Gluten Free Apple Pie

This has been an eventful thanksgiving break. (THAT IS A HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT) To start things off I met my dad at the airport and I almost started crying because I was so excited to be back in my home state. Then we went over to baggage claim where he surprised me by having my boyfriend come along and meet me there too. That did make me cry. Then we went to the parking garage and they had lost the car. So, I was wandering around looking for my dads car ( a white Prius..don’t judge he is on the energy efficiency board) when my dad finally hit the button on his keys so the lights would flash. But the car that flashed wasn’t a white Prius IT WAS A WHITE VW BUG! Now a little backstory, that is the car I have wanted since I was born basically. It had a little red bow taped on the front and he had taken paper and covered the front license plate so it said SPDYBTL (speedy beetle) which was his nickname for me when I was a little kid. Needless to say I was completely and utterly speechless. I was crying and I couldn’t form a sentence to save my life. Corey (my boyfriend) caught the entire thing on video which my dad later sent to my mom. Anyways it was an unbelievably exciting way to start the week off.

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This year for thanksgiving I was nominated to make the pies. I have a sneaking suspicion it had something to do with me making this blog and exposing my love for baking to the world. But anyways I was perfectly fine with that until I remembered that they were all going to have to be made with rice flour or something of that sort. I hate baking gluten free. Im just going to come right out and say that. Unfortunately my father has Celiac Disease which makes him unable to digest gluten.

The recipe that I picked for the crust was as I expected, pretty terrible. Its not that it tasted bad, people actually liked it, but it was so hard to use. Laying those delicate criss crosses across the top to make that beautiful picturesque apple pie was basically a disaster. For any of you out there who are inexperienced with baking gluten free but need to for some reason, I would recommend buying a mix. The one by Bob Red Mill was the one I used for my pumpkin pie and it turned out fantastic…

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Even without the exciting beginning to my week it would have been fantastic. Just being home, seeing my boyfriend and other friends and family has been wonderful. I had so much to be thankful for this year!

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Recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/no-sugar-apple-pie-2/

  • 2 (9 inch) pie crusts
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed ( I just used Apple Cider)
  • 6 cups sliced green apples
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch, cinnamon, and 1/3 cup of the apple juice concentrate. Set aside.

In a large saucepan simmer apples with remaining apple juice concentrate until apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and cornstarch mixture. Continue to simmer until thickened. Remove from heat.

Spoon apple mixture into pastry-lined pie plate. Cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges. Cut steam vents in top.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

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Thanksgiving Time

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We are nearing the week of thanksgiving. Which means that I will be going home soon which I could not be more happy about! Tonight we actually had a mock thanksgiving for the foreign students who don’t get to experience a traditional thanksgiving dinner at home. One thing I noticed was that the pumpkin pie that they served did not give pumpkin pie justice… Given it’s Kirov food which isn’t always the greatest but these pies were donated so there isn’t even that excuse.

My family for the most part doesn’t use white flour or sugar when we bake. Since I’m from Vermont we sweeten everything with maple syrup! Since its a liquid it cant always just be substituted in recipes which is why I call upon my handy dandy Rodales Basic Natural Foods Cookbook. 

I have used this cookbook in making my black berry pie  and I found that it was just scrumptious. The recipe for the crust can be found on that page under Basic Rolled Pie Crust.

The filling in my opinion needs to be spicy but not overwhelmingly so. So here it is folks, a healthy, tasty pumpkin pie that is actually done right in my opinion.

Filling:

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin
3 cups milk or light cream
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 450F

Add seasonings to pumpkin in one bowl. Place milk or cream and eggs in a another large bowl. Stir in pumpkin mixture, honey/maple syrup, molasses and vanilla. Pour filling into your already made crust.

Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350F and bake for 30 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack and go make the scrumptious whipped cream described below.

Scrumptious Whipped Cream:

Unfortunately there isn’t a perfect way to make whipped cream because everyone has their own likes and dislikes, some like it really really sweet while others..well…don’t. So here are some guidelines but good luck and remember with these ingredients you cant really go wrong here…

Heavy Cream: Depending on how many people you are making it for either 1/4 or 1/2 quart will work
Vanilla: About 2 teaspoons but you can always add more depending on the amount of cream
Maple syrup: The amount you put in is completely up to you depending on your sweetness levels

Put heavy cream in the bowl of your mixer. Start the mixer on medium and slowly add the vanilla. As the cream begins to thicken add the maple syrup to taste. Once its satisfyingly sweet turn the mixer on high and wait until fairly stiff peaks form. A word of warning, make sure the whipped cream is relatively thick before you turn the mixer to high otherwise cream will spray everywhere.

Then for the fun part. Serve yourself a large piece of pie and add a dollop of your scrumptious whipped cream. Ahhh now thats what I call a thanksgiving desert.

Fresh Blackberry Pie

After spending 7 weeks in NYC it is unbelievably nice to be home. It is green and lush and there are berries galore. One of my favorite things to do is pick blackberries. I enjoy eating them too but I go into an almost meditative state when I pick them which is kind of cool. Anyways one of the days this past week I went out behind my house and picked a huge container full of them. They are all wild bushes but the berries are still huge and juicy and perfectly ripe.

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Since I am not dancing this week I decided to go for a healthy recipe. My dad got me an incredible cookbook for my birthday. It is Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook. There are a limited number of copies available and so while my dad was in NYC one weekend he stopped by the Strand bookstore where he was luckily able to pick one up. I only modified this recipe a tiny bit because i figured that when you are dealing with healthier ingredients there is more room for “error”. I got positive feedback from all of my family members especially the day after it was made. Hope you all enjoy it as well.

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Basic Rolled Piecrust

  • 2 2/4 Cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Measure flour into a medium sized bowl/ an electric mixer. Cut butter into the flour while mixing.  Add oil and continue to mix until the dough looks crumbly. Add honey and then slowly add ice water while mixing until it can be gathered into a ball. Split dough in half and set one aside for later. Place half the dough onto a piece of floured wax paper. Flatten dough with your hands. Sprinkle a little flour over it and place another piece of wax paper over it. Roll it out until it is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top piece of wax paper. Hold a buttered 9in empty pie plate over the dough and turn over the plate, dough and bottom piece of wax paper allowing the dough to easily be transferred into the plate. Remove wax paper. Line the plate with dough, pressing lightly with your fingers. Cut off any excess dough.

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Black Berry Filling

  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup tapioca
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium sized bowl mix berries, tapioca, honey, and butter together. Pour into pie plate. Roll out the remaining dough and place over filling. take a fork and press down all of the edges sealing the top dough to the bottom dough. Cut several steam vents in the top crust with a knife. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 45 to 60 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack before serving. ( That allows the tapioca to set up and hold the insides of the pie together. I neglected to wait because I am impatient like that and I just had a messier pie. tasted fine to me!)