Apple Cranberry Holiday Pie

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

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

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

apple-cranberry-pie

Angie’s GF Apple Cranberry Pie

Double Crust:

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

¼ cup sweet rice flour

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

12 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

2 large eggs

4 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

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

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

Filling:

4-5 cups sliced fresh baking apples

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

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp. fresh orange rind

½ tsp. grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp. butter at room temp

1 large egg (optional)

1 tbsp. rice flour

Raw or big/fancy crystal sugar to sprinkle on top

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

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

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

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

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

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

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

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

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Pork, Poblano Pepper and Black Bean Stew

What to do with leftover pork roast?  There isn’t much eating a plate of pork with all the leftover sides that I can take.  So searching I found this recipe for a soup and of course had to alter it some! Don’t you get tired of rushing out to buy that one or two ingredients you don’t have? Then there are the things I don’t care for like cilantro, creamed corn… Any way; it is pretty darn tasty and a big change of pace from typical holiday food. You may call it a stew; not actually sure where the delineation between soup and stew is.  This is very chunky and hearty so maybe it is more a stew than a soup.

pork-and-poblano-soup

Pork, Black Bean and Poblano Soup: serves 6

1 poblano pepper, roasted

1 ½ tbsp mild olive oil

1 red onion; diced and divided (set aside ¼ of it)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 heaping tbsp. ground coriander

¾ tsp. ground cumin

1 32 oz box of chicken broth, low sodium preferred

2 cups chopped kale (dinosaur kale is my choice for this soup)

1 tbsp. basil pesto

½ can black beans, well rinsed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¾ lb roasted fresh pork cut in ½ inch cubes

Cooked brown (or white) rice for serving

Garnishes:

Sour cream; 1-2 tbsp. per serving

¼ diced avocado per serving

¼ lime in a wedge to squeeze in your soup bowl

Some diced red onion or scallion rounds

Crushed tortilla chips

Chopped fresh cilantro (optional!)

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan.  Add most of the red onion, sauté 4-5 minutes stirring often.  Add poblano pepper cut in ¼ inch dice, the minced garlic cloves and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add coriander and cumin and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Add broth and beans, bring to a simmer.  Add the chopped kale (Make sure you remove the ribs if you use dinosaur kale aka Tuscan kale.)  Cook 5-8 minutes until the kale gets tender.  Add the pesto, stir well.  Add the cubes of cooked pork and heat through out, add salt and pepper to your taste.  Ladle into large bowls that have about ¼ to 1/3 cup of rice in the bowl and top with the garnishes. I like it with the brown rice or minus any rice. Have had it with or without the crushed chips. My favorite chips are the multigrain ones from Aldi’s; perfect crunch and spot on flavor. Do crumble them a few at a time as you slurp the soup so some chips stay a bit crunchy.  I also tried it with scallion rounds instead of red onion; works great too.  You will love that you can use any combination of toppings to vary the flavors. That is something I appreciate about this soup.

 

This recipe originated on Food Network; titled Pork and Poblano Soup; there were a number of changes I made.

Enjoy a Gluten Free Christmas

If you are new to eating gluten free and want to make your own food, my blog is a great place to look for holiday foods.  Some excellent bread choices are my French bread: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/delicious-gluten-free-french-bread-easy-and-fast/  or these easy dinner rolls: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/best-darn-dinner-rolls-and-gf/

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Desserts you might like; any of my pie recipes: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/dutch-apple-crumb-pie/ or https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/pecan-pie-fall-classic/ or this favorite: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/homemade-pumpkin-pie-easy-and-delish/

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Other gluten free desserts like tarts: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2016/12/10/alsatian-apple-custard-tart/  or this pear almond tart: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/pear-frangipane-tart-for-dessert/

pear-tart-012Gluten free Cakes: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/delightful-daffodil-cake/ or this tasty coffee cake: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/sour-cream-cinnamon-cake/ and my favorite chocolate cake: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/chocolate-birthday-cake/

There are lots of other desserts on my blog but I thought these few would give you some good ideas if you are still wondering what you can bake that is gluten free and is tasty.

Have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones and especially a Merry Christmas to all those who follow or read my blog.

Kiffles, Kiffles, Kiffles…GF Too!

Kiffles are a local favorite when it comes to cookies, particularly Christmas cookies.  The Kiffle Kitchen outside of Bath, PA has made their reputation on their outstanding kiffles, now sold on line! I used to enjoy them but never took the time to make them until last Christmas.  I had purchased “Gluten-Free Baking Classics The Heirloom Collection” by Annalise G. Roberts and page 170 had the answer to my search; Rugelach, Kifles, and Kolaki.

I made a batch of kiffles (the preferred local spelling) on Christmas Eve 2015.  I just did jam filled, apricot and raspberry. The cream cheese dough in formed into two discs and chilled before rolling out between wax paper sheets into an 8 inch square. I did find myself chilling it a bit to keep it from getting too soft.  After rolling, cut each big square into 16 two inch squares and put a tsp. of best quality jam on each; fold together so the filling peeps out both ends and chill some more on the baking sheet.  I brushed them with heavy cream and sprinkled a touch of granulated sugar on before they hit the hot oven. The cute packets of dough and jam bake up lightly browned and delicate. Success was felt when my mom ate a few that evening.  Her smile told me how yummy they were.

Next time I made them with the nut and cinnamon filling that is very traditional around the Lehigh Valley.  Yummers!  Stores sell special kiffle filling meant just for these cookies but I don’t think it is gluten free due to cross contamination issues and therefore not safe for me to enjoy.

So if you are gluten free and crave kiffles; this cookbook by Annalise Roberts is the place to find a workable recipe.  She has never failed me yet with her desserts and I thank my lucky stars her cookbooks are on my shelf to guide me through holiday, parties and everyday meals. I don’t mean to sound like a salesperson for her but I can’t say enough great things about this new cookbook and her prior best seller Baking Classics – my copy of that is well worn and I couldn’t exist without it.  This kiffle recipe is way too involved to type out for you and I think that if you are serious about baking gf you need to check it out and get your own copy, real soon!

Note: I did a search on line for a gluten free kiffle recipe and didn’t really find one; lots of other cookies but these are quite a specialty and not made by most home cooks except in areas where they are popular and what you can buy is not gluten free.  Let me know if you can provide any other recipes but I am very happy with the one I used and recommend to you for your own holiday baking. Enjoy!

Originally published December 2015.

Russian Teacakes…Even Better Gluten Free!

These miniature snowball cookies were the foundation of the Christmas cookie baking when I was a kid.  They were always made every year, sometimes a second batch had to be baked as we ate them all before the big day!  You can use pecans but I rarely do.  Some people call them Mexican Wedding Cookies but we called them Russian Teacakes. For me it is not Christmas without these cookies so I was extremely pleased to find a great gf recipe. My sisters think they are better tasting than the old regular recipe!

They are easy to make with not too many ingredients.  Be careful lifting them off the pan as they are delicate until fully cooled. The texture and subtle flavor of this GF version is actually superior to the wheat flour recipe of my childhood.  They are delightful with a cup of tea or coffee.  My family clamors for extras to take home!

If you like them really sweet sprinkle on extra powdered sugar, less of it makes them perfect for those who are not used to too much sweetness. No one will ever know they are GF and you will get complements on their flavor and texture.  This recipe is from Annalise Roberts’ fabulous Gluten-Free Baking Classics with minor changes by me. Enjoy: they are rather addictive cookies!

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Not the prettiest picture but trust me, these are incredibly tasty cookies!

Russian Teacakes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

6 tbsp. powdered (confectioners) sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups brown rice mix (recipe below)

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup walnuts or pecans chopped fine

Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Directions: beat butter and powdered sugar in large bowl of stand mixer until light and creamy.  Add vanilla, beat in.  Add flour and gum, mix in until well blended, stir in walnuts until distributed.  Chill dough for an hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Form dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar if you like.  Place on cookie sheet lightly sprayed with Pam (not the baker’s version that has flour).  Place about 1 ½ inches apart.  Bake 13 to 15 minutes until lightly browned on top and bottom.  Cool on pan for 5 min and then sprinkle with lots of powdered sugar before placing on wire rack to cool. I like to sift it onto the cookies so the coating is even.  You could put a sheet of wax paper under the wire rack to catch the excess sugar.  Store well wrapped: in airtight container, in fridge for a week or freezer for up to 30 days.  You could store unbaked dough in fridge for a few days.

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

2/3 c potato starch *not potato flour

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Note: First posted December 2014 on my blog.  Minor revisions have been made since then.

Nut Tassie Cookies

Nut tassies are a local favorite around here in eastern Pennsylvania. They look like a tiny pecan pie, the size of one big bite! Heavenly sweet and best made with pecans.  I have eaten them at many people’s homes. In all fairness I never made them when I could still eat regular gluten filled white flour. Perhaps it is that I was able to just snag them off a cookie plate at someone’s holiday party.  Now, that is no long a possibility and I was craving a nut tassie. I started looking for a recipe and had some trouble with that; found a cherry one that was gf and thought I would combine it with the filing in my cookie book’s recipe.  Then I lost that location and had to search again.  Inept me….but then on food.com, there it was; a classic tassie recipe complete with cream cheese dough for the pie crust and a filling almost identical to the traditional filling. And it was gluten free for folks like me…eureka!

This weekend my family had a small pre-Christmas gathering and I whipped up a batch of these tassies Saturday morning.  After chilling the dough some I made a dozen.  My crust was very crumbly and with trepidation I started rolling a ball of the crumbs into one ball a bit over an inch in diameter. It held together in a ball. Then I dropped it in my mini muffin tin and used my finger to spread it out and up the sides.  It worked but I fear I used a bit more than specified for the dozen shells so I may not get my full two dozen tassies.  I will make the rest of them next weekend…reason being that gf cookies don’t keep as well as regular flour cookies so best not to bake a whole batch at once shot.  This way you have fresh cookies twice.  I keep the dough and filling in the fridge nice and cold and it will last up to a week or so.

Speaking of filling, I didn’t chop my nuts really fine; left some in chunks to give a bigger texture which I prefer. The filing is so simple; chop the nuts, then dump the sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl, add the softened butter and the vanilla and nuts; stir and it is ready to spoon into the little crust cups you just created.

Here is the link to the recipe I used: http://www.food.com/recipe/gluten-free-pecan-tassies-105371

They are easy to make and totally yummy to devour.  I find it takes me 2-3 bites to down one of these treat.  Happy baking folks!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Some times you want those fancy, full of stuff kinda cookies and that is fine but occasionally a simple but delicious cookie is the way to go, like shortbread.  Dainty crisp shortbread cookies are great with a cup of tea or coffee.  I hadn’t tried them gluten free until this holiday season.  I now wonder why it took so long.

I baked my lemon cookies using Meyer lemon peel but you can use whatever lemons you buy at the grocery store.  Mine were sprinkled with a touch of green colored sugar.  Top yours as you wish or leave them plain.

No forming needed.  You glop the soft dough onto a long piece of plastic wrap, close it and roll on the table to shape.  Chill well and cut the dough into slices, onto the baking sheet and into the oven.  Simple to make and they are perfect for many festive occasions. I can’t wait to try some other variations on these shortbread cookies.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. lemon extract

1 tsp. lemon zest

¾ cup brown rice flour mix; recipe below

1/4 cup sweet rice flour

¼ tsp.  xanthan gum

1/8 tsp. salt

Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, add the vanilla, lemon extract, and zest and mix.

Mix flour, xanthan gum in small bowl; add to butter/sugar mix.  Mix until a soft dough is formed.

Place lumps of dough in a line along a big sheet of plastic wrap; from it into a 1 ¼ inch log of dough.  Twist ends shut, smooth into a round long by rolling it on the table top.  Chill it at least an hour; until firm.

Heat oven to 350 degrees, racks to center of oven.  Lightly spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

Slice into ½ inch rounds. Place 1 ½ inch apart on sheet, sprinkle with colored or plain sugar.  Chill in fridge 15 minutes. Bake 12-14 minutes until lightly golden. Mine all took 14-15 minutes.  Let cool on cookie sheet 2-3 minutes so they solidify; transfer to a cookie cooling rack.  Store in airtight cookie jar once cooled.

My recipe says the dough can be kept in the fridge for a week or in freezer for up to two months.  It made about 32 cookies. They go fast!

They are thin and delicate; if left out in the air unsealed they will get soggy and loose their crisp, delicate texture.

To make them plain leave out the lemon extract and zest and add another ½ tsp. vanilla.

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

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is out of Annalise G. Robert’s great cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics, second edition.

This is a reposting of a recipe I shared December 2014.