Violets and Amaranth

Eating weeds and gaining grains: an adventure in eating

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Pie, Pie, me oh my!

Remember that saying from the movie Michael?  My son, age 2, says it, and one snowy day, came up to me saying, “Mom, we need pie, pie, me oh my”.  He was right.  Usually in winter, we eat a lot of fruit turnovers; the kind from the freezer section.  Well, we can’t eat those anymore.  Nor can we eat other fried dough delights, like samosas.  The first week of February became fried pie week!


I decided to adapt the recipe from Extending the Table by Joetta Handrich Schlabach (1991, Herald Press).  To make the pastry, I combined 2 cups bean 4 flour blend, 1/2 tsp salt, 2/3 cup water, and 1 tbsp oil.  I let the dough hydrate while I fried some potatoes in turmeric, ginger, coriander and cumin powders.  I added fresh cilantro to the mix and then went back to the dough.


The dough was sticky, and impossible to roll out.  I ended up grabbing lumps of it in my hands, stuffing potato into it, and frying in my electric skillet.  They tasted ok, but working with the dough was unbelievably frustrating.

These samosas were fairly good, but not worth the effort.






It was with a bit of trepidation that I tried fried dough again the next day.

Empanadas (Let’s be honest, fried turnover pie):

I worked to combine the Empanadas recipe from Extending the Table and the Four Flour Pastry recipe from The Gluten Free Gourmet. I ended up with:

  • 2 cups Bean 4 flour mix
  • 1 generous tsp xantham gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ cup butter-softened
  • 3 T boiling water+ 1 T ground flax seed
  • ½ cup milk (I used whole milk for the fat content, you could use heavy cream too)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar

Combine the flours, xantham gum, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter. Then add the flax seed, milk and vinegar. Once the dough comes together, shape it into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and let it sit for an hour on the counter.


Then, divide the dough into small balls.   To work with the dough, don’t put a lot of pressure when rolling it out.  Dust the whole ball in flour before rolling and roll the ball out to something symmetrical, square or octagon is ok here.  Fill half of the circle with the filling of your choice, we like cherry pie filling. You might also try any combination of meat or potatoes.  Be carefull not to over-fill it, and when folding it over, aim for the thinner patches of dough.  Use water as you go to keep the dough together.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, or deep fry until brown.  We decided to fry half, per the directions on the empanadas recipe, and bake half, to mimic those freezer pies we love so much.


The results were flaky, yummy goodness.  The fried pies were just a bit flakier than the baked, and both were exactly what we had hopped they would be.  In the future, I would use the empanadas recipe to make samosas.  I think we could make a pie and freeze it, then bake it, just like those freezer pies we like so much.  Now I just need the time to make enough that I can eat some and freeze some!