Monday, June 20, 2011

Williamson Valley Gluten Free Summer Berry Pie

My gluten free, low sugar blackberry pie is pictured here using our own fresh-picked blackberries . You may also use frozen or fresh cherries (our neighbor here in Arizona has a tree full of Raniers!) or raspberries.

For the gluten free crust, I used Namaste brand’s gluten free biscuit/pie crust mix for a quick and easy crust that is both tasty and wholesome.

For pie crust:
Follow biscuit/pie crust mix package directions for pie crust if using gluten free. Place two thirds of the dough on a pastry cloth or tea towel. Place saran wrap over the top of the dough and pound into a flat mound, then roll out crust to ¼ thickness.

Remove the saran wrap and place 8 inch pie pan upside down on the dough and flip the flattened dough onto the pie pan, now right side up. Gently press the dough into the pan and trim excess off of the rim of the pie pan. Punch holes around sides and bottom of the crust with a fork.

Fill with berry filling (recipe below) and roll out remaining one third of the dough in the same manner as the bottom pie crust dough. Flip crust onto the now-filled pie and trim edges of pie crust, crimping edges as you go. Make vents in top of pie and, using pastry brush, brush 1 egg yolk that has been mixed with a little water over top and edges of the pie.

Berry filling:
1 cup E.D. Smith reduced sugar “More Fruit” blend (I used raspberry, cherry, pomegranate, acai)* or organic fruit preserves
1/3 cup quick cook tapioca
1 T. cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1cup cherry or berry fruit juice blend of your choice
4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries**
In medium sauce pan, combine fruit blend through juice and whisk over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and fold in the berries.Fold into the pie crust and top with top crust as above in "pie crust" directions.

Bake at 400˚F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 375˚F and bake for 45 more minutes, covering edges of pie with foil or with a pie edge protector if edges become too brown. Cool an hour or more before slicing.

Notes: *Available at Costco.
If using frozen berries, allow to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes or microwave on medium for 1 minute before using.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Katz Gluten Free Bakery sample pack review

I recently tested a sample pack of gluten free products from Katz Bakery in New York. I received a chocolate chip cookie, chocolate rugelech slice, marble cake slice, chocolate cupcake, a honey muffin, a dinner roll, wholesome bread slice, challah bread slice, and white bread slice.

Overall, I found the quality of the products that I tested to range from fair to above average quality. The marble cake was very tasty, not too sweet, but a bit dry and it fell apart when I removed it from its’ package. Same story with the rugelech. The chocolate chip cookie that was in the sample pack was completely crumbled when it arrived and I did not care for its’ flavor. The chocolate cupcake was very good. It was rich, chocolatey and moist. The honey muffin was moist and flavorful.

All of the bread slices, as seems to be the typical gluten free bread standard, were on the small side. The wholesome bread was dry and cracked, so it was impossible to use for a sandwich. Ditto, the white bread, but it had a very good flavor. The challah maintained its’ shape and seemed less dry. It was a little sweeter and more moist than the others. Really enjoyed the challah. 

And the dinner roll was fantastic! It had a wonderful texture and crumb and maintained its shape beautifully and was not dry. The dinner roll was topped with a few sesame seeds for a little added nutty crunch. If the dinner rolls and challah were offered in my part of the country, I would purchase them regularly. I might even order some online and keep in my freezer for special holiday meals when I don’t have the time to bake my own. 

For more info:

Diane Jacobs

"Delicious! The Very Best of Gluten Free & Wheat Free Cooking”