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! Gently pour half of the molasses mixture into the raw pie shell.

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 used to bake pies in my bottom heat pizza oven and it gaveme a great browned crust. No longer have that oven so I put the wire rack as close to the bottom as possible and it really helps the bottom of my pie to brown.  One other option: 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, revised slightly in 2023 to clarify the directions.  Enjoy!

Perfect Pear Crumb Pie

 

Fresh tasting, locally sourced fruits are a major reason for success in fruit pie baking. I usually got mine from the local orchard where they were grown; about 2 miles from my house. This fall I missed the pear harvest and got there a few weeks too late so this time I bought some organic Bartlett pears at Aldi’s; 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. My guy always claimed to hate pears; so fickle; unripe and then suddenly mushy overripe – I can relate to that happening occasionally but I persisted and now he enjoyed this pie quite a lot; took home a huge slice of it last night. Go on; make it; you might change someone’s mind too!

 

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 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, pour over it 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

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

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. quick cooking instant tapioca 

1/4 rounded tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

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

Homemade Pumpkin Pie: Easy and Delish

Pie is traditional at Thanksgiving in the USA. So you might be planning to make a GF pie for the holidays.  I think pumpkin is a perfect choice because it is really easy to make: has only a few steps.  Make a crust, mix up and dump in the filling, bake it, chill it and yumm it up!! And it sure is traditional for this holiday. When I ask my guy what pie he wanted, he alternates between pumpkin and my deep dish apple crumb pie.  My dad particularly loved this recipe; he felt it had a perfect texture and just right sweetness.

If you want to change things up, add a tsp. of maple flavoring to the filling for a sweet treat.  I did that that for my Thanksgiving pie the other year.

This GF crust will work for any pie you should want to make including pecan pie.  This particular filling recipe is adapted from my 1970s Betty Crocker and is one I have made for years; perfect custard texture.  If you like it really sweet add another quarter cup sugar.  I use evaporated milk; less fattening than the cream many recipes use.

My mom always said that eating a slice of pumpkin pie is like having an extra vegetable serving.  I like to cook up a butternut squash and run it through a food mill to make it silky smooth for the pie but you can just buy a can of pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling which has other stuff; just plain pumpkin please.

Go ahead, bake as easy a gf pie as is humanly possible and enjoy a tasty yet kinda healthy pie for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

pumpkin pie 2

Angie’s GF Pumpkin 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 Tbsp. 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 make the filling. I actually roll mine out in an OXO pie bag which I love!

Filling:

2 large eggs

2 cups cooked pumpkin or butternut squash puree (canned is okay)

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. cloves

Sprinkle of nutmeg

1 3/4 c evaporated milk (1 can)

Beat eggs well and add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together with a mixer at low speed until blended.

Put It Together:

Roll out pie crust – see above directions: my sister Karen gave me a pie bag a few years ago and I love it for an even thin crust.  You can get one on line from King Arthur Flours.  Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Fill with pumpkin pie mixture.  Sometimes I sprinkle the top with more cinnamon and nutmeg.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, lower temperature setting to 350 and bake for 45 minutes until just set and the crust is light brown.  Cool and chill at least 2 to 4 hours before serving at or close to room temperature.

Note: I bake all my pies on the bottom rack of my gas oven on a rack set just above the oven bottom so it really cooks every pie crusts to perfection.  If you oven isn’t similarly equipped you might want to prebake your gf pie crust ten minutes before you pour in the filling and bake it.  Take ten minutes off the total time unless it seems to need a few more minutes.

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Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur GF Flour Mix)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published on this blog November 2014.  Minor changes in the text since then.

Apple Berry Crumb Pie

This is a twist on apple pie I like for when I am tired of apple pie or in late winter when the apples get sort of sad; they are not as crisp or flavorful so I add some berries to brighten up the mixture. This recipe uses cranberries. I used frozen ones but fresh are great too; lots of them will be in the stores for Thanksgiving. They taste like cherries in this pie! My guy was sure these were tart cherries!! Yay; that means they are a good addition.  I bet you could use other berries or cherries from the freezer case. I am planning on making this pie for Thanksgiving Day.

I have made this pie before I went gf but with a rolled-out crust cutout with big circles. That version had ginger in it. This one is a bit more traditional in the flavors and easier without rolling out a second crust.

The filling is cooked briefly on the stove top to keep the pie from settling too much in the oven.  There are three main components but don’t be scared; this is an easy pie to create.

apple cranberry crumb pie out of ovenCrust:

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

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 pie bag or 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 crumbs and the filling.  I have a wonderful pie bag made by OXO that is nonstick, sturdy construction and just awesome! I have used nothing else but that bag since it was gifted to me a year and 3 months ago.

Crumbs:

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

5 Tbsp.  cold butter cut into 6-8 chunks

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form.

Filling:

4-5 cups sliced fresh baking apples (no red delicious or honey crisp)

1/2 cup 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 and a Tbsp orange juice

2 tbsp. butter at room temp

2 tbsp. instant tapioca or tapioca or 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 rind, juice and tapioca or rice flour, stir.  Let cool a few minutes to room temperature.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour cooled filling into pie shell, top with crumbs; use them all; sprinkle with your fingers. Top with a Tbsp big crystal sugar if you have any – a nice finishing touch.

Place on baking sheet to catch drips (I have a pie drip pan I love!)  Bake for 30 min and turn down the oven to 375 degrees and bake 20-25 more minutes: until crust is golden and you can see the filling bubbling.  Cut it short or lower temperature if crumbs are browning too much. Cool on rack for at least 1-2 hours before serving.  Enjoy! apple cranberry crumb pie slice

First published in April 2020, no changes to recipe; minor corrections/changes to text.

Classic Apple Pie

Apple is the quintessential American fruit: the story of Johnny Chapman Appleseed is still popular,  apples are a favorite fruit of elementary age students and apple pie is king for many pie lovers.  A ripe apple is a crunchy sweet treat. Just walk through an apple orchard in autumn: the delicious scent in the air will cause you to purchase lots of apples.  An apple pie in the oven always perfumes the house for hours, acting like a magnet for children and male friends! I normally make an apple crumb pie but sometimes I go that extra step to make a top crust, sure pleases my guy even through he professes to love crumb pies…

I put this scratch pie together in a few steps; make the double recipe of crust dough; put it in fridge to chill while I peeled, sliced and cut up the apples.  If you plan to pre-bake your crust those ten minutes of baking the empty pie crust are also a good time for preparing the apples.  Each step is fairly easy but the results are spectacular.  Of course, you could buy a ready-made unbaked crust but this crust I use is fairly easy if you use a stand mixer and it is really tasty: my mom hardly believes it is gluten free! I really don’t know how to convince her but this disbelief of hers is proof of the great flavor and texture of this particular basic gf pie crust.  I used a mixture of baking apples, but not Granny Smith unless they have gotten a tad soft and definitely no apples meant for only eating raw like Red Delicious.

It goes without saying that this pie is great with a slice of vanilla ice cream.

Fresh out of the oven!

The entire pie got eaten and no one remembered to take any more pictures of it; like of a single slice… sadly it is long gone.

Double Crust Apple Pie

Crust:

2 1/4 c brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

1/4 c sweet rice flour

2 Tbps. granulated sugar

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

12 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

2 lg eggs

4 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Directions: Spray a nine inch pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour. Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add eggs and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into two balls with your hands. Put them on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust balls some; wrap well and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes.

Roll out one flattened ball of chilled into a 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 the pie pan, be sure to center it.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around or wait to do it with the top crust.

Filling:

6-8 medium-large sized apples, I like a mixture of yellow delicious and at least one other cooking variety; red Rome, Jonathan, empire, Courtland, or any tart apple you like to bake with.

Peel apples, quarter, cut out core, slice into 1/3 inch thick slices. Should have at least six cups. Place in a large bowl

¼ cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar (more if you like it sweet)

3 tbsp. minute tapioca or 3 tbsp. gf flour mix (recipe below or any decent blend)

1 tsp. cinnamon

A good sprinkle of ground nutmeg

1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Mix the dry ingredients, sprinkle the apples with lemon juice; add the dry ingredients. Heap in pie crust, Top with:

1  Tbsp. cold butter cut into small bits (optional)

Roll out top crust after you put the filling in the pan that is lined with the first crust. Peel off wax or parchment and lay over apples, crimp edges with fingers to seal them.  Prick or slash the top to let out steam. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 55-65 minutes until bubbly and the crust is light brown.  You can cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes.  I have a bottom heat oven so my crust gets crisp but if you have issues with soggy bottom crusts; prebake your crust for 10 minutes; then fill, top and bake immediately.

Cool the pie at least 4 hours to allow the juices to reabsorb before serving at room temperature.

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

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

The crust recipe is from Annalise Roberts’ great cookbook: Gluten-Free Baking Classics. My filling is slightly different.

Originally posted in 2017