Aunt Claire’s Tourtière (with a gluten-free crust)

Last Christmas, my cousin Tanya gave me her mother’s recipe for tourtière.   This recipe is neck and neck with my gluten-free butter tarts for the title of most Canadian post on this blog.   It is a simple, delicious and it would work well with whatever meat is good in your region.  I used a mix of organic beef and pork.  I say, resist the urge to fancy it up or throw other odd seasonings in, because it is absolutely delicious in its simplicity.  But I do like to serve it with a home-made chutney or pickles such as pickled beets, cranberry chutneypickled plumsSweet and Tangy Fruit ChutneyRhubarb Chutney or plum chutney!


1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
1 diced onion
1 garlic clove (I used 3)
1/2 cup water
thyme, sage, allspice, savory, cloves (to taste).

Directions from Cousin Tanya-
Cook it all in one big pot until it boils, then simmer until meat is
cooked. Spoon into pie crust (your gluten-free one) and bake until
crust is done. Mom told me to tell you to use a slotted spoon, if not,
it gets soggy. But, she says others prefer it that way (soggy, that
is). ***Gluten-free crusts are pretty sog proof so I went ahead and added the gravy-Erin***

GLUTEN FREE PIE CRUST (From Gluten-Free Baking Classics)

Gluten Free Pie Mix

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cups potato starch (NOT POTATO FLOUR)
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour

This will make a little more flour than you will need for a double crust pie.  You can use the extra for flouring your rolling surface.

Gluten free Pie Crust

  • 2 cups plus 4 Tablespoons gluten-free pie mix
  • 4 Tablespoons sweet rice flour (also known as mochi or glutinous rice flour)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons lemon or orange juice
  • a bit of heavy cream or egg wash for the top
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Butter a pie tin and dust it with rice flour.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  4. Cut the butter in to the dry ingredients and use your fingers to combine until it has the consistency of course cornmeal.
  5. Whisk the eggs and juice together.
  6. Add the liquid to the flour and butter and combine into a ball.  Divide the ball into two disks.
  7. Measure out four 12 inch sheets of wax paper.  Roll each disk of dough out between two sheets of wax paper.
  8. Remove one of the sheets of wax paper and flip the dough into the pie tin.
  9. Remove the second sheet of wax paper and press the dough in to the pie tin using your fingers to repair any cracks.
  10. Bake the bottom crust for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Prepare your tourtière filling while it bakes.
  11. Mound the  filling in to the pie crust.
  12. Remove another sheet of wax paper and flip the other half of the dough onto the top of the pie.
  13. Crimp the top and bottom edges of the pie crust together.
  14. Cut vents in the top of the pie.  If you like you can make little leaves and berries out of the extra dough (I always do so in order to hide little cracks and flaws in the crust!)
  15. Brush the top with heavy creme or an egg wash made from one egg whisked with 2 tablespoons of water.
  16. Bake the pie for another 45-50 minutes at 375 degrees or until the crust is golden.
  17. This is delicious served with pickled beets, cranberry chutney, pickled plumsSweet and Tangy Fruit ChutneyRhubarb Chutney or plum chutney!



5 Comments Add yours

  1. Katherine says:

    I’m so excited to see a recipe for this French meat pie! I work in a community with strong French Canadian roots and many of my colleagues make this as a special holiday treat. They were all talking about their grandmothers’ pork pies just last Thursday at lunch! Indeed, the consensus was keep it simple. Some of the recipes discusse involved potatoes in the filling.

  2. Potatoes might help with the gravy or no gravy question. it seems a shame not to use all of the juices and potato would soak them up to keep th crust from getting soggy. I remember now that you mentioned that Maine has a pretty big French Canadian population. Did you get try any of your coworkers meat pies?

  3. Katherine says:

    The day after our correspondence about tourtiere, my parents’ friend, Sue, stopped by while we were visiting and brought…a tourtiere! I was so excited about this and I grilled her on her technique. She made several of these as gifts, so she had used 8 lb of meat – 3/4 pork and 1/4 beef. She used 1/8 tsp of clove, cinnamon and allspice, along with onion which she, I think minced in the food processor – some way that renders the onion imperceptible. While the meat is cooking, you boil potatoes. You mash them up (do NOT add butter, cream or milk – just mash them). Then you add about 1 cup of the mashed potatoes to the meat (1 lb if you are just doing one pie). Really mush it together so it’s all pasty. She does a 1/2 & 1/2 butter/shortening crust.

    Here’s the exciting part: the traditional accompaniments are pickled beets (which you mention above), olives and good cheddar cheese (and ketchup for the kids – we skipped this). You are meant to take a bite of each thing and, in Sue’s words, “Its a marriage in your mouth.”

    We had the good fortune to partake of Sue’s pork pie on boxing day (which this year was our family Christmas celebration) and it was, indeed, a delicious marriage. I will say though, it could have used more spice – I would use 1/8 tsp of each per ONE pound of meat (as opposed to her 8 lbs).

    1. Katherine that sounds like amazing boxing day meal! Maybe it should be come a tradition?


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