(In which I make a small detour and a questionable pie.)
So, the promised Big Baking Bonanza is coming up, really! But suddenly, it was Pie Week! Since I’m a bit of a pie fanatic, who am I to argue with that?
So, since I had a bit of chicken I needed to use, I decided to make a chicken pot pie in honour of pie week.
Pie without wheat? Not great, to be honest. I did a bit of googling for pie pastry without wheat, but since it called for a bunch of weird stuff that I didn’t have in my cupboard (such as xanthan gum, whatever that is), I just improvised.
I mixed rice flour, barley flour, and oat flour with dairy-free butter (sounds like a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it?), and 5-6 tbsps of ice-cold water. (Don’t really know how much I used of everything, I don’t usually measure. Maybe 3 cups of flour and 1 cup of butter? Basically, if it looks to dry, add more water or butter, if it looks too wet, add more flour. Just keep adding stuff until it looks like pastry dough.)
I usually mix with my hands, but I have a new food processor, and I kind of love it! Imagine, making pastry without getting your hands all sticky or floury! The mind boggles!
(I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an entire post soon constisting of some sort of ode to the food processor.)
After mixing, I wrapped it in plastic and popped it in the fridge for a bit.
Since I’ve never made chicken pot pie before, I based my filling loosely on comfortablydomestic’s recipe.
I chopped some carrots finely, and added whatever vegetables I found in my freezer that would go with it; onions, green beans and peas.
The reason for making this pie; some leftover roast chicken, which I picked and shredded. Not a lot of chicken, but it’s a small pie just for me, it’s not like I’m feeding a family.
I made the gravy with dairy-free butter, soy milk, cornstarch and vegetable stock (and salt, pepper and thyme).
Because I didn’t have a lot of chicken, and my pie plate was far too big, I baked it in my bread pan (for half an hour or so at 200 Celcius – maybe a bit longer, at least until it looked brown and crispy).
So. There’s a reason they put wheat flour in everything, people. Beacuse it’s tasty. Especially in pastry. When I scooped it out onto my plate, it all fell apart and was more like a crumble than a pie. (And that’s just wrong. Crumbles shouldn’t be savoury! There should be berries involved! Or apples, or raisins, or all of these.)
The taste was really good (the gravy worked great, even with soy milk and all of that stuff), but the texture was just wrong. Yep, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. It was really wrong and crumbly and strange. If only the pastry had worked out, this would have been great.
I’m really looking forward to ending my experiment, having wheat again, and making proper chicken and mushroom pie with fluffy, flaky pastry.
The thing is, I’m an amateur in the kitchen, just starting out exploring all the exciting tastes out there. Stuff isn’t going to be perfect. My kitchen isn’t spotless, I don’t wear an apron, I don’t take my pictures on pretty china, and not everything I make will turn out great. I’m not that kind of blogger. But I think it’s important to share the less successful ventures as well. That’s the whole point of cooking! (Except that you have to eat to live, and all that.) Be adventurous! Try something new! Don’t worry if you have a few disasters – how else will you learn?
So, here’s one of my less successful experiments. It’s highly unlikely it’ll be the last!