Blueberry Rhubarb Custard Pie

Surprisingly blueberries and rhubarb really do go together so well. Blueberries are uncooked: with milk or cream or baked in a cobbler or a fruity crisp. Rhubarb is called the pie plant for good reason; it makes a lovely pie from a humble plant stem. But this, this is my current obsession, the two together in a custard pie. Not just any old custard but one made with Greek yogurt and eggs. Easy to throw together, creamy, never runny textured and a lusciously fruity flavor that may make you have to eat a second slice! The blueberries do tend to take over the rhubarb flavor of this pie. Of course, there are more than twice as many blueberries by volume and they are just a stronger flavor than rhubarb which gives a bit of a tart under taste to this pie. You could play with the proportions of the two fruits; this is the amounts which I used. This pie will be tasty to even the biggest rhubarb dissenter. Really!

WARNING: This pie goes soft in 2 humid days so plan to gobble it down within that time frame or face the soggy crust syndrome. Inevitable with gf crust and a custard filling in hot/humid weather.

I don’t recommend frozen or canned fruit for this pie, simply not good enough and you must use plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt in the filling, plain yogurt is too runny. And no, it can’t be made without the eggs it just wouldn’t work as a custard if there are no eggs. The version with peaches uses 3 yolks in there. I tried it with two whole eggs beaten up: success! And one last warning; applicable to 100 percent of my recipes: Please don’t try it with Measure for Measure gf flour; this is calibrated for using King Arthur’s Basic GF Blend.

I hope you give it a try; super easy and super delicious. Best pie of the summer hands down! Make one Saturday morning…we couldn’t wait for a slice still faintly warm……. I thought I took a picture of a slice; no luck there and it is all gone. Next time! It does look pretty much like the blueberry peach custard pie I posted last summer.

Naked pie! About to go in and bake for 25 minutes and then the crumbs go on top.
Just out of the oven….cooling…a molten mass of fruit and custard and sugary crumbs!

Angie’s Blueberry and Rhubarb Custard 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 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 or 10 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.

Filling:

2-3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb cut in half inch slices (2 cups if 9 inch pie, 3 cups for 10 inch pie)

4 cups blueberries; rinsed

2/3 cup sugar, sweeter if you like it that way or if peaches are not fully ripe

2 Tbsp. tapioca starch

Mix in a medium bowl the following ingredients:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt, I prefer whole milk, and let it warm up a bit

2 whole large eggs or 3 egg yolks, close to room temp.

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 tbsp. brown rice mixture flour (King Arthur Basic GF blend)

Crumb topping

¾ c brown rice flour mix (King Arthur Basic GF Blend)

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

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

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Directions: Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Put the oven rack on the closest to the bottom shelf position. Once the crust is chilled some but not hard, Roll it out and fit into the pie shell. Trim off excess crust. I like to chill those crumbs of crust and roll out to make a jam filled hand pie. Anyway, put the sliced rhubarb and blueberries in a bowl and add the sugar and tapioca. Let stand 5 minutes. Then pour into the pie shell in a fairly even layer, as the filling and crumbs will hide it there is no need for a pretty design. Then pour the filling that you just mixed up over it , tap the pie on the counter sharply 2-3 times to settle in the filling and bake for 25-30 minutes. I turned down my oven to 375 after 15 to 20 minutes. While it bakes those 25-30 minutes make the crumbs. When your timer goes off, carefully remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle the top of the pie with crumb mix;  I used about 3/4 of it but you could use a bit less if you don’t want a thick crumb layer or all of it for a really heavy crumb. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes until crumbs are lightly browned. Let stand at least 1 to 11/2 hours before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Blueberry Rhubarb Sourdough Scones

Scones, tender, flakey, full of yumminess… something I used to make years ago. I had made some several years ago but they were sort of heavy. So, I assumed all gf scones were generally pretty sad until a few months ago when I attempted them with leftover sourdough starter, generally called discard. I had created the starter the week before using brown rice flour and was looking for a way to use up the excess sourdough starter. I couldn’t find a recipe for blueberry sourdough gf scones, so I took a gluten-based recipe and reconfigured it to make with a one for one blend: specifically, Bob’s Redmill 1-1 Blend. I used a half cup of thick starter.

Last week I made the recipe again but added finely chopped rhubarb stalks (never the leaves; poisonous) and made them somewhat smaller and a different shape. Made with real dairy like actual butter and whole milk.  I ate the first one when it was still warm. It was heaven in a scone. Crisp outside, tender inside. Bursts of sweet blueberries and tangy rhubarb gave the perfect taste experience. It was just as good as the blueberry ones from this spring, maybe even better. I have never eaten such tender gluten free baked items as these sourdough scones. The crumb was moist and the texture perfect and they are red, white and blue, perfect for the holiday on Monday! A great breakfast or company treat that no one will believe are gluten free.

I cut them in more of a square shape, so I got 12 squarish scones, a bit smaller than the 8 wedges that are commonly done but I wanted smaller as those big wedges are just a bit too much for my afternoon snack! It is hard to make skinny long wedges plus I didn’t think they would freeze well; break up. These rectangular ones are quite sturdy considering how delicate the crumb is.

I don’t know what you can sub in for the sourdough starter. Perhaps some plain Greek yogurt? Maybe you should just make starter so you can bake these scones.  You could use vegan butter, but it will be better with the real deal!

I didn’t take any pictures except of the done cooling scones; wasn’t thinking about this blog, I guess. Next time I make them I will take a few.

I don’t know what flavor I will make next, but I do know there will be many next times. Frozen blueberries worked so well; keeping the dough chilly as I mixed it with a wooden spoon and then kneading it with my bare hands. So, other frozen fruits are in my freezer…. Trust me, it is easy to make and utterly decadent despite no icing beyond a couple teaspoons of sugar sprinkled on top. I may make it with some with cut up frozen strawberries next week!

Angie’s Rhubarb and Blueberry Sourdough Scones (GF of course)

Ingredients:

200 grams 1-1 Gluten free flour blend; I used Bob’s Redmill but King Arthur 1-1 blend works well too

50 grams almond flour

100 grams granulated sugar

2 ½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

7.5 Tbsp of cold butter

1 cup of finely chopped rhubarb; 1/3 inch size is good

1 half cup of fresh or frozen blueberries

½ cup sourdough starter (Use the discard if you are creating discard)

1 large egg

1/3 c cold whole milk

Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cut in cold butter with a butter cutter or 2 knives. Until it is tiny pebbles of dough and butter.

Add the egg, starter and ¼ c of the milk. Mix to break up egg and start the blending process. Add in the chopped rhubarb and the frozen blueberries (or fresh) and continue stirring. As it gets to be a thick dough dump it out on your breadboard with all the dry bits and hand knead it to coalesce it into a thick dough. Form it into a large square about 9 inches across. Cut into 12 squares; cut in three strips; then across to make 12 squares or rectangles depending on how square your original rolled out dough was. Spread them out on a cookie sheet that you have sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. of granulated sugar or chunky sugar if you have some. Put the sheet in a cold place to chill while you heat the oven. Heat to 355 degrees.

Put the sheet in to bake. If you have a convection cycle they will be done in about 20 minutes; the outside needs to be light brown, bottom browned and they look done. I tried 18 min but that wasn’t enough. If you don’t have convection they will likely take a few more minutes.  Let cool on pan for 5 minutes and move to a rack. They cooled rapidly and I couldn’t resist eating one while it was warm. So tasty and I loved how patriotic my scones look!

Enjoy! I think they will freeze nicely; vacuum sealing would be a good way to go about it if you are freezing for more than a week.

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

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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!

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 

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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!

Sourdough Can be Gluten Free!

Recently someone said in my hearing that sourdough is safe for gluten avoiders to eat. I thought, nope. Then I heard it again from a neighbor. I asked a few questions. This very nice neighbor and I share gf baked goods with each other. It turns out she has tummy issues that are causing wheat intolerance. I have celiac. She finds that sourdough bread is very digestible for her. I had to explain that if I ate regular sourdough it would not be at all safe for me. The sourdough process does not remove or magically inactivate the gluten in the wheat based flour. Sadly nope. Would be nice if that were so.

But I do have to say that I have been making some gluten free sourdough baked goods and find that they are delicious and not crazy difficult. The scones I posted a couple of weeks ago come to mind. So tasty, what great texture and flavor! And I have twice made delicious gf sourdough breads; one using white flours that I added oats and oat flour to base flour as well as seeds like poppy and fax seed. Makes such incredible toast. The other bread success has been the raisin bread; a fruited version of a plain sourdough loaf. Both recipes came from a facebook group for gluten free sourdough bakers who want to help each other bake gf sourdough foods. If you are on fb; put in that topic and you should find them. This awesome group has lots of recipes in their home page top right at “files”. And folks answer your questions when a bake turns out less than optimal.

I feel that sourdough breads have a better crumb and texture than regular gf breads. They toast up simply amazing, sort of like an English muffin bread. Makes great sandwiches. Lovely for us celiacs who miss good bread in a deep and fundamental way. I actually have eaten a lot less bread since going gf, its expensive and sometimes very disappointing so I just kept finding ways to avoid it. Baking bread that is worth the time and ingredients can be very hit or miss. My French baguettes are delicious, and my Italian fennel and golden raisin wide loaves are wonderful but I have also made many subpar loaves of gf bread over the past 9 years. Gummy, heavy, grainy and poor flavor plus they often only taste good the day you bake them. I strongly urge you just take a minute and check out this gf sourdough group on fb. Another recent and strong source for possible gf bake recipes are the two cookbooks out by Aran Goyoaga. Last month I bought Cannelle et Vanille in hardcover which is mostly very interesting components of a healthy meal using lots of flavors and lots of vegetables and I just got Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple on kindle. I haven’t baked much yet from either book but I hear a lot of good buzz in social media from gluten free bakers. Folks on fb call her CV as a nickname, now you are in the know too! I will report in this blog on how bread turns out when I use her recipes.

As I wrote above, the ones out of the gf sourdough bread bakers on fb are pretty tasty, the raisin and current loaf was amazing fresh and delish toasted a couple days later. I froze a lot of it and it defrosts quickly in my microwave before toasting slices to give it all those golden nooks and crannies. The seeded one makes awesome avocado toast and I love it toasted along with a couple of eggs in the morning. Just know that these gf sourdough breads take several hours to rise, can’t be rushed. AG’s Bakes Simple has several non sourdough bread recipes. Also other kinds of baked goods. They are much quicker than sourdough; use yeast from the store. Enjoy!

The other book by her is all bakes cookbook but is is pretty much sold-out hence I bought it as a kindle.

Meanwhile, join that gf sourdough group on fb (who would have ever thought that such a group exists!) and make a starter; takes about 7-10 days. I used CV’s recipe that is made with brown rice flour. It’s not that difficult to stir up a loaf if you have a stand mixer and you might really enjoy watching the slow rise of a tasty loaf of gf sourdough bread.

Raisin bread before I cut into it. Incredible scent and flavor. Mmmmm best raisin bread ever!

I feed my starter most every day; just a little bit and try to discard some each week. I guess it is time for some scones this weekend! I made some interesting chocolate chip sourdough cookies the other day; uses just almond flour so it is a bit grainy to me, made also with coconut sugar and coconut oil so kinda healthy but just not quite the texture I am dreaming of. My favorite CC recipe is King Arthur’s recipe. I love how you can form and freeze the cookies in a ziplock bag and bake just as many as I like. I guess I will live without sourdough in them! Back to the sourdough scones; there is nothing going less than perfect with them. Incredible flavor and impeccable texture. This weekend it is raspberry time!

Chocolate chip and walnut sourdough scones. My dieting downfall…