I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

August 28, 2010

Apple Pie

I rarely bake treats for home.

Except at Christmas time.
As I spend days every week baking for functions and my cafe clients, my dear little family makes do on left overs and slight rejects or poor deformed cookies that I can't justify charging money for.
Today is a new day! I decided to make some apple pies that we could all enjoy. I usually miss out, but not today.
I had heard from a few sources that Maggie Beer has a great pastry recipe using cream cheese. I was intrigued. I googled around a bit and came across a gluten free version here: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/cookandchef/text/s1949896.htm

Despite the huge lactose content I decided to give it a try.
When I read the recipe through, I was surprised at the large amount of salt included. I think cream cheese has a salty undertone anyway, so I reduced the salt to 1 tsp, and maybe you could even halve that. I suppose it's a matter of taste.
This pastry is very soft, but this is good as you can press and mold it easily, but I wouldn't want to be doing this on a really hot day!

You need:
500g cream cheese
300g cold butter
4 cups of gfree flour
1tsp salt
8g xanthum gum

Now the easy part, chop the butter and cream cheese into cubes and pulse in the food processor.

Add in the flour, salt and gum, and pulse until crumby. Use a tablespoon of water or so if you need to.

It should start coming together easily.

Knead together into a smooth ball and rest in the fridge for a while.

I rolled the pastry out in between 2 sheets of baking paper to about 3mm thick. As I used a high, narrow tin it was a bit hard to fold the pastry into it neatly, but as it's soft it was easy to press out to the correct thickness.

The apple and pear filling I wanted to use has a nice bit of juiciness going on, and as there is nothing worse than a soggy bottom, I placed a teaspoon of almond meal in the bottom of each pie to soak up excess moisture.

Fill up the little lovelies, pop on the lids and crimp the edges together. I then I brushed the tops with water and sprinkled with raw sugar for a bit of sweet bling.

Bake at about 180* , and as they're pretty small I started checking at 20 minutes. I let them go to about 25mins or until the top was a lovely golden brown. Nice and tanned, no pasty pastry.

Let them cool in the pan for a little while, about 10 mins. You don't want them to sweat as that may damage the structural integrity of the pies, but if they're too hot when you try and remove them, they'll break up too. It's a fine line people. An easy solution would be to make a shallower pie, but I like these!
Enjoy hot or cold, they are yummy either way. I also tried heating them in the microwave the next day and they held up beautifully. The pastry didn't crumble, or get too tough. Yummo!

So Reader, do you often bake for your family?


  1. They look fantastic

    I bake all the time, but pastry is my downfall, I can never get it right, ( I like to blame my oven)

  2. I'm in awe! I love pies and pastry but gluten free ones make me nervous!

  3. Hehe...yes, I bake often for my family. :) So glad you got to enjoy these gorgeous pies, and happy to hear the MB recipe works well. One question - have you discovered the Lacteeze tablets? My Chinese metabolism doesn't enjoy lactose, but these are an absolute blessing - they effectively put the missing enzyme back in your stomach to digest the lactose temporarily.

  4. Yes, those ovens can tricky little things. mine runs about 15* cooler than it says. A good oven thermometer is about $15 and saves a lot of greif.
    Hi Vickys, that's funny, because non gluten free pastry makes ME nervous! There is an art to pastry. I'm thinking of doing a pastry chef course, but I don't know if they will let me with my InTolerances. Maybe I could sue for dietary discrimination!
    figjamandlimecordial, Lacteese are my very close friends! They live in my handbag, my work toolbox, my bathroom cabinet.... they don't allieviate all my symptoms, but they cut through the worst of them and allow me the odd treat out. Thanks for thinking of me, and tell everyone you know how fantastic they are.
    Share the love!

  5. Ooh look at how tall and proud that pie is! Must hide this from Mr NQN as he will ask for it. I bake a few times a week-I love it! :D

  6. In my little family there is only my boyfriend and I, so when I do bake for us- there are usually leftovers - I try not to bake too often because I don't want the temptation of eating all those leftovers! Sometimes I bring them to work though- so that is ok.

    This pastry looks great and could be good for savoury too- maybe an asparagus and corn pie?

  7. I love the deepness of these - individual deep dish apple pies - brilliant!

  8. Yum! Love the tin that bakes high little pies, I need to get one of those! My mother-in-law is GF so this has been bookmarked ;)

  9. Hey! Great blog, a fabulous resource for learning the practicalities of living with food intolerances.

    The apple pie looks delicious!

    I bake perhaps once every two weeks. I love it, but tend to focus on main meals more than baked goods or desserts. I want to improve my baking skills, though!

    Heidi xo