Tessa: After years and years of suffering horrible stomach pain, bloating, the runs, chronic fatigue and massive stomach aches, I finally figured out that I can’t eat gluten. It was a long rocky road getting there and truthfully I wish that I had figured this out at the beginning of my life rather than the middle of it. The good thing about it is that I was so desperately unhealthy by the time I figured it out that when I was finally able to put two and two together, ie. the impact that this would have on my life as an avid cook and eater, I was too sick to care and extremely grateful to be out of pain.
So what if I could never have pie again, or french bread, or croissant, or freshly baked bread that I love or that eating out was going to be a monumental pain in the ass given that I don’t eat meat either. While the joys of a fresh, hot baguette with unsalted butter and cheese can almost make me weep with joy, I know what it does to me so I don’t even look at it the same way anymore. So I put my rice/soy bread in the toaster and lather it with Earth Balance and try and enjoy it as much as I can mainly because it doesn’t leave me in pain. But there is one thing that I truly miss and would kill to have and that’s pastry. I love pastry with a passion. Pie. Any pie is a good pie. Even a bad pie is a good pie. Pie pie pie. Say it over and over again. Roll on the floor with it. Rub it on your belly. Pie is good. Pie is great. I’d kill for pie with a nice thick crust.
Nothing is better than blackberry pie with ice cream. Hot out of the oven. Roll on the ground again. Scream for joy. That is a little bit of bliss. So you can see where I’m going with this. Life isn’t the same. It bites. But thank god for Dave. The other day he came home with a new cookbook called the Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods by Bette Hagman.
The cookbook is full of all kinds of comfort type foods like chili or pasta salad or quick chicken pot pie, breakfast breads etc…but the best thing about it is that it has a recipe for pastry. YUM. I haven’t tried it yet but will next weekend when I try a new little apple dessert called Tarte Tatin.
But for all of you interested in making gluten free pastry here goes:
First make a basic gluten free flour mix which is 1 part rice flour, 1 part tapioca flour, 1 part corn starch, potato flour, (1 teaspoon per cup). If you want to make up a container full simply mix together 3 cups of each with 3 tablspoons potato flour and that way you’ll have extra.
Now to make pastry:
2 1/2 cups of the above flour mix.
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 liquid egg substitute of 1 egg
4 tablespoons ice water
Sweet Rice flour for rolling
Now make this pastry the way you would any other kind. Stir the flour , gum salt and sugar together. Cut in the shortening and then beat vinegar and egg together with a fork and add water. Work until a smooth ball forms and then refrigerate, then roll away. And hopefully the result will be yummy. I’ve had many gluten free products lately that have been great including waffles, pancake mix, and some pastry from Whole Foods (the name of which I can’t remember right now) There’s hope!
Here’s to pie. Everyone say PIE as loudly as you can.
PS go get Bette Hagman’s book. It’s full of great recipes and lots of old standbye’s that most of us thought we would never eat again!