Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Amazing Peach Pie with Almond Crust

When I noticed an unassuming Authentic Foods package for gluten free pie crust mix sitting on the shelf at my local grocery store a few days ago, it reminded me of how many times I have attempted (and failed) to make pie crust since going gluten free. My pie crust mishaps weren’t tragic or even exciting - just a little too crumbly, a little too dry, a little too blah. Nothing worth reporting back about.

Still, I must not have given up on baking a gluten free pie completely... because something made me pick up this particular packet of mix and put it in my cart. Maybe I chose it because I saw they were using almond flour and I am definitely a sucker for desserts made with almond flour! Whatever the reason, I can’t tell you how surprised I was when I opened the pie crust packet and was immediately enveloped in the most wonderful odor – a combination of cinnamon, vanilla and almond. If they bottled that fragrance, I would bathe in it. Seriously.

Working with the dough was easy, although I found I needed to add quite a bit more cream than the package suggested in order to fashion dough that held together nicely. I was pleased to find that it didn’t need a long time to chill before rolling out, and once you try this pie I think you will agree with my husband that this crust complements the peach filling perfectly.

I almost called this recipe magic pie because every single bite is deliciously sweet but not syrupy, and the flavor of the ripe peaches balances the almond crust beautifully.

Amazing Peach Pie with Almond Crust

What You’ll Need:

For the filling...

3 1/4 cups sliced fresh peaches
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Xanthan gum
1 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces and scattered over filling
organic maple sugar flakes (to sprinkle on top)

For the crust...

Authentic Foods gluten-free wheat-free pie crust mix
1 large egg yolk
Approx 4 tbsp cream (2 more tbsp than stated on package)
4 oz sweet butter

How It Works:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make your pie crust according to the directions on the back of the Authentic Foods package.

Be prepared to add quite a bit more cream than called for, perhaps as much as 2x what is required. Add the cream slowly, however, while you are mixing the ingredients - so that you don’t end up with dough that is too moist or sticky.

Roll out the crust and place in a lightly greased 9 inch pie pan. (I use butter.) Bake the crust without filling in your hot oven for the 5 minutes recommended on the package, to prepare it for filling. Then remove crust from oven, and set aside (covered) until ready to fill.

Skin your peaches and slice them in 1 to 2 inch pieces, no more than ½ inch in width. Add cinnamon, agave nectar and xanthan gum. Mix very well.

Pour peach filling into the slightly-baked pie crust. Sprinkle maple sugar and butter (cut into small pieces) over the top of the peach filling.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake for another 35 – 40 minutes, checking frequently during the last 10 minutes to make sure that your crust does not burn.

When finished, the peach filling should be extremely fragrant and a bit bubbly.

Allow to cool for at least 10 – 15 minutes before serving so the filling can gel properly and baked crust will slice well.

We loved this pie without any topping, but agree as a family that it would probably be just as divine if served รก la mode ~ perhaps with a simple vanilla bean ice cream or gelato.

Serves 6 – 8.

Sorry there aren’t more photos for this recipe... we didn’t know how great it was going to be until it had already baked! I’ll take more pix to add to this blog the next time I make it.

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