Last night I taught my second class on gluten-free baking at the Ashland Food Coop and while I’m not an expert on the subject, over time I have learned some tricks that are helpful. I’d told the students that we were going to bake four different goodies in two hours… and with the help of two very kind volunteers (Thank you Lynn and Alan!), I was able to accomplish that.
One of those items was a gluten-free Apple Crumb Crust pie. The crust was made using the perfect pie crust recipe from the Simply Gluten-Free website by Carol Kicinski… and really, it is perfect! It’s a simple recipe and although rolling out the pie dough requires a bit of patience, the finished product is flaky and delicious. Many thanks to Ms. Kicinski for creating this recipe and sharing it with the rest of us!
The only challenge for me in preparing this dough for my class was that, once formed, the dough needs to rest an hour in the fridge. With only two hours of class time, I didn’t have the luxury of doing that. Instead, I decided to make some pie dough at home, chill it, and bring it to class with me. Once I demonstrated the method for making the pie dough, I put the fresh dough in the fridge and pulled out the dough that had been resting for a while.
With the chilled dough, I formed a simple fluted crust, filled it with apples, cinnamon and sugar and topped it with a crumb crust made from gluten-free flour, oats, butter, and cinnamon. I wish I’d remembered to take a picture of the finished apple pie to show you.. or a recording of the delightful sounds coming from the folks eating it! (It’s an easy recipe – I’d be happy to email it to anyone that’s interested.)
Because I’d made pie dough twice yesterday, and only made one pie, that meant that today I woke up thinking about making a pie for someone who was gluten-free… and since today would have been my Mom’s 78th birthday, I wanted it to be someone special. It took a little while, but once I thought of the person, I knew I’d made the right choice. The pie recipient is someone I’ve known for a long time. She’s the mother of two young girls who are beautiful and precocious. A number of years ago when she was a teenager, she watched my little redheaded girl for me. Now she has a little redhead of her own.
Tonight I drove to her family’s home and was impressed by their beautiful display of Christmas lights and decorations. My friend saw me approaching and met me at the door. Her daughter stood beside her and immediately asked if I wanted me to meet their kitty. I told them that I couldn’t stay, that I had only a moment to deliver the pie to them and mentioned that I hoped that they liked my choice of flavors because I know that not everyone likes pumpkin pie.
I needn’t have worried. As luck would have it, Ariana said that pumpkin pie is a favorite at their home. I know I shouldn’t be surprised…the serendipitous moments that I’ve come to experience by giving away pies has been truly amazing. Sometimes it even feels like I have gotten nudges from angels. In any case, tonight as I get ready to call it a day, I believe that somewhere in the universe, my Mom knows that I was missing and thinking about her.
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. Henry David Thoreau