Pear Crumb Pie

Fresh tasting, locally sourced fruits are the reason for success in fruit pie baking. I got mine from the local orchard where they were grown; about 2 miles from my house.  I used Bartlett pears; you could use bosc but they would be a bit firmer and not as juicy as Bartletts. !

This recipe is a blending of my own pie filling and the pie crust and crumb recipes from Annalise Robert’s cookbook, Gluten-Free Baking Classics.  I used slightly less sugar, more fruit, and made a few other changes to create my own special pie using pears instead of apples.  Her cookbook is a fabulous resource and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone trying to bake gluten free for a family member.  This pie is like apple pie’s little sister; delicate, tender and so pretty. I promise even pear haters will enjoy a slice of this and we who love pears are just in heaven when we bite into a generous slice of this juicy sweet pie.

Angie’s GF Pear Crumb 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 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 1/2 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 chop the peeled and cored fruit into ¼ to 1/3 inch slices.  I use my plastic pie bag; sturdy and helps me roll the crust thin in the middle. 

Filling:

6 cups barely ripe Bartlett pears; peeled, cored, and sliced thin   – place in medium bowl

Mix the following in a small bowl and pour over the sliced pears:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. quick cooking instant tapioca 

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 rounded tsp. cinnamon

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Stir gently with a big spoon to blend well. Let stand while you roll out the crust; this time will allow the tapioca to soak up the fruit juice and become that lovely goop my family yearns for!

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 granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Directions: 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 sweetened fruit mix.  Pour the crumb topping (1 to 1½ cup) evenly over this mixture.  The more crumbs the thicker the crust they will form; for a really thick crust use all the crumbs from the recipe below.

If you love your pie really sweet add another ¼ cup granulated sugar to the dry mix part of the filling.  I found the pie to be plenty sweet but everyone has their own sweetness level.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes with a piece of aluminum foil on top of the pie, then lower the temperature to 375 and bake 20 more minutes uncovered until bubbly and the crust is light brown.  I put a pie guard underneath my pie while it bakes to catch any drips.  Cool at least 2 hours before serving at room temperature.

Note: I bake pies on the lowest shelf of my oven and that gives me a great browned crust.  If your oven doesn’t give a strong bottom heat you might want to pre-bake the crust 10 minutes before filling and topping the fruit.

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Naked raw pear pie, I promise it will get tastier looking!
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Pear pie crumbed and ready for the oven
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Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur’s Basic gf Flour mix)

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

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. Feel free to check it out on line or in the magazine rack at the library.  http://www.bonappetit.com/

I liked how it looked: the shape of it and all those skinny slices.  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.  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.

Last posted in 2018; minor text changes made.

Holiday Wrap Up

I’ve been busy celebrating the holidays including baking lots of cookies and cakes. A delightful cranberry crackle pie, a pumpkin pie, a lemon poke cake…. Great meals, lots of delish treats. Not finding time for writing posts. But tasty foods came out of my kitchen most mealtimes. Made muffins the other day; chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, more Russian teacakes to give to a friend and an amazing orange chiffon cake for my birthday that no one remembered to photograph. It was scratch, no mix used, and utterly divine….from my Annalise Roberts Heritage Baking Cookbook. Worth all the effort of grating orange zest and the beating of many eggs!
cranberry crackle pie

We have indulged in waffles a few times and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Chicken pot pie, Caesar salad, roasted chicken, shrimp scampi, and baby back ribs. Oh-my-goodness, the yummy gluten free foods that I produced over these past 2.5 weeks.

It is not difficult to cook gluten free especially if you eat foods naturally gluten free; potatoes, rice, beans, unprocessed proteins and lots of vegetables that are cooked from fresh without the need for falling back on expensive and not-that-tasty processed foods.

pie bag OXO

My wrist has improved somewhat and I got a great new pie rolling out device; pie bag from OXO; slithery smooth clear plastic, non-stick and hugely helpful: I was able to finally roll my crust thin enough to satisfy my own standards as to pie baking. It was the lid on the chicken pot pie and it was flaky, tender and so delish my guy was thieving bites of it an hour later when he walked by the pot pie pan! He is not gluten free either! Apparently, he just loves a delicious pie crust.

Simply-Nature-Brown-Rice-Crackers

Got some great crackers at Aldi’s the other week; brown rice flour ones; nice snappy flavor and only $2 a box so definitely a find.

I bought a bag of their gf tiny pretzels and dipped them in melted chocolate. Amazing flavor! Super cheap compared to the small bag of them at Giant for $4.50. I am a fan of their organic whole milk; I use it to make real yogurt in my Instant Pot. It is rich and creamy with a wonderful subtle flavor; tastes great even without jam! Lots of tasty chocolate that is marked gf and usually made in Germany. I especially love the dark chocolate with hazelnuts. I am waiting for them to bring back the gf hot pockets made with pepperoni and pizza sauce; so so miss that product.

I searched for my favorite brats; none to be found. Darn; they were so delightful. Maybe they will get some in soon. Happy shopping there if you are gf; best prices in my neck of the woods!

Pear Spice Muffins…Another Snack Option

I had few portable baked snacks and a few bosc pears so I figured it was time for a new muffin recipe. This is a riff off a recipe out of Annalise Robert’s cookbook; Gluten-Free Baking Classics. It is  similar to my recipe for apple nut muffins that I created from her banana muffin recipe. If I had to have just one GF cookbook hers would be the one for me.

Do use a fairly firm pear; I used a bosc which is naturally great for baking but almost any firm pear will do. Notice I didn’t say “hard”. Nope to that; not gonna taste great.  Don’t chop them super fine or big; 1/3 inch dice is good.

I always enjoy eating a muffin still warm out of the oven. It is smart to freeze any you won’t eat in 2 days; ziplock freezer bag works great.  They make super snacks.  These  muffins are kinda delicate; if you want to take them on a hike or car ride put them in a plastic food box – the rigid sides will keep your muffins safe from crushing.

Pear Spice Muffins              

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar (can use coconut palm sugar: just increase milk by 2 Tbsp.)

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

skimpy 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1  1/2  c chopped firm pear; peel and core! (about 2 pears)

½ c chopped walnuts

2 large eggs beaten

½ c milk, 1 or 2 percent

½ c canola oil

DIRECTIONS:  Heat oven to 375, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 14-16 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl

Add pear chunks and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix

Combine milk and oil,  Beat in eggs.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir until blended.

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 a bit of raw old fashioned oatmeal; 2-3 Tbsp. should do it or try  cinnamon sugar.

Bake 20-24 min until golden brown. I used my convection setting and did them for 17 minutes. Perfect. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  Rest five minutes and then remove from the pans and cool on a rack.

Freezes well for up to 3 weeks.  Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) a few days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Roasty Chicken Soup for Chilly Spring Days

As we seek comfort in our crazy world chicken soup comes to mind as good for body and soul. And if anyone in your house is ill chicken soup is a perfect choice. Sorry you vegans! I am guessing there is a vegan chicken soup recipe out there.

So, if you are sick with a cold or just feeling chilly the situation absolutely seems to require chicken soup. I made mine from scratch, of course! Actually, I made the broth in my Instant Pot and then roasted some veggies in my broiler. My oven has been very difficult in recent weeks. I felt lucky to get the oven to turn on for a bit after I browned the vegetables on a tray in the broiler area of my smaller oven. I believe this is a trendy thing to do for soup and it is also a great way to easily add deep flavor to your soup veggies. I will give you my whole recipe; you can buy some broth or make it however you prefer to. I find it extra easy to do it in my IP!  I was super pleased with how much richer and more flavorful it came out: better than any chicken soup I have ever made. And that pot of homemade chicken broth helped enrich the flavor a lot. Worth the effort and you get all that great cooked chicken.  Super easy to do actually; and well worth it if you want a great start to a homemade soup. It goes without saying that you could put cooked rice in this soup instead of noodles. Enjoy!

Here is my pot of chilled homemade chicken broth.  Pure gold~~

chicken broth

cold homemade chicken broth

 

Angie’s Roasty Chicken Noodle Soup

Broth Ingredients

1 whole small chicken; 3-4 lbs

1-2 stalks celery broken into large chunks

1 small carrot; broken similarly

1 small-medium onion peeled and sliced into fat wedges

2 big garlic cloves, peeled

1 tsp. kosher salt, ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1-2 bay leaves

1 tsp. chopped rosemary (optional)

Put the carrot, celery and onion chunks in the IP pot; add the whole chicken to the IP: don’t forget to remove the giblets and all plastic packaging! Add all the rest of the ingredients and add filtered water to barely cover the bird. Put on the lid, set the manual pressure to 35 minutes and let’r rip! Allow it to naturally release for 10-15 minutes before opening.  Let cool; remove bird and cut up; throw out everything but the meat. Strain the broth; throwing out all the worn-out veggies left in your colander. There; amazing broth!

roasty veggies

Veggie Ingredients:

1 large onion, cut into wedges

2 celery stalks; cut into 3-4 inch lengths

2 carrots; cut into sticks

1-2 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 turnip or rutabaga (optional but I love it’s earthy flavor) cut into wedges; size of onion wedges [you could use mushrooms instead]

Put veggies on a baking tray you sprayed with cooking spray. Pour some EVOL on; 1-2 Tbsp. Stir around to coat. Sprinkle with ½ tsp. sea salt and a bit of black pepper if you like. Broil for 10-20 min; checking frequently. I turned mine over once the top side got well browned. A few blackened bits are okay; they add flavor! But don’t burn the heck out of the veggies or you will have to start over. Once all is browned and tender pull out and let cool.

roasty chicken soup in pot

Ingredients for finishing soup:

¾ cup broken wide gf egg noodles or rice noodles

big sprig of fresh thyme

½ cup frozen peas

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley

1-2 cups chopped cooked chicken

Pour the broth into a large sauce pan. Heat. Chop coarsely the roasted veggies, removing the garlic clove outer skin.  Add them to the soup. Let heat; add about ¾ cup broken wide gf egg noodles or rice noodles. And a big sprig of fresh thyme. Cook as long as the package says. In the last 3 minutes add ½ cup frozen peas and 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley. Taste and add more salt/pepper as you wish. Add 1 cup chopped cooked chicken from the broth making and serve as soon as it is hot. Enjoy! roasty chicken soup

Originally posted in January 2019