Fire Roasted Blueberry Pie…Yeap We Did That!

 

On our vacation this past week we enjoyed a bonfire one clear evening. Yes; a rain free day! Well, we were in the Finger Lakes not eastern PA, LOL!  It was glorious to relax in our chairs at the tiny private beach we were so lucky to have… by the crackling fire Joe and I built of driftwood and some aging firewood our host wanted burnt. It was a deep pleasure to sit there relaxing by the waxing moon and a bit of star light, watching the fire flicker against the background of lapping, dark lake water.

We don’t really do the toasted marshmallow thing as he dislikes such and I am not supposed to eat overly sweet treats.  So, no marshmallows by the fire. But, then I had a great idea. I cut a wide slice of the blueberry apricot pie I had baked and brought with us. pie missing a sliceI put it on a double folded piece of heavy strength aluminum foil and bending up the sides a bit to catch any runoff, should that occur. Then I put the pie on my foil raft and slid it onto a couple branches just off the main fire. We let it heat for ten minutes and checked; not quite as hot as wanted. Five more minutes to wait, patience grasshopper! Then, used my potholder to slide it out of the fire zone onto a china plate. We dug in. Perfection. The crust had regained its flakiness of two days earlier and the filling was nearly molten and so sweetly flavorful with a hint of smokiness. Sitting in the dark sharing a slice of hot toasty blueberrilishish pie. Priceless!

 

The next night was rainy so we had to cancel our planned fire. Instead, we relaxed in our tiny cabin while I grilled the pie on the gas flames of our grill. Pretty much just as yummy and super convenient if you don’t have a fire. Next time you go camping or have access to a grill and have any sort of pie; try grilling it for a sweet warm treat. Enjoy! pie 2

Strawberry Baked Alaska Pie

Remember baked Alaska? A fancy frozen dessert from the 70’s? Made out of a round layer of yellow cake topped with a mound of ice cream and then covered with a thick layer of meringue which was briefly baked in the oven to brown the meringue lightly. Well, this is 2018 and we have improved that to the Baked Alaska Pie! I posted a recipe for it in April using a gingersnap crust.  My family was crazy for it.

This time I am using a pre-made graham crust, strawberry ice cream and the traditional meringue topping. It’s a better balance of flavors than the old baked Alaska because the pie crust is ¼ the thickness of the layer of cake in a standard baked Alaska so it is just a touch of crust. The strawberry ice cream pairs with that more traditional graham cracker crust exceptionally well. My guy was pretty impressed with the look of it when I pulled it out of the freezer to serve dessert. I am betting chocolate ice cream would be crazy good too! Next version…

This is remarkably easy to do but you must have patience as there are several steps and a lot of chilling in the freezer. You will be rewarded with an impressive looking dessert although it can get kinda sloppy when you serve it especially if you didn’t chill it again after the meringue browning step. Which I kinda did when I made this pie; it was late and we couldn’t wait; only chilled it 10-13 minutes…..still delish!

Baked Alaska Pie, Strawberry version – serves 6-8

Ingredients

Pre-made gf graham cracker crust

Most of a standard big carton of strawberry ice cream

5 egg whites, room temp.

½ tsp. cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

Let the ice cream warm a few minutes so it isn’t rock hard and is easily scooped.  Fill the pie crust with the ice cream; spread it to cover evenly and mound it slightly.  Put in freezer for 2 to 3 hours.

Make the meringue: put the room temp egg whites in a mixing bowl, add the salt and the cream of tartar. Beat until it is in soft peaks. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time while it beats to the stiff peak stage. It should be glossy and hold a stiff peak of curled meringue. Get the pie out of the freezer and quickly mound the meringue over the pie making absolute sure you cover every bit of ice cream with lots of meringue which will act as insulation.  Chill for 2-4 hours in freezer. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slide the frozen pie in for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned, return to freezer for 30-60 minutes. You can serve it immediately but it will be a bit squishy; best to chill it again. Cut into wedges with a sharp knife and dig in. Enjoy!

strawberry pie slice

A bit squishy as I only chilled for 10 minutes after browning; couldn’t wait to enjoy it!

 

strawberry pie cut

Messy but totally nummy good!

Rhubarb Frangipane Pie: Almond Sugar Filling to Keep it Sweet

Got another great but uncommon rhubarb pie recipe.  This time I used a simple almond filling; called frangipane. It’s is just a sweet layer under the rhubarb but it’s quick to make and blends in: you won’t really notice the frangipane but its flavor will be delish  when you bite into this luscious pie.  This is easy to make even though it has several steps.  Keeper recipe!

The GF crust will work for any pie you wish and the sugared topping is a great look and a crunchy sweet treat.  This is one of the few two crust pies I do and I have to say the top crust was very flaky and tasty.

rhubarb-frangipani-pie-005

Angie’s GF Rhubarb Frangipane Pie

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

Directions: 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 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 chop the rhubarb into ½ inch chunks.  I now use a rectangle of medium thick plastic; fold it in half and roll out the pie dough between the layers; works much better than wax paper.

Frangipane Filling:

2/3 cup almond meal

1/3 c sugar

6 tbsp. butter at room temp

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1 tbsp. rice flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix the almond meal and sugar in your stand mixer on low, add the butter, cream well, use spatula to make sure the butter gets down and fully integrated into the mixture and then add egg and almond extract, mix and add the flour and cinnamon.

Rhubarb filling:

5 cups cut up fresh rhubarb

3 tbsp. tapioca flour

¼ tsp. salt

Zest of one orange (optional)

2 tbsp. sugar

1 or 2 tsp. of milk to brush on for a glaze

Raw sugar to sprinkle on top

——–

In large bowl: place rhubarb, add tapioca flour, salt, plain sugar and orange zest. Stir with spoon to coat.

Assembling the pie:

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out one pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! I use a pie bag my sister gave me; works fantastically with gf crusts. Peel off one side of wax paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.

Spread frangipane filling on the bottom of the crust.  Fill with dry rhubarb mix.  Roll out the other pie crust. Place gently on top of pie, crimp around edges. Cut a few vent slits in the top crust. Brush top crust carefully with milk, sprinkle heavily with raw sugar.

Place on baking sheet to catch drips (I have a pie drip pan I love!)  Bake 20 mi, rotate it half way through so the back and front are the same level of golden. Lower heat to 350 degrees.  Bake for 30-40 min until crust is golden and you can see the filling bubbling.  Cool on rack for at least 1-2 hours before serving.  Enjoy!rhubarb frangipane pie 001

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur Basic Blend)
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 splendidtable.org with my favorite crust recipe out of Annalise Roberts cookbooks with my own small changes to create a pie to my taste buds happiness.

Originally posted spring of 2016, no changes to recipe, minor updates to text.

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!

Chocolate Cloud Pie…Oh My!

 

I have a fantastic cookbook, all pies, nothing else. By Farm Journal, published in 1981 but it has the vibe of the 1950’s. Lots of interesting combo fruit pies and chiffon pies like you never heard of. I found this recipe for a chocolate rum pie. The pre-made cookie crust could sub in for a traditional pie crust which the recipe called for. I had all the ingredients except the crust ….but I thought it sounded tasty and worth a trip to the grocery store for the crust cookies, gluten free of course!

chocolate pudding

It was not hard to make either. I threw it together in three easy steps. It was one of those recipes where the sum of the ingredients is far tastier than the components would lead one to believe. Everyone devoured their slice. People took slices home. My mom was eager to keep a second slice….for tomorrow. This enthusiastic audience caused me to mention it on facebook. I got all these likes and a few hungry comments. The buzz of happy responses led me to decide to share my version of chocolate rum pie. I have renamed it Chocolate Almond Cloud Pie. That was four years ago….

The name came from the fact that it is as light as a fluffy cloud and from my love for my older sister who died five years ago. Margie’s love of pie was renown in our family and I am absolutely sure she would have adored this pie. Whip some up this week and woo your family with chocolaty goodness that should please everyone. choco cloud pie slice (2)

Notes: I used french brandy instead of rum as I was out of dark rum. I think cognac would be nice too. .I used 3/4 cup almonds as that’s all I had; worked great; I put 2 Tbsp. aside for topping and rest went on top of the baked cookie crust. You can just buy a crust.

I posted this back in the spring of 2014 and hadn’t made it since; a matter of just forgetting how amazing it tastes.  Like eating a chocolate cloud….with puffs of cream and the crunch of toasted almonds. I used a hybrid crust when I made it yesterday; I was tired of my gf oreos; so I scraped out and discarded the filling and crunched up the cookies, I thought I was a bit short on cookies so I added 7-8 gingersnaps I still had from my last cookie crust. Crunched up and mixed with butter, baked into what became a flavor delight of a cookie crust! One of the best pies I have ever made. And I make a lot of pies….

 

Chocolate Almond Cloud Pie

Ingredients
1 pre-made chocolate cookie crumb crust, GF
1 pkg chocolate pudding, the kind you have to cook
2 cups whole milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cocoa

1 tbsp dark rum
1 cup slivered almonds, divided
1 1/3 cup heavy cream, divided

4 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Pour the almonds into a frying pan, no oil and toast them, stirring constantly. Alternately you could do this in the oven at a low temperature but I prefer the frying pan. Stop when they are medium brown, try not to let too many get black on the sides.

Cook the filling; put 2 cups whole milk into a medium sized and heavy sauce pan, Then add the dry pudding mix, the corn starch and the cocoa. Stir with a whisk as it heats. Once the mixture is bubbling all over the surface turn off the heat and add the rum. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill until cooled. Take ½ cup heavy cream and whip. Add this to the pudding and whisk until blended. Take 3 tbsp of almonds and set aside for garnishing the pie later. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted almonds over the chocolate pie crust Gently spoon the filling into the pie shell on top of the toasted almonds. Chill at least 2 hours until set and cold. Whip the rest of the heavy cream in a chilled bowl, adding the sugar near the end of the whipping. Gently put dollops of it all over the pie top. Sprinkle the reserved almonds on top. Enjoy!

choc cloud pie

Originally posted March 2014. No changes to recipe.

Baked Alaska Pie: Amazing

Everyone loves ice cream.  In my family, everyone loves a pie. So I was looking for something different when I saw a recipe somewhere, can’t remember where but it fit my search requirements plus it was gorgeous but somehow I lost the recipe so I did my best to replicate it for my family. We had it over the Easter weekend. It was a big hit.  Remember baked Alaska? A dessert of the 70’s? It is a fancy construction of a layer of yellow cake topped with a mound of ice cream and then covered with a thick layer of meringue which is briefly baked in the oven to brown the meringue lightly. Well, introducing the Baked Alaska Pie!  Gingersnap crust, coffee ice cream and the traditional meringue topping. Not as heavy because the pie crust is ¼ the thickness of the layer of cake in a standard baked Alaska and gingersnap is a pow of a flavor compared to the blandness of yellow cake. The coffee ice cream pairs with it exceptionally well but I am betting chocolate ice cream would be crazy good too! I suppose you could do a graham cracker crust but what would be the fun in that? The meringue is not overly sweet and is fluffy perfection with the ice cream and cookie crust.

This dessert is remarkably easy to do but you must have patience as there are several steps and a lot of chilling in the freezer.  If you are not needing to be gf you can use a regular gingersnap crust.

 

Baked Alaska Pie

Ingredients

7/8 of a box of gluten free gingersnaps

1/3 cup melted butter

Most of a carton of coffee ice cream

5 egg whites

½ tsp. cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions: Use your food processor, blender or a baggie and a rolling pin to reduce the cookies to a fine crumble. Pour them in a mixing bowl, add the butter, stir well and pour into a 9 inch pie tin. Press across the bottom and up the sides. Bake at 350 for 6-9 minutes; take out before it browns much. Let cool completely before next step.

Let the ice cream warm a few minutes so it isn’t rock hard and is easily scooped.  Fill the pie crust with the ice cream; spread it to cover evenly and mound it slightly.  Put in freezer for 2 to 3 hours.

Make the meringue: put the room temp egg whites in a mixing bowl, add the salt and the cream of tartar. Beat until it is in soft peaks. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time while it beats to the stiff peak stage. It should be glossy and hold a stiff peak of curled meringue. Get the pie out of the freezer and quickly mound the meringue over the pie making absolute sure you cover every bit of ice cream with lots of meringue which will act as insulation.  Chill for 2-4 hours in freezer. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slide the frozen pie in for 4-8 minutes until lightly browned, if possible return to freezer for 30-60 minutes. Cut into wedges with a sharp knife and dig in. Enjoy

alaska pie 2

Not a very pretty picture; just doesn’t convey the incredible flavor. I took this of a leftover slice out of my freezer; we were too busy eating it to take pictures that day! So it lost some of the browned topping in my freezer. It was very pretty when we first cut the pie.

Cranberry Crackle Spring Pie

I had a bag of frozen cranberries in the freezer. There aren’t that many choices for a fresh fruit pie right now in this chilly weather.  But, I got the perfect recipe for an early spring pie. Easy to make, not too rich or too 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; definitely love at first bite.  Like a fruit tart and a pavlova had a baby: this is the delightful result.  Light and delicate in nature; making it perfect after a hearty Easter feast.  It is really guilt free if you eat it plain.  I devoured it in the past with vanilla ice cream, Greek yogurt or plain organic yogurt dolloped on top. Love it all those ways. Maybe next time I will be serving it like you do a Pavlova, with lightly sweetened real whipped cream on top. Yumm!

It is super 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 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!. This tart is fantastic tasting even if you aren’t a huge cranberry fan.

The recipe calls for a few  tablespoons of raspberry jam but you could probably use most any jam, strawberry comes to mind as a great second choice.  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 homemade raspberry jam, bursting with incredible raspberry flavor.

Cranberry Crackle Pie

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 18-19 minutes. Set the crust on a rack to cool to room temperature.  Do not let it get more than light brown. You could do this step the night before.

Filling

2-3 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. Frozen; ready to go just as they are!

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. Be sure to wait until the whites are opaque and starting to get full or the sugar will not blend in properly.

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 never 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 are a great complement to the berry flavors.
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 with plastic wrap.  I doubt you will have any after the second day anyway. It is that tasty. Enjoy!

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

Originally posted in 2014 on this blog. Minor text changes.