Rhubarb Crisp For Dessert…or Breakfast.

It’s still rhubarb season, at least at my house and garden! The last three desserts I made were this recipe. It was super easy and super yummy. I swear it tasted like there were cherries in there! My brain can hardly believe I never made rhubarb crisp; make apple crisp all the time in the fall and winter…so glad I tried it this spring. Hence, my sharing of this tasty quick dessert with you.  Makes a yummy breakfast too!

It keeps about 3 days depending on humidity. I have a glass baking dish with a plastic lid for keeping things fresh; works great.

Notes; any gf flour blend will do, I use King Arthur blend.  You can use sliced or slivered almonds. Or no nuts! Tried it with both nuts and I prefer walnuts.  I think the walnuts add a hint of cherry flavor to the result. But great with no nuts too…

Rhubarb Crisp

Ingredients

Fruit layer

4-5 cups rhubarb cut into ½ inch bits (I do 5 cups)

¾ cup sugar (could use up to a cup if you like it sweeter)

¼ cup tapioca starch (or cornstarch if you chose)

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Topping

½ cup gf flour blend

1 cup gf oats (not quick ones!)

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup brown sugar, not packed

¼ cup butter, cold

½ cup walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray inside of 8×12 glass baking dish; any dish roughly that size will do. In a large mixing bowl dump all the dry ingredients; sugar, starch and cinnamon. Mix a bit; add rhubarb, mix well. Dump into baking dish.

Dump all dry ingredients left except nuts into bowl of stand mixer, blend briefly. Add butter which you have cut up into about 12 or more tiny bits; a few cuts with a knife do it quick. Blend a minute or so until you can’t see the butter. Add nuts. Pour over the rhubarb. Bake on middle shelf for 35 to 40 minutes; the thicker the layer of fruit is the longer it takes; you want it bubbling and the top lightly browned. Let cool at least 15 or 20 minutes.  Great with vanilla ice cream or plain Greek yogurt on top. Store with a tight lid on top. Enjoy! rhubarb crisp in dish

Apple Pan Dowdy, Yes That’s a Real Dessert

If you don’t have quite enough apples for a pie you can make this quick and delish apple pan dowdy. It sounds very old fashioned and I think it is just that: old school yummy.  I believe the name comes from the messy way you create the final look; turning the crust under the hot fruit and baking again so that crust get finished as it soaks in the juices and your dessert becomes a bit more like an apple crisp than a pie. I believe my recipe came originally from a very old Betty Crocker cookbook.  I have adapted it to make it gluten free. Its one of my favorite quick fruit desserts for cold winter nights.

Dowdy means not very pretty, drab and this is a bit of a hot mess in its looks but the flavor is spicy, fruity and far more exciting than a plain apple pie. I think it has spoiled me from apple pie. Definitely worth a try.

I have made it with golden raisins, regular raisins or currents which are tiny raisins. All work great.

Please use a firm baking apple that will hold its shape for a decently long bake. I used yellow delicious this time. I have used a number of different baking apples for this; Rome, Braeburn work fine; just don’t use red delicious which is an eating only variety. Green granny smiths tend to be a bit too firm for this recipe while Empire apples get a bit too squishy and applesauce like. Most any other type of apple will do.

This might be my second favorite apple dessert; after that apple galette I made a few weeks ago; easy, low sugar and oh so delightfully spicy.

apple pan dowdy

Messy but oh so tasty!

Apple Pan Dowdy

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

Butter the inside of a glass baking dish: I used a 9 inch glass pie pan.

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:

1/3 cup golden or regular raisins

2 Tbsp. peach schnapps

5-6 large Golden Delicious apples

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup sugar

Heaping ½ tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Sprinkle ground cloves

1 tsp. lemon zest if you like

1 -2 tsp. softened butter

Directions: Put raisins in a small glass dish, add schnaps, microwave one minute on high. Let stand so the booze soaks into the raisins. Peel apples, cut in quarters, remove cores, cut each quarter into 4 or 5 slices. Place in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice.  Mix the dry ingredients in a cup; pour over the slices, toss with a big spoon; sprinkle with lemon zest if desired.

Pour the apple mixture into the glass pie pan that you had rubbed with soft butter. Get out the crust and roll it out; just slightly bigger than the top of your baking dish. Lay it on top of the apple slices and tuck in the edges so nothing hangs down over the edge.  Bake for 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Remove from oven, use a sharp knife to cut a cross hatch into the top (4 big cuts) so you end up with 9 pieces. Use a big serving spoon to gently tip up the crust and get it under some of the hot apples.  Don’t worry if it breaks up further or looks like a mess.  That’s part of its charm! Let bake 25 to 30 more minutes.  The crust (whatever peeks out of the messy fruit pieces) should be very lightly browned and the apples are bubbling. Let it rest a bit; don’t serve boiling hot but warm will be awesome.  Slice and top with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream, crème or yogurt if you like that sort of thing.  We ate it with ice cream and then the next time I had some plain – just my favorite way to appreciate the flavor and texture of this spicy treat. Enjoy!

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur basic gf blend)

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch – not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

The crust recipe is from Annalise Roberts great cookbook, GF Baking Classics, Second Edition.

 

Delish Apple Galette

If you don’t have enough apples for a pie or the time necessary for that project you can make this quick and delightful free form apple galette. I made it round but you could go oval. It only takes 3 apples and no need for a top crust. It is the same crust I always use but I did leave out the sweet rice flour which gave it a bit more firmness; up to you whether you use it.

Please use Granny Smith; you need a firm baking apple that will hold its shape for a long bake. You could leave off the sprinkle of coarse sugar but why? It adds a great crunch and looks perfect; finishes it just like a bakery might.   This might be my favorite new dessert; easy, low on the sugar and oh so delightful.  Still,  you could use less sugar if you want; maybe cut to a third of a cup. I used organic sugar and I think it made it taste just a tiny bit better for that!

Delish Apple Galette

 

Crust:

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

2 Tbsp. sweet rice flour (I left out)

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Line a 15 inch pizza pan with parchment paper.  Can used a thick cookie sheet; preferably with edges. I used my silicon sheet cover but frankly it got all covered with dark brown hard sugar from leaks; a pain to clean it; go with the parchment paper!

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.  Then roll out and put on the parchment lined pan; put back in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

3 large Granny Smith apples

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

Sprinkle nutmeg

Zest of ½ a lemon

1 Tbsp. white rice flour

1 medium or small egg; beat up to make an egg wash

1 Tbsp. coarse sugar

Directions: Peel apples, cut in quarters, remove cores, cut each quarter into 3 or 4 slices. Place in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice.  Mix the dry ingredients in a cup; pour over the slices, toss with a big spoon; sprinkle with the zest.

Get out the tart crust and sprinkle it with the white rice flour, just in the area you are going to lay out slices; not the edges.  Then lay out the apple slices in a big circle0  Leave 1.5-2 inches of crust around the slices, put slices in the center too. One layer only.. Fold up the edges of your crust and pinch together to create the galette shape. Try not to let it crack at the bottom; pinch and fix those cracks! Use a pastry brush to brush the crust and fruit with the egg wash. Sprinkle the coarse sugar over it all including the crust.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The crust should be lightly browned and filling bubbling. If sugar leaked out just break off the brown bits before serving. Let your tart rest a bit; don’t serve hot but a warm slice will be awesome.  Slice and top with a big dollop of crème or yogurt if you like that sort of thing.  We ate it plain – just my favorite way to appreciate the flavor and texture of this awesome tart. Enjoy!

apple galette slice

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur basic gf blend)

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch – not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

The crust recipe is from Annalise Roberts great cookbook, GF Baking Classics, Second Edition.

Cranberry Crackle Pie

If you bought an extra bag of cranberries I got the perfect recipe for dessert. Easy, not too rich or filling and very tasty. I found this recipe on line, several years ago, at splendidtable.com.  I loved the look and once I tasted it; love at first bite.  Like a fruit tart and a pavlova had a baby: this is the felicitous result.  Light and delicate making it perfect after a hearty feast.  It is really guilt free if you eat it minus any toppings.  I devoured it with vanilla ice cream on top at a Christmas luncheon. Maybe next time I will be serving it like you do a Pavlova, with lightly sweetened real whipped cream on top. Yumm!

It is really easy to throw together.  If you are gf you can use the cookie crust recipe I provide, I adapted the splendid table recipe to make it gluten tree using Annalise Roberts’great cookie crust. At holidays,like Thanksgiving and Christmas, Wegmans often has gf ready-made crusts. So does Frey’s Better Foods in Hellertown. If you are a wheat eater use whatever cookie tart crust you like.  I added the cinnamon to my crust and found it added a lot to the complexity of the flavors.  The crust absolutely needs to be prebaked and cooled before you put the tart together.

I made it in a glass pie tin but often use a ten inch ceramic tart pan.  Both work great; so it is a tart or a pie depending on the vessel you bake it in!

I should say I now love to use fresh cranberries; I made a raw relish – old family recipe – for Thanksgiving and a cooked one from fresh cranberries.  A big favorite of mine are cranberry muffins; making some this weekend. Before I discovered this recipe and those muffins I never used fresh cranberries except to make relish.  Anyway, my point is; this tart is fantastic tasting even if you aren’t a huge cranberry fan.

I used some homemade raspberry jam (what I had and what the recipe called for) but you could probably use most any jam.  Just chose one full of real fruit in a flavor you like as you can definitely taste the jammy flavor mixed in with the crust and the meringue topping. I love it with raspberry jam, a favorite flavor for me.

Sweet Cookie Crust

Place the following in a stand mixer bowl and combine

1 cup GF flour (recipe below)

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp. cinnamon

Add 5 tbsp cold butter, cut into 6-7 chunks.  Mix on low until the butter is just crumbs blended in.

Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tbsp water.  Blend well.

Pour the crumbs into a ten inch tart pan that was sprayed with cooking spray.  Or a glass pie pan which is how I made it this past weekend.  Spread it up the sides.  Press gently in so it is a cohesive crust but do not press really hard or it will be like concrete when you finish baking it!

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Set the crust on a rack to cool to room temperature.  Do not let it get more than light brown.

Filling

2 tablespoons chunky cherry, raspberry or strawberry jam

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch of fine sea salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups cranberries (if they’re frozen, don’t thaw)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

When you’re ready to fill and bake the tart: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Cranberry prep: I rinse them and remove any squishy ones.  There are usually a few of those mixed in and they aren’t great for anyone to eat.  Let them dry.

Gently spoon the jam on top of the crust and spread it evenly over the bottom, I used the back of my big spoon for this operation. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt at medium speed just until they are fluffy and fairly opaque. With the mixer going, add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, then keep beating on high until the whites are shiny and form definite peaks; they will look like marshmallow.  This is a meringue.

Pour the cranberries into the bowl of meringue and, using a flexible spatula or spoonula fold them into the meringue. Try to distribute the fruit evenly, but don’t mix too much– you want to keep the meringue fluffy. Spoon the meringue over the jam and spread it to the edges, making it swirly if you’d like. The jam might push up around the sides of the meringue, and that’s fine.  Don’t fret if it looks like not enough filling, it will puff up in the oven to fill the pie pan.

Bake the tart for 1 hour, at which point the top will be light beige and cracked here and there. (If you’d like more color, you can bake it a bit longer or even put it under the broiler.)  I did not go there!  Transfer the tart to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.  I did cut it while slightly warm and my slice was just perfection.  If you’d like, and I do, dust the tart with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Ice cream, whipped cream or even organic plain yogurt on the side is also great.
cranberry-crackle-tart-cut

Storing: The tart is best the first two days after it’s made, although it’s still pretty nice the third day. Leave the tart at room temperature, covering only the cut part with a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap.  I doubt you will have any after the second day anyway. It is that tasty.

Brown Rice Flour Mix  (Same as King Arthur’s GF Blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Pecan Tartlets

As 2016 was my year to blog on pies I feel compelled to share yet more yummy pieness.  This one is a bunch of tartlets; about 4 inches across. Since I didn’t need a whole pecan pie I made a 2/3 batch of filling for six flat bottom tartlets filled with pecan gooey yumminess. Just an idea if you don’t want a whole big pie. Plus everyone loves a tartlet; like a whole pie just for you!  They keep about 3 days in a sealed container…if they last that long.

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.

These tartlets are awesome as is but are also great with some freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream which is popular at my house.

Angie’s GF Pecan Tartlets 

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

3/4 cups pecan halves

Sprinkle cinnamon

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

Assembly: Roll out 2/3 of pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper; try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and cut into four sections across the middle.  Take a section and fit into a tartlet pan.  I use the flat bottomed ones; come in a set of four attached together.  Crimp edges all around.   Roll out the rest and form into the other two tartlet shells.I don’t leave a lot of crust at the top so I actually got 7 tartlet shells; the spare one was for me! Fill your shells with pecan mix.  I filled my spare with homemade raspberry jam sprinkled with pie crumbs that I had in the fridge. 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 at room temperature or slightly chilled.  The raspberry one was equally tasty and we actually each had half a raspberry and half a pecan tartlet with ice cream for dessert last weekend.  Perfection!

 pecan-and-raspberry-tartlets

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur’s gf flour blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

The crust is from Annalise Robert’s great cookbook.  Gluten-Free Baking Classics, second edition.

Apple Crisp: Easy and Tasty

Apples are the centerpiece of the fall harvest culture.  Pumpkins are popular but they are a relatively new comer to the contest.  Some may think pumpkins are the way to go in baking but I firmly believe the apple is king in Autumn in America.  Crisp, sweet, flavorful and so very good for you.

If you can, get the organic ones as the sprays they use on growing apples are not at all good for you.  I recently made apple crisp with some baking apples from a pick it yourself farm near Milford NJ and it was very tasty indeed.  I especially suggest you get your apples at an actual apple orchard.  Another orchard just south of Hellertown is Bechdolt’s Orchard which grows many apple varieties.  Go there if you want the freshest tastiest apples in the Saucon Valley area.  Apples grow all over the globe so shop where you can get them fresh and crisp! The variety is up to you but I would not suggest any that are not meant for baking; don’t use red delicious as they are for eating only, same goes for honey crisp apples. apple-cart

This recipe is out of Gluten-Free Baking Classics Cookbook by Annalise G. Roberts with a few minor changes.  I am betting you can use any GF flour mix in this recipe, not like a cake or other baked goods that have very specific flour requirements.

And it is so much easier than a pie.  No crust to mix or roll out.  Just a simple mixed up topping to add to the cut up apples.  Bake it and voila: a yummy yet fairly healthy dessert!

I have made the topping several ways.  You can cut un-melted butter into the dry ingredients; it makes for a firmer crumb than the melted version below. I have made it egg free but it really somehow needs that egg to pull it together to mimic a wheat flour based crisp.  The oats can be left out if you don’t like them or can’t eat them. I personally love oats in my crisp.  A quarter cup of chopped nuts can be added to the topping; really a nice touch too!  I don’t like it too sweet so I use the lesser amount of sugar.  This is entirely a personal choice.  You can up the nutritional value by adding flaxmeal to the dry mix; 2-3 tbsp.

For those who love ice cream, this recipe is absolutely perfect with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream next to it.  I like it warm from the oven but it also is tasty cold the next day, if you have any left over that is!

pork tenderloin, banana choco cupcakes 007

Angie’s Apple Crisp

 

1 cup GF flour (mix below)

½ to ¾ cup sugar (I prefer brown sugar)

½ cup old fashioned gf oats

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle of nutmeg

½ tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp. salt

1 large egg

6 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples

¼-1/3 cup butter, melted

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees.   Put rack in center level of oven.  Lightly butter a 9 inch square pan or spray with cooking spray.

 

Combine all the dry ingredients.  Add egg and stir to mix well.   Place apples in the baking pan, top with the dry mix and sprinkle with the melted butter.  Bake 40-50 minutes until bubbly and the topping is lightly browned. Let cool at least 10 minutes before dishing out. Six servings.

 

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur’s GF blend)
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Originally posted by me October 2015.

Peach Melba: Peachy Perfect

Peach season is nearly done.  I have enjoyed excellent cobbler, spectacular peach tartlets and whole peaches au natural, the peach fuzz is full of fiber!  One more easy peach recipe for you: one with no cooking.  A recipe for a company dessert with next to no work, that sounds about perfect for my busy life.  raspberry-jam-014

Your success depends on the quality of the three ingredients. Yes, just three so they better be the best you can find!  I like peaches direct from the orchard, the best quality raspberry jam you can afford (homemade jam is the bomb for this recipe!) and excellent vanilla ice cream; I prefer Turkey Hill handmade vanilla. I got my pturkey-hill-vanilla-ice-creameaches at Bechdolt’s Orchard. Perfect full peachy flavor. Yessss.

I made raspberry jam this week; we picked raspberries at a pick your own farm in NJ.  Cooked down with sugar and pectin to give me 4 half pints and a quarter pint.  The flavor is intensely raspberry.  I highly recommend making your own jam for this recipe; it makes the flavor spectacular. raspberry jam 013.JPG

This post is about Peach Melba, created by that world renowned French chef Escoffier in honor of an Australian opera singer, Nellie Melba back in the early 1890’s.  If you look it up on line you can find fancy versions in stemmed glassware using a whole peach.  It is old school but truthfully the classics never go out of style. The flavors are just perfect together with next to no effort on your part.

My version of peach melba is very rustic; in a desert bowl, no stemmed foot ware, no six dollar a pint ice cream, but delightful.  A friend of mine wanted something special for company dessert, no baking, no gluten and fruit based.  I gave her this recipe and it was a huge hit.  Even a non-cook can put this beauty together in less then 10 minutes.

Peach Melba

(quantity per person)

One perfect ripe peach

One-two scoops vanilla ice cream

1 Tbps. raspberry jam, stirred up until it is semi-liquid

Directions:

Heat a pot of hot tap water just deep enough to immerse your peaches, bring it to a boil.  Gently drop in the peaches, turn heat down to medium and simmer for 3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.  Cool enough to be able to peel.  Peel the fruit, cut in half and remove the pit.

Place the peach halves in a dessert cup.  Top with 1-2 scoops of high quality vanilla ice cream and then drizzle the raspberry jam over the peaches and ice cream.  That’s all there is to peach melba.  Takes like 5 minutes to put together.  You can gild the lily with slivers of almonds but I prefer it with no additions.  The peaches and raspberries play off each other perfectly and the vanilla ice cream is the ideal base for them to be showcased with.  Enjoy this naturally gluten free treat before all the good peaches are gone!

Originally posted September 2015, with minor revisions.