Monthly Archives: December 2013

Apricot Pie with Oat Flour Pie Crust. My Friend has a Cat and an Apricot Tree!

This post has a Guest Contributor,
my feline friend Syd!

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He has the most distinctive “mahw” I’ve ever heard and has been feeling really frisky and super shiny and sleek due to his new diet. He loves cat treats too and I take pride in being a guest, cat treat dispenser for him! He is a great friend when I stay up in Santa Fé. And, I have even had the fun of petsitting with him while my friend is traveling!

I had so much fun this past weekend. I have been staying weekends up in Santa Fé while I work at a café. The friend I have been staying with has, I have found out, a gorgeous apricot tree. The year before last, produced terrific results. And she offered, lucky me, some apricots, pitted and ready to go, straight from her freezer.

So I couldn’t resist making oat flour pie crust for an apricot pie but needed a little help and inspiration.

I’ve been working with oat flour and making my own
oat flour tortillas and flatbreads
for about a month now. And, this post has more info on the process of making oat flour and recipes and preparation of oat flour for nutritional benefits.

And, This site on gluten free pie crust gave me the confidence and inspiration to try my own oat flour piecrust and pie recipe!

Ingredients for the Dough

This is a recipe for 2 Apricot Pies with crumble topping.

Bake at 400° for 40 minutes until filling starts to sizzle/bubble a bit and top browns slightly.

To make the Pie Crust

1. 3 Cups Oat Flour
2. 1 1/2 sticks of butter
(can substitute refrigerated coconut oil/same
quantity.)
3. 1 tsp salt
4. 1/4 Cup ice water (keeps butter cold)

Ingredients for the Pie Filling

1. 3 cups frozen apricots
2. 4 Tbsp arrowroot powder
3. Dashes of: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, tiny Dash of
Cayenne
4. 1 Cup or more to taste of Coconut sugar

This is how I made my dough for the pie crust. I am more accustomed to using a coffee grinder to grind up the oats. (Either rolled oats or steel cut)
But, this day, I used my friend’s food processor and it was fun to try another way and see the results.

It produced a slightly coarser flour than when using a coffee grinder but the results worked fine. I ended up making what I call a Rustic Pie!

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I ground up enough rolled oats to produce 3 cups of oat flour.
(This gives more oat flour for the top. 2 cups will make the bottom pie crust for 2 pans or one complete pie.)

Whisk in 1 tsp salt to 2 Cups oat flour
To 2 Cups of oat flour I added 1 1/2 sticks of butter.
First I chopped up the butter into 1/4 inch chunks. And incorporated the butter 1/3 amount of butter at a time.  I used a fork to do this and my hands. I think this is probably taboo but I didn’t have a special pastry device for cutting in the butter. I have also seen people use butter knives for this but that is too cumbersome for my coordination. Also add splashes of the ice water to the dough. What you are looking for is to incorporate pea size bits of butter into the dough.

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This distributes the butter and contributes to a more flaky crust. Oat flour acts differently than wheat flour, but does surprisingly well in holding together for a crust. And, personally I love the taste!

Refrigerate dough and cover with a cloth.

And the Pie Filling was super easy to make since my friend had already cleaned and pitted the apricots. I let them thaw and added 4 Tbsp of arrowroot powder to thicken the filling a bit. This mixed great with the juices of the 3 Cups of thawed apricots. I added a tiny tiny dash of cayenne for kicks and a titch* of heat as my friend might say. Then I added a couple of hearty dashes each of cinnamon and nutmeg.

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And a word aside

* I love words and their meanings. As a young adult I would diagram sentences as a word art project. Whoa!

I thought this was a fun example I found on the link below of the word titch with meaning:

“just a titch, just a tiny amount, just a smidgeon”
‘ “Is that piano too heavy?” “Just a titch.” ‘

Just a titch more of idioms?

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Arrowroot powder has an interesting history too.
It was traditionally used by Arawak people to draw out the poison from poison arrow wounds.

Here is an art project I did when I learned about the use of Arrowroot powder!

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It has a longstanding history of culinary use too.
More about Arrowroot here!

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The white powder is the arrowroot powder.

*this was my first time using arrowroot powder. It is a thickener and also makes an excellent glaze for fruit dishes, i.e. tarts because it glazes clear. I had been looking for arrowroot on the road and was happy to find some in New Mexico. My home again home.

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I love being in a friend’s kitchen. Everything from the light fixtures to the stove.  The fun conversations with a friend and sharing tea. Not to mention Syd the cat who loves to visit for cat treats and the goings on!

I love this kitchen. A beautiful mini chandelier provides a great ambiance.

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And as I go out to work in a great, but crazy cafe in the morning…this plaque on the stove gives a happy chuckle.

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Syd is cool. He reminds me that grumpy customers and piled up dishes are pale, pathetic things compared to cat toys and treats! Syd’s got it!… way figured out… and I am a happy observer of that!

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Oh yeah, back to π …

I didn’t see a rolling pin around so thought it would be fun to hand press the dough into each pie pan. First I greased each pan. One with butter and one with coconut oil, just cuz. And, then thought I would just use some of the remaining butter (one half a stick) to make a crumble topping.

Then I separated the cold dough into two balls of dough. And got ready to press the dough into the two greased pans.

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Then I sprinkled cinnamon and coconut sugar on the pressed pie crust

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I did this just for fun.

Then the filling part. I used a rectangular pan and a round pan for the pies. These pans have a story too.One more reason I love my friend’s kitchen!

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I had a few extra blackberries that I did not want to go to waste

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And I had about a Cup of extra oat flour and mixed some coconut sugar, spices, rolled oats, a bit of ice water and the half stick of butter together to make a dough-y, crumble topping.

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Not the best picture but it is hard to go wrong with these topping ingredients.

You could also make more oat flour dough and roll it/press it out for the top but I wanted to play around with the topping. And make a crumble one instead. Gotta say I never made one before but have made a graham cracker crust…(aeons ago!) so just improvised.

I crumbled the pasty topping on top of the filling and just stuck it to the bottom crust around the sides and then pinched it together here and there on top to keep it more or less together. Yep, my own method on that part!

I think the Rustic part is getting more clear here! 🙂

Syd would like some treats please!
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I baked each pie for 40 minutes. At 400° until the top just started turning a bit brown. I didn’t want the top burned and the filling started to sizzle/bubble a bit. That’s when I knew it was done!

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Pie and Window my ideas at dessert impressionism

Pie in oven
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And then to what I humorously referred to as my
Fraternal Pietwins… the apricot pies of the day!

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And the taste test!
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I like it. The crumble topping and crust make a hearty experience. It tasted like a rich cobbler.

And Syd, he plays with cat toys. Gives a variety of Mahs and Mahws. Very unique and Syd’s own dialect of meow. But not ordinary, like meow, in any way. And he often runs through the catdoor to bid me goodbye as I walk through the back yard. And, leave through a wooden door, with a sun and its rays cut out near the top. Showing me the view of what is on the other side of this sweet backyard. A sweet backyard, with Syd and apricot tree and all.

Thankyou Syd for your Guest contribution and all the many ways you say Mahw!
(My phonetic interpretation) I think my friend’s might be different. And, I hope Syd can forgive my human ears…but you know cat treats, love, some fun. That speaks in every language.

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And here is my salute to fun dirty dishes!

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