I eliminated it and used Laura's Artisan All Purpose Gluten Free flour and it turned out just fine.  I also learned that I never want to use shortening again.  Have you ever read the ingredients of shortening?  Ummm.... EWWWW!!!!!  So I found a different brand of leaf lard, which she recommends in her blog but it's pure lard with no soybean oil or hydrogenated oils.  Pure lard. Yeah... gross but using the right kind of fats in a pie crust is crucial and I think this lard made a world of difference.  AND it didn't give me heartburn like Crisco does.

Gluten Free Girl gives wonderful tips on making great pie crusts.  What I like about gluten free pie crusts is that you can't over-knead the dough because there's no gluten.

Even though you can play with this dough and not ruin it, it's not the easiest dough to transfer to a pie pan.  It falls apart so easily, you can't do much with it.  So I rolled the dough on parchment paper, put the pie pan on top of the dough, then slid a cookie sheet underneath.  Flipped it over and voila!  But once I peeled off the parchment paper and let the dough slide down inside the pie pan, it fell apart.  What makes it nice though, is that it's super easy to reconstruct and repair.

I'm terrible at taking pictures during the process.  I always think the end result will be a bust, but you can be sure I'll take pictures if my creation turns out looking good.  Gluten Free Girl shows you step-by-step.  It's fantastic!!!

These pies turned out SOOO GOOD!!!!  I didn't realize that the huge can of pumpkin that I had only made one pie.  Usually they make two so I was off to the store at the last minute buying more pumpkin to finish off the last pie crust.  Then it dawned on me that the can I had was for Pumpkin Mix.  So the pie on the left was made with regular pumpkin where I had to add the sugar and milk, etc and the pie on the right is the pumpkin mix.  I really couldn't tell a difference, except maybe the regular pumpkin pie was a tinge sweeter.  I thought the pumpkin mix looked prettier, deeper in color.

My mom always took the leftover dough, rolled it out and smeared butter all over it and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar.  She'd roll it up and slice it so it looked swirled.  I don't think we ever had a name for it, but man are they good!  Unfortunately, I couldn't do that with this gluten free dough so I made the next best thing:

I call them cinnamon sugar chips.  I took the leftover dough and smashed pieces through my fingers to make flat pieces of dough "chips".  Sprayed them with cooking spray and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar.  Bake 350 for about 15 minutes and oooohhhhh!!!!!  They were sooooo good!  I thought they would be good sprinkled over vanilla ice cream but I was so full and tired that night, I just couldn't do it.  Better believe next time, I'll be trying it!

Next weekend, we'll be doing Thanksgiving again with my husband's family.  Of course, I'll be making these pies again.  I never seem to get enough pumpkin pie this time of year.