Buttermilk Caramel Pie

This pie was revolutionary for me. Been debating buttermilk pie for a long time; felt chess pie (a southern standard) was too sweet and buttermilk pie sounded bland. Finally found a great recipe that wasn’t too sweet and had a perfect texture.  It is from a great new cookbook; “Pie Academy” by Ken Haedrich. This was the first thing I baked from it. Won’t be the last. This guy knows pies!

FYI: It doesn’t have a strong buttermilk presence, more of an undertone. The main thrust is a delightful light caramel flavor and that creamy texture I was hoping for. It is otherwise neutral and perfect all by itself.

Of course, I made my pie gluten free; used my trusty favorite pie crust and put 3 tbsp. of King Arthur basic gf blend in it in place of all purpose flour.

Just baked; kinda puffed up. It will settle back as it cools. Please do not eat this warm much less hot. Room temp is best! Don’t let it’s simple appearance fool you. It is a subtle blending of sugars, buttermilk, vanilla, eggs and butter. Mmmm…….

Indiana Buttermilk Pie

One pie crust; prebake it for 10 min at 375. I let mine cool about 10-15 min before filling it. Here’s my recipe:

1 c plus 2 tbsp King Arthur basic gf flour mix

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 a nine inch pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour. Set aside. Half the time, no 90 percent of the time I don’t bother…

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 and fit into pie pan, don’t leave the center too thick! Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Let cool at least 10 min before filling.

Filling Ingredients:

½ c packed light brown sugar

½ c sugar

3 Tbsp flour (I used King Arthur basic gf blend)

1/8 tsp salt

3 lg eggs plus one yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ c. buttermilk

3 tbsp. unsalted butter; melted

Directions: I used my stand mixer (you can use a food processor too or even a portable mixer). I put the dry ingredients in the bowl and mixed them briefly. Add the eggs and yolk and mix well. Add rest of ingredients; blend until all smooth; check to make sure the very bottom got blended too. Oven should be 350 degrees. Put pie shell on a baking sheet or pie drip pan and carefully pour in the creamy mixture. Bake on lowest shelf for about 40 min. Do not let it come out jiggly; should be fairly firm. Let cool on rack until room temperature before slicing. It is also nice chilled. Enjoy!

Pecan Tart is Terrific!

Something sort of sweet for a spring weekend, no fresh fruit available in the house. But I have a bag of pecan halves. Perfect. I wanted a whole tart not some small individual tarts like I’ve made in the past so I just used my long rectangular tart; it worked great, correct amount of filling. You can also use a 9 inch round tart pan . A rectangular one is kinda fun to cut in narrow slices across the width. And a tart is not quite as thick as a pie; I like the crust and filling proportions.

Notes: You have to use dark corn syrup.  Yes, I know corn syrup is an unhealthy item but sometimes you just have to go wicked!  It’s worth it, I promise. Cross my heart. Oh and NO margarine. Butter! Or Earth Balance if you don’t eat real butter.

This tart was awesome as is but are also great with some freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream which is quite popular at my house.

Ready for the oven….

Angie’s GF Pecan 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 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Crust directions: Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembles 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 get the rest ready.

Filling:

2 large eggs

1/3 c sugar

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 and a half tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

1 cup pecan halves

Sprinkle cinnamon

Filling: Beat eggs, sugar, salt, butter and corn syrup in a bowl until well mixed, can use a hand held mixer.  Stir in pecans and a good sprinkle of cinnamon.

Assembly: Roll out pie crust between the two long sheets of wax paper; try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and lay in long rectangluar tart shell or a round one if that’s what you got.  Crimp edges all around.   Fill your shell with pecan mix.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven on a low shelf for 25 or so minutes until set and crust edges lightly browned.  Cool at least 1/2 hour before serving warm or at room temperature or even slightly chilled. 

Freshly baked long pean tart!
My slice!

Cloud Pie, Yes…that’s a Thing!

choc cloud pie

It’s spring but not much fresh fruit is out for pies; I am rather tired of apples pulled from refridgerated storage, ditto the pears. And peaches/plums.necterines are here after traveling thousands of miles from South America. So for a quick dessert try this recipe: a chocolate cloud pie. This works well with a premade graham cracker crust. My guy actually liked it better that way. I especially loved the version I made once with a mixture of chocolate cookies and ginger snaps. Do any crust you like.

chocolate pudding

It is not hard to make: I throw it together in three easy steps. It was one of those recipes where the sum of the ingredients is far tastier than the components would lead one to believe. The first time I made it everyone devoured their slice. some took slices home. The name came from the fact that it is as light as a fluffy cloud and from my love for my older sister who died over eight years ago. Margie’s love of pie was renown in our family and I am absolutely sure she would have adored this pie. Whip some up this week and woo your family with chocolaty goodness that should please everyone. choco cloud pie slice (2)

Notes: I used Amaretto this time instead of rum as I was out. I think cognac would be nice too. I have used bourbon too; works fine! I used 3/4 cup almonds as that’s all I had; worked great; I put 2 Tbsp. aside for topping and rest went on top of the baked cookie crust. You can buy a crust or make your own. I often leave out the almonds on the crust before you put in the filling. I don’t really miss them…good to know if you don’t have a full cup of almonds. A healthy slice is like eating a chocolate cloud….with puffs of cream and the crunch of toasted almonds. I used a hybrid crust when I made it a couple of years ago; I was tired of my gf oreos; so I scraped out and discarded the filling and crunched up the cookies, I thought I was a bit short on cookies so I added 7-8 gingersnaps I still had from my last cookie crust. Crunched up and mixed with butter, baked into what became a flavor delight of a cookie crust! One of the best pies I have ever made. And I make a lot of pies….

Chocolate Cloud Pie

Ingredients
1 pre-made graham crumb crust, GF
1 pkg chocolate pudding, the kind you have to cook
2.5 cups whole milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cocoa

1 tbsp dark rum, Amaretto, brandy, coniac
3/4 cup slivered almonds, divided
1 1/3 cup heavy cream, divided

4 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Pour the almonds into a frying pan, no oil and toast them, stirring constantly. Alternately you could do this in the oven at a low temperature but I prefer the frying pan. Stop when they are medium brown, try not to let them get black on the sides.

Cook the filling; put the whole milk into a medium sized heavy sauce pan, Then add the dry pudding mix, the corn starch and the cocoa. Stir with a whisk as it heats on medium heat. Once the mixture is bubbling all over the surface turn off the heat and add the rum. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill until cooled. Take ½ cup heavy cream and whip. Add this to the pudding and whisk until blended. Take 4 tbsp of almonds and set aside for garnishing the pie later. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted almonds over the chocolate pie crust Gently spoon the filling into the pie shell on top of the toasted almonds. Chill at least 2 hours until set and cold. Whip the rest of the heavy cream in a chilled bowl, adding the sugar near the end of the whipping. Gently put dollops of it all over the pie top. Sprinkle the reserved almonds on top. Enjoy!

Originally posted March 2014. No changes to recipe.

Almond Tort

I found this recipe on line somewhere for an almond cake but it was in British measurement and oven temp. I did some math and measuring; a lot of number changing and a bit of guessing. I gave it a whirl; made some minor changes to amounts, simplified a bit and added some almond extract for more flavor. And it turned out so delicious.   More of a torte in my mind so that’s what I am calling it. Next time I think I will use a slightly smaller spring-form pan; an 8 inch rather than the 9 inch I made it in.  That will make it thicker; might have to bake it longer. Otherwise; perfect dessert treat: tender with a delicate almond flavor. The coconut is a back note but I liked it in there. Just sweet enough for us. You can add another quarter cup of sugar if you are mad for sweet…

I wasn’t planning to blog this so I took no pictures. This is the last slice left 24 hours after it was baked. Went fast…definitely a keeper recipe! Next time I will snap a shot of the whole torte and some pictures of the process of making it.

almond torte slice3

Almond Torte – serves 6-8

Ingredients:

11 Tbsp. butter; melt it and let it cool to room temp. Plus a tsp. to butter the pan.

1 ½ cups almond meal plus a Tbsp. to coat the buttered pan

2/3 cup sweetened coconut, flaked

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 cup sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. almond extract

3 Tbsp. sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS:

Place shelf in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the 11 Tbsp. of butter and let it cool. I did that in my microwave. Butter (1 tsp butter) a 9 inch spring-form (8 will work too) on bottom and first inch and a half up the sides and then dust with almond meal; about a Tbsp of almond meal should do it.

Mix almond meal, coconut, sea salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl beat the eggs until frothy; add almond extract and vanilla extract. Add the cooled butter. Mix. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well with whisk. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Top should spring back lightly when touched, lightly browned. You can dust with powered sugar but I liked the look of it plain. Guessing it could be yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Cover to store leftovers; doubt they will last long. Enjoy!

Originally published in spring of 2019

Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

My love for snacking muffins unfolds further…what new flavor shall I make?  Turning to my trusty basic muffin recipe I went for a sweet treat; chocolate chip muffins. They are a riff on my blueberry muffin recipe. If you are wondering why I am posting yet another muffin recipe: homemade muffins are lots cheaper than commercially made GF muffins plus they taste so fresh and oh so tasty. I walk right by all those pricey gf snack bars and cookies; knowing that in my freezer is a zip-lock bag full of luscious muffins that defrost to taste as though I made them that morning.

This batch of muffins was delightful: delicate texture yet with a great crunch and the lightly chocolate flavor from the mini chips.  I cut back on the chips a bit so they are not too heavy or too chocolaty. The walnuts also contribute to the crunch and add a subtle nutty taste.  I added a bit of cinnamon which pulls it all together.

The streusel topping gives a great look and adds texture and flavor.  I messed up my topping this batch; had to sprinkle melted butter over them after topping. Still yummy but they are slightly bald on top as a lot of the oats didn’t stick properly due to my error.  Next time they will be perfect. And there Must be a next time as these sweet treats are awesome!

I love how healthy these muffins are compared to commercial gf muffins, no preservatives, chemicals or weird ingredients I would never bake with.  Try them and see how eating gluten free can be so easy when you bake your own snacks. As always I freeze those I won’t eat in two days time; a zip lock freezer bag works great.

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below) or King Arthur Basic GF Flour blend

2/3 cup granulated sugar  or granulated coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. xanthan gum

¼ tsp. salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

2 large eggs

½ cup milk, 1 or 2 percent plus 2 tbsp more if you use the palm sugar

½ cup canola oil

—————-

Topping: Mix the following in a bowl, add the butter last after you stir it up a bit: use a spoon to blend. Set aside while you make the muffin batter.

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/3  cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond meal

¼ tsp. cinnamon

3 tbsp. butter, melted

——-

Muffin directions: Heat your oven to 350 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.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl Add chips and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix.  Combine milk and oil.  Beat in eggs, add vanilla.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir just until blended.  It is a very thick batter.

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 topping. Press it in a bit so it won’t all flake off after baking. Bake 21-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  Remove within 2 minutes from the pans and cool on a rack.  They freeze well for a few weeks: if they last that long.  Keeps in an airtight cookie jar for 2-3 days.  

Originally published in March 2019, no recipe changes made.