New to Gluten free Living

by Linda
(Connecticut)

My 7 year old granddaughter just got diagnosed and I have a question. I don't think she has celiac disease....just intolerant. Can she eat the filling of regular pies, like pumpkin or apple, and not eat the crust? Does the gluten actually permeate the filling? I find the gluten free pie crusts leave something to be desired....

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Beware!
by: Carol

Thank you for your question, Linda.

I would personally steer clear of fillings that have non gluten-free pastry crusts around them for two reasons.

1. The chances of contamination are just TOO high! Removing all the crust would be almost impossible and any flour on the outside of the unbaked pastry would almost inevitably have "dissolved" into the pie filling itself.

2. Many pie fillings are thickened with a sauce, which most likely would include wheat flour as one of the ingredients.

Gluten free pastry or pie crust is more difficult to make than "ordinary" pastry. This is because the gluten in wheat flour acts as a kind of glue to keep it together and allow it to stretch. Gluten free pastry tends to be more tricky to roll out and using it to cover a pie is difficult.

If you are cooking a pie at home, and would like your granddaughter to also enjoy the meal, then I would suggest keeping part of the filling to one side, thickening it with either cornstarch (make sure it is gluten free) or arrowroot, and cooking it in a separate dish without any pastry. This would then be safe to serve to her, while the rest of the family eats the pie.

If you are making wheat flour pastry in the kitchen please be extra careful, as it is fine and tends to float in the air and can easily settle on the gluten free meal, again causing contamination. It would be safer to use a frozen ready made pastry in this instance.

In our house we have eliminated wheat based flours completely, thereby avoiding the risk of contamination from this source. This is rather drastic, however, if your granddaughter does not live with you.

I hope this helps.

Carol

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