Gluten Free Chocolate Cream Pie With Almond-Chocolate Crust
In thinking about what I thought about today’s Pie, it occurred to me that this exercise in making and commentary feels occasionally like a Chinese Revolutionary Guard exercise in self-criticism. And unfortunately there is much to criticize.
I’ve been a bit surprised that I havn’t been asked to make a vegan raw food no dairy pie. But a few little birds did mention that a colleague here at KCRW can’t have gluten. Nearly simultaneously I received a review copy of The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. The use of almond flour intrigued me and made me feel more comfortable about venturing into unfamiliar territory. I wasn’t even put off by her recommendation of a particular brand of almond flour, since I know that texture will be a real issue in gluten free baking. So I decided to make a Chocolate Cream Pie with Chocolate Crust.
“Arrowroot thickens at a lower temperature than does flour or cornstarch, is not weakened by acidic ingredients, has a more neutral taste, and is not affected by freezing. It doesn’t mix well with dairy, forming a slimy mixture. It is recommended to mix arrowroot with a cool liquid before adding to a hot fluid. The mixture should be heated only until the mixture thickens and removed immediately to prevent the mixture from thinning. Overheating tends to break down arrowroot’s thickening property. Substitute two teaspoons of arrowroot for one tablespoon of cornstarch, or one teaspoon of arrowroot for one tablespoon of wheat flour.”
Having said that I just received a note from Mike Newport, operations director for KCRW and my gluten intolerant colleague. He liked it! He really liked it! From Mike himself, “I wouldn’t have known that the filling was non-dairy. (I say that as someone who has been dairy-free for about a dozen years.) And I thought the texture of the crust was wonderful…infinitely better than the tapioca crusts I’ve tried.”
So there you have it – an edible, delicious even, gluten dairy-free pie. Next time I would put the chocolate pudding, I mean cream through a sieve to make it smoother and get rid of the tiny lumps from the arrowroot.