Pear Pie with Crumb Topping and GF Hazelnut Crust
What’s a holiday without pie? The last pie I made was Apple Pie for 4th of July. It is time to make another one for the upcoming holidays as homemade pies are delicious and a joy to make. With a member of the family having gluten intolerance, I wanted this pie to have a gluten-free crust. I have tried several gluten-free crust but this is by far the best. My boys said the pie was the best I have ever made, gluten-free or not. It was gone in two sittings and they requested that I make it again soon. This will definitely be on our Thanksgiving table at the end of the month.
This pie was made in the beautiful pie dish I received from CSN to review. There were so many things that I could have chosen but I fell for this sky blue Emile Henry pie dish. I have heard that pie crust made with these dishes are great and I could not wait to try it for myself.
I was really excited when the package arrived. Upon opening the box, I saw that it was quite well packed. The colored glaze is gorgeous and it extends into the interior of the dish. Most of the other Emile Henry pie dishes have the color on the outside with a white interior. So far so good but the test is in the pudding, right? Well, it certainly did live up to its name. The crust was evenly browned at the bottom and the release was superb. The cleanup was really easy too. One small thing to remember when using this dish is to set it on a coaster as the base is not smooth and may scratch your surfaces. Overall, I am really happy with the product and will definitely recommend it.
Now, back to the pie. I have always wanted to make a crust with nut meal and so I searched the web and found this recipe from Wholefoods. I made a few changes which included using hazelnut meal instead of almond meal, omitting the egg, and increasing the amount of flour used as I had a slightly larger pie dish. Even without the egg, the dough held up beautifully. The hazelnut meal made the crust very fragrant and with a little more sugar, it would make very tasty cookies.
I used pears for the filling as there are an abundance of pears at the stores right now. Choose firm pears as they will stand up better with the baking. Bartlett or d’Anjou would be good choices. I used d’Anjou because it was on sale and they were nice and firm.
For the crumb topping, I used this gluten-free golden flax crunch but please use any granola or cereal of your choice. The idea is to give it a nice crunchy topping.
This is the first time I’m using the food processor to make the dough. I used the dough blade and it worked quite well. I think from now on, I will use this method as it was fast and easy. If you are mixing in a bowl, use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- 1 cup organic flax crunch, crushed (or choice of granola mix)
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup (90g) potato starch, plus extra for dusting
- ½ cup (60g) tapioca flour
- ½ cup (75g) brown rice flour
- ½ cup (50g) hazelnut meal
- 1 stick (½ cup/115g) cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional)
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- 5 firm d’Anjou pears, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch
Combine flax crunch and brown rice flour in a medium sized bowl. Cut in butter. Stir to get ingredients well mixed.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Put potato starch, tapioca flour, brown rice, hazelnut meal, powdered sugar in food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter and sugar. Pulse again until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add half-and-half and pulse again until a sticky dough forms.
Turn dough onto a large sheet of wax paper. Knead gently until dough holds together. At this point, dough is sticky but pliable. Place another sheet of wax paper on top of dough. With a rolling pin, roll dough into a 12-inch circle.
Peel off the top layer of wax paper. Invert onto a 10-inch pie dish, patching if needed. Trim and crimp edges as desired. Prick side and bottom with a fork.
Line crust with double layer of foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove and reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).
Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Spoon into pie crust. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of fruits.
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 50 to 55 minutes. Remove and allow pie to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
You can’t tell it is gluten-free. The pastry was rich and flaky and the filling, moist and gooey…very delicious indeed!
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!