My neighbor, Claire Leland, is an excellent baker. She hasn't let her diagnosis of Celiac disease hold her back from baking and enjoying those desserts. Those with Celiac disease cannot consume gluten and therefore can't eat bread, pasta and most baked goods.
I recently enjoyed a slice of Claire's strawberry cream pie and asked her to share the recipe. She adapted it from a Southern Living recipe and used a pie crust recipe from "More From the Gluten-Free Gourmet," by Bette Hagman.
One of my good friends is allergic to gluten and I always struggle with what to serve him, especially since my joy in the kitchen comes from baking. Now I have a go-to recipe, although I'll have to borrow a teaspoon of xantham gum from Claire to do it. Otherwise, most ingredients can be found at Whole Foods stores and local cooperative grocery stores.
Claire's Gluten-Free Strawberry Cream Pie
Adapted from Southern Living and More From the Gluten-Free Gourmet," by Bette Hagman.
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup potato starch flour
1 rounded teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash sugar (optional)
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco
1 egg, cold
1 tablespoon gluten-free vinegar
4 tablespoons ice water
Sweet rice flour, for rolling
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup diced strawberries
BLEND together flours, xantham gum, salt and sugar. Cut in the margarine and Crisco in small dabs until you have shortening the size of lima beans (not cornmeal).
BEAT egg using a fork; add the vinegar and ice water. Stir in the flour mixture, forming a ball. You may knead this a bit, since rice flour crusts can stand handling. Refrigerate the dough for an hour or more to chill. (This recipe makes enough for three pie shells, or one 2-crust pie and a pie shell.)
PREHEAT oven to 450 degrees.
DIVIDE dough ball into three and roll one ball on a sweet rice-floured board (or on floured plastic wrap, for easier handling). Place in a pie tin. If using plastic wrap, remove it to the pie tin and invert the dough into the pan. Shape before removing the plastic.
PRICK pastry with a fork on sides and bottom. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly browned. Set aside to cool.
BEAT cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and almond extract and beat again until mixed. Set aside. BEAT whipping cream until stiff peaks. Fold into cream cheese. Fold in strawberries. Pour into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate for three hours before serving.
Yield: 8-10 servings.