Today was the second of Mr. Elijah Rain’s three 8th birthday celebrations. The first was a garden party with his grandparents and aunt, while we were in Pennsylvania (there was a dress code and everything. any excuse for a bit of bow tie wearing you know).
His actual birthday (next Saturday) will be a quiet family affair; favorite foods, gifts from us and if the weather cooperates, some family baseball at the park.
Today was his official birthday party. Shared birthday party actually. He turns 8 a mere 10 days after his good friend. Just our two families; eight kids playing, in and out of the house, two mamas cooking together, and no one really fussing or stressing about anything, made for one very low-key satisfying day. The simple shared “party” was a Good Idea. One that we might just have to repeat next year.
My boys made this set of gnomes for the other birthday boy (inspired by this post). I think the one below is my favorite.
And I made pie, at my own birthday boy’s request; one cherry and one strawberry-rhubarb. I came up with this off-the-cuff pie crust recipe. I’m considering it a work in progress, because I still might want to tweak it a bit. But all things considered, I think it was pretty darn good. Of all the gluten free pie crusts I’ve made in the past, I think this one was closest to a gluten crust in texture.
Gluten free pie crust
1 1/2 C white rice flour
1/2 C almond flour
1/2 C arrowroot
1/2 C potato flour
2 T sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. With a fork or pastry cutter, blend in:
1 C palm oil “shortening”
until dough forms little crumbs. Add in:
1/2 C cold water mixed with 2 T. apple cider vinegar
Let dough chill in the refrigerated for around an hour.
When I took it back out, it was a little dry. I re-hydrated it a bit by kneading in some additional water.
Gluten free pie crust can be difficult to work with at times, as it has a tendency to crumble. I like to roll mine out on a floured Silpat Baking Sheet (parchment paper works too), with some flour sprinkled on top. You need to roll the dough slowly and carefully, flouring more if needed to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. Always roll from the middle out, to keep it even (otherwise you end up with a thick middle and thin edges!). I like to keep a bowl of water nearby, and every time a creak starts to develop, I seal it up with a bit of water (sprinkle a little flour on top to keep the wet spot from sticking to the rolling pin).
This recipe makes enough for a top and bottom crust for one pie. After you assemble your pie, you can brush the top with oil, melted butter or lemon juice and sprinkle it with sugar if you like. Whenever I have extra pie crust leftover, I let the kids roll it out and cut it into pieces, then we either sprinkle it with a bit of sugar or add a dollop of jam for a little pre-pie treat.