I heart you, labor.
Over Labor Day weekend awhile back, I decided to give Bryanna's XgfX flour mix a go. I had collected a formidable collection of local fruit, and I wanted to throw them into a pie like form and try my hand at a little devil baking. Also, we were going to a potluck, and I wanted, nay--needed to uphold the Berns-Kerns reputation.
Having read through Martha's recipes and expert opinions on the subject, I settled for a pandowdy. A pandowdy is a type of pie, but with a single top crust; halfway through baking, you take a spoon and whack through the crust a bit, so fruity-juicy stuff oozes out. I liked the single crust plan, as I had no idea how workable the wheat-free crust would turn out. I also liked it, because I wanted to use my brand new mini alphabet cookie cutters to decorate the top.
Gluten-Free Toasted Hazelnut Pie Dough
- 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, cooled (I left the skin intact)
- 1 cup flour (plus a little bit more in case your dough is wet like mine was)
- 1 teaspoon unbleached granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance, cold cold cold and cut into a small dice
- A smidge of ice water, it might not be necessary
I had all sorts of fruit laying around for the filling: asian pears, regular pears, plums, blackberries, dried cherries and raisins, and I used it all. I sliced it all up, threw it in a bowl, sprinkled it with brown sugar, a few tablespoons of the XgfX flour, a little lemon juice, cardamon and salt. Once that was all mixed up, I laid it out in a pie pan, rolled out the dough, carefully transferred it on top of the fruit and finger-crimped the edges. After I cut out my secret message, I glued it on with a little soymilk, brushed more 'milk over the whole thing, then sprinkled it liberally with granulated sugar. Martha says to bake pandowdies at 375F, but I think that was too hot for the dough. Either that, or since I was using a new-to-me oven, I should've baked it on a lower rack. In either case, keep a sharp eye on your crust, you can always wrap the edges with a little foil, if it's browning too quickly. After the crust has set and begins to brown (the recipe said 45 minutes, but again that seemed too long for mine), take the pandowdy out and crush it in a bit with a spoon, then return it to the oven until the whole thing is oozy and crusty and perfectly golden brown.
I looked most forward to the spoon smashing, but when it was time for business, I wussied out. Since I was afraid I would eff up my cute letters, I just carefully smooshed around them. Next pie I'll hold off all bashing and plan for a full-on punched out story on top.
I want to form a vegan and gluten-free webring. If you have a website or blog that centers around these and want to be included, let me know!
P.P.S. I'm sending Teenagedvegan Primal Strip #6. Let me know in the comments if you want one, especially if you are XgfX.