Baker’s Delight: Pie

(Alaina) This past week, my November Martha Stewart Living arrived – it’s a new subscription for me. The cover had delicious looking pies. So when I wanted to try a new pie to suggest for the blog, I turned to this issue. I selected the Pear Streusel which is actually a pear and cranberry pie. It is fabulous. Perfect balance of flavors – sweet and tart.

PEAR STREUSEL PIE
(Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, November 2010)
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1 recipe single pie crust

FOR THE CRANBERRY SAUCE
6 oz. fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (1 1/2 cups )
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING
1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. packed light-brown sugar (I did a little less)
3/4 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Coarse salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

FOR THE FILLING
1 1/2 lb. firm, ripe pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 c. granulated sugar
Coarse salt
2 Tb. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Make the crust: Roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edges. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the cranberry sauce: Bring cranberries, granulated sugar, water, and cinnamon to a simmer in a pot. Cook until cranberries are tender and start to burst and sauce is thick, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the streusel: Whisk together flour, brown sugar, oats, ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until combined and mixture resembles coarse meal with some large pieces remaining. Refrigerate.

Make the filling: Mix together pears, granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, the flour, and lemon juice. Stir in cooled cranberry sauce.

Transfer filling to crust; top with streusel. Bake until filling is bubbling in the center and top is golden, about 1 hour and 10-20 minutes. Let cool.

(Stephanie) As requested, I’m sharing my pumpkin pie recipe,which is actually my mom’s recipe. When I made this pie, I made a gluten-free pie crust. This was my first venture into gluten-free pies and I was happy with the recipe I found in The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook by Annalise Roberts.

MOM’S PUMPKIN PIE
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1 9-inch pie crust (unbaked)
16-oz can pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1-1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp cloves
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 c. evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 425°. Prepare pie crust and set aside.

Thoroughly combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices. Blend the eggs and evaporated milk into the pumpkin mixture.

Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes.  Then decrease oven to 350° and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

TRADITIONAL PIE CRUST
(from The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook)
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1 c. + 2 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour Mix*
2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (don’t use margarine)
1 large egg
2 tsp orange juice or lemon juice

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the flours, sugar, xanthan gum and salt. Add the butter and mix until the mixture is crumbly and resembles a coarse meal.

Add the egg and orange juice. Mix on low speed until the dough holds together; it should not be sticky. Form the dough into a ball using your hands and place on a sheet of wax paper. Top with a second sheet of wax paper and flatten the dough into a 1-inch thickness. Roll out the dough (if it seems tacky, refrigerate for 15 minutes). Remove top wax paper and invert into 9-inch pie pan. Remove second sheet of wax paper and crimp the edges. Fill with desired filling.

Makes 1 9-inch pie crust.

*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 c. Brown rice flour; 2/3 c. Potato starch (not potato flour!); 1/3 c. Tapioca flour.

Here are some previous ideas!
Rustic Apple Tart
Cranberry Blueberry Pie
French Silk Pie
Cranberry Chess Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin White Chocolate Cheesecake

Gluten-free Walnut & Pecan Tart

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Fall Seasonal Recipes

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This is the perfect punch to serve in the Fall or around Thanksgiving.

SPICED CIDER PUNCH

1 gallon fresh apple cider, divided
2 c. orange juice
2 liters sparkling water

At least 8 hours before serving, mull half the cider by placing it in a saucepan and adding mulling spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1-3 hours. Strain out the mulling spices and chill.

When ready to serve, combine mulled cider, plain cider, orange juice and sparkling water.

I made an ice ring using apple juice and fresh cranberries.

Serves 24.

ROMAN APPLE CAKE
(from More With Less)

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1 c. sugar
2 ¼ c. flour
¼ tsp. salt
3/8 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. soda
½ tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 c. oil
2 eggs
2/3 c. milk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
3 c. raw apples, peeled and chopped

 Crumb topping:
1 Tbsp. melted butter
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. flour
½ c. chopped nuts (optional)
¼ c. rolled oats

 Combine dry ingredients. Mix together oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined. Add chopped apples. Pour into greased and floured bundt pan or 9×13 pan or muffin tins. Cover with crumb topping. Bake 35-40 minutes (or until done) at 350.

ROASTED SQUASH AND SAUSAGE PASTA
Heather

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1 butternut squash
1 lb. fresh sausage (sweet Italian or Polish)
1 red onion
1 box whole wheat pasta
1 tsp. thyme
salt & pepper
oil
1 cup grated cheese
Peel and dice squash. Cut sausages into pieces (about 1.5 inches long). Chop onion. Combine onion, squash and sausage on a baking tray. Coat with oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Roast at 375F until squash is tender (about 1 hour.).
Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to box directions. Keep warm. When squash is cooked, add to pasta and throw in a few handfuls of grated cheese.
Serves 4-6.
 
PEAR-ALMOND CAKE with CHOCOLATE CHUNKS
(from Everyday with Rachael Ray, September 2009)
Alaina
IMG_7705
1 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. granulated sugar, divided
2 lg. eggs plus 1 egg white, divided
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 lg. pears, peeled, cored, & thinly sliced*
1/2 c. chocolate chunks (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 c. blanched almonds, sliced (I used whole, raw and chopped them myself)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan, line with parchment paper, grease the paper, then flour the pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together 3/4 c. granulated sugar and the 2 eggs until pale yellow, 1 t0 2 minutes, whisk in the butter. Stir into the flour mixture until just combine. Pour half of the batter into the prepare pan and top with half of the pear slices and half of the chocolate; repeat with the remaining batter, pears, and chocolate.

Using the food processor (or a blender), finely grind 1/4 almonds with the remaining 1/4 c. sugar. Add the egg white and process until smooth. Drizzle over the cake and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 c. almonds. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Serves 8 – Enjoy! It’s delicious!

*Bananas were suggested as a substitute.