Before I became gluten intolerant in 2008, I was a self-proclaimed bad baker. If I had baking success it seemed to be a one-off luck sort of thing. Then when suddenly, I couldn’t have gluten, baking became a necessity since a few trials in the gluten-free bakery shelf will yield nothing more than cardboard passing off as bread, pastry or pizza. While I still haven’t found the perfect sub for pizza (insert your plug for a REALLY good GF pizza crust here!) I have found one for almost any other baked good. Ok, well chocolate croissants, too, but that’s another story.
This “pie” came about when I was needing to use up about a bushel of apple cast-offs from a winery in Sonoma. I had never been successful at baking pies and didn’t figure having to make one GF would make it any easier, but I wanted to make an apple pie so I looked up Gluten Free Pie Crust. What I found was this recipe and rather than having to deal with the drama of making a pie crust, I decided to roll it out flat and pile the fruit in the middle. In Italian cuisine, this is called a crostata, in French it is a galette. Having a special place in my heart for France, I called my creation a galette and after a brushing of egg yolk for sheen and a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar for crunch, it turned out beautiful. The bonus is you don’t have to worry about that first piece of pie fail that is eminent upon cutting.
To gild this beautiful lily, I wanted to add salted caramel and that was an epiphany as well. I had made caramel on the fly one night at a friend’s house then somehow magically totally forgot how to do it. For six years after that I bought caramel or did without. Then on this night when I made this pie, I decided to google caramel and found that it really requires two ingredients and one measuring cup! I have amped it up with a little sea salt, but really it is just sugar and cream!
One side note..since I first started making this pie crust, I found out that you can roll out a beautiful pie crust that will fit into a pie plate just like a normal pie crust. The beauty of gluten free baking is the gluten is the wildcard that causes pie crusts and cakes to be tough if handled improperly. Therefore, when you are baking gluten-free you don’t have to let pastry rest before rolling, in fact it works better not to do so. Once I learned this little tidbit, I have started immediately rolling out two pastry crusts as soon as I form the dough. I can usually make a galette and a pie crust or I can make two pie crusts. If making pies, I just transfer them to the pans and crimp the edges then refrigerate (or freeze). If I am just wanting to make galettes, I roll out both and then transfer them to the freezer frozen between parchment paper. You can freeze the dough in a disk and roll out when you are ready, just know it will be rather crumbly and you will have to work with it a bit. It still is almost failproof, though since you can just press the pieces back together. See this pecan pie I made for Thanksgiving? It’s the first pie crust I’ve made successfully!
Now that you have the crust recipe, I will simply give you ideas for the filling and of course the luscious eat-by-the-spoonful caramel sauce.
- 4-5 apples, peeled and sliced with organic sugar, sucanat or honey, cinnamon and a tablespoon of starch (tapioca, corn or potato)
- 4-5 peaches, big squeeze of lemon, a tiny bit of honey or sucanat and a tablespoon of starch
- Any variety of jam or marmalade you have in your fridge topped with a crumble of GF flour, butter and sugar
- 2 cups of raspberries or blueberries macerated with 1/4 cup of sugar then mixed with 1 tablespoon or two of starch