Fresh Peach Pie: Perfect September Dessert

Early September is near the peak of peach season so get some peaches and whip up a delicious gluten free peach pie.   The pie I made Saturday was juicy and flavorful down to the last slice. Your family will thank you for your efforts.

But, this is a pretty easy pie to create.  Slice and dump together the filling, crumb topping made in unwashed mixer bowl you just made the bottom crust in. You can store any leftover crumb mixture in a sealed container in the fridge; it keeps a few weeks.  I let my mix spin in the stand mixer for extra big crumbs for this pie; love that look. If you prefer a solid crust just double the crust part and top your pie with it.  Be sure to cut some slits for steam escape. If you can’t make pie crust;  you can buy readi-made gluten free crust and use that.

Please make every effort to use local fruit; can get peaches at orchards like Bechdolt’s near Springtown, at most farm stands and at farmer’s markets; one on Saturdays in Easton or Sunday’s in Hellertown.  This pie really showcases great tasting peaches. If you use lousy peaches your pie will be lack luster. But, here’s the thing: store peaches can be poor in flavor and texture due to improper chilling so I strongly suggest you get locally grown, sweet, ripe peaches to make your pie.  I love when they have a pink blush; it makes the pie so pretty and perhaps even tastier!

To peel; heat 3 inches of plain water, drop the peaches gently in 4-5 at a time and cook them 2-3 minutes.  Use the lesser time for more ripe peaches. Allow to cool somewhat before peeling.  I like to do that over a bowl to catch the juices as I slice each peach.

Bake and enjoy late summer in a pie with just a few minutes of effort. Don’t eat it hot; it should be cooled to just warm if you like it so or room temperature or even a bit chilled.  You could certainly serve this dessert with vanilla ice cream.  And this pie works perfectly with fresh nectarines, bonus: no peeling required!

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Angie’s GF Peach 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 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Directions:

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 prepare the filling.

Filling:

6 cups sliced fresh peaches, peeled and cut in slices and drop in medium bowl. Mix in:

½ cup sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup quick tapioca

Add and stir in

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

¼ tsp. almond extract

Let stand while you roll out the crust. This gives the tapioca time to soften a bit which improves how the pie comes out.

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 fruit mixture.

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. If you let them go extra long you get big fat crumbs if you want that look and I did!

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Sprinkle the top of the pie with crumb mix; use as much as you like.  I like about a heaping cup of the mixture.  Up to your personal taste… It sinks partially into the fruit mixture and adds lots of sweetness and eye appeal.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45-50 minutes until bubbly and the crumb crust is light brown.  Cool at least 1 to 4 hours before serving at room temperature.  I think it is best served the same day you make it, or no more then 12 hours after baking for optimal flavor.  The crumbs will get soggy if too much time passes. Mine was still very good the next day; just not as great as when really fresh.

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Note: if you find your bottom crust is not browning enough bake it empty at 375 degrees for ten minutes before filling it with the fruit.  I have a bottom heat pizza style oven which gives me perfect pie crust so I don’t ever have pale pie crust.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (Same as King Arthur GF All purpose blend)
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

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Turkey Avocado Salad: Terrific

The turkey is coming, juicy and succulent.  And it is logically followed by a mountain of leftover meat.  Once you have enjoyed a hot gravy covered sandwich the big question is what to make out of the rest of the bird.  The other day I made oven roasted chicken pieces and found myself with one last leftover piece.  I decided to make a salad out of it.  What I created was so tasty I instantly knew what I was going to make using some of my turkey, a fruity crunchy salad that is a meal in a bowl.  It is a riff on that classic chicken salad with grapes which was popular for many years; I updated it with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds and slices of creamy avocado. Both add color and great flavor.

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If you don’t like avocado; just leave it out although I think you should try it at least once: avocado is really good for you and you may suddenly decide you like its smooth contrast to the rest of the salad. I much prefer the Hass avocado; smaller with pebbly skin.  Pick one with a slight give, not hard as a rock nor mushy or about to cave in.

hass avocado

The pomegranate seeds are mostly there for the color burst they give and there is some crunch and flavor I enjoy too.  To get at the seeds I usually cut carefully into the skin and peel it back in two places to make a wedge of exposed interior.   Then i break it open and pick out the seeds.  I only pick out what I am going to use and put the rest of the pomegranate in a plastic bag and store it in the fridge.  There are U-tube videos on how to easily get at the seeds if you want to check them out; might be easier. When choosing a pomegranate pick one that feels heavy for its size, the skin should not be dull or damaged, no soft spots and the color is a vibrant red.  Fall is the season for pomegranates; don’t look for them in June.  I have and they are very hard to find after winter ends.

pomegranate

But do leave in the grapes and nuts and the celery.  They are essential to the flavor and crunch of it. I used Light Hellman’s mayo, less calories and I like its texture and flavor.

This is a sort of approximate recipe; everyone has their own idea on how much mayo, how many grapes, and how much mustard. I am giving a middle ground amount in a recipe for one dinner sized salad.  Adjust to your tastes and feel free to double it or triple.

Roasted Chicken/Turkey Salad

Ingredients:

Roasted turkey/chicken; whatever part you like

Dijon mustard

Light mayonnaise

Red wine vinegar

Celery

Pomegranate seeds

Lettuce

Avocado

Directions: Cut up roasted turkey or chicken to make ½ to 2/3 cup of small pieces, half inch to inch sized.  Put them in a mixing bowl.  Add ½ a tsp of Dijon or whole grain mustard, 2-3 tbsp. good quality mayonnaise, ½ to 1 tsp red wine vinegar, one stalk celery cut into small slices, a dozen grapes cut in half, a ¼ cup of pomegranate seeds, 2 tsp. of walnut chunks.  Stir it to blend and meld it.  Tear up 3-5 leaves of romaine or loose leaf lettuce and lay in your shallow big salad bowl.  Top with the chicken/turkey salad and then a few thin slices of avocado and the sprinkle of ruby pomegranate seeds.

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I used some red leaf romaine I got at Valley Farm Markets, great crunch and color. Use whatever kind of lettuce you like although iceberg would be my dead last choice; less flavor and nutrition in iceberg.

This makes a great lunch full of protein and healthy veggies. It is simple to make, elegant looking and very yummy.  Now you have one more turkey option for all those leftovers next week!  Actually this salad is great anytime, not just after the Thanksgiving feast.  Enjoy.