Every Saturday the farmers market at the Big Pineapple comes alive with vendors selling their farm fresh produce, plants, meat and pantry items. Situated in the heart of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, you will find the Big Pineapple off the Bruce Highway heading towards Nambour.
With my weekly shopping list in hand, I had a deadline to get a job done. Which was of course to make strawberry & rhubarb pie to take to dinner at a friends place.
The strawberries were jam grade, which makes them perfect for pie. The strawberry farm is located around the corner from our place on lower Landershute Rd in Palmwoods. Supporting our local farmers is something I urge everyone to do.
Another great find for me was Conscious Being, an organic pantry item stall. Instead of stopping at the shops (supermarket), I could pick up some butter, eggs & flour for the pastry. These beautiful hand packaged products are all organic including flour, butter and nuts. You will also find pasta, tinned tomatoes, muesli and dishwashing detergent.
With the ingredients unpacked from the market covering one end to the other and spilling on to our kitchen table. The carefully wrapped butter was left out, so it could come up to room temperature. The strawberries chopped and cut into halves or quarters depending on the size. Removing any unwanted blemishes that may have tainted the pie. Most of them were just squishy and fine thrown in with the other berries.
After making the filling, I left it out on the bench covered for 4 hours, to allow the orange zest to do its thing. During this time, it was pastry time, I like to allow it to rest before rolling out. Most of the time, I just press it into the tart case, then roll out the remaining for the top. Rolling pastry just seems fiddley, so my philosophy is to keep it to a minimum.
Gluten free pastry does not like being rolled out. The likely hood of getting it from the bench to the top of the pie in one piece is very minute. It wants to crack, bend and break before it arrives. I don’t have the best patience in the world, and the task of laying a pattern on the top of a pie will most likely be my last. I will stick to making a crumble from now on.
The final result worked though, after spending a long time perfecting the criss-cross pattern on top. The baked result had a golden exterior, the pastry did not dissolve or the filling erupted out of the holes in the pie. Success – my first sweet pie.
- 500gm strawberries, quartered
- 350gm Rhubarb, cut into 1cm pieces
- 1 cup (120g) Coconut Sugar
- Zest of one orange
- 1 cup almond meal
- Pinch of salt
- Gluten Free Pastry*
- 2 cups of almond meal
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 125gm butter, room temperature, diced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- In a large mixing bowl place the cut strawberries and rhubarb. Cover with sugar, orange zest, salt and almond flour. Stir to combine evenly, cover and sit for a minimum of two hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 180’c.
- Pastry: Place the almond meal and rice flour in to a large mixing bowl with salt and sugar. Add the butter and rub between your fingers, creating small crumbs. Add ¾ of the egg mixture and using your hands pull together the mixture.
- Lightly flour a clean bench top, placing the pastry dough on to the bench and press out. Dust again with rice flour, using a floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry to 7mm thickness.
- Grease a 30cm pie dish, and lay the pasty into the dish, pressing into the sides, cut the remaining pastry off. Blind bake the pastry for 5-10min or until the bottom has cooked.
- Roll out the pastry again to 7mm thick, and cut into long strips to use on the top of the pie.
- Spoon the strawberry and rhubarb mixture into the cooked pie case. Arranging the strips of pastry into a criss-cross pattern on the top.
- With the remaining egg mixture, brush over the top of the pie, and return it to the oven. Cook for 40-45min or until golden.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack. It can be served hot or cold.
Have you mastered your own gluten-free pastry? Do you prefer pastry or a crumble on top of pies?