Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie, Oh My!

Rhubarb is starting to get plentiful so it was a good choice for my first adapted gluten free pie recipe years ago. This is my favorite rhubarb pie and my go to recipe for a great spring dessert.

 

This is an easy pie even though it has several steps.  I store any leftover crumb mixture in a sealed container in the fridge; keeps a few weeks.  It is different from the usual rhubarb pie because the texture is a bit closer to a crumb cake, no wet, slimy texture and no ultra sour flavor.  I think this new version tastes as good as it did when I made it with wheat flour.  This GF crust will work for any pie you wish and the GF crumb topping is great for any crumb pie topper.  What I am giving you is my mixture of three recipes with some small modifications over time to create my first GF pie recipe.  I know it has several steps but each one is easy and you can use these crust and crumb recipes 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 but more cake-like in texture. It is a game changer of a rhubarb pie. I promise you that!

Angie’s GF 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 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 a 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. 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.

rhubarb

My sister Karen bought me one of those pie crust plastic bag thingies; has a zipper around the edge.  I love it; it works better than wax paper which can get soft and torn as you roll out the crust.  King Arthur Flour sells them on line. I highly recommend you get one for making pie crusts from scratch especially gluten free crust.   Or just use a sheet of heavy duty plastic! Strong enough to work with the rolling pin better than wax paper.pie crust bag

Filling:

4-5 cups cut up fresh rhubarb – place in medium bowl

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)

½ tsp nutmeg

Sprinkle cinnamon

Roll out 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 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:

Wet mix: 3 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 2 to 4 hours before serving at room temperature.

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

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This post was originally published in the late spring of 2013.  I revised it somewhat since then.  I have made this pie many times in past years to rave reviews.  One of my friends had it for dessert at my house and said it was the best pie she had ever eaten, gluten free or not!  Spring is rhubarb season.  Go forth and make pie!

Shoo Fly Pie (Shoe Fly Pie at my house!)

 

This sweet pie is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. It is quick to go together, needs neither refrigeration, nor a long chilling down before consuming it, pleases most everyone and best of all it can be made in any season; no fruit needed.  It wasn’t too hard to change from my old recipe to a gluten free version.  I recommend it for celiacs who miss that old time flavor of shoe fly pie.  Note: some folk say shoo fly pie but my recipe used the spelling you see in this post.  I believe either is appropriate.

I know folks who shy away from gluten free baking thinking it is too complicated.  Well, a couple years ago I featured pies and this is the easiest pie around so I dedicate this to a few friends who have been too scared to bake gf.  You can do this one! If you want, buy a ready made uncooked crust but I swear that with a stand mixer this is the easiest and best gf crust around.

This shoe fly pie recipe is a blending of the filling I have used for years, (my sister Margie gave me the recipe a long time ago) and the pie crust and crumb recipes from Annalise Robert’s cookbook, Gluten-Free Baking Classics.  Her cookbook is a fabulous resource and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone trying to bake gluten free for a family member.

My shoe fly pie is considered a “wet bottom” pie; not too crumbish.  If you want it drier use ½ cup molasses and ½ cup water.  I love it soft and moist so my version always is a wet bottom shoe fly pie.

Angie’s Shoe Fly 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

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray.

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 parchment or wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of parchment or wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes. Make the crumb topping while it chills.

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.  You will only use 1 ½ cups of the crumbs; put it in a jar and store it in the fridge until your next pie; it keeps well for several weeks.

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Next, roll out pie crust between the two sheets of parchment or 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.  Then make filling and pour half into the crust, careful not to splash it out.

Filling:

2/3 cup molasses, I used Grandma’s

¾ cup boiling water

½ tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with a spoon until blended. It will foam up a bit as the baking soda mixes with the molasses!

Then pour half the crumb topping (1 1/4 to 1½ cup total) evenly over this mixture.  Add the rest of the molasses liquid and sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on top.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes Cool at least ½-1 hour before serving or let cool to room temperature.

Note: I bake pies in my bottom heat pizza oven and it gives me a great browned crust.  If your oven isn’t bottom heat you might want to pre-bake a gf crust 10 minutes before filling.

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

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

** This blog post first appeared in March of 2016

Apple Cranberry Holiday Pie

I had a few last apples from our fall orchard expedition and a bag of fresh cranberries in my fridge bin.  Needed a tasty and different holiday pie, saw this recipe and knew it was just the ticket.  I revised some: simplified and made my version gf (of course!)  It is a much brighter in flavor and color than an apple pie but you can definitely taste those apples.

This is my mixture of a couple of recipes. I know it has several steps but each one is easy. Note that I cook the fruit briefly so it smushes down a bit and you don’t have crust issues due to fruit settlement.

I call this top crust my cherry cheater crust as I love it for a cherry pie so you can see the bright red filling. But, because making a woven lattice gf crust is a lot of work, I just cut out circles on the rolled out dough using a small round jar lid and use a butter knife to pull out the marked circles.  Then, flip it onto the fruit filing and there you go…almost as fancy as a lattice crust! Just crimp the edges and sprinkle it with sparkly sugar for a very pretty look.  One last great tasting pie to round out 2016, “My Year of the Pie!”

apple-cranberry-pie

Angie’s GF Apple Cranberry Pie

Double Crust:

2 ¼ c brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

¼ cup sweet rice flour

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

12 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

2 large eggs

4 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 or 10 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour. Or not; I forget to do it most of the time, hah!

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 two equal balls with your hands. Put each on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust balls some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you make the filling.

Filling:

4-5 cups sliced fresh baking apples

1/2 tp 2/3 c sugar (use the higher amount if you like it sweeter)

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp. fresh orange rind

½ tsp. grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp. butter at room temp

1 large egg (optional)

1 tbsp. rice flour

Raw or big/fancy crystal sugar to sprinkle on top

Directions: Mix the fruit, spices and sugar in a large bowl, add the butter to a large sauce pan and melt; dump in the fruit mixture, cook about 6-8 minutes until apples soften and the cranberries are bursting. Then add the rice flour, stir.  Let cool a few minutes and then add egg (if you want but I made it without myself) which you first beat up a bit. Cool filling to room temperature.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out one pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper; try to get the thickness even, no fat middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  I have a plastic pie bag to roll my crust in and love it.  It is sturdier than wax paper.  Parchment paper works well I am thinking….

Pour cooled filling into pie shell, top with crust; I like to cut circles out of the top crust using a jar lid; about 1 ¼ inch diameter. So the filling peeps out but no need to weave pie crust strips which is pretty tricky for gf crust. Center it on the fruit and crimp the edges.  Use your fingers for this or maybe a fork to create a nice look that seals the top edge completely to the bottom crust.

Place on baking sheet to catch drips (I have a pie drip pan I love!)  Bake for 50-60 min until crust is golden and you can see the filling bubbling.  I put aluminum foil strips around the edges for last 15 minutes to keep them from getting too dark. Cool on rack for at least 1-2 hours before serving.

I made a couple yummy hand pies with all that leftover crust due to the cutouts.  Bonus!

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

This recipe is a blending of one I found on foodnetwork.com and the crust by Annalise Roberts as well as my own touches to the filling. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/apple-cranberry-pie.html