My mum is gluten free. It’s not a cult, or a religion, in fact it’s quite common. In medical terms being gluten intolerant is known as coeliac disease, it is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine resulting in an inability to digest the glutens in wheat. It’s also commonly misdiagnosed as IBS. As I say, my Mum suffers from discomfort when she eats anything containing Gluten (and also dairy).
Being Gluten intolerant wasn’t easy to diagnose years ago but in the last 10/15 years there’s been an increase in Coeliac sufferers and whilst blood tests can still be wrong there’s more out there to help. Most supermarkets offer a ‘Gluten Free’ range; they’re usually shelved together so you don’t have to search the store high and low, offering gluten alternatives to bread, biscuits, crackers, chocolate, etc. Whilst there are many different options sometimes the quality can be lacking and the products tend to be expensive. My mum buys her bread from the supermarket but mostly gets by making her own gluten free meals.
There are recipe books available and although they’re tried and tested before making it into the book my mum found that she had to work with the recipes to get them right. It took her a few months before she mastered the gluten & dairy free cakes but now you wouldn’t know the difference! And after years of different pizza base recipes she’s cracked it and has the perfect crispy thin Italian style pizzas with little effort.
In the coming months we’re going to be making a lot of gluten and dairy free things in our new kitchen. Our house is having a hefty rear extension which includes a brand new kitchen. Once it is installed there will be set areas for gluten free and we’re hoping to be hygiene certified to start selling cakes from home!
There’s an increasing demand for gluten-free everywhere now. It’s not just a dietary deficiency it’s become a healthy way of living, many people believe our bad health is connected to the intake of too much gluten (and processed) foods.
I’m not about to burst the bubble on all my mums recipes, most of them I don’t even know, but this simple fly pie is a gluten and dairy free treat that you can make in a flash.
My mum made some pastry for a quiche and an apple pie and I asked if I could use what was left over.
Here’s the recipe and the method:
Fills a 7” round pie dish
Oven temp 180 oc (fan assisted)
300g currants (soak in hot water for at least an hour)
50g dairy free margarine
50g light brown sugar
25g golden syrup
1 tbsp corn flour (sieved)
250g gluten free pastry (can usually be found in the chilled or frozen section of the supermarkets)
Once the dates have been soaking for at least an hour and absorbed enough water to make them plump and juicy drain the excess liquid using a sieve.
On a lightly floured surface carefully roll 2/3rds of you pastry till it’s about 2mm thick. Line your tin with the pastry but don’t trim off the sides.
With the other 1/3rd of pastry roll out big enough to cover the lid of your pie case. I chose to use a small heart cutter and make a pattern on the top of my pie but provided there’s at least one cut in the lid for the steam to escape you don’t need to make any patterns.
On a low heat melt your margarine in a pan and add the syrup and brown sugar. Ensure the sugar is completely dissolved and sieve the corn flour into the pan. Take off the heat and pour in the drained currants
Stir the mix to completely cover the currents with the syrup mixture and pour into the pie case. Using either the syrup or a touch of water brush the rim of the case and place the lid on top of your pie (decorated or not) secure down by pinching the pieces of pastry together and finish with an egg wash and sprinkling of caster sugar.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes
Allow to completely cool (or if you can’t wait like my mother at least let the pie stand for half an hour!)