Did you know there is a National Pecan Pie Day on July 12th? Well, after you try this recipe, you’ll want every day to be Gluten-free Pecan Pie Day! Living in Georgia, we’re known for our Peaches, but did you know we’re also known for our Pecans too? I’ve come to learn a lot about Pecans lately. For instance, Pecans came on the scene around 1500. We get the name from the Algonquins meaning: A nut that requires a stone to crack. Now, I know that Pecan Pie isn’t “Healthy” by any means, but we can stretch the truth a little and tell ourselves a slice every now and then is okay. For instance, did you know that the healthy fats in Pecans are powerful in the production of antioxidants, reduction of inflammation, lowering of cholesterol, and taste great in nearly any dish? You can add them in Salads, Granola, Oatmeal, Side Dishes (such as Brussel Sprouts and Macaroni and Cheese,) or my favorite…Pecan Pie!
For those of us with Celiac Disease, of their more specific functions, Pecans aid in our health. They are a significant source of Manganese, Copper, Thiamine, and Zinc, but also offer Phosphorus, Iron, Vitamin B6, and Potassium. Now let’s break down each of these (so we can validate having more than a slice every now and then!) The role of Manganese is to prevent bone loss (Osteoporosis,) Anemia, as well as help treat the symptoms of PMS. Now how can this help someone with Celiac Disease, well we have a higher risk for Osteoporosis, due to our lack of absorption of Calcium and Vitamin D in the Small Intestines. Celiac Patients also have a higher risk of Anemia, and if you’re a woman surviving with Celiac Disease, then it’s possible you also can have symptoms of PMS as well! Now, onto Copper. This nutrient helps in building stronger bones (Osteoporosis) and aids in wound healing (which as Celiacs, we tend to have poor circulation- due to low blood pressure related to anemia and low body temperature.) Thiamine, also called Vitamin B1, can be found in your B complex vitamin (if that happens to be the vitamin supplement suggested by your physician.) I know that my physician suggests a B complex vitamin, since most patients with Celiac Disease have a multiple B Vitamin deficiency. Thiamine, though it is not proven, is suggested to help treat Canker Sores (common with Celiac Disease,) Colitis, Diarrhea, Stress, Kidney Disease, Painful Menstruation, Memory Disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and poor appetite. The last nutrient we will discuss specifically will be Zinc. Zinc aids in muscle cramps, Arthritis, High Blood Pressure, and boosts the immune system (which is greatly important for those of us with an already compromised immune system.) So back to what I was saying about stretching the truth about Pecan Pie being “Healthy?” Here are the facts:
1/2 cup cold water
- Whisk White Rice Flour, cornstarch, Tapioca Flour, Almond Flour, Sugar, Salt, and Xanthan Gum together in a medium bowl. Cut “butter” into 1/2-inch cubes and toss with flour mixture to break up the pieces (until completely coated.) With your fingertips, smash each cube of “butter” into a thin sheet-like structure. Stir in water, then knead dough against the sides of the bowl until it comes together in a shaggy ball (like pictured above.)
- If you have a silicone baking mat, USE IT! It is definitely a lifesaver! Now, dust the work surface with an intense amount of cornstarch, roughly a 10×15-inch rectangle, sprinkling more cornstarch above and below to prevent sticking. Roll out your dough-ball into a 10×15 rectangle, then Fold the 10-inch sides to the center, then close the newly formed packet like a book. Fold in half once more, bringing the short sides together to create a thick block (see photo below.) The dough will crack along the creases, but that’s just fine. Divide in half with a sharp knife or bench scraper (you only need 1 of your 2 “books” per pie.) If dough is very soft or if you are working in a hot kitchen, refrigerate for 15 minutes before continuing. I wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 15 minutes due to a southern climate. ****If you have a hard time getting it off the work surface, dust a spatula with cornstarch and work it slowly between the dough and mat.
- Remove from refrigerator for and lay 1 “dough book” on parchment paper. Roll into 10 inch circle (depending on size of pie pan.) This is where the silicone mat comes in handy with its measurements. **See photo above. If you overshoot your rolling pin, you may cut your dough to fit your pan. Once it is smooth, and fits the size you need, simply pick up the parchment paper, and slide the dough into the pie pan! Then cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 hours or overnight (See below.) Any extra dough can be removed at this time. Simply cut around the edges, once you’ve placed your pie crust. Do not worry about excess cornstarch at this time (you won’t taste it! (If you’re only making one pie, you may refrigerate the other unused portion for 24 hours.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the filling: Wisk Eggs, Sugar, Syrup, Melted Margarine, and Vanilla together until fully mixed together. Then stir in Pecans. Pour into unbaked Pie Crust. Using a fork, press down sides of crust, giving “lattice” effect pictured above.
- Bake 60-70 minutes (I baked the full 70.) Let rest 10-20 minutes and enjoy!
****If edges begin to burn, you may cover EDGES ONLY with aluminum foil to prevent overbaking.