When you just cannot deal with rolling a double gluten free pie crust, these mini fried gluten free pies are ideal. However, unlike pie crust, they are crunchy. You may fill them with sweet or savory fillings. For my test recipe I just used Comstock fruit pie filling. Both Comstock and Wilderness brands are gluten free. These little gems are similar to empanadas (Spanish pies), but instead of baking them, you fry them. When empanadas are made in smaller sizes to serve as appetizers, such as these, they are named tapas. You may wish to check out my savory gluten free empanada filling (the crust on that recipe is a traditional gluten free pie crust), or my homemade sauteed apples for a healthier filling, if you’re not a quick open-a-can type of person.
Mini Fried Gluten Free Pies: Sweet or Savory
Similar to empanadas (Spanish pies) and topas (appetizer pies), these mini fried gluten free pies may be filled with a sweet or savory filling. Crisp and yummy!
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3 1/2 Tablespoons iced water
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup white or brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (or potato starch)
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour, plus more for rolling
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (or guar gum, if corn intolerant)
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar (or 1/4 teaspoon stevia powder)
- 1/16 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cocoa powder, for golden color (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon shortening
- 2 quarts oil, for frying
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack on top and set it aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg, water, and vanilla together. (Reserve the remaining ice water for later use.)
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk flour, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, and if using, cinnamon together.
- Add shortening to flour mixture and using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the shortening into the flour until even size crumbs form.
- Add egg mixture, and combine using a wooden spoon. Form into a ball using your hands. If the dough is too dry, add additional ice water, and if too wet, add additional cornstarch or potato starch. Then knead the dough until it is smooth.
- Transfer the dough a surface dusted with tapioca starch, and divide it into four pieces. Store three of the pieces in a zipper storage bag or wrap in plastic and set them aside.
- Dust a rolling pin with tapioca flour and roll the one piece of dough out to as thin as possible, about 1/8-inch.
- Using a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter or a glass, cut several circles out. Roll each one out thinner to about 1/16-inch thick to form almost an oval shape.
- Preheat deep-fryer or a large pot to 350°F. (If you are using a pot, it is helpful to place a steamer rack at the bottom to prevent the pie crust from sticking to the bottom and burning. However, a fry basket works well. If you have none of the above, use a slotted metal spoon when adding pies to oil.
- Add your filling of choice to half of the oval, leaving at least 1/2-inch bare on edges to seal. Fold in half and crimp edges with a fork. Be certain you seal them well to prevent them from bursting open upon frying.
- Fry the pies for about 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasional for even browning. (The more you fry at the same time, the less browning. If you have the time, fry them one at a time.)
- Remove them using a slotted or wire mesh spoon and allow excess oil to drip back into pot or fryer. Then transfer them to the prepared wire rack to drain and cool.
- If not serving immediately, leave them out at room temperature to keep their crispness, if the filling does not need refrigeration such as canned fruit filled pies.
- Repeat above steps with remaining three pieces of dough.
- Store leftover gluten free pies in an air-tight container with a paper towel to absorb any moisture and leave out at room temperature or freeze entire pies and defrost at room temperature. However, serving them once cooled is advised.
If you wish to prevent bubbles from forming, fry them at a lower temperature, about 350°F, but they will not brown as much. You'll have to fry them longer, as well.
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