I love using Chebe products. They are some of the most versatile, allergen friendly, gluten free mixes out there. Their focaccia is delicious, their pizza crust is amazing, and theircinnamon rolls are super easy to make.
Plus, I had the pleasure of meeting the founder Dick Reed and his right hand man Jon Miller at the Chicago Gluten and Allergen Free Expo. It was no surprise that these two wonderful men are as enjoyable as their product.
Recently, I was contacted by Chebe to see if I would be willing to make some gluten free pies, using their mix as the crust. I received a generous shipment of their products before Thanksgiving, but have not had a chance to sit down and write about them until now.
They have a pie crust recipe on their website that's easy to make. One of the biggest problems with any raw gluten free pie crust is that they tend to fall apart. Without the elasticity of gluten, it's hard to hold all of those ingredients together. But a pie crust made with Chebe doesn't fall apart and is incredibly easy to handle. I was really impressed.
I've made three types of pies so far using this mix. Pumpkin custard pie, pecan pie and a chicken pot pie. The pumpkin custard pie I made with the cinnamon roll mix, as I thought it might be a great substitute for a graham cracker crust. I didn't divide the dough in half or roll the crust thin enough. While it was tasty, the crust was very thick and tough. (My bad) The pie as a whole seemed better a few days later after the filling moistened the crust further. I may have to go to the store to buy another box so I can play around with this again.
The pecan pie was equally tasty, but I made a baking mistake and docked the pie crust prior to baking. While the crust was rolled thin enough, all of the filling seeped through the bottom of the crust.
Obviously, I am not the queen of pie baking.
I used the other half of the mix as a second crust in a 9 inch square pan and made pecan bars on my second attempt The firmness of the crust made it easy to hold in your hand, but it was still a bit dry.
My biggest success thus far has been a chicken pot pie. Because regular Chebe bakes up crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, a one-crust filled pie tends to be hard. I think the trick to using Chebe as pie crust is a filled pie.
I made my chicken pot pie on Christmas Day, but did not end up using it that day. So I wrapped it tightly in saran wrap and stuck it in my refrigerator. Three days later on Sunday I unwrapped it and placed the whole chicken pot pie, in its ceramic dish, in the microwave. After warming for 3-4 minutes, the crust magically changed into a super soft and pliable crust. We shared it with a friend who is also eating gluten free and she even asked for seconds.
It may very well have been THE BEST chicken pot pie that I have ever made. My husband said that it was definitely the best gluten free chicken pot pie he has ever had. It's WAY better then the chicken pot pie that I made with the Pillsbury gluten free crust, a dough that was filled with chemicals, preservatives and other allergens. Plus, Chebe is much cheaper- $3.29 a box versus $4.49 for a tub of Pillsbury dough.
Chebe products win again!
So my next step will be to make a filled pie, like apple or cherry and then report back. I'm also wondering if adding more butter to the crust will make a difference, as most traditional recipes call for a lot more cold butter than the 2 tbsp of oil that the Chebe recipe calls for.
The only thing is that I don't need the extra calories after indulging during the holidays,
So who wants to come over and help me eat a pie?
What flavor should I make?