This is the Wild Apple go-to pie crust; it crisps up beautifully and tastes fantastic. We use it for hand pies and tarts, we even roll leftovers into little snake shapes, toss them in cinnamon sugar and bake them into little golden cookies. One of the biggest challenges when rolling out dough is achieving an even thickness. Not only does this help your finished product look better, it also helps the dough to cook more evenly. A great little trick is to place chopsticks on the counter to either side of the dough as you roll, which will keep the rolling pin at an even level as you work. It’s almost like training wheels for bakers. Before you begin, make sure your ingredients are very cold or the crust may not get flakey or hold its shape once baked.
Makes one 9-inch pie
- 6ounces cream cheese, frozen
- 6ounces (11⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
- 3⁄4teaspoon psyllium husk powder
- 21⁄4teaspoons whole flax seed
- 11⁄2teaspoons whole chia seed
- 3⁄4teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1⁄2teaspoon baking powder
- 21⁄4cups (11.25 ounces) rice-based gluten-free all-purpose flour*
- 11⁄2teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ice water
- *Use a mix that does not contain xanthan or guar gums. See GF Basics for more info.
- Cut the cream cheese and butter into 1⁄2-inch pieces, place in a bowl in the freezer. Use a coffee grinder or blender to grind the psyllium, flax, and chia seeds to a fine powder, transfer to the bowl of a food processor along with the remaining dry ingredients. Pulse a few times to combine. 2
- Add the butter and cream cheese, pulse for about 20 seconds, until the texture of the crumbs is like sand. Add vinegar then, while pulsing the food processor, add ice water by the tablespoon. Once 3 tablespoons of water have been added to the mix, squeeze some dough together, it should stick together easily, but not be sticky. Add more water accordingly. 3
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, gather into a ball with your hands. Knead the dough a few times to create a uniform texture. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each half tightly in plastic and refrigerate until dough is chilled and stiff, about 30 minutes. 4
- Remove one half from the refrigerator, place between two pieces of plastic wrap, and roll into a 12-inch diameter circle. Remove the top piece of plastic and gently turn the dough over into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold the edges under gently, without crimping. Refrigerate. 5
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, set aside. Remove the second half of dough from the fridge. Place between two pieces of plastic wrap, roll into a 12- by 8-inch rectangle. Slice into 1-inch-wide strips. Arrange the strips on the parchment-lined sheet pan by weaving them together. The dough is forgiving: if lattice pieces break, just pinch them back together. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, until firm.
- 3pounds firm Bartlett or Anjou pears
- 1vanilla bean
- 2teaspoons vanilla extract or bourbon
- 3⁄4teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 3⁄4teaspoon finely freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4teaspoon ground coriander
- 3tablespoons cornstarch
- 6tablespoons (2.75 ounces) brown sugar
- raw or sanding sugar for sprinkling
- Squeeze half the lemon into a large bowl. Add the used lemon half and fill the bowl halfway with water. Peel, core, and cut the pears into 1-inch pieces, dropping them into the lemon water as you go. Drain the pears, discard the water and lemon half. 2
- Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Use a paring knife to scrape the paste from the inside of the bean into a large bowl, whisk in juice from remaining half of lemon, and the vanilla. Add the salt, ginger, black pepper, coriander, cornstarch and brown sugar, whisk until well combined. Add the pears and toss to coat. 3
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove prepared pie plate from fridge, add pear mixture. Remove lattice from freezer, slide off sheet pan onto top of pie. Let lattice soften slightly before pressing ends into edge of dough. Crimp edges and crust together. Baste lattice lightly with water and sprinkle with coarse sugar. 4
- Transfer pie back to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11⁄2-2 hours, until the crust is deeply golden and the fruit is bubbly. If you find the crust coloring too quickly as it bakes, cover the pie loosely with foil, shiny side facing up. Let the pie cool for at least 2 hours before serving.