Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Pie Crust to Remember

A pie crust that’s easy as [eating] pie? Oh yes, I went there. Pun wholly intended.

I don’t think people realize how easy it is. It was harder to decide what the filling was going to be, and even that changed at the last minute. That’s what the Gluten Free Ratio Rally is all about: showing just how easy it is to make a recipe gluten free with the right ratio.

The last time I made gluten free pie from scratch, it had an all cornmeal pie crust for an enchilada meat pie. It turned out deliciously enough, although I think it could have used a starch or another flour along with it, and the filling could have used more liquid. Not only that, but it wouldn’t roll out into one unified dough. Too sticky and soft.

But I digress.

As the month of October came to a close, Alton Brown’s "Good Eats" pie crust episode came on. I learned what he did for a tender and flaky crust. There was a lot of refrigeration involved, and simply leaving the dough alone to do its own thing. Oh, and the use of a small spray bottle. That was a new technique for the books.

When I finally made the dough, I had the technique to make it but not the recipe for either the crust or the filling. I considered making homemade mincemeat, the sweet vegetarian kind. I considered making pastries similar to pop tarts, savory pies, empanadas, pot pies, samosas, and much more. But then I was inspired… for quiche. Ah yes, quiche, an eggy custard with cheese and veggies and meat. Then I thought about muffin tin pies and the wondrousness of making a plethora of variations for whatever flavor I’m feeling at that particular moment. So I figured, why not do both? This pie crust recipe has that ability.

Pie Crust Recipe

4 oz Glutinous rice flour
3 oz Amaranth flour
2 oz Garbanzo bean flour
2 oz Tapioca starch
1 oz Coconut flour
8 oz Butter (Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter)
2 oz Ice water
1/2 tsp. Sea salt

I followed the directions Alton Brown gave for his "Good Eats" pie crust recipe:
Cut the butter into small pieces and place it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt by pulsing 3 to 4 times.
Add butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until texture looks mealy.
Remove lid of food processor and spritz surface of the mixture thoroughly with water. Replace lid and pulse 5 times.
Add more water (I ended up just pouring the remaining water onto the dough) and pulse again until mixture holds together or starts forming into a ball.
Place mixture in large mixing bowl, cover with aluminum foil and use it to press into a bowl.
Refrigerate up to 30 minutes or overnight.

This makes 22 oz of dough, which can make two 9-inch pies crusts or one pie crust with a top. However, I used 11 oz with a quiche in mind, and the remainder of the dough leftover to make muffin tin pies.

Now, the quiche I am posting is not the custard I was planning on posting. I made a mixture in advance because I had work that afternoon and wouldn’t be able to bake it myself in time for dinner. However, it ended up spilling all over the floor so Mama Dazz had to improvise.

Spinach – Prosciutto Ricotta Quiche

11 oz Morri’s Pie dough
4 slices Muenster cheese, quartered
2.25 oz Frozen spinach
4 Prosciutto slices
10 oz Ricotta cheese
6 Eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Allspice
Pinch of Salt

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and bring to about room temperature.
Dust the counter or cutting board with tapioca starch.
Use a rolling pin and flatten the dough into a flat circle.
Place the dough into a greased deep pie dish and let refrigerate for up to 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Mix together the ricotta cheese, beaten eggs, and the spices into a consistent batter and set aside.
Remove the dough from the fridge and begin the layering process for the filling, first with one quartered Muenster cheese, then the prosciutto, the eggy cheese batter, the spinach, and finally top it with the remaining Muenster slices closest to the crust. 
Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the center has set, and let sit for fifteen minutes before serving.

Serves 4 – 6 people.

Now, about those muffin tin pies. I couldn’t decide on what filling to use, and I was worried that it would stick to the pan. But they came out wonderfully and the crust held as I ate it.

11 oz of the dough makes 12 muffin tin pies. For a single serving or a romantic indulgence for two, use 1 – 2 oz of pie dough and form two muffin tin pies. Use your choice of filling, from a savory custard or a sweet mince filling. The world… erm, the pie dough is your oyster.

For my single serving, I blended together one egg and a banana, sprinkled a little sea salt on top and dashed it with cinnamon and mesquite flour. Voilà! Instant deliciousness.

I got my inspiration and directions from Make and Takes and Marie’s Mini Pumpkin Pies.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Prep your 11 oz dough and roll it flat on a floured cutting board or counter.
Using a bowl or 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles from your dough (you will likely have dough left over, with you can use to cut out shapes or a 3-inch cookie cutter as a topper).
Place each circle into a greased muffin tin and press them in, letting the sides come up for a fun look.
Pour your filling into each muffin tin cup and fill them to the very top.
Bake for 15 minutes until the dough is crispy and the filling has set.

Makes 12 pies.

Now, like every month, I’m not the only one who made something. Lisa of Gluten Free Canteen was this month’s host for pie crust, and let me say, we couldn’t have a better person for pie. Her writing? Honest. Her recipes? Original and beautiful to read. She is what pie represents, warm and inviting to all.

Here are the participants for this month:

Charissa | Zest Bakery    Apple Galette with Pisco Soaked Golden Raisins   
Claire | Gluten Freedom    Autumn Pumpkin Spice Pie   
Meredith | Gluten Free Betty    Blueberry Pie 
Jean Layton | Gluten-Free Doctor   Cheese Crusted Apple Pie.    
Erin | The Sensitive Epicure    Chess Pie
Silvana Nardone | Silvana's Kitchen    Chicken Potpie   
TR | No One Likes Crumbley Cookies    Chocolate Mousse Pie  
gretchen | kumquat    deep dish chocolate bourbon pecan pie  
*Lisa  | Gluten Free Canteen    Frangipane Apple Pie & Tart   
Shanua | Gluten Free Girl & The Chef    Fresh Pumpkin Pie   
Caneel | Mama Me Gluten Free    Green Tomato Pie   
Kate | katealicecookbook    Kale & zucchini tart   
Caleigh | Gluten Free[k]    Leek and Potato Pie   
Rachel | The Crispy Cook    Maple Walnut Pie   
Morri | Meals With Morri    Spinach - Prosciutto Ricotta Quiche & Muffin Tin Pie Variations   
Brooke | B & the boy!    Pot Pie 
Mary Fran | frannycakes    Pumpkin Mousse Pie and Apple Maple Cream Cheese Pie   
Jenn | Jenn Cuisine    Sweet Potato and Duck Pot Pie   
Meaghan | The Wicked Good Vegan    Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie with Pumpkin Seed and Ginger Topping  
Mrs. R | Honey From Flinty Rocks    Mock Apple Pie   
Irvin | Eat the Love    Double Butterscotch Apple Pie
Karen | Cooking Gluten Free   Gluten Free Apple Pie


  1. You had me at spinach and prosciutto, then ricotta and all the other great ingredients? Fahgeddaboutit. Great pie!

  2. Morri - that is such a totally cool idea - those little muffin pies! I'm a big Alton Brown fan, too. Thanks for the kind words. And both of these look delicious.

  3. Oh I love quiche!! That sounds amazing!! Such awesome flavors :)

  4. I love quiche, too! And this one sounds good - and I love the little ones. The flavor combination sounds really tasty! The crust looks like it came out great - good job!

  5. Any advice on substituting coconut flour? Maybe millet or arrowroot? Thank you for the recipe post! I am about to make mini pumpkin pies.

    1. Hello Becky! Coconut is fairly dense and absorbent, so I'd go with equally dense and absorbent flours. Try almond flour instead. If you are dealing with a nut allergy, try buckwheat.