Peach Pie with Cornstarch or Arrowroot Thickening – Gluten-Free
Peach pie is an essential. Now I make it with gluten-free pie crust, but it’s still peach pie. Just the smell of ripening peaches in the kitchen makes me smile.
Coming from the Texas Hill Country, I must have loved peaches before I was even old enough to remember.
The recipe below is for a standard size 9-inch pie plate, but the pie pictured is in a 5-inch pan because I divided it into several smaller dishes. I often make smaller ones now that we don’t have kids in the house.
Al wishes I’d still make a full-size regular pie just for him. I didn’t make him a 9-inch one this time, but I did make him one with a regular crust. Peach pie is harder for him to find at bakeries or restaurants, so I spoiled him this time. It complicates things a lot, though.
I made him a regular-crust pie with an oil crust, which is rolled between two pieces of wax paper or parchment. That original recipe is in my old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that I’ve been using since the dark ages, since way before I knew about celiac disease. (The new BH&G Ringbound Cookbook still has the recipe.) It taught me about the ease of clean-up when the crust is rolled between wax paper. No flinging flour all over the counter to keep the crust from sticking.
Even so, I have to be exceptionally careful not to toss the regular flour around while measuring or mixing it, since it hangs in the air for so long afterwards. See these guidelines on baking both GF and regular in the same kitchen from the Gluten Intolerance Group.
I also reduce the risk of cross-contamination by making the gluten-free crust first and getting that pie into the oven before starting the regular crust. Also, I mix and roll the regular crust in a different area of the kitchen. Across the kitchen from where I usually work, we have a countertop for handling regular breads, for sandwich-making, toasting and the occasional piecrust. This helps a lot, but success still is tricky.
Most of the time if my husband wants a particular baked item, I’ll buy him one from the bakery and then bake my own gluten-free version.
For my gluten-free crust this time, I used The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s recipe for Multi-Purpose Pastry Dough, although I used 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil for the rest. (This last minute substitution happened when I found I had no more butter! Ack! Everything else was ready, so I went with the experiment. It worked!) The texture was easy to work with and tasted good – not as flaky as some pastry, but still very good. (That might be a good reason to keep some butter-flavored Crisco on hand, since it would be an acceptable substitute.)
Although I’ve tried, I have not found any substitute to make a fruit pie into a low carb dish. As a result, I don’t eat peach pie very often, but when I do, I make it so it tastes right. This filling is also lactose-free if you substitute a lactose-free margarine for the butter. Here’s how I like it.
- 2 9-Inch Pie Crusts, Gluten-free, top and bottom crust
- 4 Cups Peaches, sliced
- 3/4 Cup Sugar, or more to taste (as much as 1 cup), or 1/2 cup Agave Nectar
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch or Arrowroot
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract or Vanilla powder, optional
- 1 Tablespoon Butter, optional (or substitute your favorite dairy-free margarine)
Start with ripe peaches. Wash, peel, pit and slice them into a bowl.
Mix the fruit, cornstarch or arrowroot, sugar or agave, and vanilla in bowl.
Line a glass or ceramic pie plate with one crust. If you're using a metal or foil pie pan, you might set it inside a glass or ceramic pan in the oven; the crust will bake better.
Fill with the fruit mixture.
Dot with little bits of the butter.
Cover with the top crust; seal the edge thoroughly. I fold a tiny bit of the bottom crust up over the edge of the top one, then press together well, all the way around.
A fruit pie is not done until the juices bubble, so flute the edges high.
You might also put a larger pan, like a pizza pan or, better yet, a pie splatter oven guard (which has a hole in the center so heat reaches the bottom of the pie pan better), on the oven rack under it to catch possible spills.
Cut several slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. You can be as basic or as decorative as you like.
Bake in preheated 350 deg.F. oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until juices form bubbles that burst slowly.
This gluten-free recipe is gluten-free (no wheat, barley or rye). Be sure to check your ingredients lists every time you buy to verify that what you’re using is (still) gluten-free. If you use a casein-free margarine or shortening, this pie can also be casein-free, dairy-free and lactose-free. While it's one of my gluten-free recipes that is safe for those with celiac (coeliac) disease, gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity, it's also well-liked by people with no food allergies. Since it's a wheat-free recipe, it is suitable for a wheat-free diet.
What is your favorite fruit pie?
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