Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gluten Free Strawberry-Cherry Pie

If you're like me you LOVE summer fruit! I love all of the berries and the juicy nectarines and that sweet smell that doesn't exist in the produce aisle any other time of year! And if you're like me you LOVE making pies! I love the whole creative process of mixing random raw ingredients and creating something absolutely beautiful and delicious!!! In my quest to bake and eat gluten free I have finally started baking with some GF flours and the results were genius!!!!! This gem of a pie comes out with a flaky crust that reminded me of shortbread and a thick fruity filling that will knock your socks off! After sharing the pie with one of my friends family, her 10 year old son thanked Heavenly Father for the pie during his evening prayers! It's a GOOD pie!!! Here is my slightly adapted recipe for Strawberry-Cherry Pie from the fabulous Gluten Free Girl blog!

Gluten Free Strawberry-Cherry Pie

For the dough:
350g King Arthur All-Purpose GF Flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 c. ice-cold water, plus a few splashes if needed

For the filling:
1lb. strawberries (as juicy as possible!)
1lb. cherries, pitted
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 c. sugar
70g King Arthur All-Purpose GF Flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten

Making the dough:
  1. Cut the butter into one-inch cubes. Put them in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. Put the flour and salt into a large food processor. Pulse them together until the flour is fluffy and aerated.
  3. Add the butter cubes and pulse 10 times. Make sure these are good pulses! The flour and butter should look like a sandy mixture, with the butter chunks still visible.
  4. Pour in the 1/2 c. of ice-cold water. Pulse five time. Look at the dough. If it still looks a bit dry, add a splash of water, not exceeding 1/4 c. The finished dough should look like curds of dry cottage cheese.
  5. Pour the dough out onto a cool, clean surface. Gently gather all the dough together in your hands. Working quickly, take half the dough and make it into a ball, then flatten it into a plump disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Repeat for the remaining dough.
Making the filling:
  1. Take the tops off the strawberries. If they are super big then cut them into cherry-sized pieces. Pit the cherries and throw them into the bowl with the strawberries.Pour in the almond extract and toss the berries to coat. Put the sugar, flour and cinnamon on top of the fruit and toss gently with your hands.
  2. Let the fruit sit while you roll out your dough.
Rolling out the dough and baking:
  1. Get two pieces of parchment paper and lightly, VERY lightly, grease them with vegetable oil. You will roll out your dough between these guys! Don't try gluten free dough on a floured board! It's too delicate and it tears into a million pieces!
  2. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  3. Unwrap one disk and place between greased sides of parchment. Now get ready for some Zen rolling!
  4. Pretend that the dough is the face of a clock. Roll out once at 12 o'clock, then lift the pin and roll at 12:10. Moving in "ten-minute" increment, roll out the pie dough to slightly larger than your pie pan. Be patient!!!! Think of this time as meditation time!!! Roll out the dough evenly.
  5. Lift the top piece of parchment paper off (save it for your next disc of dough) and flip your dough into your pan. Carefully peel the parchment off of your dough...but if it rips just stick it back together! It can handle some manhandling!
  6. Pour your filling into your lovely bottom crust and smooth it out so that it's evenly distributed in the pan.
  7. Roll out the remaining dough. Lay it onto the pie gently. If the dough breaks...NO STRESS!!! Just pat the pieces back together! Tuck the edges into the crust and crimp with either your fingers or a fork.
  8. Cut a few slits into the top crust. Brush the top crust with the beaten egg. Place the pie pan on a parchment lined baking sheet (to catch drips and random falling crust) and slide it into the oven.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 375F.
  10. Bake 45-55 minutes more until juices are bubbling out of the pie, the crust is browned and you hear a sizzle-whump when you putt your ear to the baked pie.
Waiting to eat your pie:
  1. Remove the pie from the oven and place it on cooling rack (still in the pan!!!)
  2. Let it cool for at least 2 hours so that the filling can set-up. If you rush it you'll have a GIANT mess!!!
  3. Serve your pie on lovely little dessert plates and enjoy the tastes of summer!
Weight Watchers Points Plus Value: 10pts. for 1/10 of the pie

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ah...Summer Salads!!!

I don't know about you, but I have been DYING from the heat lately! It has been blistering and today was no exception! Even as I type this at nearly 7:00pm it is 84F outside...ridiculous! To add to the fantastical sweat fest I'm having, I menu planned to roast a chicken tonight. Oh yes...I am a genius!!! So in my attempts to stay as cool as possible I whipped up a little summer salad with fruit fresh from the fridge to cool me off and help think of blissful winter days basking in the snow!!! Here's what I "cooked" up!

Watermelon, Orange and Feta Salad
Adapted from Everyday Food, Issue 84

1/4 of a small seedless watermelon, rind removed and flesh cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 large orange, pith and peel removed, divided into sections
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2-4 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

  1. On a platter or in a bowl combine first five ingredients and toss. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until just before serving. Serves 4.
  3. Weight Watchers Points Plus Value: 2pts. per serving
Happy summer salads everyone!!!