Gluten free baking is haaaaaaaarrrrrrd, you guys. No wonder there are whole blogs devoted to this niche!
Some of my family members are gluten free for legitimate health reasons and I always want to bake something when we’re all together, but I’m nervous to do so because my gluten free baking forays in the past were met with crumbly cookies and sand-like cobblers.
Little did I know, there is a handy gluten-free baking staple called xanthan gum. What is this? It’s sounds weird, is it weird? While I agree that xanthan gum needs a complete marketing overhaul (who named this??), it is a way to help bind your ingredients when gluten isn’t there. Gluten normally is what helps things “stick together”, so to speak. If you’re baking gluten free, you have to find something else to do that. It sounds creepy, but it’s actually a naturally occurring byproduct of a bacteria found in fruits and vegetables. That probably still sounds creepy, but cheese is technically mold and it’s delicious so get off your gluten-loving high horse and come join me.
I got the recipe for the pie crust from Bob’s Red Mill Recipe Box— there’s a lot of good stuff there, who knew?
For the “filling”, which is a term I’ll use loosely here since it’s not like traditional pie filling, I wanted to keep it really simple and didn’t want to go heavy on the sugar. You could certainly use brown sugar and it would be AMAZING but I used maple syrup to sweeten it and the results were perfection. If you’re unfamiliar with using maple syrup as a sweetener, I’d suggest you give it a try. Just be sure to use real maple syrup which has a lower glycemic index than sugar and actually contains antioxidants and other nutrients. Not that I’m advocating maple syrup as a health food, but given the choice, it’s a little better than plain ol’ sugar.