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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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Flour Power! Make Your Own Oat Flour Flatbreads or Tortillas!


~This post dedicated to my Dear Friend Nils!~

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A quickie post! How fun! Thankyou for joining me!

What you Need:

1. Steel cut oats or rolled oats
2. Coffee grinder
3. Butter or veggie butter or coconut oil
4. Salt
5. Warm water
6. Rolling surface/rolling pin (optional)
Can press out and flatten by hand.
7. Frying pan/flat griddle such as a tawa

Flour seems to be all the rage right now. Or maybe it’s me. Flour is on the horizon and certainly is a staple all over the world.

One of these days I am going to make nopales flour for tortillas! Woo hoo! Living in the desert gets you thinking about foodways and what can be made into flour. Nopales flour has a longstanding history of use in New Mexico, Mexico and other Countries of the Americas.

Nopalés? For those who may be unfamiliar check out
my Homepage.

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Another reason oat flour appeals is that I suspect I have a gluten allergy. I have sometimes severe and/or annoying/unhealthy symptoms after eating wheat.

Also I have read some people with celiac disease, for instance, cannot tolerate some of the protein in oats and some oats are contaminated when stored with wheat. So look for non-gluten oats if that is an issue.

*If phytic acid is an issue soak the oats with 10 % of a ground up grain/flour that contains phytase. An example of a non gluten grain that contains phytase is buckwheat flour. Phytase breaks down phytic acid. I have just learned that too much consumption of phytic acid in foods can lead to nutrient and mineral loss.

If gluten is not a problem but you want to reduce the phytic acid in oats… add a grain flour high in phytase such as wheat flour or rye flour, etc.

Look for certified gluten free buckwheat not because it contains gluten. Buckwheat does not contain gluten. It can, however, be contaminated with wheat because it is often used as a cover crop in wheat fields, stored with wheat, etc.

http://www.celiac.com/articles/23441/1/Is-Buckwheat-Flour-Really-Gluten-Free/Page1.html

I haven’t tried soaking oats yet with buckwheat but do feel inspired by the health complements this could provide. Here is a link about phytic acids in grains, etc.

http://www.phyticacid.org/oatmeal-phytic-acid/

I will experiment with this and let you know. I will try grinding the soaked oatmeal/buckwheat flour mixture in a coffee grinder. Add water (perhaps less it would seem) and make the dough for tortillas.

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Meanwhile… back to the steel cut oats…

What I appreciate also is that it takes less fuel to cook a tortilla made with oat flour than it does to cook oatmeal on the stove. I know solar ovens exist and I want to build one. But, even in a solar oven, tortillas wouldn’t take as long to cook as a dish of oatmeal cereal. And the tortillas with butter and cinnamon… or veggie butter/coconut oil, etc. really have a yummy breakfast taste. They make a good snack this way too! I even used the tortillas for dinner! More about that in a moment! 🙂

And, given that this can of steel cut oats was tempting me as I sipped my coffee this morning and that my friend has a coffee grinder (electric) … (which made said coffee very yummy)…I thought I would give the fun activity of making oat flour a go!

I started with this:
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And poured the steel cut oats into the coffee grinder. After first, unplugging it and cleaning it out and drying it…

I filled the bottom cup of the grinder about 2/3 full. Put the lid back on and did this step twice.

-Just 15 seconds in pulses and you get a soft powdery flour.

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-I made a 1 cup batch of flour.

Reserve some of the oat flour for rolling dough/pressing dough into a tortilla!

-And, then I added enough warm/hot water to make it sticky but not too wet. But, if it’s not wet enough it will be too dry to work with. Better to go slow on the water, until you reach consistency you want. Especially, for 1 cup of flour.

-I added about 5 or 6 Tbsp of warm/hot water from the kettle. It hadn’t started whistling yet but the water was just getting hot. Whirring…

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I am holding the kettle in the kitchen, in a lovely cabin of a friend; where, I am staying in the mountains of New Mexico.
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Off the Mountain Crest Road a pretty view.
And Tall Trees!

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Oh Yeah, where was I? 😉 and back to …
Oat Flour

-Mix the cup of flour and add small splashes of warm/hot water to the flour. I added a tablespoon of butter.
1 pinch of salt.

(I imagine vegan butter or coconut oil would work well if avoiding dairy or wanting to use what you have)

Tip: Use refrigerated coconut oil

-Mix and incorporate ingredients with a fork.

-Knead well and shape into a ball.

-Cover with damp cloth for 10 minutes.

This recipe made 4 tortillas about 5 or 6 inches wide.
So separate dough into 4 balls.

-Keep balls of dough covered with damp cloth while you are working on each tortilla.

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-Take the ball of dough and flatten it out on a floured surface. I used some of the oat flour to dust the surface.

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I used a cutting board as a surface to roll on.
*(and just to be safe, although most people know this…and for the kids helping, It would be better to use a cutting board for slicing bread…and not one from cutting meat or vegetables because of bacteria.
Or use other clean rolling surface 🙂 )

You can press it out with palm of hand and fingers. That is o’kay and makes a hearty tortilla/flatbread.

I have done it that way and it is a nice option. It’s tactile and fun and kids can do it as well as big kids.

I also love the way a rolling pin feels and the way you can roll the dough in rays. Rolling in increments, to and from the center out, all around its flattening rounded shape, to spread the dough in a circle. I sometimes flip it over and go at it from that side too. Also, just because it is so fun!

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Or you can make a larger batch and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Have a fun or holiday breakfast that way!

Here is the uncooked tortilla ready for the ungreased pan!

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-Heat up each side for 1 or 2 minutes. Less time makes them more pliable but you want to cook for at least 30 seconds. More time creates a flatbread type consistency.

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My favorite way to eat these is as a light meal, fresh and hot, with butter and cinnamon. Thinly sliced apples would be nice or sliced banana.

They would be good with a chutney or beans and rice. Experiment and have fun serving these!

I improvised and made a quesadilla with cheddar cheese and dried tomato basil pesto! Yum. A little bit delicate but does hold together and I love the the texture of the oat flour. I had put some butter on top of these tortillas earlier after first making them.
Later that day, I just assembled the quesadilla and put it in a dry, ungreased frying pan to heat it up and melt the cheese. I liked the result.

*The one thing I might do differently next time is leave out the pesto and put it on top of the quesadilla or dip into it. The tortillas absorbed a lot of the flavor/moisture from the pesto. But, it was yummy and the oat flour tortillas have great texture!

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This has become a favorite breakfast and now lunch or dinner with quesadilla in tow!

I really like this recipe and find the consistency is less of a rolled tortilla and more of a flatbread.
Warm water when making the dough is the key.

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I found this great oat cracker recipe!

What about Apple Chutney to go with your tortillas?

Also, I am staying with a friend, for a few days, and she just took out this past season’s frozen apricots from the freezer. I have made an oat flour crust for an apple tart before. And, that friend and I had a great time making it. But my friend’s solar oven was not able to generate enough heat on a semi cloudy day and we didn’t time it right. (Too busy sipping tea and gabbing!) So, I hiked back through the arroyo that day without a chance to try it. I don’t think it ever fully cooked that day. Which can be unusual with the sunny skies of New Mexico…although winter dawns. But, the view through the arroyo was great!

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Now I really want to taste a yummy apricot pie with oat flour crust. Stay tuned! 🙂 And found a great site using oat flour as well as nut flour for the crust! mmmm!

http://www.rodalenews.com/gluten-free-pie-crust-recipes

And I have been having a great time baking with oat flour! Check out my fun post on Apricot Pie with Oat Flour Pie Crust!

I want to Thank You for taking this Journey with me!

And Happy Foodways to You!

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