Peachy Keen Peach Cobbler

Peaches; peachy keen, peaches and cream, peach ice cream and peach cobbler.  Well, this post will be on peach cobbler and it is is peachy keen!  Still, I often make it with blueberries.  I am guessing most any fruit might work; blackberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, nectarines and apricots come to mind.

peach raspberry cobbler

This recipe is modified from one in Bette Hagman’s book, “More from the Gluten-Free Gourmet” and is based on a flour mix that will give you 4 cups of the dry ingredients for the topping.  One cup of dry mix plus the other ingredients will make an 8×8 pan of cobbler topping.  I bet two cups will make a big 9×13 pan of peach cobbler.

I have made it over a camp fire a few times, delish and not that difficult either.  But that will be a separate post as there are some tricks to campfire baking.

I have tried a number of cobbler recipes but nothing has tasted better than this one so I will stick to what works great for me.  If you use nectarines there is no peeling involved which makes it extra easy to throw together. I need to make a cherry cobbler but cherry season has passed.  Oh well, there are frozen cherries at the grocery store……

Mix this up and store in an airtight container in the freezer.

I always get the fruit cooking before putting the topping together so the fruit is hot and ready for the topping and can go right into the oven.  I used fat ripe peaches I bought at the Saucon Valley Fruit Stand for the first peach cobbler of the season and then some very flavorful ones from Bechdolt’s Farm Stand which made outstanding peachy cobbler.

Dry Cobbler Mix (store in freezer, makes enough for 4 cobblers)

2 ¼ cups white rice flour

½ cup potato starch

½ cup tapioca flour

1 tsp. baking soda

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp. xanthan gum

1/3 cup sugar

Cobbler Topping

1 cup dry baking mix

2 eggs

2 tbsp melted butter or canola oil

1/3 cup milk/buttermilk (scant)

1/4 tsp. vanilla

Mix the wet ingredients and then add to the dry mix in a big bowl. Mix very briefly, just until combined.  I suggest adding the last tablespoon of wet stuff only if it seems to need it; better to have it thick than thin in consistency.

Fruit Filling

4 cups sliced ripe peeled peaches, nectarines, blueberries

½ tsp. almond extract

1/3-2/3 cup sugar depending on how sweet you want it

1 tbsp. minute tapioca

2 tbsp. GF flour

1./4 tsp cinnamon

peach cobbler in saucepan

Directions:

Mix the fruit and almond extract in a sauce pan. Stir together the tapioca, sugar, cinnamon and flour and mix into the fruit.  Cook on the stove top, medium heat, for 3-5 minutes until it is thickened and hot.  Pour into a buttered 8 inch square pan, top with big blops of the cobbler topping.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  The top should be light brown and spring back when you poke it with your finger.  If it looks damp or squishy bake it 5 more minutes.

peach cobbler in pan

Let cool 7 or 8 minutes before serving as it will burn your mouth right out of the oven!  Some people love it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Cobbler is perfect just on its own.

Between you and me, I recently made this cobbler with 4 fat peaches and a handful of fancy frozen raspberries as I felt there wasn’t quite enough peach slices. It tasted amazing!  The zing of the raspberries and the ripe peachy flavor mingle with the tender cobbler crust in an incredible blend that must be tasted and enjoyed ASAP! It is great with just ripe August peaches, just made one of those today.

Blueberry Peach Crumb Pie…Delectable!

It is the peak of both peach and blueberry season so this was a perfect pairing for adaptation to a gluten free pie recipe.   The resulting pie was juicy and flavorful down to the last slice.

blueberry peach pie slice

This is an easy pie to create.  Slice and dump together the filling, crumb topping made in mixer bowl you used for bottom crust. You can store any leftover crumb mixture in a sealed container in the fridge; it keeps a few weeks.  This GF crumb topping is perfect for most any fruit pie.  If you prefer a solid crust just double the crust part and top your pie with it.  Be sure to cut some slits for steam escape! I think a lattice crust would be fantastic if a bit more time consuming to construct.

Please make every effort to use local fruit; you can get peaches at most farm stands like Bechdolt’s located below Hellertown on Rt 412, Saucon Valley Fruit Stand on Seidersville Road or at Lehigh Valley Produce on Main Street in Hellertown.  This pie really showcases the blueberries more than the peaches. But store peaches can be poor in quality due to chilled storage of fruit so I strongly suggest you get locally grown, sweet, ripe peaches to make your pie.

To peel; heat 3 inches of plain water, drop the peaches gently in and cook them 1-2 minutes.  Allow to cool somewhat before peeling.  I like to do that over a bowl to catch the juices as I slice each peach.

Bake and enjoy early summer in a pie in just a few minutes of work.  Don’t eat it piping hot; it should be cooled to room temperature or even chilled.  You could certainly serve this with vanilla ice cream.  And this pie works perfectly with fresh nectarines or apricots.  Bonus: no peeling required!

Angie’s GF Blueberry Peach Crumb 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 Tbps. 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.

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 prepare the filling.

crust

Filling:

2 cups sliced fresh peaches, peeled and cut in thick slices

3 cups fresh blueberries – place in medium bowl

Mix with:

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup quick tapioca

Add and stir in

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

blueberry peach pie filling

Let the filling stand while you prepare the crust, important for the tapioca so it does its job optimally.

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 fruit mixture.

blueberry peach pie unbaked

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

Directions:

Sprinkle the top of the pie with crumb mix; use as much as you like.  I like about a heaping cup of the mixture.  Up to your personal taste… It sinks partially into the fruit mixture and adds lots of sweetness and eye appeal.

blueberry peach pie, done

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until bubbly and the crumb crust is light brown.  I put a piece of aluminum foil on top for the last ten minutes.  Cool at least 2 to 4 hours before serving at room temperature.  I think it is best served the same day you make it, or no more then 10 hours after baking for optimal flavor.  The crumbs will get soggy if too much time passes.

Note: if you find your bottom crust is not browning enough bake it empty at 375 degrees for ten minutes before filling it with the fruit.  I have a bottom heat pizza oven which gives me perfect pie crust so I don’t ever have pale pie crust.

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Blueberry Sheet Cake for a Picnic

This summery cake is very easy and totally delish.  It is blueberry season, this cake give you the best of all worlds, sweet berries and tender bites of cakey goodness.

blueberry sheet cake

This was the second time I made it. I have used two different flour blends, both worked. One is Better Batter and the other one is the brown rice mix I often use; see at the end of this recipe. Either works but I have to say I prefer the Better Batter for this recipe a little more than the brown rice.

As to the fruit, I bet you could use frozen blueberries or replace the blueberries with raspberries or blackberries.  Enjoy this summer treat with some friends or your family, it makes about 8 generous square servings or ten small ones.  I served it at a family picnic this past week, I was the only GF person there and everyone clamored for seconds!

Gluten-free Blueberry Sheet Cake

Ingredients; For the Cake:

  • 2 cups plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose, gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (only if your flour blend doesn’t already have this!)
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup of blueberries

For the Topping:
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup blueberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter or gluten-free cooking spray.

  1. Mix 2 cups of flour, baking powder, sea salt and xanthan gum in a medium bowl with a whisk and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.
  3. Beat in half of the flour mixture until smooth, add the milk and almond extract and the rest of the flour and beat until evenly incorporated.
  4. Toss 2/3 cup of the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour and gently fold into the batter. Spread into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Mix the topping ingredients together and distribute evenly over the top of the batter. I like to press the berries in a bit so they are not just resting on top of the dough.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool at least 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

8 servings

Brown Rice Flour Mix  – mix them all in a big jar or bag
1 c. brown rice flour

1/3 c potato starch

3 tbsp.  tapioca flour

Strawberry Tartlets to Tempt Romance!

Yes, it is the end of July but juicy ripe strawberries can be found in the supermarket and some produce stands like Lehigh Valley Produce on Main Street in Hellertown even now! I saw baskets of fresh berries earlier today at LV Produce.

This is a sweet and romantic dessert; two could share one deep dish tartlet! If you weren’t piggish that is….  Maybe everyone needs their own tartlet.  Totally your call. But do try to make these as they are not difficult and strawberries are very healthy and delicious even in August!

Angie’s GF Strawberry Glace Tartlets

Makes 4-6 tartlets; lesser number if deep dish ones and more if the flat bottom style that hold less berries.

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 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 4 inch metal tart pans or 4 inch mini deep dish pie pans with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour. Set aside.

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.    tart shells ready to bake

Cut it into 4 balls and roll out each ball into a small 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 mini pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Do again until you have 4 shells and use all the crumb leftovers to make a fifth tartlet crust.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-13 minutes until the crusts are light brown.  Cool at least 30 minutes before filling.

Glaze:

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

2/3-3/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

½ cup water

 Directions:

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.  Boil and stir one minute.  Let cool at least 20-30 minutes or until close to room temperature.

Filling:

4 ounces of light cream cheese, room temperature

4-5 cups fresh strawberries, hulled

Line the bottom of the cooled tart shells with the cream cheese, spread it as evenly as possible. I use half of an 8 ounce package.  Place berries in a big bowl.  Pour the glaze over top and gently mix.  Pour the goopy berries into the mini pie shells.  I like to pick one really nice one for the top of each tartlet.  strawberry tartlets

Chill 1-2 hours before serving.  Make some real whipped cream, the fake stuff will not be right; 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.  Top each tartlet with the whipped cream.

Dive in, one deep dish tartlet is a substantial dessert.  If you make them in a flat bottomed round tartlet it will make more tartlets; less berries are needed to fill it.  I have a pair of those sort of pans; each pan makes 4 tartlets.  They would be a good alternative to the deep dish tartlet pan.

Either way this is a yummy dessert to share with someone you love.

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

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Bread Worth the Work; GF AND Tasty!

Baking tasty gluten free bread is sort of the Holy Grail for us folks with celiac disease.  I miss the flavor and texture of good quality bread.  I have tried many recipes that left me dissatisfied with the bread I baked.  In years past I used to make many different types of yummy wheaty bread.  The truth is that without the protein in wheat flour it is difficult to make satisfying gf bread.

Early this winter I discovered a website “Gluten Free on a Shoestring” by Nicole Hunn and bought the cookbook that had just come out “Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread.” I have made some of her recipes and had moderate success.  I will say that her breads are generally really good the first day you bake them.  I often freeze my leftovers before going to bed so they remain tasty.   I have made her pretzel rolls, lean crusty whole-grain bread and submarine rolls (from her website).  This week I made two of her recipes and I want to tell you about the bread.

It is zucchini yeast bread. Unusual because it is a savory bread, not a sweet dessert bread. Plus it has to chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours! I made the dough up Friday night and put it in a greased bowl, covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.  This chilled resting period allows for better texture and ease in forming the bread dough.  I shaped it Sunday afternoon, let it rise a bit more than an hour and popped it in the oven. Forty minutes later it was done, golden brown, raised a bit and smelled spectacular.  I took it to my mom’s for Sunday supper along with my best friend Bernie who was my college roomie and my goddaughter Danielle, her firstborn.  We had slices with our vegetarian dinner as Danielle doesn’t eat meat.

It was spectacular, fragrant, moist, crisp crust.  I could almost swear it had cheese in it and I knew it didn’t!  Second slices were had and I was so proud of a gf bread which hasn’t happened very often.

Her flour mixes are a bit complicated and some of the ingredients are pricey but if you just want the best bread I would say her recipes are a must have so you can treat yourself to the tastiest gf bread I have ever enjoyed.

Nicole Hunn’s website is “Gluten Free on a Shoestring.”  Check it out as it is chock full of her latest recipes.  She tries them out and showcases them on her blog before they appear in her books.  I believe she is about to bring out a cookbook where she re-creates gf a favorite commercial treat like the cookies and breads of Starbucks and the like.  It will be at least her fourth cookbook.

This bread alone is worth the effort of making up her special flour mixes; first you make her basic gf flour and then you use it to make her bread flour.  She uses whey protein powder to give the protein boast gf bread recipes need to allow for best flavor and texture.   There is also pectin powder in the flour mix.  These unusual ingredients allow her breads to be shaped and formed, even braided!   The doughs are tricky sometimes to work with but I am glad I am trying and I get to eat the tasty results!

Check out her website, http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ and try a recipe.  The zucchini yeast bread recipe is on it.  If you long for yummy tasting, fine textured bread Nicole Hunn is your baker to follow.  I use several gf cookbooks but for bread, her information is revolutionary and worth investigating.  Good baking!

Image

Delicate Cheesy Quiche To Enjoy This Summer

Okay, if you are an ardent quiche hater you might be thinking that over again.  This quiche recipe may change your mind. It is not heavy or goopy and the light cheesey taste will win you over.

I like to use fresh veggies in it and my favorite versions always have bacon. If you dislike any of my chosen veggies or the bacon; change them.  Cubed ham will work very well too or make it just vegetarian.  Quiche is a nice summer supper; you can make it the day before and re-warm the slice slightly before serving.  It goes well with a salad or some fruity yogurt or a cup of soup.

This recipe has a rather unusual and easy crust. If you prefer something else just sub in your favorite non-sweet crust.  I have made it with my basic gf brown rice flour mixture pie crust but this is so easy and a different taste you may find growing on you.  Very healthy too!

Angie’s Quiche

Crust

1 tbsp butter

¾ cup toasted buckwheat grouts

 

Filling

4-6 slices bacon cut in to ½ inch chunks

1 onion sliced into medium width rings

1 cup zucchini slices; I cut the rounds in half

1 small 4 oz can mushroom pieces, drained

1 ¼ cup 1 percent plain cottage cheese

1/3 cup whole milk or half and half

3 large eggs

¼ tsp dried thyme

½ cup 1/3 inch cubes of swiss, Monterey jack or mild cheddar cheese

A sprinkle of paprika

Directions:

Cook the bacon until it is very close to done.  I like to use a cast iron pan.  Stir the bits often so they don’t stick or burn.  Turn off and decant on to a paper towel, leaving the bacon grease in the pan as much as possible.  I turn the heat back on, med high and sauté the onions for at least 5 minutes, until they soften.  I steam the zucchini slices until almost soft 3-5 minutes. Drain the zucchini slices well.  Put the onion slices/pieces on a paper towel to drain.

Rub the butter around the entire bottom and sides of a 9 inch metal pie pan.  Gently tip in the grouts and roll the loose ones so they stick all over the buttered pan.  Let the excess ones cover the bottom with a thicker layer.  I don’t always use all ¾ cup; sometimes I use a tad less.

Put the cottage cheese, milk, thyme and eggs in the blender.  Blend 30 seconds until smooth.

Gently, layer the bacon in the grouted pan, then the mushrooms, onions and zuke.  Sprinkle with the cheese cubes.  Carefully pour in the blended filling and sprinkle with paprika. Sometimes I don’t use zuke (the winter time when it isn’t as tasty) and sometimes I skip the cheese topping.  Occasionally I used smoked paprika for my sprinkling.

Bake 35 min at 325 degrees; maybe 5 extra minutes if it seems really squishy. It shouldn’t be too firm.  As it bakes the buckwheat swells up and forms a crust.  Let stand a minimum of 30 minutes before slicing.  I definitely use a knife around the edge and a pie server for loosening the bottom crust.

It keeps several days in the fridge if any is left over!  Cover it tightly with plastic wrap.  You can swap out the ingredients as you wish and as to your fridge can provide for fillings.  Just the blender ingredients should stay the same although I have used different milks; please do not use skim milk though because it is too thin and your quiche will not be as yummy as whole milk or half and half can make it.

FYI: buckwheat is not wheat, it is a seed and is somewhat related to rhubarb.  It has no gluten.  Some of you people may be familiar with buckwheat pancakes.  I make buckwheat gnocchi pasta which is yummy.  It is a good ingredient to add to your grain arsenal.

Do try this when the heat cools off a bit.  It only bakes 35 minutes so the oven isn’t running all that long.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Glace Pie…..Simply Stunning

Okay people, It is at the height of local strawberry season.   This dessert is so lick-your-fingers yummy  that I don’t want you to miss it and have to wait until next May/June to enjoy this strawberry classic.  The local produce store on Main Street here in Hellertown has local berries as does Bechdolt’s Orchard. 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 what ever basic crust you like.  The filling is naturally gluten free.

My mom loves 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 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbps. 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.

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 12-15 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