Making a gluten free pie crust has never been high on my priority list. My grandmother, who made almost everything from scratch, always used store bought pie crusts. And honestly, if she didn’t make it from scratch, then chances are that I won’t either. It doesn’t help that the Whole Foods five miles from our house carries lovely gluten free pie crusts in the freezer section.
I am, however, intrigued by the concept of the Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pies. These are sweet and savory “pie” recipes that General Mills published back in the early 80′s. Bisquick mix is added to the pie filling, and when the pie bakes the Bisquick forms a crust in the bottom of the pan. Easy enough!
I’ve been wanting to try some of these recipes because it seems like an easy way to cook a quick supper. However, until General Mills releases their new gluten free Bisquick this summer, and possibly even after that, I need a Bisquick type mix to use in the recipes.
Bisquick is simply the dry ingredients for biscuits, plus partially-hydrogenated oil. In order to make a gluten free version all you have to do is mix up the dry ingredients for your biscuit recipe (flour, salt, and baking soda/baking powder), cut in the butter or shortening, and then store in the freezer. Depending on your dietary needs, the fat component can be butter, vegan butter, shortening, or coconut oil.
The only real question that I have about making the homemade mix is whether or not to add xanthan gum. My gluten free biscuits recipe does include xanthan gum to prevent crumbling, but I’m not sure that it’s needed for these pie recipes. Xanthan gum reacts to liquids, unlike gluten which is only activated after it has been disturbed by stirring or kneading, so adding xanthan gum to the mix might result in a finished pie that is not the right consistency. Howver, I can’t imagine that the gluten free Bisquick recipe won’t have xanthan gum in it. I think the only option is to try some of these recipes both ways.
Here is the recipe for the biscuit mix if you’d like to join me in this experiment. Many of the Impossibly Easy Pies call for 1/2 cup of Bisquick, so I’ve included the measurements for 1/2 cup and for a larger batch.
Here is a short list of some of the Impossibly Easy Pie recipes – there are many more official recipes on the Betty Crocker website, but you can also find others by googling “impossible pie recipes”. Post your results in the comments; if you’d like to send a picture then email it to maryfrances [at] glutenfreecookingschool [dot] com. Happy Baking everybody!
Pumpkin Pie Chicken & Broccoli Pie
Easy Taco Pie Ham & Swiss Pie
Bacon Pie Coconut Pie
Cheesecake Pie French Apple Pie
Coconut Chocolate Pie Spinach – Parmesan Pie
Gluten Free Quick Biscuit Mix
(makes 4 and 2/3 cups)
1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
2 c. corn starch
1/2 c. soy flour or sorghum flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. xanthan gum (optional)
1 stick of butter
(makes 1/2 cup)
2 Tbsp. + 1 3/4 tsp. brown rice flour
3 Tbsp. + 1 1/4 tsp. corn starch
2 1/2 tsp. soy flour or sorghum flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum (optional)
2 1/2 tsp. butter
Instructions: Mix dry ingredients together and then cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender, or by pinching the butter into small chunks and then whirring everything together in your food processor. Store in the freezer for up to six months.