By Edgar A. Guest
“... With the cherries ripe for eating and for baking I will take
My wedge of luscious goodness and then let the stomach ache.
Let the acid overpower me if it wants to, I won’t cry.
There’s no diet list I’ll follow that would rule out cherry pie.
Ill be good in February. I’ll do all the doctors say.
I’ll eat all their tasteless victuals ’til about the end of May.
Then I’ll turn my back upon them, and then, even though I die,
As I wend my way to Heaven I’ll be full of cherry pie.”
The cherries seemed to come in early this year in Carson City. About the time I thought I should start checking the tree for signs of ripe cherries, there they were! So last weekend, after dancing with the tree and pitting the cherries, I made my favorite gluten-free cherry pie using my Help Yourself — It’s Gluten-Free! Basic Flour Mix for the crust. The flour mix is sold at Great Basin Co-op in Reno and at Sierra Acupuncture’s Herb Shoppe in Carson City.
Gluten-Free Pie Crust
For a double-crust pie or 2 single-crust pies — needs to be refrigerated for 1 hour (or more) prior to rolling out. It freezes well for a few weeks if it’s wrapped air-tight.
2 cups Help Yourself — It’s Gluten-Free! Basic Flour Mix
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) canola-based margarine or butter
1 egg, cold
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ice water (more may be needed)
2 tablespoons orange juice, chilled
Gluten-free flour, for rolling out, about 1/2 cup
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut in the margarine or butter with a pastry cutter. In a medium bowl, beat the egg, then mix in the vinegar, ice water and orange juice. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the liquids, and mix together gently. I find in our dry climate, a little more ice water is usually necessary. The dough should be tacky to the touch, but not overly sticky.
Divide the dough into two equal balls and wrap them in gluten-free-floured plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour. More is better, and overnight is OK, too. While the dough is chilling, make the filling, below.
Take the dough out about 20 minutes before rolling for better handling. If it’s too cold, it doesn’t hold together well.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place plastic wrap on a smooth surface and flour it with gluten-free flour. Put the dough on the floured wrap, sprinkle a little flour on the dough, and on the rolling pin, and roll it out. When it’s the right size, slip your hand under the bottom layer of plastic wrap and invert the crust into the pie pan. Peel off the plastic wrap.
Place the filling in the pan with the rolled crust, top with pats of butter, and repeat the rolling and inverting process for the top crust. Crimp crusts together at the edge. Cut a few vents in the top and bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then lower the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 40 minutes more.
Cherry Pie Filling
(Adapted from epicurious.com)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole pitted sour cherries or dark sweet cherries (about 2 pounds whole unpitted cherries)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice for sour cherries, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for sweet cherries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir in cherries, lemon juice and vanilla and set filling aside until the dough is ready for rolling. Follow instructions in the crust recipe above for assembling and baking the pie.
Susan Hart has been cooking gluten-free for 20 years. She can be reached at email@example.com.