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Thanksgiving Sides: Cauliflower & Cheese Mini Pies, in Parmigiano pie crust

Thanksgiving Sides: Cauliflower & Cheese Mini Pies, in Parmigiano pie crust

Are you hosting Thanksgiving? I’m not hosting Thanksgiving. I may, in fact, not host Thanksgiving ever again. Except for the imaginary Thanksgivings of the future where my grown children come and bring everyone important in their lives to eat & give thanks. I’m not usually one to wish away time, but I dream of that. In these dreams, I look like either Meryl Streep or Diane Keaton and am dressed like Annie Hall. Every Fall, I dream about dressing like Annie Hall. And then I do something stupid like break my ankle and can only wear one shoe for a month. There goes my dream, right out the window.

I have hosted Thanksgiving in the past, and sometimes it went well, and sometimes it really really didn’t go well. Actually the food went well (I’ll give thanks for that), but the rest didn’t exactly. So I said, I’m just not going to do that again. Except my language may or may not have been more colorful. Since we’re the only ones gluten-free, at one point in time, it seemed like it would be easier to host than to cater an entire Thanksgiving meal for just my son and me and haul it in the car for 2 hours. We’re talking a cooler on wheels sort of situation. Well, it wasn’t easier or better. For so very many reasons. So I’m back to the cooler on wheels. Because I won’t have my son not have a proper Thanksgiving meal. No ma’am.

All of that kind of got me wondering what it’s like when you’re the grown-up and it’s you who are gluten-free, and not your child. Would you bring the cooler on wheels just for yourself? Probably not. I bet I wouldn’t. And then I have to wonder why. I have met so many women who are the only gluten-free member of their families, and they don’t bake for themselves. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about that. Why don’t we take better care of ourselves? We should care for ourselves as ferociously as we care for our children. Not because we need to be there for them, but because we need to be there for ourselves. And enjoy food like these amazingly flaky savory mini pies.

So much of the talk out there about gluten-free Thanksgiving is how to take care of others, like your children and your gluten-free guests. I wish I could take care of you. (Yes, there is a bit of irony in that, I know, but I also do take care of myself I really do.)

These mini handheld savory pies are made with what I can say, without reservation, is the Very Best Gluten-Free Pie Crust I have ever had the great good fortune to eat. It’s kind of your basic foundation recipe for gluten-free pie crust, but. But.

But there is finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese mixed right into the pie crust. This Cadillac of cheese blends right into the dough, but makes the dough itself smoother and the crust even flakier and more wonderfully fragrant than a traditional pie crust. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, oh how it browns. 

You don’t have to fill these with cauliflower if that’s not your thing (except if you haven’t had roasted cauliflower, I am here to suggest that you really haven’t had cauliflower the way nature intended). Try just the Asiago-rosemary-thyme cheese sauce. Or maybe roasted kale and cheese instead. But this is how you serve a Thanksgiving side. And if you’re worried that it might be too much work for Thanksgiving Day, go ahead and make it now and freeze the unbaked pies. Bake them right from frozen, and if anything they’ll be flakier and more gorgeous. Pie crust loves to be frozen. Whatever you do, take good care of you. And cheers to that.

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 16 mini pies

Ingredients

For the Crust
4 1/2 cups (630 g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour

4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

20 tablespoons (280 g) unsalted butter, roughly chopped and kept cold

4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated

1 cup to 1 1/4 cups cold water, iced (ice cubes do not count in volume measurement)

Egg wash (1 egg yolk + 2 tablespoons cream, whisked to combine)

For the Filling
1 large head of fresh cauliflower

3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

8 ounces Asiago cheese, cut into a large dice

6 fl. oz. evaporated milk

1 tablespoon (9 g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour

2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

NOTES
The entire recipe can be halved easily to make 8 mini hand pies.

Once the pies are assembled and before they are baked, they may be wrapped tightly and frozen. When you are ready to bake them, bake them right from frozen. You may need to increase the baking time by a few minutes.

The pie crust can be made and refrigerated up to a week ahead of time.

The entire recipe can be made into 1 large slab pie or 2 9-inch double-crusted pies.

The cauliflower can be replaced with any other roasted vegetable, cut into chunks similar in size to cauliflower florets.

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with oil or gluten-free nonstick cooking spray. Set the baking sheet aside.

  • First, make the crust. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped butter, and toss to coat the butter with the dry ingredients. With well-floured hands, flatten each chunk of butter in between your thumb and forefinger, handling the butter as little as possible. Add the grated cheese, and mix to combine. Create a well in the center of the bowl, and add 1 cup of the iced water (without the ice). Mix to combine. The dough should begin to come together. If it is still very crumbly and dry, add more water by the tablespoon, mixing to combine after each addition, until the dough mostly holds together (better too dry than too wet). Divide the pie dough into two halves, and turn each half out onto a separate, large piece of plastic wrap. Press each into a disk, wrap tightly and place in the refrigerator to chill until firm.

  • Next, make the filling while the dough is chilling. With a sharp knife, slice the florets from the head of cauliflower (leaving the stems behind). Rinse them and dry them very well. Place the florets on the prepared baking sheet, along with the garlic cloves. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat the florets and garlic well. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the florets and garlic are lightly golden brown around the edges, and soft (about 20 minutes).

  • Make the cheese sauce while the cauliflower is roasting. In a medium-sized, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the Asiago cheese and evaporated milk. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium-high heat until all of the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth (about 6 minutes). Add the flour, stir to combine and cook, stirring frequently, for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and stir until the butter is melted. Add the herbs, and mix to combine. Allow the cheese sauce to cool slightly. It will thicken as it cools. Once the cauliflower is finished roasting, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on the baking sheet. Lower the oven to 350°F.

  • Roll out the pie crust while the cheese sauce and cauliflower are cooling. Remove one of the chilled pie crusts from the refrigerator. Place on a lightly floured sheet of unbleached parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with flour and cover with another sheet of unbleached parchment paper. Roll out the dough between the two sheets of parchment paper into a rectangle a bit more than 1/8-inch thick, dusting lightly with flour as the dough gets sticky. Place the rolled-out dough on a large cutting board and place it in the refrigerator to chill. Remove the second pie crust from the refrigerator and roll it out in the same manner, and then place it in the refrigerator to chill. Remove the first piece of rolled-out dough from the refrigerator and, with a floured 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 16 rounds. If necessary, gather and reroll scraps. Place those rounds in the refrigerator, and repeat the process with the second piece of rolled-out dough.

  • Assemble the pies. Place the first set of 16 rounds of dough on a clean sheet of parchment paper on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place about 2 tablespoons of roasted cauliflower florets in the center of each round, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edge. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of cheese sauce on top of the cauliflower on top of each round. Brush the bare edges of the rounds with water to moisten them. Remove the second piece of rolled-out dough from the refrigerator and cut out 16 more rounds with the floured 4-inch cutter. Place one   clean round of dough on top of each of the original 16 rounds, and, with wet fingers, press and rub the edges of the pies together to fuse the edges. With a sharp knife, score an “X” in the center of each pie. Brush the tops liberally with the egg wash. Place the pies in the center of the preheated oven and bake until golden brown all over, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve warm.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of BOTH of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without your support, and the books are a great help during the holidays!

Comments are closed.

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Oh.my.goodness!  These look really awesome, but I have *just* finished assembling them, and I have to say this is not a dish to make on the actual day you plan to eat them.  It has taken me SO much time/frustration to get these put together.  Granted, I’m not super experienced with pastry dough, but WOW.  Thank you for this recipe– I just really underestimated the degree of effort involved!  I love your blog and have tried a few things so far, including popovers and pumpkin crack cake.  I’m freezing these pies, and plan to bake on Thanksgiving day.  Have a great Thanksgiving!

    • November 19, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      You will get better at making pastry crust with practice, Caitlin. It becomes much more intuitive. 
      Nicole

  • November 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Oh.my.goodness!  These look really awesome, but I have *just* finished assembling them, and I have to say this is not a dish to make on the actual day you plan to eat them.  It has taken me SO much time/frustration to get these put together.  Granted, I’m not super experienced with pastry dough, but WOW.  Thank you for this recipe– I just really underestimated the degree of effort involved!  I love your blog and have tried a few things so far, including popovers and pumpkin crack cake.  I’m freezing these pies, and plan to bake on Thanksgiving day.  Have a great Thanksgiving!

    • gfshoestring
      November 19, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      You will get better at making pastry crust with practice, Caitlin. It becomes much more intuitive. 
      Nicole

    • Susan
      November 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      @ Caitlin–I feel your pain!  This is NOT an easy or quick recipe!  I was almost in tears by the time I finished putting these together.  I hope they’re worth it!

    • gfshoestring
      November 19, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      Susan, I did not label this a quick and easy recipe. I have a book of quick and easy recipes, but this is not one of them. And the time estimate is “prep time,” as indicated above. It does not include inactive time.

  • Susan
    November 18, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Made these today and froze them.  Will cook on Thanksgiving.  These had BETTER be the best thing EVER!  They took WAY longer than 35 minutes to prep.–more like 2, 2 1/2 hours!!!  And I used a pie crust mix!  I am exhausted!  Looking forward to trying these on Thanksgiving, though.

    • gfshoestring
      November 19, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      Susan, I’m sure you’ll find that the more experienced you get in making pie crust, the faster you’ll get. The time estimate assumes a certain degree of facility with making crust. 
      Nicole

    • Susan
      November 19, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Nicole: No, as I said, I used a pie crust mix; that was not the hard part.  The preparation estimate is WAY off.  I thought I was making it easier by using a mix, but not so!

    • gfshoestring
      November 19, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      A pie crust mix contains a gluten-free blend, and salt, sometimes with the addition of sugar Susan. It is not a time-saver beyond using a commercially blended gluten-free flour. I am sorry that it took you longer than you would like to make this recipe. I know how frustrating that can be. That being said, the estimate is not “way off” for someone who is somewhat experienced in rolling out pie crust. When you are new at it, the mixing doesn’t take much time. It’s the rolling out.

    • November 19, 2012 at 9:04 PM

      A pie crust mix contains a gluten-free blend, and salt, sometimes with the addition of sugar Susan. It is not a time-saver beyond using a commercially blended gluten-free flour. I am sorry that it took you longer than you would like to make this recipe. I know how frustrating that can be. That being said, the estimate is not “way off” for someone who is somewhat experienced in rolling out pie crust. When you are new at it, the mixing doesn’t take much time. It’s the rolling out.

    • Anneke
      November 19, 2012 at 6:22 PM

      I know it can be tough, Susan, I have had things take much longer than I expected, too.  As much as I bake, I just recently got the hang of rolling out GF piecrust so that I don’t feel panicked when I see it in a recipe.  The rest of this recipe involves things I do all the time, so I probably will hit the time estimate pretty closely when I go to make them myself.  GF wontons on the other hand — took me forever!  It never helps to get interrupted by kids and phone calls and all the other things going on in life either.  One of the things I have learned with GF baking is that I just need to plan more time, especially on something I haven’t tried before.  At least, now that they are done, you know they are waiting for you to enjoy when you feel more relaxed.  Nicole’s recipes always hit the mark on taste, so these should be delicious!  Good luck next time you try a recipe!

    • Anneke
      November 19, 2012 at 11:22 PM

      I know it can be tough, Susan, I have had things take much longer than I expected, too.  As much as I bake, I just recently got the hang of rolling out GF piecrust so that I don’t feel panicked when I see it in a recipe.  The rest of this recipe involves things I do all the time, so I probably will hit the time estimate pretty closely when I go to make them myself.  GF wontons on the other hand — took me forever!  It never helps to get interrupted by kids and phone calls and all the other things going on in life either.  One of the things I have learned with GF baking is that I just need to plan more time, especially on something I haven’t tried before.  At least, now that they are done, you know they are waiting for you to enjoy when you feel more relaxed.  Nicole’s recipes always hit the mark on taste, so these should be delicious!  Good luck next time you try a recipe!

  • Ligea
    November 16, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    I am the only gluten free person in the family and I unashamedly bring the “cooler on wheels” to every family gathering. My gluten-eating family is addicted to Laura B. Russell’s Brazilian cheese puffs (oh YES they devour them like sharks in a feeding frenzy!), and I am the dessert baker every Thanksgiving and Christmas – we’re talking gf cannoli, apple pie, ginger bread pumpkin trifle, tiramisu, cheesecake, pecan tartlets, chocolate chip cookies, thumbprints (lemon curd was the favorite), Buche de Noel with marzipan mushrooms, you name it. And they eat it.  They even have seconds. I’m here to tell you that thanks to Nicole and other fantastic GF bloggers and cookbook writers out there testing and creating fantastic recipes, we CAN have our gluten free feast and share it with everyone else, too! Now that’s something to be thankful for!!

  • […] & Cheese Mini Pies from Gluten Free on a Shoestring – […]

  • KimH
    November 15, 2012 at 10:39 PM

     Oh My.. these look to die for..  thanks so much.  I’ll definitely be making them one of these days before too long.

  • November 15, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    I forgot to mention that the Pumpkin Crack Cake is a must have now for all of my winter holiday dinners!  Anyone who is new to your blog, has to try this.  It is awesome!   Marty

  • November 15, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Hi Nikki,. You crack me up!  Especially this time, as here I am in one shoe plus one cast from a foot surgery!  The Annie Hall look just doesn’t work with only one shoe.  I’ll try to do better next year!
    My Thanksgiving is both carry in food on Thurs. to someone else’s dinner; then cook for my own family on Sun.  (This year with much help from my girls due to the cast, of course.) The Sun. dinner is our family tradition, coupled with the fact that all 3 of my kids have their in-laws’ dinners to attend on Thurs.  I will eat very little except what I take on Thurs.  You can’t get very full on cranberry sauce and green salad, so these little appetizers, would be perfect!! But my own dinner will be almost all GF and even my gluten eaters don’t make faces at my cooking anymore. And that is thanks to you and all your wonderful recipes! They will have their own rolls and stuffing, the rest of the dinner will be all GF, and they will never know until they see me eating it tee hee!  Thanks, Nikki, for all you do. (Don’t suppose you remember, but I’m the fan who has been with you from your first gf flour, but now we’ve graduated to better flour for better baking.  personally, I don’t know what I would do without you!  (Your 2nd book is on my Christmas list, too, by the way.) Happy belated birthday and have a wonderful Thanksgiving ! Marty

    • gfshoestring
      November 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      So sorry to hear that you’re in a cast, too, Marty! I most definitely remember you from way back in the days when I was relegated to using that bean flour blend! So glad to hear from you. Wishing you a speedy recovery and a very happy Thanksgiving!
      xoxo Nikki

  • Brook
    November 15, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Oh for Heaven sakes!  I was just wishing I could make a GF meat pie, thinking it was impossible and here you give me hope.  Guess it is time to dust off the rolling pin and tackle pie crust again…  

  • Barbara P
    November 14, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    mmmm looks like little calzones. can’t wait to try this. thank you for reminding moms to take care of themselves too. 

  • Michelle
    November 14, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Hmm… I am the only one gluten-free ….so far…having the kids tested soon :) and going to a house where I have had cross contamination before.  So – not sure what all I will be eating or just sitting in front of the TV watching football with a GF snack on hand while smelling the turkey and dressing.  I think I should make and bring these so I can eat something!  and maybe, just mabye…I will share :) 

  • Candaceiw
    November 14, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    enough already Nicole! I so want these..and have 10 or so of your other recipes using a pastry dough that I still want to try. I know you have a video on crusts, but it is just me…gf or not, I could never make or roll a pastry dough…this might cause me to try again…I can see using broccoli and some chicken in these…IF, I send you the supplies and the money to roll out my dough, will you ;) or you can just take a trip and I’d put you up near me and you can help with my holiday baking??? please! <3

    • kclark
      November 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      lol that is awesome.  We can have a “where in the world is Nicole Hunn”.  She can come to my house next!

    • kclark
      November 14, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      lol that is awesome.  We can have a “where in the world is Nicole Hunn”.  She can come to my house next!

  • Sharon Schulze
    November 14, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    They look fabulous!  And I’m thinking the crust might work very nicely for quiche, too :-)

    • November 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      No doubt, Sharon!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sharon Schulze
    November 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    They look fabulous!  And I’m thinking the crust might work very nicely for quiche, too :-)

    • Michelle
      November 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      Hmm… I am the only one gluten-free ….so far…having the kids tested soon :) and going to a house where I have had cross contamination before.  So – not sure what all I will be eating or just sitting in front of the TV watching football with a GF snack on hand while smelling the turkey and dressing.  I think I should make and bring these so I can eat something!  and maybe, just mabye…I will share :) 

    • gfshoestring
      November 14, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      No doubt, Sharon!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Riss2662
    November 14, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    I’m not a mom yet, but I can’t imagine going to a holiday dinner or large family gathering knowing that I won’t be able to eat like everyone else.  I am taking my own meal to Thanksgiving.  Thankfully, it’s mostly a pot-luck-type-meal anyway, so people other than those I’ve specifically talked to may not even notice.  I’m also choosing to perceive it as moving towards being one of the “adults”, who provide several side dishes, as opposed to being one of the kids, who just show up expecting that the older generations will have brought plenty of food.  

    Thanksgiving is at my aunt-in-law’s, and she and the MIL do the major cooking.  Both of them have been incredibly accommodating, even offering to learn to make GF stuffing, just for me.  My request to keep gluten-stuffing far away from one of the turkeys was readily agreed to.  So I can have turkey with everyone else and then eat the yummy stuff I bring myself: GF popovers (your recipe), GF spinach pie (your recipe), delicious apple cobbler, and fudge.  I will be eating well, even if it’s just my food.

    • November 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      Sounds like you’re taking good care of yourself, Marissa. Well done! Have a great holiday. Your menu sounds wonderful—I love that spinach pie from the first book. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Marissa Ammer
    November 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    I’m not a mom yet, but I can’t imagine going to a holiday dinner or large family gathering knowing that I won’t be able to eat like everyone else.  I am taking my own meal to Thanksgiving.  Thankfully, it’s mostly a pot-luck-type-meal anyway, so people other than those I’ve specifically talked to may not even notice.  I’m also choosing to perceive it as moving towards being one of the “adults”, who provide several side dishes, as opposed to being one of the kids, who just show up expecting that the older generations will have brought plenty of food.  

    Thanksgiving is at my aunt-in-law’s, and she and the MIL do the major cooking.  Both of them have been incredibly accommodating, even offering to learn to make GF stuffing, just for me.  My request to keep gluten-stuffing far away from one of the turkeys was readily agreed to.  So I can have turkey with everyone else and then eat the yummy stuff I bring myself: GF popovers (your recipe), GF spinach pie (your recipe), delicious apple cobbler, and fudge.  I will be eating well, even if it’s just my food.

    • gfshoestring
      November 14, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      Sounds like you’re taking good care of yourself, Marissa. Well done! Have a great holiday. Your menu sounds wonderful—I love that spinach pie from the first book. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • kclark
    November 14, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    So this is weird timing.  I was just wondering what veggie I could add to my rotation.  So now I will add roasted cauliflower. And I want to make these too!  Yum!

  • Kims9ers2003
    November 14, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Thank you Nicole for all the lovely recipes,  I think this recipe looks great.  I will definately try it today.

  • Kims9ers2003
    November 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Thank you Nicole for all the lovely recipes,  I think this recipe looks great.  I will definately try it today.

    • kclark
      November 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      So this is weird timing.  I was just wondering what veggie I could add to my rotation.  So now I will add roasted cauliflower. And I want to make these too!  Yum!

    • gfshoestring
      November 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      Try roasting broccoli, Kristi! I love it. Sadly, my kids (even the two who enjoy broccoli) do not. Just be careful not to use too much oil with either. They tend to soak it up and they can become soggy and heavy. 
      xoxo Nik

    • kclark
      November 15, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      Oh good tips! Thanks Nik.

    • Brook
      November 15, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      Oh for Heaven sakes!  I was just wishing I could make a GF meat pie, thinking it was impossible and here you give me hope.  Guess it is time to dust off the rolling pin and tackle pie crust again…  

    • gfshoestring
      November 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      Go for it, Brook!
      xoxo Nicole

    • kclark
      November 15, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      Oh good tips! Thanks Nik.

  • Clare
    November 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I LOVE roasted cauliflower and stinky cheese, so these sound divine!  Can’t wait to try ’em.

  • Clare
    November 14, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    I LOVE roasted cauliflower and stinky cheese, so these sound divine!  Can’t wait to try ’em.

  • November 14, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    You wonderful you! What a talent you have for paring down what was traditionally a time-consuming process for making savory hand pies to this simplified and delicious process! No one can argue this–you’re a gift, Nicole.This definitely feels like being taken care of–by a wonderful, lovely dork. Happy holidays with your family! xoLinda

  • November 14, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    You wonderful you! What a talent you have for paring down what was traditionally a time-consuming process for making savory hand pies to this simplified and delicious process! No one can argue this–you’re a gift, Nicole.This definitely feels like being taken care of–by a wonderful, lovely dork. Happy holidays with your family! xoLinda

    • gfshoestring
      November 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      Thank you so much, Linda. I’m so pleased that you feel taken care of. It’s truly a pleasure. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jabe Blanchard
    November 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Love this, will preview this weekend, then replicate for TxGiving.  One question please?  Why evaporated milk instead of heavy cream?  Is it just calories?  Thanks — keep up the good work.  

    • gfshoestring
      November 14, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      Oh gosh no, Jabe! Definitely not for sake of calories in a dish like this! The evaporated milk is used as a way to thin the cheese to the proper consistency. Heavy cream won’t do the job properly.  Good question. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Holly Wydeck
    November 14, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Oh Nicole, you have done it again.  These look amazing and I can’t wait to try them.  By the way, I made the twinkie cupcakes from the new cookbook and my 5 year old declared them the BEST. CUPCAKE. EVER!!!  And yes, she did yell it from the rooftops.  She’s like that…  I also took your advice from the cookbook and spent one day making a bunch of dough and crust to have in the fridge for all week.  Genius!

  • November 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Ok this post just about made me cry! Maybe because I’m surviving on 5 years of broken (re crap) sleep, or maybe because Thanksgiving always pushes my emotional buttons or maybe because you’re so right on about how many women don’t take as good care of themselves as they do their kids. Probably all of the above. All that said, these pies (oh, that crust) look delicious. My kid probably won’t touch them but I will. All the more reason to make them, ha. Also, your pumpkin scones, made yesterday, gone!
    -Dana

  • November 14, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Ok this post just about made me cry! Maybe because I’m surviving on 5 years of broken (re crap) sleep, or maybe because Thanksgiving always pushes my emotional buttons or maybe because you’re so right on about how many women don’t take as good care of themselves as they do their kids. Probably all of the above. All that said, these pies (oh, that crust) look delicious. My kid probably won’t touch them but I will. All the more reason to make them, ha. Also, your pumpkin scones, made yesterday, gone!
    -Dana

    • November 14, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Oh Nicole, you have done it again.  These look amazing and I can’t wait to try them.  By the way, I made the twinkie cupcakes from the new cookbook and my 5 year old declared them the BEST. CUPCAKE. EVER!!!  And yes, she did yell it from the rooftops.  She’s like that…  I also took your advice from the cookbook and spent one day making a bunch of dough and crust to have in the fridge for all week.  Genius!

    • gfshoestring
      November 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      Love it all, Holly! That is the first anecdotal comment I have heard about those Twinkie Cupcakes. I’m so happy your little girl loved them! I’m rather partial to them myself. And I’m so glad you have a properly stocked, ready-for-the-week refrig! Well done. :)
      xoxo Nicole

    • gfshoestring
      November 14, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      Now you’re gonna make me choke up, Dana. The holidays can be so fraught, and they’re all about the food. Throw special dietary needs into the mix, along with extended family, and it’s bound to become at least somewhat difficult. I’m happy you could hear the reminder about taking care of yourself. If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
      xoxo Nicole

  • Catherine Peebles
    November 14, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    This looks REALLY great, and really time-consuming, too. I’m debating with myself whether to try it. The freeze-in-advance approach certainly argues in favor of trying it. I think I could make the pastry one day, the fillings the next, and then assemble on another day to freeze. I notice you have quite specific pie-pastry instructions here — about smushing the pieces of butter before you add the cold water. Can I make the pastry in the food processor (in two batches), as usual, or is there something I need to know about this recipe in particular? Further question: if freezing the pies before baking, would they be considered wrapped up tightly enough if I place them on the baking sheet and then wrap the whole thing in plastic a few times, to be sure the whole baking sheet (but not each individual pie) is air-tight? I’m really considering this… And by the way, your berry scones from the first book are such a delicious and quick treat! Thanks!

    • gfshoestring
      November 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      You can definitely make the pastry crust in a food processor (that is how I demonstrate it in my how-to video), Catherine. I prefer this method because it is a safer way to a flaky crust. Using large, flattened chunks of butter allows you to work with a slightly warmer crust without melting the butter, and permits the cold environment in the refrigerator to bring it back much more effectively. Pastry-making is mostly about architecture and temperature. :) And your method of freezing the pies sounds fine. Freezer burn comes from exposure to the cold air. Any way you prevent that will keep it at bay. :)
      xoxo Nicole

    • Catherine Peebles
      November 14, 2012 at 6:47 PM

       THANK you. I’m a little lost when it comes to flattening the butter-chunks (happens when you roll it out, right?), so if/when you’d like to hold forth on that, I will be attentive. (I have OF COURSE watched your how-to! This is the woman who’s still making what’s-his-name’s sandwich bread recipe from years ago with the three different flours and no egg separating! By the way, ever since I got those USA loaf pans AND a Kitchen-Aid mixer, those loaves are rising like hot air balloons!) Back to the butter: it’s definitely true, even of those scones, that there was some melted butter round the edges during baking, so I am intrigued. Sorry for the long-winded reply — kids are watching “Shaun the Sheep,” and I’ve had my wine. Ahh. Still utterly grateful to you! -Catherine

    • November 14, 2012 at 8:00 PM

      You can definitely make the pastry crust in a food processor (that is how I demonstrate it in my how-to video), Catherine. I prefer this method because it is a safer way to a flaky crust. Using large, flattened chunks of butter allows you to work with a slightly warmer crust without melting the butter, and permits the cold environment in the refrigerator to bring it back much more effectively. Pastry-making is mostly about architecture and temperature. :) And your method of freezing the pies sounds fine. Freezer burn comes from exposure to the cold air. Any way you prevent that will keep it at bay. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Paulissa Kipp
    November 14, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Will this work with drained frozen cauliflower? I have tons of frozen that I’d like to use up.

    • November 14, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      As long as you use a good-quality firm frozen cauliflower, you can thaw, dry and then roast it without a problem.
      Nicole

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