Last year, the day before Thanksgiving, an odd turn of events had me running all over Manhattan and Brooklyn collecting gluten-free sweet treats for my first Easy Eats shoot (Treat Yourself, from Jan/Feb). First thing that morning, I found myself with some time to kill after picking up a product by Union Square. I climbed the steps to the Barnes and Noble cafe and sat by a window overlooking the farmer’s market. It’s a gorgeous city scene that early the day before Thanksgiving; cold, still somewhat quiet, and full of excitement for the next few days spent cooking, eating and sharing. I looked down with my hot tea through the frosty window, watching shoppers buying local squash, apples, pumpkin, cider… and thought…
Next year, that will be me. And now it is!
Somehow I convinced my family to come to my little city apartment, grandparents and all. I’m definitely the most domestic of my siblings with the best cookware and kitchen skills, but I have a feeling I won my grandparents over with “I have an elevator” (my siblings places both have lots of stairs). Wednesday morning I’ll head to Union Square for my produce, then spend the day with my sisters brining my bird, making gluten-free cornbread for stuffing, shaving Brussels sprouts, toasting pepitas and pecans, blending soup, and mulling wine. We’ll wake up early on Thursday, and my brother will join us for the parade and a batch of pumpkin doughnuts and cranberry-walnut scones. My mother and grandparents and a cousin and friend or two will then come with tablecloths and extra silverware, and we’ll spread out some folding tables in my living room.
One thing I make every year, despite locale, is the apple pie. I like my pie to be a mound of local apples (often coated in bourbon and molasses) and freshly-ground spices.
I’m a dork for pie. No matter the season, this is my go-to basic gluten-free pie crust recipe, with 3 ways to make it depending on your tools. The video is silly. Silly AWESOME (I hope)!
Wishing you good things this holiday season and all year ’round,
Basic Gluten-Free Pie Crust:
- Gluten-free flour blend: 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca starch OR arrowroot starch, 1/4 cup millet flour, 1 tsp xanthan gum, 2 Tbsp sticky rice flour.
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp palm, sucanat or white sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter (higher fat the better)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp lemon juice
If you have a standing mixer, place the flours, salt and sugar in the bowl and fix with a paddle attachment. Mix flours to combine thoroughly. Cube or thinly slice the butter, add to the bowl, toss to mix. Then mix on low until the butter is just incorporated into the flour, making it look like cornmeal or buttery flakes. Make a well in the center, add the egg and lemon juice, and mix on low until just combined, to the point where it doesn’t pull into a ball but is about to. Gather with your hands, wrap in plastic, flatten to a disk and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
If you have a food processor, use the directions above but pulse the butter into the flour, and then the wet ingredients into that mixture.
If you have neither, don’t despair!! You have ten awesome little kitchen gadgets at the ready! Use the tips of your fingers to blend the butter into the flour, being sure not to use your whole palm or the fleshy part of your fingers (you want as little of the heat from your hands transferring to the dough). Then use a fork to pull the egg and lemon into the mixture.
Once the dough has been chilled to where it’s not sticky but not too hard to roll, flour a pastry board, parchment paper or Silpat with rice flour, and roll to desired thickness. Fit into a pie plate, tart plate or slide onto a baking sheet for the perfect galette crust!
- Thankful for a gluten-free feast (dailyherald.com)