Welcome! Grab a cup of tea, and enjoy browsing some of the photos and stories. As the 'teawife,' it is my duty to watch and listen and be a supportive friend, and a loving mum and wife. I should post more often, but sticking my nose into everyone's business keeps me busy! Kathy the teawife

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gluten-free pie crust


Christmas time = Baking time

Although I don't bake near as much as I used to at Christmas, I do like the odd festive treat.

The other day, Dad was telling me that Mom was busy in the kitchen baking our traditional 'bastada' pie, which is sour pork pie that has its roots in Alsace Lorraine, France. The recipe has been part of family Christmases in Castroville, Texas, for generations.

Living in England, I tend to feel separated from my family, heritage and culture, especially at Christmas. Cooking family classics helps to keep the traditions alive, even if we are thousands of miles away from Texas!

Bastada pie is made of minced pork, which is 'soured' in a vinegar mixture along with onion, parsley and bay leaves and left to marinate for 24 to 48 hours. The mixture is then put into a shortcrust pie and baked until golden brown (see above for a photo of my bastada pie!).

Because I'm gluten-intolerant, I can't easily purchase store-bought, ready-to-bake crusts. Therefore, I scoured the internet for recipes and came up with my own shortcrust pastry concoction, which seemed to work a treat!

Teawife's Gluten-Free Pie Crust

1/3 c. Potato starch/flour
1/3 c. Tapioca flour
1/3 c. Rice flour
1/3 c. Almond flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 c. cold butter, cut into pieces
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. vinegar

Egg whites as needed

If you don't have almond flour, double the rice flour to 2/3 cups.

Use a food processor and whir up the butter with all the flours, salt and xanthan gum.

After the mixture is crumbly, drop in the beaten egg into the mixture and whir again. Now scrape down the edges of your food processor to release some of the butter/flour that might be sticking to the sides and bottom.

Add in the vinegar and continue whirring the mixture.

Check to see if the mixture has the right consistency. If it doesn't, you can add in egg whites (I always have a carton of egg whites in the house).

Don't over process or add too much liquid. You can tell the consistency is right when you can squish the mixture together.

Put out on a pastry board and roll it out.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Eggnog

I've always been a real fan of eggnog, and it's been a traditional item in our family Christmas celebrations since I was a child. However, living in England presents problems in obtaining eggnog, which doesn't seem to be a popular drink. This is a puzzle because the origins of this festive drink are supposed to be English!

I recently had a little Christmas party for some of my American and international crafting friends. I decided to make eggnog since I'm not able to source it here. I loved the results, and I've promised some of my friends I'd post the recipe. I've made this a non-alcoholic recipe; traditionally, it features lots of rum or bourbon.
Teawife's Eggnog

4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy or double cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
ground nutmeg (add last)

Whisk all the ingredients together.

These are your basic ingredients. If you want a bigger batch, you can double or triple the recipe.

What you do next is up to you. Many recipes do not heat the eggnog. However, I decided to be safe and heat set my mixture. You can use a double boiler or carefully cook in a saucepan; but I used the microwave and one of my Pampered Chef glass mixing pitchers. To microwave, use 50 percent power and cook for 2 minutes at a time. Then whisk the mixture. Microwave again for 2 minutes at 50 percent. Then whisk again. You continue to do this for about 8 to 10 minutes total. The mixture will just begin to thicken when the temperature is correct. Do not overcook! Let the eggnog cool and then whip it again. If the eggnog is too thick for your tastes, you can add a bit more whole milk. If you like the taste of nutmeg, you can add it now and mix it through. Now chill the eggnog until ready to serve. Be sure to whisk the eggnog before serving. More nutmeg can be sprinkled on top of each serving.