…by the term “easy as Pie”…
It means you want sweet, juicy, sometimes spicy, fruit wrapped in a tender buttery crust. And it doesn’t have to be pretty!
Behold the Rustic Pear Tart, a wheat-free crust, and a spicy, melting fruit filling, made at the drop of a hat.
You see, I am not known for my pie-making skills. Oh, I can turn out a pressed-in crust with the best of the hunger-motivated slackers, but this is the first, the easiest pie I have ever made that wasn’t a big production. I didn’t even let the dough chill, although I could have given it an egg wash to golden it up. Just a sprinkling of turbinado sugar on top for pretty, and voila! We have pie!
This is how I made it:
Measure out 1 cup oat flour, 1/2 cup rice-almond flour*, a shake of salt and stir it up in a bowl. I added some ground clove and lemon-pepper (not the garlicky kind, a new product from Frontier Herbs*) to this dry mix for flavor, and about 1 tablespoon sugar. Next I cut up about 3 tablespoons butter, stir it into the dry mix, and proceed to squish it into the flour with my fingers. (Once I gave in to this old-fashioned way, my biscuits and even pie crusts turned out better, that is, lighter, even with whole grain flours.) Once the butter is worked in, just a couple few tablespoons cold water to make a dough you can press together is all you need. I like to roll out crust between two sheets of flour-sprinkled waxed paper, it works well for me. Roll this dough out to the size you want, adding a bit of flour if needed to keep it from sticking to the paper. Lay the rolled-out dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
The filling is whatever fresh or thawed/frozen fruit you have. If the frozen fruit is juicy, drain (and save) the juice. I thinly sliced three pears into a bowl with about 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, stirred them around until the sugar melted, and carefully poured them onto the crust, leaving about 2 inches around the edge. Fold the edges up and onto the fruit, being careful not to get fruit on the outside of the crust, or it will burn. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350-degrees for at least 30 minutes, or until crust looks done and fruit is singing.
Yes, I said singing. Which is what you will be when you eat the pie. When it’s done, cool on the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully move to a rack or wooden cutting board to cool a bit more before eating.
*The rice-almond flour is called Mama’s Almond Blend, made by Gluten Free Mama. I wish it were organic, but it is a useful product for transitioning to wheat-free cooking; the rice flour is very finely ground, not gritty like some. The lemon-pepper, made by Frontier Herbs, is a lemon peel/lemon oil “infused” whole tellicherry peppercorn, that you crack fresh, no garlic or yukky additives, so it’s great in sweetly-spiced dishes, such as pie crust.