Pecan Tartlets

As 2016 was my year to blog on pies I feel compelled to share yet more yummy pieness.  This one is a bunch of tartlets; about 4 inches across. Since I didn’t need a whole pecan pie I made a 2/3 batch of filling for six flat bottom tartlets filled with pecan gooey yumminess. Just an idea if you don’t want a whole big pie. Plus everyone loves a tartlet; like a whole pie just for you!  They keep about 3 days in a sealed container…if they last that long.

Notes: You have to use dark corn syrup.  Yes, I know corn syrup is an unhealthy item but sometimes you just have to go wicked!  It’s worth it, I promise. Cross my heart.

These tartlets are awesome as is but are also great with some freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream which is popular at my house.

Angie’s GF Pecan Tartlets 

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

Crust directions: Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembles 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 get the rest ready.

Filling:

2 large eggs

1/3 c sugar

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 and a half tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

3/4 cups pecan halves

Sprinkle cinnamon

Filling: Beat eggs, sugar, salt, butter and corn syrup in stand mixer until well mixed, can use a hand held mixer.  Stir in pecans and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Assembly: Roll out 2/3 of 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 cut into four sections across the middle.  Take a section and fit into a tartlet pan.  I use the flat bottomed ones; come in a set of four attached together.  Crimp edges all around.   Roll out the rest and form into the other two tartlet shells.I don’t leave a lot of crust at the top so I actually got 7 tartlet shells; the spare one was for me! Fill your shells with pecan mix.  I filled my spare with homemade raspberry jam sprinkled with pie crumbs that I had in the fridge. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven on a low shelf for 25 or so minutes until set and crust edges lightly browned.  Cool at least 1/2 hour before serving at room temperature or slightly chilled.  The raspberry one was equally tasty and we actually each had half a raspberry and half a pecan tartlet with ice cream for dessert last weekend.  Perfection!

 pecan-and-raspberry-tartlets

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

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

The crust is from Annalise Robert’s great cookbook.  Gluten-Free Baking Classics, second edition.

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Dutch Apple Crumb Pie

Apples, a favorite American fruit and a favorite pie.   This crumb topped pie is easier than a two crust pie. I will be making one in the morning for  Thanksgiving supper at my Mom’s.

I put this pie together in a few steps; make the crust dough; put it in fridge to chill while I peel, slice and cut up the apples. I also throw together the crumbs before rolling out the pie; you don’t need to rinse the mixer bowl from the crust then.  If you plan to prebake your crust those ten minutes of baking the empty pie crust are also a good time for making the crumbs and preparing the apples too!  Each step is fairly easy but the results are spectacular.  Of course, you could buy a readymade unbaked crust but this crust I use is really tasty: my mom still (after well over 3 years of me baking gf) doesn’t believe it is gluten free! I really don’t know how to convince her as she is unable to come watch me bake a pie but this disbelief of hers is proof of the great flavor and texture of this particular basic gf pie crust.unbaked-apple-crumb-pie

It goes without saying that this pie is great with a slice of vanilla ice cream.  Winter is still a good time for an apple pie but by spring the apples are iffy and I stop baking pies with them.  Be seasonal whenever possible when it comes to fruits and you will get the best flavor and taste in your fruit based desserts.

Apple 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 lg egg

2 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 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.

Roll out the flattened ball 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.

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. Mix in a large bowl with:

¼ cup brown sugar

3-5 tbsp. granulated sugar (3= tart, 5 if you like it sweet)

1 tbsp. minute tapioca

1 tsp. cinnamon

A good sprinkle of ground nutmeg

A small sprinkle of ground ginger

1 tbsp lemon juice

Heap in pie crust.

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

More directions: Sprinkle the top of the pie with crumb mix; use as much as you like.  I like about 2/3 of the mixture.  Up to your personal taste…  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 55-60 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 and bake immediately.

Cool the pie at least 2 to 4 hours before serving at room temperature.

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

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

Originally posted February 2015.

Pecan Pie: Fall Classic!

Thanksgiving pie – gotta have it. Posted my go-to pumpkin pie recipe last week.  Here is another classic pie. This is is my favorite pecan pie recipe; been making it for a long while and I have shared the recipe before but not on this blog; right out of Betty Crocker, just now with a gluten free crust.  I add an extra quarter cup pecans to make the pie a bit fatter and I always use dark Karo syrup; it is really the only one you should use if you want a great result.

karopecans

I don’t need a whole pie so I am thinking of making a half batch of filling for four flat bottom tartlets filled with pecan yumminess. Just a thought if you don’t want a whole big pie.  I think my tartlets would be baked in 30-35 minutes.  I’ll let you know how the tartlets turn out.

Pecan pie is awesome on its own but is also great with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  A classic never goes out of style.  I wanted to get the post up so you can have it on Thursday; it looks just like pecan pie should; rich, dark and nutty.

pecan-pie

I haven’t made my pie yet; this is from McCormick Spices but looks a lot like mine.

Angie’s GF Pecan 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

Directions:Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.  I don’t usually bother with this but feel free to take this extra caution.

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 get the rest ready.

Filling:

3 large eggs

2/3 c sugar

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup very soft or melted butter

1 cup dark corn syrup

1 1/4 cups pecan halves

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions: Beat eggs, sugar, salt, butter and corn syrup until well mixed, can use a hand held mixer.  Stir in pecans and a sprinkle of 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 pecan mix.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40-50 minutes until set.  Cool at least 1 hour before serving at room temperature or chilled.

 

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

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Best Darn Dinner Rolls AND GF!

If you are searching for easy to make gluten free rolls for Thanksgiving, look no further. I made them for a holiday party and one of my guests asked for the recipe saying they were the best rolls he ever ate, gf or not!  They are very easy to make and taste just as good as any I have made with wheat flour in my past life as a gluten fiend.

You make a yeast slurry of milk, sugar and yeast and let it rise while you mix all the dry ingredients in the stand mixer bowl. Then dump the wet ingredients all together in with the dry ingredients.  Beat the sticky mess up, glop it into the sprayed muffin pans and let rise a bit. Bake them a few minutes and there they are,: golden, puffy and almost like a mini popover!

The flavor is fantastic, so is the texture and love that they keep well for a few days; could make them the day before your big meal and just warm gently.  I cut this recipe in half pretty easily.  For that I used 2 eggs and discarded the excess egg after I glazed the rolls.  I have used regular whole milk and 1 percent milk in my batch but you can use rice milk if you want it dairy free.  This is a keeper recipe for anyone, GF or not!

rolls

Soft Dinner Rolls -24 rolls

Ingredients

2 tablespoons dry active yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups rice milk (or milk) – warm but not hot
*1½ cups superfine or Asian White Rice Flour
*½ cup Sweet Rice Flour
*¾ cup potato starch
*½ cup tapioca starch
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 large eggs – use divided
¼ cup butter plus more for brushing the pans
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

*in place of the various flours and starches you can use 3¼ cups GF flour blend.

Directions

Combine the yeast, sugar and warmed milk in a small bowl and whisk to dissolve the sugar. Let sit for 6 or 7 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and had increased in volume.

Combine the flours, starches (or all-purpose gluten free flour blend), xanthan gum, salt and baking powder in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix for 30 seconds on medium-low to combine and break up any lumps in the potato starch.

Add the yeast mixture, 2 eggs, melted butter, honey and vinegar. Mix on medium low until combined. Scrap down the sides of the bowl, turn the mixer on high and mix for 3 minutes. You should have a very thick, smooth batter.

Brush 2 twelve cup muffin pans with melted butter or spray with gluten free, non-stick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spoon the batter into the sprayed muffin pans, filling about ¾ full. You can also use a small (#60) ice cream scoop and place 3 scoops in each muffin tin (clover leaf). That is my favorite way to form them! Cover with a clean ultra thin kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft free place to rise. Let rise for 30-35 minutes or until the dough has almost doubled in size.  I often put them in a 105 degree oven, uncovered for their rising time.

Beat the remaining egg with 1 teaspoon of water very well with a fork. Gently brush the tops of each roll with the beaten egg.  I used my finger to do the brushing as my brushes were too stiff. Sometimes I sprinkle the wet egg wash with poppy seeds.

Bake for 17 – 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

Note: These rolls can be made ahead – bake them, let them cool in the pans, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Warm them for a few minutes in a 350 degree oven.  I froze them for 2 days and then nuked the rolls for 30 seconds to warm up.  Leftover rolls are great with jam for a snack. Enjoy!

Spicy Sweet Yam Casserole

I started making this simple side dish three years ago; we have enjoyed it for a number of holidays.  I like it alongside a roasted meat like ham or turkey.  I always serve it on Thanksgiving Day: far healthier than that casserole full of sugar and marshmallows.  For all the yummy food I serve for big feasts, this humble side dish often gets the most praise.  There generally is very little leftover.

I love it because it is healthier than most yam/sweet potato casseroles.  It is free of gluten, grains, eggs and refined (read white) sugar.   If you use something other than butter it can be dairy free too.  No tons of butter, marshmallows or cup of brown sugar.  Less than a quarter cup of sweeteners make this a good choice for pre-diabetes.  I generally use the coconut oil rather than butter; it adds a subtle flavor I enjoy.  Plus yams themselves are quite good for you. We love their natural sweetness.easter-036

And it is so easy to throw together. Just peel and dice up the yams, mix up the other ingredients in a small saucepan and pour over, bake and enjoy.  So easy but the flavor is subtle yet very pleasing.  I suggest 4 large yams but I often use 5 or 6 smaller ones. Simple, tasty and healthy; side dish home run!

Honey Spiced Yams

4 good sized yams
1/4 c. butter (or coconut oil)
2 T. coconut oil
2 T. honey
2 t. molasses
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1/2 – 1 t. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes, peel if you like (it’s not all that necessary), chop into fairly uniform 1/2 inch cubes, and place them in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Over low heat, melt the butter and coconut oil. Stir in the honey, molasses, and spices. Drizzle over sweet potatoes, then sprinkle with salt. Stir to evenly coat, then bake for about 1/2 hour, or until potatoes are fork-tender. I like to stir it up once or twice while it bakes so that yummy sauce can sink into every bite of yam.

I can’t remember where I found this recipe: I think it was in a magazine.  The original version left the skin on but I am not that brave with company; but go ahead and try it….let me know if people like it that way.  This recipe was originally posted by me in late 2014.

 

Dark Drizzled Kettle Corn

Aldi’s has something so yummy I am loath to share it with all of you for fear you will buy it all and I will be then crying the blues.  It is their Dark Drizzled Kettle Corn.  Lightly drizzled with dark chocolate, and not that sweet. Perfection in popcorn form. An addictive snack. It combines my deep love for dark chocolate with my frequent enjoyment of kettle corn. A one ounce serving has 140 calories. The label says GF.  It also says limited edition, so get a few bags and tell the staff to tell the boss to keep ordering it and maybe, just maybe Aldi’s will keep it around! kettle-corn-001

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 asked my guy what pie he wanted this year he went for the pumpkin with no hesitation or deep thinking. He just knew it was what he wanted on the big turkey day.

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 last 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 says 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 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 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, 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.

Filling:

2 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)

1 tsp. maple extract (optional)

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 between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! My sister Karen gave me a pie bag last year 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 in a bottom heat gas oven so it really cooks 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.