Baking pie has always terrified me. It is the one thing I have never attempted. Okay, maybe it’s a silly fear. My grandfather was the birthday cake baker. But my grandmother would bake pies- from scratch with no recipe. Ah, those were the days!
Last week, hubby was grumbling about how awful those frozen pot pies are. One of the things I had to give up but don’t really miss. You know the type; all crust and no filling. Brings to mind Mrs. Lovett-“the worst pies in London”…. So I said, “I can probably make one of those” before I could stop myself. And unlike Mrs. Lovett, I wouldn’t be using any priest. Just plain old chicken.
I found a recipe-one thing about the internet is there are millions of gluten free recipes. All of the guesswork and trial and error are done for you. I only tried converting one recipe which was a bundt cake. It became bundt crumbs when it stuck to the pan. So I let others cry over crumbled cake. The pot pie recipe did come with a pie crust recipe but for some reason it sounded complicated to me. I wanted something easier. Pamela’s to the rescue!
Pamela’s site is great. Not only are there lots of recipes using her mixes in ways you couldn’t imagine, and she has videos on how to as well. I found a recipe for pie crust using her bread mix. It seemed really easy. I watched the video a couple of times. I was ready to take up the rolling pin! But I had to buy one first!
Yesterday was P-Day. I gathered my ingredients. Chicken-check. Bread mix-check. Blackbirds-oh wait, no blackbirds. I was ready. Gulp. Hubby reassured me. If It works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. I still shook in my boots. I guess it’s a matter of proving myself. I have always been a good cook and being gluten and dairy free, I have needed those skills even more. Taking a deep breath, I plunged elbow deep into the pie dough.
I used two different recipes-one for the filling and then the Pamela’s pie crust recipe. I made the filling first. I had poached the chicken in broth earlier. I did modify the recipe slightly. It looked like too much filling for a 9 inch pie. I eyeballed it. I cut down on the liquid. I added coconut milk. And I used cornstarch instead of flour. Once the filling was done I started on the crust.
Using my mixer – best Christmas present ever!- I mixed the crisco and dairy free spread into the bread mix, then added ice water until the dough came together. I don’t think I added quite enough because the dough cracked when I lifted it into the pie plate. I put in the filling – almost fit it all. Then came the tricky part- the top crust. Flipping it over it too cracked. I made a couple of messy repairs. There was pie dough was under my feet on the floor and all over the counter. I had flour in my hair.
I popped the pie into the oven on a cookie sheet. Each recipe had different baking times and temperatures. I started it at 400 and when the smoke alarm went off I turned it down to 350. I kept checking it obsessively When is pie crust done? I took it out after about 30 minutes. It looked baked. Sorry I did not take a picture. Next time….
As they say the proof is in the pudding, er, crust… When I cut into it, it made a satisfying crunch. What a lovely sound! The verdict? It was delicious. Hubby had seconds. I think Grandma would be proud!
Here is the filling recipe:
Here is the pie crust recipe
Easy pie crust
And here is the video on how to make the crust
How to make a pie crust video
A few tips:
Give yourself plenty of time. Don’t rush.
In the video Pamela is using the whole bag of bread mix to make one crust. For the pot pie you will need to divide the dough in half. On her recipe page it says one bag of mix makes two 9 inch crusts. I found the video a bit confusing in this regard but used it as more of a guideline.
Use parchment paper to roll out your dough. And you will need some muscle. Take out your frustrations on the dough.
Do not!!!! Use the yeast packet. You will have chicken pot bread. I just threw the yeast packet out.
If the dough breaks just patch it. My pie wouldn’t win any blue ribbons for appearance but practice makes perfect.
You can use all butter or diary free spread but I used half crisco. It is gluten free. I think this is a much better combo if you want flaky crust.
The bottom crust was a bit soggy but this is from the liquid.
Watch your amount of liquid in the filling.
I don’t know how to flute edges- I just used a fork to close them together.
I would follow the directions for baking Pamela’s crust at 350 for about 30 minutes. I did not prebake. If the edges start to burn cover them with foil.
I hope you will try this out. I now have pie baking bragging rights. If you need help or advice on this or anything else please contact me.