Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie – Long Name – Yummy Pie

This is a variation on my favorite rhubarb custard pie which is my go-to recipe for a great spring dessert. I added strawberries to please my guy who isn’t a huge rhubarb fan. The strawberries add their special flavor and he really enjoyed this pie this past weekend. So did I! Our new favorite pie…

This is an easy pie even though it has several steps.  It is different from the usual rhubarb pie because the texture is a bit closer to a crumb cake, no wet (aka slimy texture) and no ultra-sour flavor.  I think this new strawberried version is great for those who doubt the power of rhubarb!  This GF crust will work for any pie with a traditional dough and the GF crumb topping is a great choice for any crumb pie topper.  This is my mixture of three recipes with some modifications which come together to create one of my favorite GF pie recipes.  I know it has several steps but each one is easy and you can use these crust and crumb techniques for other pies.

I like it because it has a great texture and the flavor is complex but subtly rhubarby.  It isn’t really soft or all that custardy (if I didn’t say the word custard you would never know) but has a more cake-like texture. It is a game changer of a pie. I promise you that!

Fruit in the unbaked pie shell.

Angie’s GF Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 1 tbsp brown rice flour mix (recipe for blend at bottom of pie recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

——————

Spray a 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour. I must confess I forget this step a lot of the time and it doesn’t seem to matter much….

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice. Do not leave out the juice; it is critical to the crust texture and structure!  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape the sticky mess into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you chop the rhubarb into ½ inch chunks.

This pie is ready to bake!

My sister Karen bought me one of those pie crust plastic bag thingies; has a zipper around the edge.  By OXO: I love it; it works better than wax paper which can get soft and tear as you roll out the crust.  King Arthur Flour sells an inexpensive one on line. I highly recommend you get the OXO version for making scratch pie crust.  Or maybe improvise with a sheet of heavy duty plastic! Strong enough to work with the rolling pin and better than wax paper.pie crust bag

Filling:

4-5 cups cut up fresh rhubarb – place in medium bowl

1 1/2-2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Mix with dry mix made of

2/3 – 1 c sugar (depends on how sweet you like your pie) I go with 2/3 cup

¼ c brown rice flour mix (see below recipe)

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Sprinkle cinnamon

Roll out pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Fill with dry rhubarb mix.  Pour the following wet mix evenly over this mixture:

Liquid mix: 3 large eggs beaten lightly with 1/3 c milk (not skim), and ¼ tsp almond extract.

Crumb topping

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form.

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Sprinkle the top of the pie with the crumb mix; use as much as you like.  I like about 2/3 of the mixture.  Up to your personal taste… It sinks into the rhubarb and wet mixture to create an almost cake like texture and the crumb crust adds lots of sweetness and eye appeal.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 55-60 minutes until bubbly and the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 3 to 4 hours before serving at room temperature.

The pie is just out of the oven, hot and smells wonderful!

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur’s Basic GF Blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Afternoon snack; still faintly warm. Delicious!

Real Strawberry Shortcake…The Best!

strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake is a classic and no one turns down a slice of it at at a family gathering. I am not sure where I got the gf shortcake recipe; maybe my old Bette Hagman Gourmet Cookbook. I used to make a fantastic shortcake when I could still use all purpose flour but my gf biscuit version is pretty tasty. But there is one thing, you gotta make it with the best freaking strawberries you can find.  None of those ultra firm ones with whitish cores that are shipped in from far away.  You need juicy ripe scented red berries that are served over a gluten free short bread. My local season is peaking now so try for local grown berries – the riper the better and it will taste great!

My mom always made a gorgeous version of strawberry shortcake. When I was a kid she would serve it as an entire meal.  I have done that and it is kinda cool.  Pre gluten free I generally made a huge oval biscuit with a smaller topping biscuit that I split off and buttered the split area before topping with berries and the smaller biscuit and topped with more ripe berries and a pillow of softly whipped heavy cream.  Oh berry perfection!  Now I bake it in two separate pans but the construction of the final product is the same otherwise. The pictures on construction are a couple of years old but the process is the same and the results are consistently heavenly….

shortcake 2
shortcake bisquit
shortcake 5
shortcake 3
shortcake ready
strawberry shortcake

Mom’s Strawberry Shortcake, GF2.3

Biscuit dough

1 cup white rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. xanthan gum

6 tbsp cold butter

1 medium egg

2/3 cup buttermilk

2-3 tsp. sugar (optional)

2 tsp. soft butter

————————–

Other ingredients:

2 quarts ripe strawberries

½ cup sugar

2-3 tbsp. Karo light syrup

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ tsp. real vanilla

2 tbs. powdered sugar (if you like your cream sweet)

Directions
Heat oven t0 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the cold butter until it is small pebbles.  Add the egg and most of the buttermilk.  Mix with a spoon; add rest of buttermilk if you need it.  It should be a bit sticky, don’t over mix; just until dry is blended in.  Spray the inside of an eight inch cake pan and a 6 inch cake pan with cooking spray.  If you don’t have a small pan just use two 8 inch ones.  Pat ¾ of the dough into the 8 inch; make it about ¾ to 1 inch thick and try to smooth the top and side edges a bit.  Put the rest of the dough in the smaller pan and do the same smoothing.  Make that one ½ to ¾ inch thick.  Optional: take 2-3 tsp. of granulated sugar and sprinkle it over top of them. I think it gives a great finish to the shortcake. Bake them about 20 to 25 min; the smaller one should be done in 20 minutes; a golden light brown. Set on a cooling rack for a few minutes.

While it bakes, get the berries ready.  Hull 2 quarts of fresh ripe berries.  Place them in a glass mixing bowl; chop through them a few strokes with a sharp knife.  Add ½ cup sugar and about 2-3 tbsp. Karo light corn syrup to the berries.  Stir well and refrigerate until the shortcake is baked.  You could do this berry preparation up to two hours in advance.  No more or they will start to disintegrate.

Place the fairly hot bigger layer on a large platter, one big enough to hold the shortbread and still have room for a generous overflow of strawberries. Butter lightly if you wish.  Top with several big spoonfuls of berries.  Don’t worry if there is juice in the berry bowl; there should be; melted down sugar and Karo syrup with berry juice will give you a delish berry liquid.  Top with the second smaller biscuit and then more berries.   Cut into chunks.  Top with freshly whipped cream; beat a cup of heavy whipping cream until it is softly whipped.  Add ½ tsp. vanilla and ¼ cup sugar if you wish it sweet.  Be sure to pour the berry juice over your shortcake; it soaks in and adds to the strawberry experience.

My dad liked to pour unbeaten cream over his shortcake. My mom usually set out the whipped cream, a jug of cream and some whole milk so we could choose how to finish off your personal shortcake.  I might add that I grew up on a farm, so this was raw milk from grass pastured cows; fantastic cream equaling a freaking perfect shortcake topper.  We also grew our own berries; no chemical sprayed on them ever.’

Notes: Karo is sugar syrup; I know, I know its not very healthy but it is only a bit and it improves the berries’ flavor to have some. Just do it. And while I am being bossy: please use real whipped cream. So easy to make and if you are going to the trouble of a scratch shortcake you need the real deal topping. It is hugely worth it.  I actually stored some whipped cream in the fridge overnight and it was still decent the next day although the texture is a bit softer than it originally was. Strawberry shortcake is a decadent treat but honestly no more so than a sundae you get at an ice cream place. SO go ahead and indulge. Enjoy!

shortcake, one serving

If there is any left over it makes a great breakfast the next morning!

Originally published in June 2014.

strawberry shortcake

Strawberry Glace Pie…Simple Pie Perfection

It is at the height of local strawberry season; therefore, it is the perfect time to make this pie; no baking a filling, no top crust, just ripe sweet berries in a coating of sweet berry goop and real whipped cream!   This dessert is so lick-your-fingers yummy  that I don’t want you to miss it and have to wait until next June to enjoy this strawberry classic.  The local orchard, Bechdolt’s Orchard has some, there are pick your own like Phillips Farm Market in Milford NJ where we went on Saturday and a few other pick your own close to the Lehigh Valley. Or try a farmer’s market for fresh flavorful local berries. If you can make a crust and stir the strawberry goop you can make this.

If you are one of my wheat loving friends; make whatever basic crust you like.  The filling is naturally gluten free.

My mom loved this pie and frankly so does our entire family.  Mom never put the cream cheese on the bottom but I like it as it keeps the crust from getting soggy and adds a delicate counter point to the sweetness of the filling.

strawberry pie and more flowers 005 strawberry pie and more flowers 017

It is not a great summer if you don’t indulge in this dessert at least once!

Angie’s GF Strawberry Glace Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Directions:

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour. (I forget this step a LOT!)

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes.

Roll out pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Prick it in a dozen places with a fork to keep it from blowing up bubbles. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes until the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 30 minutes before filling.

Glaze:

1 cup mashed very ripe strawberries (I sort through the berries and use only the ripest ones for this part.)

2/3-3/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

½ cup water

Mix sugar and cornstarch in 1 qt heavy bottomed sauce pan, stir in water and mashed strawberries.  Cook on medium heat until it boils, stirring constantly.  If it seems too thick, add up to half a cup more water.  It needs to be thin enough to cling to your berries.  Boil and stir one minute.  Let cool at least 20-30 minutes or until close to room temperature.

Filling:

3-4 ounces of light cream cheese, room temperature

4-5 cups fresh strawberries, hulled

Line the bottom of the cooled pie shell with the cream cheese, spread it as evenly as possible. I use ½ an 8 ounce package.  Place berries in a big bowl.  Pour the glaze over top and gently mix.  Pour the goopy berries into the pie shell.  I like to pick the nicest ones for the top of it.

Chill 2-3 hours before serving.  Make some real whipped cream, the fake stuff will not do for this pie; 1 cup heavy cream whipped with an electric mixer or a whisk until soft peaks, I like to chill the bowl and beaters a few minutes as it helps the cream whip faster.  Then add 2-3 tbsp powdered sugar and ½ to 1 tsp. vanilla.  Beat just a bit longer, until nearly stiff peaks.  Slice the pie and top each piece with the whipped cream.  Dive in!  You won’t be disappointed.

Brown Rice Flour Mix– for crust
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Mango Blueberry Muffins

unbaked mango and blueberry muffins.

I love muffins for their great flavor, texture and how easy they are to make.  Plus they are really portable and they freeze like a dream. Homemade snacks have the great feature of no chemical preservatives or additives like snack bars you buy which is a great attraction for me.  Plus, if you have never baked gluten free these muffins are a super easy starter recipe. I make them on the small size as when they are big they are too much of a snack; I just want a medium to small muffin to keep my blood sugar level.

This is a riff on my past version of a muffin recipe out of Annalise Robert’s cookbook; Gluten-Free Baking Classics.  It is very similar to her blueberry muffins but with some mango cubes and oat flour.  You can just use only the flour blend and no oat flour; tjey won’t be quite as tender. I left off the toppings as I wanted a more low calerie/healthyish muffin.

These muffins will not disappoint: delicate texture, a great blueberry flavor and bursts of mango too and they have just enough sugar for me.  I used about 1 cup of drained cubed canned mango flesh (you could use fresh mango cut into 1/3 inch cubes) and a heaping 1/2 cup of frozen  blueberries. Or the opposite proportions…use any proportion of fruit that you prefer. I used frozen blueberries and canned mango; so convenient, don’t defrost any frozen fruit before adding. Peaches could be subbed in for mango; be sure to cut in small cubes and drain them well. You could add a coarse sugar topping to insure that they look fancy if that is your desire.

I used coconut palm sugar so not much guilt in eating one of these treats! You can swap the coconut palm sugar for plain sugar if you want.  I liked coconut palm sugar which is very low as far as raising blood sugar.  Just increase the milk by 2 tbsp if you do the coconut palm sugar.

It is smart to freeze any you won’t eat in two days’ time; a zip lock freezer bag works great.

 Mango Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. xanthan gum

¼ tsp. salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 cup drained mango cubes (canned ones are like 1/3 inch cubes; a good size)

heaping 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries 

2 large eggs

½ cup milk, 1 or 2 percent

½ cup canola oil

1-2 tbsp. coarse sugar if you want a sugar topping 

——-

Directions: Heat your oven to 425 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 14-16 muffins.  I got 16 when I made them yesterday.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl. Combine milk and oil in measure cup and add. Beat in eggs, add vanilla.  Add fruits; stir just until fully blended.  It is a very thick batter. Let stand 10-15 minutes now or in the muffin pans.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  I use a big serving spoon and fill it about half way to dump in each muffin space. Sprinkle the top with the coarse sugar if desired. Bake 5 minutes and lower heat to 350 degrees and bake 15-18 minutes more until golden brown. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack.  They freeze well for a few weeks, if they last that long.  Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) or an airtight cookie jar for 2-3 days.

Cut in half you can see they are more tan in color than most muffins. That is the coconut palm sugar’s doing. You can see the bits of fruit; every muffin is different in each bite; might be blueberry or you might get mango!

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix 

(This mix is the same as King Arthur’s basic gf blend)2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Alternate Streusel Topping: A tasty alternative. Mix the following in a bowl, make sure the butter is in tiny pebbles; use your fingertips to blend.

½ cup rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond meal

1½ tbsp. butter

¼ tsp. cinnamon

Sprinkle on top; press in lightly to help it adhere.

Baked and cooling. These mango and blueberry muffins are ready to snack on!

Cherry Sunrise Pie…an Easter Family Tradition

In a week it will Easter, the day of baked ham, chocolate candies and hardboiled eggs…. As for any holiday meal, I want dessert to be special yet not too heavy: an attractive fruit-based pie, but easy to construct and yummy: a tall bill to fill but this cherry sunrise pie checks off all those requirements.  Last time my sisters came for Easter Kaen asked me to make it for the big meal and she melted my heart when she said it felt like Easter when we ate that pie! They always fork it down as they are cherry lovers plus my sisters love how light it tastes.  I share it so you can make it anytime you want an easy company dessert.   You should make it the night before, so it is chilled enough to eat by 1 pm.cherry sunrise pie

It has to have a gluten free crust for me but if you are making it for the wheat eating public there are redi-made crusts out there that will make this so simple yet so delightful.

Cherry Sunrise Pie

One pie crust: I made mine from an 8 oz box of gluten free graham crackers crushed and mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter and pressed gently into a 9-inch pie pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9 or 10 minutes.  Let cool completely before filling. I made mine the night before. Or buy one; they sell them at holiday times in the gluten free area in my local supermarket and at the local natural food store. Will save time to buy one…

Ingredients for filling

18 or 19 oz can crushed pineapple in own juice

1 21 oz can of cherry pie filling

1 8 oz pkg light cream cheese, room temp.

½ tsp vanilla

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

Directions

Drain the pineapple for 20 min; save the juice!  I used my microwave to gently warm the cream cheese; it has a softening setting for cream cheese which works perfectly. I unwrapped it and placed the cold slab on a small plate and warmed it on a very low heat until supple and smooth.  Dump in a mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp pineapple juice, the vanilla, 1/3 cup crushed pineapple, ½ cup cherry pie filling.  If you are smart you will mostly use the goopy stuff and not too many cherries.  Save them for on top! Next, stir this all together really well.

Then whip the chilled heavy cream in a separate bowl with an electric

mixer until soft peaks form, add powdered sugar and mix well with the mixer; be careful not to over beat it.  If it gets clumpy you went too far.  Fold this into the cream cheese mix until it isn’t streaky with white areas.

Gently spoon the filling into the pie shell, spread it out to fill the entire bottom.  I used a spoonula (blend of spoon and spatula) and smooth the top with a flat cake spatula.  I like to leave a sort of tiny ridge on the outer edge to keep the pineapple from spilling out onto the crust.  Then carefully pour the rest of the cherry pie filling in the center spreading it to cover ¾ of the top from the center out.  Finally, use a spoon to put pineapple around the outer rim of the cherry filling.  Chill

photo 1 at least 2 hours, preferably 4.  Cut and slice. No adornments are needed. It has a light fluffy consistency and it isn’t that sweet.  Great to top off a big meal; not too filling and the fresh fruity taste is a spring treat.  Try it soon and you will be giving the recipe out afterwards!

I have no pictures of creating this pie; maybe this Easter I will take the time to snap a few and add them to this post at a later date.

This is about the sixth time I have blogged this recipe; first was in 2014. Been making it for like 20 years!