Last week’s really challenging challenge of macaroons had left me a bit frazzled and grumpy. The Great British Bake Off obviously knows how to space out the evil challenges with ones that are confidence boosting. I thought PIES would be awkward and potentially a disaster but at least I had made gluten-free pastry before so I was confident that at the very least, whatever I ended up with would be edible. I was right! If I haven’t mentioned it before, gluten-free baking is difficult and often disappointing…for me anyway. I am no chemist. I follow recipes that others have slaved over because I just don’t think that way when it comes to baking. I can wing it when it comes to cooking but baking leaves me clueless. So again this week I turned to my new salvation, Michael McCamley’s Gluten Free Baking.
In Michael McCamley’s Gluten Free Baking cookbook, I found the recipe I needed for the pies challenge…Mini Cherry Pies (page 118 Desserts and Pies). Except I don’t really like cherries that much so I decided to go with Blueberries and make Mini Gluten Free Blueberry Pies. As I have learned (curse me for not knowing rules about reproducing recipes), I will not be sharing the recipe or method but I will tell you about my results!
- Gluten Free pastry can be very difficult to work with. As there are no gluten strands to bind the pastry, when working with the pastry it can become quite crumbly. Thankfully, patching and pasting is fairly easy and thus forgiving when you are placing pastry into tins or pans. As I was making Mini Gluten Free Blueberry Pies, I didn’t have to struggle too much to make the pastry fit and stretch.
- I did not “blind bake” my pastry as my recipe method didn’t call for it. The pastry turned out lovely and flakey and without the dreaded soggy bottom. Huzzah!
- I had enough pastry, after making 6 Mini Gluten Free Blueberry Pies (in a large muffin tin) I was able to make a small but full-sized blueberry pie! Who knew?
- The end result? LOVELY! I took the full-sized pie to my in-laws house for dessert and they adored it. Adored it enough to keep the remaining two slices for the next day. This is a definite endorsement in my book. The pastry was flaky and crisp but not too crumbly and stood up to cutting and serving well.
Pies? A definite success and considerable confidence booster! I actually enjoyed the process of making the pastry and shaping them into rather lovely pies. I proved to myself that gluten-free homemade pastry can work and that baking can be fun. That’s probably the best part about participating in this Great Bloggers Bake Off challenge! I have gained back a bit of confidence and enjoyment with baking which has been rather unexpected and lovely. I ended up making another pie later in the week (Plum Frangipane Tart) and have been thinking back to a pie that I used to love and maybe can re-create on my own. Next week I believe that biscuits are on the menu so we’ll see what I can come up with. Maybe I’ll even concoct a recipe of my own??
Thank you for joining me in my Great Bloggers Bake Off Pie challenge this week! Visit Mummy Mishaps and The Crazy Kitchen for more inspiration from other brilliant bakers. Now hopefully you see that gluten-free can be rather scrummy too!