By Diana J Winters
Some like it with whipped cream on top, some like it plain. There's an ongoing dessert war over whether to top it with Cool Whip, Reddy Whip, or whipped cream (the old fashioned kind that you beat from heavy whipping cream).
You have your purists who think it's offensive to eat pumpkin pie any way other than plain. And your habitualists who either like to eat the crust-heavy end first and save the filling for last, or scoop out the filling first then roll up the crust and eat it last (I have actually seen this happen).
All of those preferences have nothing to do with the way the pie is made.
A gluten allergy, however, takes the control away from the pie eater and places it all in the hands of the pie baker, making pie eating a little more tricky.
Thankfully, more and more grocery stores are carrying the ingredients you need to make a flaky, buttery pie crust -- without the wheat protein.
Here's the recipe.
• 1/4 cup brown rice flour
• 1 cup tapioca flour
• 1 tsp. xanthan gum (you can find all three in those small Bob's Red Mill packages in the baking aisle)
• 3/4 tsp. salt
• 2-3 tsp. sugar
• 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
• ice water (2 Tbsp. or more)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor or whisk them together in a bowl. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add the pieces to the food processor or bowl. Pulse the food processor 10 times or use your fingers to mix the butter and the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand.
If you're using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir the mixture with a fork. Add one tablespoon of ice water and stir, then add another and stir. By now the mixture should be clinging together. If not, add another half tablespoon to full tablespoon of ice water and stir again.
With your hands, form the dough into a ball and flatten into a thick disc. It should be at least an inch thick. Cover the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least one hour.
Remove the chilled pie crust from the refrigerator. Sprinkle rice flour or tapioca flour where you plan to roll out your pie, remove the plastic from the disc, and place the dough onto the floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out your pie crust in a circular shape until it is large enough to drape over the edges of your 9-inch, deep pie plate.
Roll the dough loosely over the rolling pin, then unroll onto the pie plate. Cut around the pie leaving about a half inch to fold under for the edges.
Prebake the crust for 15 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I use pie weights to keep the crust from bubbling. I've also used parchment paper with dried beans over it to the same effect.
Remove the pie crust from the oven and fill with the pumpkin pie filling of your choice, then bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes.
If you don't already have a favorite pumpkin pie filling, here's one with an option for the lactose-sensitive.
• 15-16 oz. canned pureed pumpkin or fresh pureed pumpkin
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup non-dairy coffee creamer (I've been using a Cinnabon flavored one)
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup if the creamer is flavored)
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp. ground ginger
• 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp. ground allspice or cloves
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• pumpkin pie spice to sprinkle on top
Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl. Pour the mixture into a prebaked pie crust, sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice, and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-45 minutes, or until pie no longer jiggles when gently shaken.
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