Homemade Pumpkin Pie: Easy and Delish

Pie is traditional at Thanksgiving in the USA. So you might be planning to make a GF pie for the holidays.  I think pumpkin is a perfect choice because it is really easy to make: has only a few steps.  Make a crust, mix up and dump in the filling, bake it, chill it and yumm it up!! And it sure is traditional for this holiday. When I ask my guy what pie he wanted, he alternates between pumpkin and my deep dish apple crumb pie.  My dad particularly loved this recipe; he felt it had a perfect texture and just right sweetness.

If you want to change things up, add a tsp. of maple flavoring to the filling for a sweet treat.  I did that that for my Thanksgiving pie the other year.

This GF crust will work for any pie you should want to make including pecan pie.  This particular filling recipe is adapted from my 1970s Betty Crocker and is one I have made for years; perfect custard texture.  If you like it really sweet add another quarter cup sugar.  I use evaporated milk; less fattening than the cream many recipes use.

My mom always said that eating a slice of pumpkin pie is like having an extra vegetable serving.  I like to cook up a butternut squash and run it through a food mill to make it silky smooth for the pie but you can just buy a can of pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling which has other stuff; just plain pumpkin please.

Go ahead, bake as easy a gf pie as is humanly possible and enjoy a tasty yet kinda healthy pie for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

pumpkin pie 2

Angie’s GF Pumpkin Pie

Crust:

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

2 Tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

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 while you make the filling. I actually roll mine out in an OXO pie bag which I love!

Filling:

2 large eggs

2 cups cooked pumpkin or butternut squash puree (canned is okay)

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. cloves

Sprinkle of nutmeg

1 3/4 c evaporated milk (1 can)

Beat eggs well and add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together with a mixer at low speed until blended.

Put It Together:

Roll out pie crust – see above directions: my sister Karen gave me a pie bag a few years ago and I love it for an even thin crust.  You can get one on line from King Arthur Flours.  Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Fill with pumpkin pie mixture.  Sometimes I sprinkle the top with more cinnamon and nutmeg.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, lower temperature setting to 350 and bake for 45 minutes until just set and the crust is light brown.  Cool and chill at least 2 to 4 hours before serving at or close to room temperature.

Note: I bake all my pies on the bottom rack of my gas oven on a rack set just above the oven bottom so it really cooks every pie crusts to perfection.  If you oven isn’t similarly equipped you might want to prebake your gf pie crust ten minutes before you pour in the filling and bake it.  Take ten minutes off the total time unless it seems to need a few more minutes.

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

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published on this blog November 2014.  Minor changes in the text since then.

Yam-a-licious Casserole

I started making this side dish over 8 years ago, have made it for a number of holidays.  We had it one Easter Saturday along with a big roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, the whole chicken dinner complete with challah bread which was a first for me gluten free and an almond honey cake with candied lemon peel slices and fresh raspberries.  But with all the yummy food, this humble side dish was sort of the star.  There was very little left and most of us had seconds.  So, I figured it was time to share it; now you have it for the next time you make a big meal and want a simple yet yummy and healthy side dish.

 

I love it because it is healthier than most yam/sweet potato casseroles.  It is free of gluten, grains, eggs and refined (read white) sugar.   If you use something other than butter it can be dairy free too.  No tons of butter, marshmallows or cup of brown sugar.  Less than a quarter cup of sweeteners make this a good choice for pre-diabetes.  I do use the coconut oil; adds a subtle flavor I love.

And it is so easy to throw together. Just peel and dice up the yams, mix up the other ingredients in a small saucepan and pour over, bake and enjoy.  So easy but the flavor is subtle yet very pleasing.  I use 4 large yams but I often use 5 or 6 smaller ones. You can double it easily; actually have a post doing just that.  Simple, tasty and healthy; side dish home run!

Honey Spiced Sweet Potatoes

4 large sweet potatoes or yams
1/4 c. butter (or coconut oil, for dairy-free)
2 T. coconut oil
2 T. honey
2 t. molasses
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1/2 – 1 t. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes, peel if you like (it’s not all that necessary), chop into uniform 1/2 inch cubes, and place them in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Over low heat, melt the butter and coconut oil. Stir in the honey, molasses, and spices. Drizzle over sweet potatoes, than sprinkle with salt. Stir to evenly coat, then bake for about 1/2 hour, or until potatoes are fork tender. Suggest that you stir it up once or twice while it bakes so that yummy sauce can sink into every bite of yam. Enjoy!

It shrank a bit in the pan but still a nice amount of delish to share. Looked fantastic before I took it to the luncheon; darn but I forgot to take a picture….

Brown Butter Apple Galette

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine and thought I could make it, just a little simpler and (of course) gluten free. Unfortunately, I can’t find the recipe anymore.  I liked how it looked: the shape of it and all those skinny slices.  When I saw the picture my initial thought was what the heck is a galette?  I goggled it and the term can refer to a French free form cake or a free form tart that is sort of between a pie and a tart.  It should be less work than a pie or a fancy tart.  And it is about half the servings so if you want less than a whole pie; this is a great option.  This one is a rectangular shape which I loved.  Not that tough to shape.  You can do it. The hardest part for me was spelling the word correctly for this post!

apple galette 017

For more galette info; check this New York Times article with a great video: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/dining/the-galette-forgives-you.html?_r=0

Anyway, my apple galette was easy to make and gorgeous to look at and even tastier to eat! Impress your family when you toss this together – they will think it took hours to make.  Leaving the skin on the apples makes them easier to slice thin, they hold their shape better and you save time.  Plus you get the bonus of all the fiber and nutrition of the apple skin and right below it.

First, make the crust and chill it a bit while you slice the apples.

GF Tart 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, room temperature

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

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 flat fat rectangle with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), put another piece of wax paper on top and chill it all in your fridge 15 minutes

Baking pan: Spray 10 x 14 inch metal baking pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour or line with parchment paper.

Filling:

3 cooking apples – a pound or a bit more

2-3 tbsp. salted butter

3 tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

Take 2 tbsp. salted butter and heat it in a sauce pan until it is browned, watch closely or it will burn.  Pour it into a small bowl to cool a bit.  It will brown a touch more even out of the pan so take it out at a medium brown.

Wash and dry three firm cooking apples.  I used golden delicious that I bought at an orchard store; Bechdolts Orchard to be exact. Apples are extra fresh when you get them from where they grew. I cut them in half and cut out the core with my knife. Not peeled; the peel helps the slice keep its shape.   I put the cut side down and cut the apple half into skinny1/8 inch slices.  Leave them all close together still shaped like an apple half. Cut them all like that. I ate the end pieces that were rounded or otherwise less than perfect!  apple galette 008

apple galette 007

Roll out the somewhat chilled crust between the two sheets of wax paper into a rectangle; about 10 by 14 inches, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! I use my pie bag as it works great even for weird shapes. Peel off one side of paper and place on pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.

Place your skinny sliced apples skin side up, separating them slightly.  I made two long rows and put a few slices down the sides.  Leave a 1 ½ inch border of crust untouched all around the fruit.  apple galette 009

Pour the brown butter all over the fruit.  Sprinkle with the dark brown sugar.  Fold up the border of dough to form rustic sides; connect at the corners, no need to make it perfect; it is a galette!  Beat the egg well with a small whisk and add the water.  Brush the entire tart shell and fruit with it.  Sprinkle with that spoonful of regular sugar.

apple galette 010

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40-50 minutes until bubbly and the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

apple galette 011

I served mine with the time honored tradition of vanilla ice cream, my favorite: Turkey Hill’s homemade variety of vanilla.   It was also delightful all by itself so you can savor the delicate flavors of the apples with the brown butter and brown sugar.  apple galette 017 The original recipe had some fancy whipped cream flavored with a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup; next time! And there sure will be another apple galette this fall. It was tasty and I loved the extra crunch the crust had from the painting of egg wash and sugar.  My pie crust has never been put to better usage nor had better flavor.

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

We had this for lunch today; made with empire or Cortland apples; absolutely delightful.  I put 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in the crust before adding the egg. And I used big crystal sugar for the topping tbsp. of sugar.  Even better than last time I made it.

First posted in 2018; minor text changes made. None affect the recipe.

Sourdough Can be Gluten Free and Delicious!

I have been making some gf sourdough breads and other baked goods for quite a few months now; since last winter. Hiatus over summer due to hot kitchen although I did continue to make sourdough bagels regularly. I love them with eggs for breakfast and I often have an open-faced bagel sandwich for lunch. The starter I use is make of brown rice flour and water. Occasionally I treat it to some honey. Currently it sits in the fridge until the day before I bake. Then I feed it more flour and water and stir it up to get active. Hey, I know, sourdough is not for everyone, and it has the reputation of being super tricky and unreliable. I can attest to some of that, but I have my secret weapon; a teaspoon of active yeast is my little helper. Added to the dough with the majority of ingredients it gets that dough to puff up, albeit over about 5-6 hours. Shhh! Don’t tell any serious sourdough bakers; they are somewhat fanatical bakers who are incredibly dedicated to their starters, recipes, the lengthy process and are fairly willing to waste lots of ingredients and hours of time waiting for a rise that often is minimal at best. After a few months of up and down results I have gone over to the dark side; that teaspoon does the trick; it is less than half a packet of yeast but it is enough to boost the rising power of my dough to results that are delightful and give me great joy. Until this year, I hadn’t had sourdough since going gf in January – February 2007. My mom loved sourdough and I sure missed it and looked longingly at the loaf of it at family gatherings. No more longing; I am making my own delicious sourdough breads and bagels.

The recipes I use come from a few sources, Aran Goyoaga bakes an amazing looking loaf of sourdough, but my favorite site is Bakerita; I belong to a fb group dedicated to her recipes and advice. Her boule is delicious if exacting in construction. I use her recipe for gf sourdough bagels, and it is super easy and super forgiving. And for those who think bagels are too difficult to make; Wrong! It is a one rise of the dough in the mixing bowl, cut into 8 equal chunks, roll into a ball, poke a hole through the ball and shape into a bagel. Let rise an hour or more, give each bagel a bath in boiling water with baking soda in it; 30 seconds on each side; place back on baking sheet. Dress up with poppy seeds, sesame seeds or Everything bagel mix (my favorite). Bake for an hour and there they are, chewy, golden and just lovely to munch on. I was driven to making my own when I found all the store gf bagels were lacking in texture and flavor and when Aldi’s stopped selling gf Everything Bagels. The last straw for me!! I slice them in half and freeze. Usually get through them in 3 weeks and I bake again.

Bagels, bathed, sprinkled and ready to bake

You can look on facebook for Bakerita’s site. Also for a gf sourdough baking group although I warn you, they are so deadly serious about it! And on both these sites there are recipes in the notes for a wide variety of baked goods. I have two of Aran’s cookbooks. I do tend to do the Bakerita recipes more often; if you follow them closely and add that tsp. of instant yeast you will get great results. Aran’s cookbooks have a detailed step by step recipe for creating your own sourdough starter; not that difficult to do. I have made sourdough scones too; see a few past blogs. I tried sourdough crackers with some limited success. The most recent recipe was the Bakerita boule but made as a loaf and allowed to rise 6 hours before baking. It has lovely even holes in the bread and my guy swears it tastes just like sourdough bread he buys. [He is not gf except when he is at my house so he eats wheat-based products regularly and can easily compare my breads to them.]

blueberry rhubarb sourdough scones

I find it a fun and almost scientific process; you weigh all the ingredients; strongly urge you to get a good electric scale that can do both ounces and grams. Essential. As is a stand mixer for most recipes. The bagel recipe can be made without a stand mixer. And bonus, far cheaper than buying the bread and far better flavor! Plus your house wil; smell fantastic as the bread bakes. Finally, there are the family’s accolades at your amazing sourdough bagels. Who know it could be so easy and fun to make bagels. I promise you will love them. Have fun and be adventurous! Sourdough is for us gluten free types! Go out and bake some.

Apple Berry Crumb Pie

This is a twist on apple pie I like for when I am tired of apple pie or in late winter when the apples get sort of sad; they are not as crisp or flavorful so I add some berries to brighten up the mixture. This recipe uses cranberries. I used frozen ones but fresh are great too; lots of them will be in the stores for Thanksgiving. They taste like cherries in this pie! My guy was sure these were tart cherries!! Yay; that means they are a good addition.  I bet you could use other berries or cherries from the freezer case. I am planning on making this pie for Thanksgiving Day.

I have made this pie before I went gf but with a rolled-out crust cutout with big circles. That version had ginger in it. This one is a bit more traditional in the flavors and easier without rolling out a second crust.

The filling is cooked briefly on the stove top to keep the pie from settling too much in the oven.  There are three main components but don’t be scared; this is an easy pie to create.

apple cranberry crumb pie out of ovenCrust:

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

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

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 pie bag or 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 prepare the crumbs and the filling.  I have a wonderful pie bag made by OXO that is nonstick, sturdy construction and just awesome! I have used nothing else but that bag since it was gifted to me a year and 3 months ago.

Crumbs:

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

5 Tbsp.  cold butter cut into 6-8 chunks

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

Filling:

4-5 cups sliced fresh baking apples (no red delicious or honey crisp)

1/2 cup 2/3 c sugar (use the higher amount if you like it sweeter)

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp. fresh orange rind and a Tbsp orange juice

2 tbsp. butter at room temp

2 tbsp. instant tapioca or tapioca or rice flour

Raw or big/fancy crystal sugar to sprinkle on top

Directions: Mix the fruit, spices and sugar in a large bowl, Add the butter to a large sauce pan and melt; dump in the fruit mixture, cook about 6-8 minutes until apples soften and the cranberries are bursting. Then add the rind, juice and tapioca or rice flour, stir.  Let cool a few minutes to room temperature.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour cooled filling into pie shell, top with crumbs; use them all; sprinkle with your fingers. Top with a Tbsp big crystal sugar if you have any – a nice finishing touch.

Place on baking sheet to catch drips (I have a pie drip pan I love!)  Bake for 30 min and turn down the oven to 375 degrees and bake 20-25 more minutes: until crust is golden and you can see the filling bubbling.  Cut it short or lower temperature if crumbs are browning too much. Cool on rack for at least 1-2 hours before serving.  Enjoy! apple cranberry crumb pie slice

First published in April 2020, no changes to recipe; minor corrections/changes to text.