Classic Apple Pie

Apple is the quintessential American fruit: the story of Johnny Chapman Appleseed is still popular,  apples are a favorite fruit of elementary age students and apple pie is king for many pie lovers.  A ripe apple is a crunchy sweet treat. Just walk through an apple orchard in autumn: the delicious scent in the air will cause you to purchase lots of apples.  An apple pie in the oven always scents the house for hours, acting like a magnet for children and any men friends! I normally make an apple crumb pie but sometimes I go that extra step to make a top crust, sure pleases my guy even through he professes to love crumb pies…

I put this scratch pie together in a few steps; make the double recipe of crust dough; put it in fridge to chill while I peeled, sliced and cut up the apples.  If you plan to pre-bake your crust those ten minutes of baking the empty pie crust are also a good time for preparing the apples.  Each step is fairly easy but the results are spectacular.  Of course, you could buy a ready-made unbaked crust but this crust I use is fairly easy if you use a stand mixer and it is really tasty: my mom hardly believes it is gluten free! I really don’t know how to convince her but this disbelief of hers is proof of the great flavor and texture of this particular basic gf pie crust.  I used a mixture of baking apples, but not Granny Smith and no apples meant for eating raw.

It goes without saying that this pie is great with a slice of vanilla ice cream.

 

 

Fresh out of the oven!

The entire pie got eaten and no one remembered to take any more pictures of it; like of a single slice… sadly it is long gone.

Double Crust Apple Pie

Crust:

2 1/4 c brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

1/4 c sweet rice flour

2 Tbps. granulated sugar

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

12 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

2 lg eggs

4 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 eggs and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into two balls with your hands. Put them on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust balls some; wrap well and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes.

Roll out one flattened ball of chilled 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 or wait to do it with the top crust.

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. Should have at least six cups. Place in a large bowl

¼ cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar (more if you like it sweet)

3 tbsp. minute tapioca or 3 tbsp. gf flour mix (recipe below or any decent blend)

1 tsp. cinnamon

A good sprinkle of ground nutmeg

1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Mix the dry ingredients, sprinkle the apples with lemon juice; add the dry ingredients. Heap in pie crust, Top with:

1  Tbsp. cold butter cut into small bits (optional)

Roll out top crust after you put the filling in the pan that is lined with the first crust. Peel off wax or parchment and lay over apples, crimp edges with fingers to seal them.  Prick or slash the top to let out steam. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 55-65 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, top and bake immediately.

Cool the pie at least 4 hours to allow the juices to reabsorb before serving at room temperature.

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

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

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

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Fig and Raspberry Galette

Just made this Saturday; it was even better than I remembered. The almond filling is so easy and so tasty!

My World Without Wheat

Figs are a favorite of mine in the fall. Pricy though. This year my fig trees came through with several dozen figs over about a months time. Some were stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey, and eaten raw.  Some were roasted briefly with that same yummy cheese. Heavenly.  A lot were just popped in my mouth for a sweet treat.  I made a super delicious fig and yogurt cake last weekend. Now for a fig based dessert in the pie family.  Saw this recipe on Tasting Table a while ago and immediately knew I just had to make it. FYI: a galette is a free form flat round French tart. Now you know!

I used my favorite gluten free crust recipe plus some cinnamon.  Lacking almond paste I made some; see my blog post for that recipe: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/almond-paste-holiday-joy/.  The filling was fairly close to the recipe. You…

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Stuffed Peppers..2.0 Version

Stuffed peppers are a great homey fall supper. I made them a few weeks ago and my recipe is just about the same as my mom used to make, comfort food for sure.  My garden produced more bell peppers….not sure I wanted the same flavor so I went looking for a different take. I found this vegetarian recipe by Robert Irvine on Food Network.  I changed it by adding ground chicken and removing some veggies to make room for that chicken. The result was just a great combination of flavors and very satisfying. I will put my version here.  If you want it vegetarian look for his recipe on the website. It got five stars and they are well deserved. I guess you could use any ground meat for this recipe.  I got my dark meat ground chicken at Valley Farm Markets in Bethlehem.

I don’t cook with tarragon that often but it really makes the flavor of this dish so delightful and different. Just try it.

Notes: I used cooked brown rice, the original choice was wild rice. You can use whatever rice floats your boat or is in your pantry; just cook it and cool somewhat before mixing with the other filling ingredients.  This is a naturally gluten free meal and I never got tired of it – ate all the servings up in a week and know I will be making it again for sure.

 

Angie’s Italian Stuffed Peppers   makes six

 

6 green, red or yellow bell peppers; nice sized

3-4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb ground chicken; dark meat if you can find it

1 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves minced

1-2 cups diced summer squash

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

½ cup diced red pepper

2 tbsp. tomato paste

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp. fresh tarragon chopped

½ cup Asiago cheese freshly grated (Parmesan would also work)

Directions:

Cut the lids off the peppers, discard seeds, I cut about ½ inch down the pepper so the center and stem stays part of the lid.  Heat a cup of water in a big pot with a steamer in it. Add the peppers and their lids, cook about 8 minutes, remove lid and let cool.

In a large skillet pour half the olive oil, heat, add the chicken and cook until no longer pink.  After it is cooking a couple minutes add the onions and garlic.  Cook a minute or two and add the diced squash and red pepper.  Do not overcook the squash. I used a firm variety of squash(tromboni) so it stayed together and didn’t get mushy.  Add the tomato paste and tomato; don’t add all the juice in the can of tomatoes; reserve about half for adding to the baking pan later on. Stir and cook until onions are soft.  Total cooking time; no more than ten or twelve minutes.  Heat the oven: 375 degrees.

Dump the cooled rice in a big bowl, add the skillet’s contents. Season with salt and pepper to taste and fresh tarragon.  Mix up gently. Stuff the cooled and drained peppers, do not pack in filling. Put a bit of filling in the bottom of a large oval baking dish that will hold your six peppers and stand the stuffed peppers upright in there.  Sprinkle them with the grated cheese, put the pepper lids on the peppers, I would add that reserved tomato juice from the can to the stuffing loose in the pan to keep it moist.  Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy  stuffed pepper

 

Chicken and Dumplings, GF of Course!

We all have times when we long for home cooking, stressful days that wear us down.  This is fairly quick to make and incredibly soothing. It is gluten free,  of course and reminds me of my old recipe for chicken fricassee with herbed dumplings. Creamy,  flavorful and totally satisfying. My IP makes it so easy to put together in less than an hour.   This recipe made 5 meals out of four chicken thighs so it is an inexpensive dish to serve.                 

Chicken with Dumplings

4 medium chicken thighs

2 Tbsp. butter

Kosher salt

¼ cup gluten free flour; I used King Arthur basic blend

2 celery stalks chopped

2 carrots in coins

1 onion chopped

2 cups gf chicken broth

¼ cup whole milk

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Dumplings

1 ¾ cup brown rice flour mix

1 tsp. xanthan gum

1 Tbsp. sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup canola oil

2 eggs lightly beaten

¾-1 cup 2 percent milk

For herbal version; add 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds, 1 tsp. celery seeds, 1-2 tsp. dried parsley to dry ingredients.

Directions

Heat Instant Pot on sauté mode, high. Place flour, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper on some wax paper, blend up and roll the chicken in it to coat evenly, shake off excess. Add butter to IP, melt it and then add chicken thighs. Sauté for 4 minutes, flip and cook 3-4 more minutes. Remove from pot, set aside. Add the celery, onions, and carrots to the pot, cook for 3 minutes. Add back the chicken and the broth. And more salt if desired. Secure lid Cook on manual pressure for 12 minutes.  Let release naturally for 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pot.  Pull/cut apart into bite sized pieces, removing the bones, discard all skin and any odd bits like cartilage.

While the chicken is cooking prepare the dumplings.  Mix the dry ingredients, in a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients. After the chicken is shredded, pour the wet into the dry ingredients, hold back a bit as you stir it together, do not over mix. Add the rest of the milk if it looks dry; it should be fairly thick/goopy and the xanthan gum will thicken it even more as it stands.  After the release add the ¼ cup milk to the broth and veggies, stir well. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch with ¼ cup hot broth. Add back to the pot and stir. Put pot on sauté, add back the cut up chicken. Use a big spoon to glop in heaping spoonfuls of the dumpling mix all over the top of the broth. Spread them out evenly. Put on cover loosely, I used my glass slow cooker lid so I could watch them steam.  Cook 18-27 minutes; until they double in size, rise to the surface and the tops are not wet or under cooked looking. Serve in shallow wide soup bowls.  Should serve 5 unless you are piggies; then serves four!

chicken and herb dumplings

Notes; I combined two recipes; one from “The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook” by Laurel Randolph and one from Carrie S. Forbes “Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook”.  I used my usual  brown rice mix; King Arthur’s basic blend.  I had trouble getting my IP to sauté on low so I toggled back and forth from slow cooker to sauté to keep things bubbling but not boiling.  Hopefully next time I will get the low setting to work.  There will definitely be a next time.  This was a satisfying old-fashioned entree that I loved every bite of.  Try it with the herbs, they really add a lot of flavor. Enjoy!

PS: if you want to cook this in a slow cooker; do the chicken for 6-8 hours on low and  thirty minutes before serving add the dumplings, do not open lid until the 30 minutes is done.

Figgy Salad

983D3402-BB56-4CBD-A5FE-8FBF39114F6EFigs in my salad? Yes, please! Just throw together a simple salad and add a few fresh figs cit in chunks. Delicious.

FiggySalad – for one

slice a dozen rounds of European burpless cucumber

1/2 cup fennel, thinly sliced

6 cherry or grape tomatoes

3-4 ripe brown turkey figs

a handful of fresh salad greens like arugula, frisse or butter gteens

Place the greens on salad plates. Top with cucumber slices, fennel slices, tomatoes and figs cut in halves or quarters depending on size.

Then sprinkle with your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing. Delightful!

 

 

 

 

 

Fig, Goat Cheese, Pancetta and Carmelized Onion Pizza

I have been picking dozens of figs most days in recent weeks. Getting creative in my cooking in order to use up this bounty and so I’m enjoying them in lots of new dishes. Pinterest is my closest bud these joyous weeks of fig festival in my tiny kitchen. Last Friday I whipped up my favorite gf pizza dough baked it for ten minutes and flipped it. Then came the toppings. Never had figs on a pizza, but won’t be the last time! My fridge held some pancetta which is uncured Italian bacon that was purchased at Aldi’s for a rediculously low price, as was a container of tiny fresh mozzarella and a log of herbed goat cheese. Some onions which I carmelized and Bam! My oven produced an amazing treat for supper. I felt like I was in Italy at a small restaurant enjoying the local fare!

Note to all, my computer croaked the end of last week so I am typing one finger on my tablet, no access to Word either. So my apologies for any and all  mistakes in my last post or in this one. Normally I am constantly double checking names, products and prior posts as I create a new post. Not so much of that here in this laborious tablet production.

I promise this pizza is going to change your taste buds into fig pizza lovers. One more great fig recipe discovery. I took elements out of several recipes to create this delightful dish. It went together really quickly. Enjoy!

PS, it was still great warmed up the next day but with two or three hungry folks, there won’t be any leftovers.

 

Angie’s Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza

one large gf pizza crust. See my previous pizza post or use your own recipe.

8-12 ripe fresh brown figs

4 oz. herbed goat cheese, Aldi’s has a great goat cheese at a super price

most of a pint container of fresh tiny mozzarella cheese balls

2 good sized onions

1 Tbsp. EVOL

2-3 ounces pancetta, Aldi’s has a small container, already chopped

a big handful of kale shredded finely

Directions

Slice the onions into rounds. Heat EVOL in a cast iron frying pan, add onion slices. Cook over medium low heat stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Cook 8 -15 minutes until carmelized. Set aside on a plate. Add pancetta to same frying pan and cook a few minutes to render out the fat. Do not overcook. Remove from pan to a small bowl. Add the kale to the frying pan and cook on low a few minutes until it wilts, stir often. Let cool.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Slice the goat cheese into thin rounds, cut the mozzarella balls in half. Slice the figs in half or quarter them if large.

Assemble: spread the carmelized onions evenly over the partially baked crust. I like to flip the crust before topping. Spread the goat cheese slices evenly over the surface,  Scatter the mozzarella cheese between the goat cheese and top with the cooked pancetta. Then scatter the fig pieces evenly over it.  Evenly is so every slice has a decent amount of both cheeses and the other components.

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Bake pizza 8-10 minutes. Scatter kale over the top. Let stand 3-5 minutes before slicing and serving. If you can stand that long of a wait to enjoy your masterpiece of a pizza!CFF4F2B8-6D22-4AE6-94C7-A13B6222B266

 

1774 Grille &Tap Fall Menu

Last week I enjoyed a fantastic meal right here in Hellertown at 1774 Grille & Tap Restaurant.  I had been there a few months ago when I enjoyed a wonderful meal of lamb chops. This time I was treated to a special tasting menu starting with some delightful sea scallops on a silky bed of puréed sweet potatoes. Perfectly pan seared and with some tasty risotto as well as a fried sage leaf and a dab of a cranberry puree. I enjoyed a glass of Washington Hills Riesling wine…. Gorgeous wine with gentle hints of fruit and perfectly balanced. 4EEE558E-17DE-48E4-B004-3F68F7DC7CA3

This was followed by a fillet of sea bass with delightfully crisp skin and flaky, perfectly cooked flesh. It was resting in a delicate mushroom broth and decorated with wilted fresh spinach and green pea sprouts. It normally comes with a rice and barley risotto but due to my gf requirements I had to skip that. I cut it open before taking a photo so you could see the interior of the fillet. My wonderful server gave me a little pitcher of mushroom broth to pou on as needed and I did just that.5F4A6B8D-3D42-4793-AE3F-D613DB72684E

I had a tasting portion of duck breast with more of the sweet potato puree. The duck had a yummy honey ginger sauce which did not overpower the duck. There were spears of crisp tender grilled asparagus to complete the dish. My duck was cooked medium, just right. 049F8F1D-60CF-45CD-97D0-2F7507C2B650

I finished this delightful meal with a couple scoops of homemade ice cream, maple and dark chocolate. The almost bitter chocolate was tamed and complemented by the sweet creamy maple custard. Dinner perfection!CCE4B847-4D6A-4064-99EA-F7BD1B546792