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

Peach Custard Pie with Cinnamon Crumble Crust

Hey, it is STILL peach season!! But not for long and those last peaches tend to be less than the best…so get baking now! This recipe is a translation of a pie made with all purpose flour that I saw somewhere, an adaptation of a Good Housekeeping recipe to make it gluten free and with cinnamon crumbs. I used my favorite gf crust and the crumbs I use: with the addition of cinnamon in the crumbs. I don’t know why I never added cinnamon before; it was inspired I guess by this recipe. We enjoyed it yesterday afternoon, still warm from the oven. I actually like it even better today after 24 hours. It is so very peaches and cream! Just a lovely classic combination. Years ago I made a peach cheese tart which was delish but has less peaches and that is made with cream cheese. This creamy filling is a simple mixture of plain Greek yogurt, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla which is healthish by the nature of the yogurt. I froze the egg whites for angel food cake this fall. The construction is very easy; no fancy decorating. Just a treat to eat, no need for ice cream; the cream is in there!

Notes: I used a lot of crumbs; you can cut back to half that recipe of crumbs if you like. I suppose you could use canned peaches but I wouldn’t unless it was the dead of winter…. I doesn’t look like much when you put it in the oven to do the first bake but man, it sure does get pretty with the crumbs on top. Nectarines would be n ice; no peeling required. Enjoy!

Peach pie, no crumbs, before first baking
Hot out of oven, just starting to put crumbs on.
All crumbed up and ready to bake.
Wow; that’s a lot of crumbs; we love it that way but you could use far less if you wanted; even just a cup of crumbs…

Angie’s Peach Custard 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 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:

3 1/2 cups sliced fresh peaches, peeled and cut in half inch slices

Mix in a medium bowl the following ingredients:

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

2/3 -3/4 cup sugar, sweeter if you like it that way or if peaches are not fully ripe

3 egg yolks, room temp.

1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup brown rice mixture flour

Crumb topping

¾ c brown rice flour mix

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 425 degrees. Put the oven rack on 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 peaches in 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 over it and bake for 30 minutes. I turned down my oven to 375 after 20 minutes. I am considering lowering the temp to start at to 400 degrees; my crust edges got too browned for my liking. While it bakes those 30 minutes make the crumbs. Carefully remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle the top of the pie with crumb mix;  I used all of it but you could use a bit less if you don’t want a thick crumb layer. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes until crumbs are browned. Let stand at least 1 to 11/2 hours before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Thickly crumbed, still warm and lush with fresh peach flavor and that creamy filling all around and in every bite!

Peach Crumb Pie

It is near the peak of peach season so get some peaches and whip up a delicious gluten free peach pie.   This is an easy pie to create.  Slice and dump together the filling, crumb topping made in unwashed 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.  I let my mix spin a few more moments in the stand mixer for extra big crumbs for this pie; love that look. 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! And if you don’t have time, buy a ready-made crust but homemade is always best.

Please make every effort to use local fruit; can get peaches at orchards like Bechdolt’s near Springtown, at most farm stands and at farmer’s markets; one on Saturdays in Easton or Sunday’s in Hellertown.  This pie really showcases great tasting peaches. If you use lousy peaches your pie will taste crummy. But, here’s the thing: store peaches can be poor in flavor and texture due to improper chilling so I strongly suggest you buy only locally grown, sweet, ripe peaches to make your pie.  I love when they have a pink blush; it makes the pie so pretty and perhaps even tastier!

peaches      raspberry-jam-014

To peel easily; heat 3 inches of plain water, drop the peaches gently in 4-5 at a time and cook them 2-3 minutes.  Use the lesser time for more ripe peaches. 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 late summer in a pie in just a few minutes of work.  Don’t eat it hot; it should be cooled to just warm if you like it so or room temperature or even a bit chilled.  You could certainly serve this with vanilla ice cream.  And this pie works perfectly with fresh nectarines, bonus: no peeling required!

 

Angie’s GF 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 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

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.

Filling:

6 cups sliced fresh peaches, peeled and cut in thick slices, place in medium bowl

Mix with:

½ cup sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

3-4 Tbsp. quick tapioca

Stir in 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice and ¼ tsp. almond extract

Let stand while you prepare the crust.

Roll out pie crust in a pie bag or between 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.

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. If you let them go extra long you get big fat crumbs if you want that look and I did!

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 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.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until bubbly and the crumb crust is light brown.  Cool at least 1 to 4 hours before serving at room temperature.  I think it is best served the same day you make it, or no more then 12 hours after baking for optimal flavor.  The crumbs will get soggy if too much time passes. Mine was still very good the next day; just not as great as when really fresh.

mom's new watch 013

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 style oven which gives me perfect pie crust so I don’t ever have pale pie crust.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (Same as King Arthur GF All purpose blend)
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

Note: This post was originally blogged by me the late summer of 2015. Minor changes made.

Real Deal Strawberry Shortcake

strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake is a classic and no one turns down a slice of it at at a family gathering. I am not sure where I got the gf shortcake recipe; maybe my old Bette Hagman Gourmet Cookbook. I used to make shortcake a lot when I could still use all purpose flour but my gf biscuit version is pretty tasty. But there is one thing, you gotta make it with the best freaking strawberries you can find.  None of those ultra firm ones with whitish cores that are shipped in from far away.  You need juicy ripe scented red berries that are served over a gluten free short bread.  Yes, my local season is done but it can be done with other than local produce – the riper the better and it will taste great!

My mom always made a gorgeous version of strawberry shortcake. When I was a kid she would serve it as an entire meal.  I have done that and it is kinda cool.  Pre gluten free I generally made a huge oval biscuit with a smaller topping biscuit that I split off and buttered the split area before topping with berries and the smaller biscuit and topped with more ripe berries and a pillow of softly whipped heavy cream.  Oh berry perfection!  Now I bake it in two separate pans but the construction of the final product is the same otherwise. The pictures on construction are a couple of years old but the process is the same and the results are consistently heavenly….

shortcake 2
shortcake bisquit
shortcake 5
shortcake 3
shortcake ready
strawberry shortcake

Mom’s Strawberry Shortcake, GF2.3

Biscuit dough

1 cup white rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. xanthan gum

6 tbsp cold butter

1 medium egg

2/3 cup buttermilk

2-3 tsp. sugar (optional)

2 tsp. soft butter

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Other ingredients:

2 quarts ripe strawberries

½ cup sugar

2-3 tbsp. Karo light syrup

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ tsp. real vanilla

2 tbs. powdered sugar (if you like your cream sweet)

Directions
Heat oven t0 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the cold butter until it is small pebbles.  Add the egg and most of the buttermilk.  Mix with a spoon; add rest of buttermilk if you need it.  It should be a bit sticky, don’t over mix; just until dry is blended in.  Spray the inside of an eight inch cake pan and a 6 inch cake pan with cooking spray.  If you don’t have a small pan just use two 8 inch ones.  Pat ¾ of the dough into the 8 inch; make it about ¾ to 1 inch thick and try to smooth the top and side edges a bit.  Put the rest of the dough in the smaller pan and do the same smoothing.  Make that one ½ to ¾ inch thick.  Optional: take 2-3 tsp. of granulated sugar and sprinkle it over top of them. I think it gives a great finish to the shortcake. Bake them about 20 to 25 min; the smaller one should be done in 20 minutes; a golden light brown. Set on a cooling rack for a few minutes.

While it bakes, get the berries ready.  Hull 2 quarts of fresh ripe berries.  Place them in a glass mixing bowl; chop through them a few strokes with a sharp knife.  Add ½ cup sugar and about 2-3 tbsp. Karo light corn syrup to the berries.  Stir well and refrigerate until the shortcake is baked.  You could do this berry preparation up to two hours in advance.  No more or they will start to disintegrate.

Place the fairly hot bigger layer on a large platter, one big enough to hold the shortbread and still have room for a generous overflow of strawberries. Butter lightly if you wish.  Top with several big spoonfuls of berries.  Don’t worry if there is juice in the berry bowl; there should be; melted down sugar and Karo syrup with berry juice will give you a delish berry liquid.  Top with the second smaller biscuit and then more berries.   Cut into chunks.  Top with freshly whipped cream; beat a cup of heavy whipping cream until it is softly whipped.  Add ½ tsp. vanilla and ¼ cup sugar if you wish it sweet.  Be sure to pour the berry juice over your shortcake; it soaks in and adds to the strawberry experience.

My dad liked to pour unbeaten cream over his shortcake. My mom usually set out the whipped cream, a jug of cream and some whole milk so you could chose how to finish off your personal shortcake.  I might add that I grew up on a farm so this was raw milk from grass pastured cows; fantastic cream equaling a freaking perfect shortcake topper.  We also grew our own berries; no chemical sprayed on them ever.’

Notes: Karo is sugar syrup; I know, I know its not very healthy but it is only a bit and it improves the berries to have some. Just do it. And while I am being bossy: please use real whipped cream. So easy to make and if you are going to the trouble of a scratch shortcake you need the real deal topping. It is hugely worth it.  I actually stored some whipped cream in the fridge overnight and it was still decent the next day although the texture is a bit softer than it originally was. Strawberry shortcake is a decadent treat but honestly no more so than a sundae you get at an ice cream place. SO go ahead and indulge. Enjoy!

shortcake, one serving

If there is any left over it makes a great breakfast the next morning!

Originally published in June 2014.

strawberry shortcake

Pizza that Wows! And the English Muffins will Amaze You…

Pizza is a tough food to replicate gluten free. For a year I didn’t really try. I finally attempted one by Annalise Roberts. It has that thin crust which is  almost cracker like. Not bad in flavor and definitely better than ones I get in restaurants or buy premade. I have made that crust many times. Then, a revolution – this winter I found this awesome pizza dough that makes the best focaccia bread that I have every made crust ever; crispy bottom and soft top. Perfectly delicious bread to go with an italian meal. And then I discovered that it makes a wonderful pizza too. Have made both several times.

This week I used some of the dough to make English Muffins; the first half became a pizza of epic beauty and lovely flavor.  The muffin recipe is actually the base recipe for the other two foods. Oh, my goodness; they are definitely the best English muffins I have made since going gluten free. Thank goodness I bought English muffin rings years ago; that recipe back then didn’t work but this one does. It’s a keeper; the texture, flavor, looks, taste; all is much better than any others I have made. I love that it is “baked” under a lid on your griddle or electric fry pan. I used my cast iron griddle on a low setting.

Best process is if you let the dough rise 2 hours in your kitchen warmth and then refrigerate it for 4-10 hours or overnight. It can be used as soon as you take the bowl out of your fridge.

Here is a link to the base recipe: https://www.letthemeatgfcake.com/gluten-free-english-muffins/

These are the ingredients. I do weigh my flour these days; much more accurate so there are both ways in the list for flour and sugar:

  • 3¼ cups (455 g) Kim’s gluten free bread flour blend
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp (16 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp rapid rise/instant yeast
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • about 1/3-½ cup gf cornmeal for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp butter
  •  

Here is a link to her bread flour mix. I am thinking of making it in bigger quantities as I have had such success with her recipes. 

https://www.letthemeatgfcake.com/resources/gluten-free-flour-blends/

It contains white rice flour, cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum. Super easy to do with a good scale. And these are fairly standard ingredients; nothing too weird. Far cheaper too than buying those 1 to 1 mixtures or any gf blended flour. Totally worth it! You make enough flour blend for like 4 pizzas. The recipe makes enough for two 12-14 inch pizzas or 2 focaccias. I like to do a pizza and on a second day something different from the remaining dough. It will keep for several days in the fridge. That’s timesaving; one dough; two recipes.

I did the focaccia first, then tried pizza…was blown away by it and this week the English muffins flipped my lid with their texture, looks and flavor. They all are just fabulous in texture and flavor. Really head turning for me for how close they came to all purpose flour baking of my past…may not be as healthy as a multigrain dough but it sure brings back good memories and is so enjoyable. If you bake gf; this dough is super easy to make in a stand mixer and let rise, chill it and make a great pizza. Just plan for it as the dough is better if it has that refrigeration period. Ditto for the English muffins although the round tin molds make them look just perfect. I used a thick pizza pan to make my new favorite pizza and a cast iron frying pan for the focaccia; no kneading, no super liquid messy stuff; it is sticky but it doesn’t need much forming. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!!