Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin PieIt’s Pi-Day! Pie Day….3/14 What better way to celebrate than with a gluten free chocolate pumpkin pie?

3.14 Pi… I was never great at geometry. And although I forget the exact formula to find the area of a circle, I do remember pi. However, I much prefer contemplating this circle of chocolate pumpkin pie perfection invented by none other than my oldest Kitchen Diva in Training. She has not yet engaged in the geometry struggle. I hope that when she does my negative feelings don’t rub off on her. And, if she struggles- I hope she remembers the joy she found in filling the area of this circle with something that brought a smile to our faces.

Make a pie today. Make several.. Roll out your dough and contemplate how many bites it will take to fill the tummies of those you love. That’s my kind of geometry.

The Kitchen Diva in Training with her creation
The Kitchen Diva in Training with her creation

 

Can’t get enough of Strawberry- Rhubarb? Try this pie

Berry Pies more your thing? Try these

Or if a twist on Apple Pie is what you prefer, try this.

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Pumpkin Pie -makes 1 pie

This pie, based on my Oma’s pumpkin pie and redesigned by my daughter, is dense, creamy, and VERY easy to make. My kind of pie.

Ingredients

Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Pie1 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

2 TBS Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1/2 cup of small chocolate chips

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups pumpkin (this is slightly less than 1 can- if you like a super-pumpkinny flavor, use the whole can)

3/4 cup milk (we used 2%, but you could use a fatter milk, or even non-dairy)

Directions

Place all ingredients in a bowl, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. We used our stand mixer.  Pour into an unbaked (gluten free )piecrust and bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 50-55 minutes.

Caramel Apple Pie

Greetings from Toronto!!

The Adventuresome Kitchen has been up here on a whirlwind 48-hour Gluten-Free tour. We have eaten our way across the city and only scratched the surface of the delicious gluten-free opportunities here. I will be posting on our Toronto experience later this week, but for now- here’s a photo teaser.

And yes….for those of you who are “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” fans, you may recognize one of these photos!

And now, let’s talk Pie!!! How about a Caramel Apple Pie?

This month’s Burwell General Store Recipe Swap features a recipe called “Ozarkian Taffy Apples”.

There was some conversation in our group about why this recipe was called “Ozarkian”. Now, I can’t say for sure, but I do have a few ideas. I live just west of the Ozarks, and I do know that apples have played a big part in their history. It is said that Johnny Appleseed came through the Ozarks in the early 1800’s, introducing apples to the region. However they got here, by the late 1800’s pioneers from the Dakotas frustrated by drought and the brutal conditions of farming in the high plains were backtracking to the Ozarks ready to try their hand at raising apples. Laura Ingalls Wilder, her husband Almanzo, and their daughter Rose were among those seeking to improve their fortunes by raising apples (among other things)in the Ozarks.

During apple season, our local farmer’s markets are filled with many varieties of heirloom apples and I thought it would be great to learn what kind of apples Laura cooked with on her farm. I contacted the very kind people at the Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Mansfield, Missouri to find out what kind of apples Laura and Almanzo grew, and was told that the two varieties on Rocky Ridge farm were Ben Davis and Missouri Pippin. I’ve had Pippins before and they are a great pie apple. For me, the idea of making a pie with apples that may have been grown on Laura’s farm was irresistible, and the Caramel Apple Pie was born. I started working on this recipe last fall, in the hopes of making a nice apple post, but wasn’t happy with the results, and was happy to give it another try. I used Braeburns for this pie and felt their slightly tart flavor worked nicely against the sweet of the caramel-type filling. I also added lots of pecans- because for me- when I have a candied apple, it always has to have nuts.

The Kitchen Divas in Training had to get in on this adventure as well, and did a great job of making their own pie. You can bet I’ll be making this again during apple season and looking for Laura’s apples at the farmer’s market!

Be sure to visit the recipe swap page at Burwell General Store and check out the links to my fellow blogger’s sites- you will be in for some delicious apple treats this month!

Gluten Free Caramel Apple Pie

Makes One 8-9 inch pie

Ingredients

Pie Crust (gluten free if you need)

5-6 apples (enough to make about 6 cups, chopped)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tbs corn starch

1 tbs lemon juice

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Caramel Topping

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1 stick (8oz) butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tbs cornstarch

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 and move oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped apples, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch, and set aside.

Roll out half of the pie crust and place it on the pie pan. Cover with 1/2 cup of the pecan pieces. Set aside.

In a second bowl, combine the remaining brown sugar, butter, cornstarch and pecans.

Roll out the top crust for the pie and cut out any decorations you may like.

Add the apple mixture to the pie pan. Place the caramel topping over the apples, covering the apples completely.

Pour the heavy cream over the mixture and cover with the top crust.

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, then turn the oven to 350 and bake for another 30-45 minutes- until the crust is golden and the juices are bubbling out of the holes. You may need to cover the crust with aluminum or a pie ring if the outside of the crust browns too quickly.

If you can- wait at least 4 hours before eating. This allows the juices to firm up. You are certainly welcome to enjoy immediately, but your pie will be a bit more crumbly. This pie tastes absolutely fabulous for breakfast!!



Gluten Free Fruit Pies: Apple-Blackberry-Basil, and Peach-Raspberry-Ginger (gluten-free of course!)

Every 4th of July we host a big barbeque. This began 6 years ago when our city partnered with two neighboring cities to host fireworks practically in our backyard. Each year the party has grown in size and in food quality. The nice thing about having friends who are geeky foodies- not unlike myself- is that we now endeavor to outdo each other with astounding results. Some of what we enjoyed this year: Habañero Garlic Deviled Eggs, Quinoa and Mozzarella Stuffed Roasted Poblanos, Purple Potato Salad, Mozzarella Tomato Basil Skewers, Greek Quinoa Salad, Sangria, and of course- the gluten free fruit pies. Not to be outdone by my guests, I was inspired to throw down some adventurous flavor combinations of my own- complete with firework-like latticework and fancy cut-outs on the top crust. A feast fit for a 4th.

Successful fruit pies are largely left up to the taste of the baker. The flavor combinations are limitless. A good rule of thumb for experimenting is using 1-3 flavors. More than that muddies the flavor profile. The whole point of pie is to showcase a few stellar- typically seasonal- ingredients. For a fruit pie, use approximately 5 cups of fruit, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup of corn starch. Top the fruit with butter and add the top crust. Bake 30 minutes at 425, and 30 minutes at 350, until the top is golden and the juices are bubbling through the holes in the crust. Measurements will change slightly depending on what fruits you use. Softer fruits will give off more juice in cooking and may need additional cornstarch and less sugar, whereas firmer fruits like apples don’t. You can use nearly 6 cups of apples in a pie, but you can’t go over 5 cups with a peach pie. I learned this the hard way with a peach explosion in my oven. The thing to remember when cooking pie is to use ingredients that put a smile on your face. Happy tastebuds = happy tummies. Enjoy a little summer fruit goodness and live on the wild side with your flavor combinations- what you come up with may surprise and delight you!

Gluten-Free Apple-Blackberry-Basil Pie  

1 nine-inch pie

Ingredients

Gluten-Free Pie Crust

3 cups chopped apples, skin on (I used Pink Lady apples)

2 cups blackberries

1/4- 1/2 cup chopped basil (I used Spicy Globe Basil for maximum flavor)

1/4-1/2 cup sugar (depending on how ripe your fruit is- the riper it is the less sugar you may need)

4 tbs cornstarch

4-6 tbs butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 425. Place apple pieces and blackberries in a medium bowl and sprinkle with sugar and cornstarch. Combine and set aside. Quickly roll out pie-crust between 2 cornstarched pieces of parchment paper. When crust is wide enough to cover pie place, transfer to plate and using your fingers, gently push the crust all the way down to the corners of the plate. Crimp the top with your fingers. Do not worry if there are cracks- the crust is very forgiving. Just smooth the crack with your fingers. You do not need to pre-bake fruit pie crust.

Roll out second crust and set aside. Add fruit filling to pie plate. Dot the filling with the butter pieces and place second crust on top of the filling. Make slashes in the crust, or cut out a design of your choosing that allows juices to bubble through in cooking. You could make a woven lattice, cut simple shapes, or a more elaborate picture-whatever you like. My girls enjoy smiley faces, flowers and butterflies.

Crimp the top crust to the bottom crust between your fingers and place on a cookie sheet in the bottom 1/3rd of the oven. Cook at 425 for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling through the holes in the crust. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to thoroughly cool before cutting. It is fine to dig into the pie before this, just be aware that the pie will fall apart and not look like a regular slice of pie until it has thoroughly cooled.

Gluten-Free Peach-Raspberry-Ginger Pie  

1 nine-inch pie

Ingredients

Gluten-Free Pie Crust

3 cups sliced fresh peaches, skins on

2 cups raspberries

1/2 cup chopped candied ginger

1/4-1/3 cup sugar

1/4-1/3 cup cornstarch

4-6 tbs chopped butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 425. Place peach slices and raspberries in a medium bowl and sprinkle with sugar and cornstarch.(Depending on the ripeness of the peach, you may need little to no sugar, and additional cornstarch if the peaches are really juicy) Combine and set aside. Quickly roll out pie-crust between 2 cornstarched pieces of parchment paper. When crust is wide enough to cover pie place, transfer to plate and using your fingers, gently push the crust all the way down to the corners of the plate. Crimp the top with your fingers. Do not worry if there are cracks- the crust is very forgiving. Just smooth the crack with your fingers. You do not need to pre-bake fruit pie crust.

Roll out second crust and set aside. Add fruit filling to pie plate. Dot the filling with the butter pieces and place second crust on top of the filling. Make slashes in the crust, or cut out a design of your choosing that allows juices to bubble through in cooking. You could make a woven lattice, cut simple shapes, or a more elaborate picture-whatever you like. Smiley faces, flowers and butterflies all make nice designs.

Crimp the top crust to the bottom crust between your fingers and place on a cookie sheet in the bottom 1/3rd of the oven. Cook at 425 for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling through the holes in the crust. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to thoroughly cool before cutting. It is fine to dig into the pie before this, just be aware that the pie will fall apart and not look like a regular slice of pie until it has thoroughly cooled.

Garden Frittata and Quiche (gluten free)

Eggs are so wonderful and versatile. They are a complete protein, and unless you’re one of the few that are allergic, they are an excellent canvas for all sorts of flavors. And, they’re great for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. I find that if I’m struggling to come up with something delicious for a given meal, a frittata or a quiche is always an easy choice. It’s a great way to use up extra summer produce and leftovers, as well as a safe place to experiment with new spices. There’s not much difference between a frittata and a quiche- at least in this kitchen. The main difference is that quiche has crust, whereas a frittata has no crust, meaning it’s naturally gluten free. The frittata is always started on the stove but finished in the oven allowing for direct heating from the bottom and sides of the pan while it’s baking. What’s the determining factor in this kitchen about whether to choose the frittata or the quiche? There really isn’t one, except maybe the presence of pie-dough in the refrigerator. I’m posting 2 recipes here today. You’ll see they are very similar- both contain eggs, milk and cheese in varying proportions, and 3-4 feature ingredients. This type of recipe screams for experimentation- use what you have on hand, what inspires you or makes you smile. See what flavor combination you can come up with and post back to me. Happy Eating!

Gluten Free Garden Frittata

makes 6-8 slices

Ingredients

1 tbs bacon grease, butter or olive oil

1 cup chopped red onion (about 1/2 medium onion, or 1 small onion)

3 cups spinach pieces

1  1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

2 cups milk

2 cups shredded cheese (type of your choice)

8 eggs

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375. In a pitcher or small bowl combine the eggs and milk and set aside. In an oven proof saute pan (I use my trusty cast-iron) melt the bacon grease and add the chopped onions. Stir gently until they have softened. Quickly add the chopped spinach and mushrooms and stir until spinach just begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Spread evenly across the bottom of the pan and add the egg mixture. Add the cheese to the top of the pan and pat down with the back of a fork or spatula. If you want to lightly season, add a little salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning mix at this point. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 35 minutes or until the center is just slightly shaky when you move the pan. Serve with a fresh, green salad, or if you’re enjoying this for breakfast, pair it with hashbrowns!

Garden Quiche  (gluten free)

Makes 6-8 slices in a 9 inch pie pan

Ingredients

Gluten Free Pie Crust

2 tbs butter

6 garlic cloves, chopped small

3 cups chopped beet leaves

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

6 eggs

1/2 cup half-n-half

1 cup milk

1 cup goat cheese crumbles

hot sauce (to taste)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400. Roll out the chilled pie crust and transfer to the pie plate. Crimp (or moosh) the edges with your fingers until the top edge is uniformly even. Spray a large piece of parchment paper with canola or some other unflavored oil (do NOT use olive oil as it will flavor the pie crust). Place the greased side down on the crust and fill the paper with uncooked beans. Make sure the paper goes to the edge of the crust and that the beans are even with the top of the crust.

Cook for 10 minutes and remove the paper and beans. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until the top of the crust is beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Lower oven temperature to 375.

In a pitcher or small bowl, combine eggs, milk, and half-n-half. Set aside. In a saute pan, melt butter and add garlic. Stir until garlic becomes aromatic, but has not yet browned- about 1 minute. Add beet leaves and saute until greens just begin to wilt. Add the mixture to the cooling pie crust and top with shredded cheese. Pour on the egg mixture and gently press down on ingredients until they are barely covered by the liquid. Add goat cheese crumbles and sprinkle hot sauce across the top. The heat of the sauce gets easily absorbed by the milk and cheese, so if you like a little heat, be prepared to use a lot of hot sauce.

Cook for 35 minutes or until the top has puffed and browned, and the center just barely jiggles when pie is shaken. Serve with Arianwen’s Arugula Salad with fresh blueberries.

Peach Tart and Deep Fried Chicken (gluten free)

Summer is finally here. Officially, that is. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere. Of course, it’s felt like it for weeks, but now that it’s official, I feel I can unabashedly enjoy all of my favorite summer fare. For me that entails much more finger food: fruits that I normally don’t enjoy in the winter like grapes, berries, melons, and of course peaches. Is your mouth watering yet? How about fresh fried chicken, brats on the grill, grilled veggies, corn on the cob and shish kebobs? I find I slow down too. Not in the hibernating, bury yourself in a comforter and hole up until the first light of spring way, but in the sitting on the back stoop, drinking a cool beer (gluten-free in my case), sipping a sangria or an iced-tea, not wanting to move until the fireflies have finished their nightly romp, kind of way. Of course, my children are there at the ready to remind me that they do indeed have to eat. So I spend my days multitasking; hopping from work at the kitchen table, to parenting in the living room, to stirring up something at the stove. Making my rounds so that I can enjoy the twilight, the fireflies, and the company of whomever has popped over.

Last weekend we indulged in one of our yearly summer rituals- a picnic blanket dinner at our local Shakespeare festival. And of course, since it’s a festival, it calls for festive fare. Try a gluten free peach tart and fried chicken with potato salad served up with a chilled not-sweet rosé. Ultimate picnic indeed.  Below you’ll find a lovely and quite simple recipe for a maple glazed peach tart- made gluten free by using the proper crust.- and quick instructions on how to make a delicious deep fried chicken. It’s really quite easy and will give the ole’ Colonel a run for his money. A gluten-free picnic fit for a king- Richard III that is.

Maple Glazed Peach Tart      

makes one 8-9 inch tart

Ingredients

Gluten Free or regular pie crust

4 ripe peaches

4 tbs granulated sugar

4-5 tbs maple syrup

2 tbs butter

Directions

Prepare pie crust and turn onto a tart pan, crimping the edges as you like. (A tart pan has straight sides, whereas a pie pan has sides that lean outward. If you don’t own a tart pan, you could use a cake pan and even the pie pan.)

Prebake shell at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Since my last post about this crust, I’ve found when pre-baking that I prefer to grease a large piece of parchment, placing the greased side against the pie crust, and then filling the pan with uncooked beans. This makes for less sticking and a crust with sides less prone to collapse.

Partially pull out oven rack, leaving the crust still in the oven. Gather the corners of the parchment together and remove paper and uncooked beans to a nearby bowl to cook. Prick bottom of crust with a fork, and if the top part of crust is browning too quickly, cover with a ring of aluminum or a pie-crust ringfound at your local cooking store. Return crust to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, re-pricking bottom if crust begins to balloon. Crust will be ready to remove when it begins to look a bit dry and paper-y.

Allow to cool for a minimum of 15 minutes before continuing. When crust has cooled (at least partially) sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the bottom of the crust. Then, working quickly, but safely, slice peach in half longitudinally, and remove the pit. Then slice into thin strips about 1/4 inch thick. These will inevitably vary in size. This is fine, we’re going for a ball-park here, not perfection. Begin to layer by placing one slice on the outside of the crust with one end touching the side. Place slices in a ring along the outside, just overlapping. Look at the picture if you need help visualizing this part. Keep halving and slicing peaches until you’ve completed the first outside ring. Pick a starting place for the center ring, doing the same thing, and working to keep the peach points as close to the center as possible. One helpful trick is to choose peaches that are of similar size. Placing the peach slices can be more challenging when the slices are vastly different lengths.  

When the crust is filled, brush 2-3 tbs of maple syrup over the peaches, allowing the syrup to get into the little nooks and crannies. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the top and dot with pea-sized slices of the butter. Place in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Peaches should still retain their color and the juices should be starting to bubble. Remove from oven and brush with remaining maple syrup. You may have syrup left in your measuring cup- that’s ok- use what you like. The glaze is to keep the tart looking pretty and to enhance the flavor of the peaches. Allow to cool thoroughly before enjoying. You could serve this with whipped cream or ice-cream. We were at a picnic and didn’t have that option and it tasted heavenly just by itself.

Deep Fried Chicken

serves as many as you like

Ingredients

2 pints-1/2 gallon buttermilk, depending on how much chicken you are frying.

4-8 cups of flour, we used 1/2 sorghum 1/2 corn flour

Louisiana hot sauce or worcester (optional)

Salt, pepper, and other seasonings we added jerk seasoning to our mix

2 lbs vegetable shortening

Directions  

Place chicken pieces in a bowl and thoroughly cover with buttermilk. For a little extra zest, mix in 2-4 tablespoons of hot sauce or other spices you enjoy.  Allow to soak anywhere from 1 hour to overnight. The buttermilk is a flavor enhancer as well as a meat tenderizer, so the longer the chicken soaks, the more tender the meat will be.

In a bowl place 2 cups of flour (1 cup of sorghum, 1 cup of corn flour or corn meal), salt and pepper to taste and any additional spices you enjoy. Do the pinky test to make sure the flavor is where you like it (lick your pinky, dip and lick again. Of course the more sanitary way is to do this with a spoon, but given you’ll be frying at 350 degrees, what goobies if any that are on your pinky will be killed at first contact with the oil.)Some people say it’s a waste of spices to flavor the flour and that you should season the meat directly. This is entirely up to you. Each way affords a slightly different flavor experience.

Set up a dredging/draining area by putting a cooling rack over a cookie sheet next to the dredging bowl, and on the other side of your deep fry pan, placing an additional cooling rack over a cookie sheet. Once you’ve dredged the meat should rest about 2 minutes before going into the hot grease. This helps the coating to adhere more tightly to the meat. Only when you’re ready to go, place the shortening in a deep sided fryer- I use my trusty Deep Sided Cast Iron Fryer for this- and turn the heat on to medium-high. To ensure even cooking, keep a candy or meat thermometer in the oil at all times.

While the oil is melting remove a piece of chicken from the buttermilk, give it a good shake, and then dredge in the flour, thoroughly covering the whole piece of meat. Give another good shake and place on the cooling rack next to the dredging flour. Repeat this with 2-3 more pieces. Your oil should now be nearing 350 degrees. Once it hits that temperature, with tongs (to protect your hands) gently place pieces in the hot oil, towards the side of the pan. Do not cook more than 3-4 pieces at once. You should see the oil temperature drop on your thermometer, and over the next several minutes climb back up. Note: Don’t let the temperature get above 365-370. The oil begins to break down and the food can lose its flavor. After about 5-6 minutes flip your meat and allow to cook on the other side. This is really an eyeball thing- after a few rounds you’ll get to where you can judge if a piece is done. If you’re not sure, use the meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of your chicken is around 175. Breasts and smaller pieces will cook faster than larger, thicker, or bone-in pieces. Thighs and legs need to be cooked for a longer time, and the heat of the oil will have to be closely monitored so the outside doesn’t burn. You may have to turn down your heat here, or add additional meat to regulate the temperature of the oil.

When the meat has finished cooking, remove to the second cooling rack. If you’re storing for a picnic, once the meat has cooled, you can wrap each piece in a paper towel and place in a paper bag in the refrigerator. This will keep the crust happy and your meat delicious.

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Crisp Topping (gluten free)

A crisp? A pie? A crispie? “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play..” So begins the first line of The Cat in the Hat. And, as I lay in bed this morning listening to yet another round of thunder and pouring rain, I knew that no yard work would be accomplished today. The weeds and the grass would be left to grow another six inches while I daydreamed of strawberries and rhubarb, and remembered that it was my grandfather’s favorite pie. I’ve been working on a strawberry rhubarb crisp lately, but haven’t gotten it quite where I wanted it. So I lay there contemplating the possibility of a pie with a crisp topping. Sometimes apple pies have streusel topping, would it work for a strawberry-rhubarb pie? Why not?

If you’re baking a shell prior to filling it: Preheat the oven to 375. Take a second pie plate and grease the outside. Place the greased pie plate on top of the crust and cook for 20 minutes. This will keep the crust from collapsing. Remove from the oven and gently remove the greased pie plate. Your crust is now ready for filling. If you need to keep cooking the bottom of the crust, you may prick the bottom part of the crust with a fork, and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Alternately, if you have pie crust balls, or marbles, you may use those in lieu of a second greased pie plate.

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