Apple Crisp: Easy and Tasty

Apples are the centerpiece of the fall harvest culture.  Pumpkins are popular but they are a relatively new comer to the contest.  Some may think pumpkins are the way to go in baking but I firmly believe the apple is king in Autumn in America.  Crisp, sweet, flavorful and so very good for you.

If you can, get the organic ones as the sprays they use on growing apples are not at all good for you.  I recently made apple crisp with some baking apples from a pick it yourself farm near Milford NJ and it was very tasty indeed.  I especially suggest you get your apples at an actual apple orchard.  Another orchard just south of Hellertown is Bechdolt’s Orchard which grows many apple varieties.  Go there if you want the freshest tastiest apples in the Saucon Valley area.  Apples grow all over the globe so shop where you can get them fresh and crisp! The variety is up to you but I would not suggest any that are not meant for baking; don’t use red delicious as they are for eating only, same goes for honey crisp apples. apple-cart

This recipe is out of Gluten-Free Baking Classics Cookbook by Annalise G. Roberts with a few minor changes.  I am betting you can use any GF flour mix in this recipe, not like a cake or other baked goods that have very specific flour requirements.

And it is so much easier than a pie.  No crust to mix or roll out.  Just a simple mixed up topping to add to the cut up apples.  Bake it and voila: a yummy yet fairly healthy dessert!

I have made the topping several ways.  You can cut un-melted butter into the dry ingredients; it makes for a firmer crumb than the melted version below. I have made it egg free but it really somehow needs that egg to pull it together to mimic a wheat flour based crisp.  The oats can be left out if you don’t like them or can’t eat them. I personally love oats in my crisp.  A quarter cup of chopped nuts can be added to the topping; really a nice touch too!  I don’t like it too sweet so I use the lesser amount of sugar.  This is entirely a personal choice.  You can up the nutritional value by adding flaxmeal to the dry mix; 2-3 tbsp.

For those who love ice cream, this recipe is absolutely perfect with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream next to it.  I like it warm from the oven but it also is tasty cold the next day, if you have any left over that is!

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Angie’s Apple Crisp

 

1 cup GF flour (mix below)

½ to ¾ cup sugar (I prefer brown sugar)

½ cup old fashioned gf oats

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle of nutmeg

½ tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp. salt

1 large egg

6 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples

¼-1/3 cup butter, melted

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees.   Put rack in center level of oven.  Lightly butter a 9 inch square pan or spray with cooking spray.

 

Combine all the dry ingredients.  Add egg and stir to mix well.   Place apples in the baking pan, top with the dry mix and sprinkle with the melted butter.  Bake 40-50 minutes until bubbly and the topping is lightly browned. Let cool at least 10 minutes before dishing out. Six servings.

 

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

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Originally posted by me October 2015.

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French Apple Tart…ooh la la

This French apple tart is an old favorite of mine, been making it for years.  I have no idea where I got the original recipe from so I can’t give credit for it, I lost my copy and had to replicate it. Plus, I had to change it a bit to make it gluten free but it tastes just as good as before.  The cinnamon and lemon topping are what makes it so tasty.

It should be made with an apple that keeps its shape; Granny Smith is the best choice in that regard or Golden Delicious.  Don’t use one that goes all squishy like Empire or Macintosh.  You only need 3 large apples.  It should give you about 6-8 slices of tart. Lesser amount of slices if your family is piggy, the full eight slices if they are not big dessert eaters.french apple tart

I use my GF tart shell crust which is from Annalise Roberts’ book; Gluten-Free Baking Classics.  It is very easy; hand pressed into your tart pan.  I would say that this is a cookie crust; sweet and short, very yummy.

I rarely have any of this tart left over for more than 24 hours.  It is very popular with everyone.  I like it for how easy it is to make, how handsome it looks and that I can throw it together quickly with only 3 apples and a lemon. Sorry for the lack of photos.  Wasn’t thinking about pictures when I was making it…

French Apple Tart

Crust

1 cup brown rice flour mix

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. xanthan gum

5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, in 5 chunks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients in a stand mixer, cut in the butter by mixing it at a med low speed until crumbly.  Add vanilla and mix well.  If it is really dry looking add a tbsp. of water.  Press into the bottom and up the sides of your tart shell as evenly as you can make it.

For this recipe I always use an extra large 10 inch tart pan.  Mine is ceramic so it doesn’t have a removable bottom.   Bake it at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let it cool while you peel and slice the apples.

Filling

3 large Granny Smith apples; peeled and sliced – not thick or too thin

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. GF flour

Lay the apple slices in concentric circles in the tart pan over the crust. Mix the sugar and flour and sprinkle over the apples.  Cover loosely with foil and bake 25-30 minutes until the apples are soft if pricked with a fork.  Do not bake until they collapse; should still hold their shape.

While the tart is just finishing its baking make the topping.

Topping

In a small heavy sauce pan place

2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tbsp. cornstarch and mix them.

Add ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest (grate the zest and then juice the lemon)

½ cup water

½ tsp. cinnamon

Cook over medium heat, stirring it constantly with a small whisk or a spoon, until it boils and seems thickened and is no longer opaque.  This should take less then five minutes.  Remove from heat and pour the hot gloppy topping carefully over the hot apple tart taking your time so you cover the entire surface of the apples.

Let cool before serving.

This tart is perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.  Don’t put it on top or it will not look so nice because of the French cinnamon topping. Or some plain organic yogurt goes well and is far healthier…just saying.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (this is the same as King Arthur’s gf all purpose blend)
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally posted in September 2014.  I bake this tart quite often; it is definitely a go to tart at my house.

 

Apple Pear Carmel Pie Perfection

Pie has always been a classic holiday dessert. But sometimes we want something a bit different. Maybe, right now you are frantically looking for an alternative to pumpkin pie or apple pie; they seem kinda ho hum. Look no further, apple pear caramel crumb pie to the rescue!

Fresh tasting, locally sourced fruits are exactly in the spirit of Thanksgiving. The apple is the predominant flavor but the pear adds sweetness and a special flavor. The sugars, spices and lemon peel create a yummy caramely sauce. It is not that really sweet caramel of sauces; just enough sweetness to tease your palette.

This pie is fantastic with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. I even tried a slice with some sharp cheddar in the British pie tradition; it was nice but I really like it best all alone, so the delicate fruit and spices show their winning flavors.

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This is the dry blend you mix the fruit slices with before pouring in the crust.

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Loaded with crumb topping and ready for the oven!

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 less sugar, more fruit, and made a few other changes to create my own special pie using apples and pears. Her cookbook is a fabulous resource and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone trying to bake gluten free for a family member. There is nothing like the classic desserts that we traditionally enjoy at celebrations and feasts to comfort a celiac who can’t eat what they used to.apple pear pie, squash, chicken and dumplings 019

Angie’s GF Apple Pear 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

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 chop the peeled and cored fruit into ¼ to 1/3 inch slices.

Filling:

5 cups peeled, cored, and thin sliced cooking apples (4 big apples)
2 cups (2 large pears) bosc pears; peeled, cored, and sliced thin – place in medium bowl

Mix the following in a small bowl and pour over the sliced apples and pears:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp. tapioca flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. grated or zested lemon peel (I zested)

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 sweetened fruit mix. Sprinkle the lemon peel evenly over top and 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.

I put a pie guard under my pies to contain any oven accidents. If you make many pies it is a must. pie guardBake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes with a piece of aluminum foil on top of the pie, then 30 more minutes uncovered until bubbly and the crust is light brown. Cool at least 2 hours before serving at room temperature.

Note: I bake pies in my bottom heat pizza oven and it gives me a great browned crust. If your oven isn’t bottom heat you might want to pre-bake the crust 10 minutes before filling and topping the fruit.

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
Brown Rice Flour 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

Apple Cranberry Crisp is Awesome!

Apples are the heart of this recipe but the cranberries add snappy flavor to it and some great color.

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If you can, get organic as the sprays they use on growing apples are not good for you.  I made this last weekend with some golden delicious apples from a local orchard.  South of Hellertown is Bechdolt’s Orchard which grows many apple varieties.  Go there if you want the freshest tastiest apples in this geographic area.  The variety is up to you but I would not suggest red delicious as they are for eating only.

This recipe is out of Gluten-Free Baking Classics Cookbook by Annalise G. Roberts with a few additions.  Her flour mix appears to be identical to that of King Arthur Flour’s gf mix. I am betting you can use any GF flour mix in this recipe, not like a cake or other baked goods that have very specific flour requirements.

I have made this recipe several ways.  But it works best in the melted version below. I have made it egg free but it really somehow needs that egg to pull it together to mimic a wheat flour based crisp.  The oats can be left out if you don’t like them. I personally love oats in my crisp.  I don’t like it too sweet so I use the lesser amount of sugar.  This is entirely a personal choice.

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For those who love a topping and want to go low fat, this recipe is absolutely perfect with a big scoop of lowfat plain organic yogurt on it.  I love crisp warm from the oven but it also is tasty cold the next day, if you have any left over that is!

Angie’s Apple and Cranberry Crisp

3/4 cup GF flour (mix below)

½ to ¾ sugar (I used ½ a cup)

½ cup dry old fashioned oats

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp. salt

1 lg egg

5 cups thinly sliced apples

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1/3 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.   Put rack in center level of oven.  Lightly butter a 9 inch square pan or spray with cooking spray.

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Combine all the dry ingredients.  Add egg and stir to mix well.   Place half the apples in the baking pan, top with cranberries and then the rest of the apples.

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Sprinkle with the dry mix and sprinkle with the melted butter.  Bake 40 minutes until bubbly and the topping is browning.

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Brown Rice Flour Mix [you can use King Arthur’s GF mix; identical to this recipe]
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

Awesome Apple Pear Crumb Pie

Pie has always been a classic holiday dessert. But sometimes we want something a bit different for our company.  Maybe, right now you are frantically looking for an alternative to pumpkin pie or apple pie; they seem kinda now what you want this Thanksgiving.  Look no further, apple pear caramel crumb pie to the rescue!

courtland apples

cortland apples

bosc pears

bosc pears

Fresh tasting, locally sourced fruits are exactly in the spirit of Thanksgiving.  The apple is the predominant flavor but the pear adds sweetness and its special flavor.  The sugars, spices and lemon peel create a yummy caramely sauce.  It is not that really cloyingly sweet caramel of most sauces; just enough sweetness to tease your palate.

This pie is fantastic with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.  I even tried a slice with some sharp cheddar in the British pie tradition; it was nice but I really like it best all alone, so the delicate fruit and spices show their winning flavors.

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Not the prettiest slice: I am terrible at cutting a piece without destroying the shape!

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 less sugar, more fruit, and made a few other changes to create my own special pie using apples and pears.  Her cookbook is a fabulous resource and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone trying to bake gluten free for a family member.  There is nothing like the classic desserts that we traditionally enjoy at celebrations and feasts to comfort a celiac who can’t eat what they used to.

Angie’s GF Apple Pear 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

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 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. crust

Filling:

5 cups peeled, cored, and thin sliced cooking apples (4 big apples)

2 cups (2 large pears) bosc pears; peeled, cored, and sliced thin   – place in medium bowl

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

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tbsp. tapioca flour

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. grated or zested lemon peel (I zested)

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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 sweetened fruit mix.  Sprinkle the lemon peel evenly over top and 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.

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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 375 degree oven for 30 minutes with a piece of aluminum foil on top of the pie, then 30 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.

pie guard apple pear pie, squash, chicken and dumplings 013

Note: I bake pies in my bottom heat pizza oven and it gives me a great browned crust.  If your oven isn’t bottom heat you might want to pre-bake the crust 10 minutes before filling and topping the fruit.

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

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur’s gf flour mix)

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour