Beef Pot Pie with a Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Reader Contribution by Wendy Gregory Kaho
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One of the best things about being a gluten-free food blogger is I get to meet the best gluten-free cooks in the country. That means when I’m stuck for a good, sure-to-work gluten-free recipe, I know exactly the right person to ask for help. I’ve tried the frozen gluten-free pie crusts and they aren’t too bad, but they are expensive. I’ve tried mixes and other recipes, but I was still not happy with the results. Then I got the bright idea to contact Jeanne Sauvage of Art of Gluten-Free Baking. I met Jeanne last year in Seattle and knew she was the best source for a gluten-free pie crust recipe. Jeanne is working on her cookbook of gluten-free winter holiday recipes which is due to be released by Chronicle Books in Fall 2012. Chronicle does such gorgeous cookbooks that I am excited to see Jeanne’s. She kindly sent me her pie crust recipe to share. It came together beautifully and actually got a nice golden brown which is a major accomplishment for gluten-free baking. I did rush it a bit and didn’t chill it as long as Jeanne’s recipe, but it still rolled out and topped my beef pot pie easily. The true success is what the family thinks and since they’ve tasted a lot of gluten-free recipes and still remember life with gluten, they are a tough crowd to please. They loved it and especially complemented the crust. 

First here’s Jeanne’s pie crust with instructions for a two crust dessert pie. Following it is my beef filling recipe using only one crust. You may freeze the other crust for another time.

From Jeanne Sauvage, Art of Gluten-Free Baking

http://artofglutenfreebaking.com

Gluten-Free Pie Crust (makes a double crust for a 9-10 inch pie)

Special Equipment Needed
-rolling pin
-9-10 inch glass or ceramic pie pan (I think that glass and ceramic create
more flaky crusts than do metal pie pans)

Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:

Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in a cool, dark
place):

1 1/4
C (170g) brown rice flour

1 1/4
C (205g) white rice flour

1 C
(120g) tapioca flour

1 C
(165g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)

2
scant tsp. xanthan gum

(you
can also use the gluten-free flour mixture (not baking mix) of your
choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp.
xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will
add a bean taste to the pie crust.

Ingredients
2 1/3 C (350g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 TBL granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 C (8oz; 230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (you
can also use lard, margarine, or shortening)
1 TBL vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
5-7 TBL cold water

1 egg
beaten–for egg wash (optional)
extra tapioca flour for rolling out crust

First,
make the filling for your pie. Set the filling aside at room temperature
while you’re making your crust.

To make the crust:
Place flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Mix together with a spoon
until combined.  Add butter pieces to the dry ingredients mixture.
With fingers, start rubbing together the butter and the dry ingredients.
This will take some time. Do this until the resulting mixture looks like
wet sand mixed with pebbles.I like to do this by hand to get a feel for the
dough.  You can also do this initial mix with a food processor if that
is your preference.

Add
the vinegar and rub into the mixture.  Add water a TBL at a time,
rubbing into the mixture. You want to add enough to create a dough that
holds together well, but isn’t wet. During the winter here in Seattle I”ve
consistently used about 6 TBL.  In the summer I use closer to 5
TBL.

Divide
the dough into two fairly equal pieces, shape into disks, and wrap each
disk separately in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate the disks for about
20-30 minutes (or until the disks are cool and somewhat firm)

Prepare
your rolling surface.  Flour the surface well with tapioca flour. Also
flour your rolling pin.  When this disks are chilled and have
firmed up a bit, remove the first disk of dough from the fridge
and place on your prepared work surface and sprinkle top of dough with
tapioca flour.   The key to successfully rolling out gluten-free
pie dough is to go slow. When I say slow, I mean SLOW. And with a light
touch. If your dough starts cracking, slow down and don’t press so hard
with your rolling pin.  With your rolling pin, carefully and patiently
roll out the dough into a 10-11″ circle (big enough to fit your pie
pan).  If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, add more tapioca flour.

NOTE: the dough should be cool but not too cold. It should roll fairly
easily and should not break while you’re rolling it. If it seems too cold
and you’re really having to work hard to roll it, step back and let it warm
up a little bit before you continue.  If it looks like it’s
“sweating” and it’s almost squishy, it is too warm and should be
put into the fridge for a bit longer.

In
the next step, you are going to roll the dough around the rolling pin in
order to transport it to the pie pan. In order to do this, sprinkle tapioca
flour over the entire surface of the pie crust dough.  Now, put the
rolling pin on top of one side of the dough.  Again, go slowly! 
Wrap the dough around the roller until you’ve gotten all of the dough onto
the pin. The dough should roll easily around the pin without
breaking.  But, don’t worry if it does break–the breaks are easily
fixable by pinching the dough together over the break(s).

NOTE: If the dough is breaking and tearing all over the place, it’s a bit
too cold. Step away and let the dough warm up a bit before proceding

Lift
the pin with the dough rolled around it and put on the top of your pie
pan.  Unwrap the dough from your rolling pin onto the pie pan so the
pan is covered evenly.  Now carefully press your dough into place.
Proceed slowly, starting with the middle bottom of the pie pan and working
out to bottom corners and then up the sides.  When you get to the rim,
press the dough onto the rim. Finally, press down and carefully tear off
any leftover dough (set these scraps aside–you will use them later)

You
now have the bottom crust dough in place in the pie pan–put it into the
refrigerator while you roll out the top dough.

Preheat
your oven to the temperature required for your chosen pie filling.

Roll
out the top dough the same way you rolled out the bottom dough.

Remove
pie pan w/dough from refrigerator. Place filling inside it and dot the top
with cold butter pieces

Roll
top crust dough onto your rolling pin just as you did with the bottom crust
dough and transport it to the top of your filling. Unroll over the top of
your pie filling

Carefully
press top and bottom crust dough together at the rim to form a seal. You
can create a decorative edge by pinching the dough together with your thumb
and forefinger of one hand and the forefinger of the other hand. Or, you
can carefully press down along the rim with the tines of a fork. Be sure
you’ve created a good seal–any unsealed portion will leak filling all over
your oven floor during the baking process

Now
make a few short slashes in the top crust dough with a sharp knife to
create air vents to allow steam to escape during the baking process.

If
you are so inclined, roll out some of the leftover scrap dough and cut out
cute designs to put on the top of pie. For example, for an apple pie, I
might cut out an apple with a stem and a leaf.

Optional: brush the top crust with beaten egg, sprinkle
granulated sugar on top.

Now
your pie is ready for the oven! Your baking time and temperature will
depend on your filling.

Enjoy

Beef Pot Pie

2 cups cooked beef cut into cubes

3 cups beef stock- I Like Pacific brand

1 small onion, chopped

2-3 stalks celery, chopped

3-4 carrots, chopped and steamed until tender

2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced and steamed until tender

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

3 Tablespoons butter

3 Tablespoons sweet rice flour

1 pie crust

Preheat oven to 425. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat
and sauté the onions and celery until soft and translucent. Lower heat.
Sprinkle the sweet rice flour over the vegetables and blend in.  Cook for a minute or two and then slowly
add the stock while stirring constantly. Take off the heat when the stock
begins to thicken. Put the remaining meat and vegetables into a 3 qt  casserole, pour over the gravy and top
with a pie crust. Use a sharp knife to make several cuts in the crust to vent
for steam. Brush the crust with beaten egg to help with browning. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 then lower oven temperature and bake at
350 until the pie crust is golden brown about 30 minutes. Serves 4 hearty
appetites or 4 with leftovers for lunch.

Jeanne Sauvage is also the Editor of the Canning Across America website. She is an enthusiastic gluten-free baker and recipe developer. She has a Ph.D. in theater theory, which is helpful in her never-ending hunt for new recipes, ideas, and concepts to ponder. She loves to can jams and pickles and enjoys using her preserved foods in the meals and baked goods she makes. One of her favorite things to do is to share food and convivial time with friends and family. Being gluten-free has freed her from a life of processed food. Her blog is Art of Gluten-Free Baking.

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