Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Favorite Pie Crust

Since being gluten free I've tried my hand at making a few pies, and I have finally settled on my favorite version! This pie crust isn't the buttery and flaky crust that looks like phyllo dough., this crust is more...cakey, I suppose. It has a soft texture with a crumb. It might make for a less-than presentable slice, but after tasting it, no-one will be complaining about it's presentation.

Pro Tip: Occasionally I will be making a pie, and while I have all the ingredients out, I will make a few to freeze for later. I individually wrap them up in saran wrap and just pile them in the freezer to chill for whatever or whenever I need it.

What I really like about this crust recipe is how versatile it can be. You can use your favorite flours and feel free to make it as sweet or even savory as you want! The crust can even be made vegan with a vegan replacement for the butter and eggs. I have definitely done this in the past, and am happy to report that flax eggs do work well!

1 flax egg =  1 T flax + 3 T hot water

I will often cut out some of the sugar if I am going to freeze the dough,  just because I don't know what it will be made for at a later date, and I may not want it that sweet if it is being used for a savory quiche or something. If the dough will be used for pie, after letting it thaw and I'm rolling it out, I will just add a bit more sugar or syrup on it.

Suzy's Favorite Pie Crust
Yield: 1 crust (double for pie that requires a top and bottom crust)

1 1/2 cup finely ground oatmeal flour
1/2 cup butter or 1/4 cup coconut oil
2 eggs, or equivalent egg replacement (flax eggs do work!)*
2 t baking powder
3-4 T honey/agave/rice syrup
splash of vanilla extract
cinnamon or other spices, if you desire

*Flax eggs do work, combine 2 T flax seed meal + 6 T hot water (allow to sit before combining to other ingredients. I actually prefer the taste and texture of the flax egg to the normal eggs, there's a subtle nuttiness:)
Combine all ingredients in a food process or a large bowl and combine until a dough forms. 
You can freeze the dough now to use later, if you like. Or fill it with your favorite pie fillings and bake!
You need to do a bit of patch-work to lay this crust out, I don't bother rolling it out into the pie dish, I just plop the whole dough ball down and flatten it out using floured (sorghum or a starch) hands.
Fill with favorite filling
Bake at 350° F for 35-40 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. If you pre-bake the crust before adding a filling, the crust won't need to bake as long, maybe 15 to 20 minutes.

Cheers,     Suzy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Garden Galette

Is your garden bursting with zucchini yet?...Or your neighbor's garden?

I'm lucky, I don't currently have a garden, but I have a very generous neighbor that gives me zucchini from their garden when it's abundant; and I look forward to the donation every year! Sometimes I even think up and save recipes that contain zucchini specifically to make in late summer because even if my neighbors have a low turn out, it can easily be found at farmer's markets in abundance!

I love gardening, I even had an internship last summer where gardening was a focus for community involvement and outreach. There was a farmer's market that took place weekly with other's who shared the same love of fresh food and community. In all, it was a really neat experience, I was able to learn so much about growing fresh fruits and vegetables, but more importantly I also learned a lot about the community that revolved around the weekly market.

 And for funsies, here is a step-by-step photo-op: 


 Now Enjoy!

Being surrounded by such vibrant and fresh food excited me to someday have a garden of my own! Until then, I thank my neighbors very much for their garden produce!!

Here's what I have made with it this year, a Suzy original:)

Garden Galett
3 zucchini, cut into ribbons
1/3 large Vadalia onion, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated.
Handful of fresh garden herbs (really any kind, I used basil, parsley, chive, and cilantro)
1 recipe for savory (buckwheat) crust

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment and a light coating of cooking spray.
Roll out prepared dough for crust,
Slice zucchini into ribbons, I use a vegetable peeler to make thin slices length wise, and chop the onion and fresh herbs.
Layer vegetables evenly over the crust dough, alternating between vegetables and a sprinkling of cheese.
When done, layering vegetables, fold edges of dough over the vegetables the best you can. I use a fork to help out a bit. It doesn't need to be even, it will just look rustic, right? That's what I tell myself anyway.
Bake for 25-35 minutes. The time will depend on the amount of vegetable you manage to pile on top of the crust.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into slices.

This galette is scrumptious straight out of the oven, or cooled. This means you could  make it ahead of time and store in the refrigerator before serving. Either way, it is a delightful garden treat!