Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Final Festive Fruits

The year is almost over, and while a lot of others are busy making their lists of resolutions or "best of's", I'm still trying to catch up from Christmas. I would definitely be remiss if I didn't mention the awesome (if I may boast) mincemeat pie I baked for my dad's holiday dinner yesterday... he is the mincemeat-eating king, and even though nobody should really be chowing down on the stuff en masse, it's a one-a-year treat he really looks forward to. Besides, I make both crust and filling from scratch - which is way better than the stuff out of boxes and jars!

Dad's Christmas Pie (2010 version!)
Serves 12
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup low-fat soy flour
pinch salt
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup spiced rum
3 1/2 cups Summer Season's Mincemeat Pie Filling (or your favourite jarred mincemeat)

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours and salt.
  3. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Add egg and rum and mix in, then add just enough cold water so that a shaggy dough forms.
  5. On a well-floured surface, roll out 2/3 of the dough and fit into a 9" pie pan. Place on a cookie sheet.
  6. Fill crust with the prepared mincemeat.
  7. Roll out remaining dough and place over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal.
  8. Cut 2-3 slits in the top crust so steam can escape.
  9. Place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350F.
  10. Bake a further 40-45 minutes, until golden and hot all the way through.
  11. Cool completely before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 335.1
Total Fat: 13.0 g
Cholesterol: 17.7 mg
Sodium: 13.1 mg
Total Carbs: 49.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.7 g
Protein: 5.3 g

This is the apple pie my mom taught my friend Johana to bake. Nothing fancy, just the Crisco double-crust dough recipe piled high with apples and lightly dusted with cinnamon. That's it. No sugar, no butter, no flour or cornstarch. Just pure, appley goodness. We actually had so many apples (and a little bit of leftover dough) that I whipped up a second, miniature pie where the filling got the addition of a handful of frozen cranberries (a gift from Johana!) and a squish of clover honey to temper the tart and bitter edge they lent.

It's hard to come up with a favourite recipe from this holiday season, but this last pie was definitely in the top three. I've written before about the host of food allergies affecting one of my clients - the most serious of which being gluten, dairy and corn. This Christmas, I wanted to give her and her mom a dessert they could share without worry. It was easy to decide what I was going to make, even though it was a dessert more for her mom than her. Her mom has helped me so much these past few months with navigating the medical insurance system that when I found out she was a huge fan of a certain pie I made it was no question what they were getting from "Santa's bakeshop". Luckily, even the gluten-free aspect of the pie was simple - it's a great pastry dough to work with, and required no chilling. Having no gluten to speak of, the crust stays incredibly "melt in your moth", and doesn't have that kind of "off" taste a lot of GF blends seem to have. I'm only including the recipe for the crust, since the exact same filling from my Wild Blueberry Festival pie (the Honeyed-Date one) made up the filling.
Rollable GF Pie Dough
Makes enough for a single-crust 9" pie or a double-crust 6" pie, 12 slices
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch (not flour)
1/4 tsp guar gum
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp shortening (for dairy-free) or cold butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp cold water

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, starches, guar gum and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening until a coarse-meal texture forms, then add egg and vinegar and stir in.
  3. Add water a little at a time, stirring just to form a ball of dough.
  4. Roll out between sheets of greased wax paper.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 150.1
Total Fat: 6.8 g
Cholesterol: 17.7 mg
Sodium: 6.9 mg
Total Carbs: 20.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 1.8 g


  1. Hey Sarah! I hope the holidays were festive :)

    Just thought I'd let you know (if you haven't seen already) about our Bakerella contest that we're running on Redpath's Facebook page.
    All the details are here:

    I thought you and your readers might be interested!
    All the best!

  2. I love mincemeat but since my dad died I don't make it (he and I were the only ones that liked it.


Thanks for the feedback!