Friday, October 29, 2010

Apple Pie

My autumn-provoked restlessness reached a head last weekend and launched my husband and me out of Seattle onto one of Washington’s northern highways. The city’s multicolored harvests, overflowing in farmer’s markets beneath the changing trees, exhibit a unique charm; but somehow I’m just not satisfied with autumn until I’ve been out in the back country, in forests that weren’t planned as rows. We went for a short hike, then stopped at an apple orchard on the way back. It’s too late in the season for Gravensteins, my favorite baking apples, but I picked up some delicious Jonagolds and Hawaiis (a cross between Golden Delicious and Gravenstein). Soon I had a pie in the oven and applesauce burbling on the stove.
Gluten-Free Apple Pie with Tart Cherries

Apple pie is one of those quintessentially American desserts for which everyone has a recipe: their own, their grandmother’s, a neighbor’s, or wheedled out of the baker at that place on 1st street. You might never have baked one in your life, but you probably know all the main ingredients by heart. The rarity of gluten-free apple pie is a true shame. I’ve been working on my recipe for a few years now, making the crust flakey enough and the filling that delicate balance between gooey and solid, sweet and tart. I finally got it: the perfect gluten-free apple pie recipe, complete with crumble topping and dried tart cherries to spot the filling. I made it for my friend, Jeff, for his birthday party a few weeks ago and received this response from his wife, Anne:

“As we dug into the pie last night, there was an awed silence, accompanied by the occasional tink of a fork. Then Danny pauses, rests his plate on his lap and says, with great reverence, ‘THAT'S good pie.’”

None of these friends is on a gluten-free diet.

This pie yields the best results with good apples. Gravensteins are my favorite, but in their absence, I recommend a combination of Jonagold and Hawaii, or Jonagold and Granny Smith. You’re looking for a good mixture of tart and sweet apples, so trust your taste buds and work with the apples in season.

Apple Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie

3/4 cup sweet rice flour
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
pinch salt
1/2 cup real or vegan butter or shortening
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten

6 peeled & cored apples (about 6 cups chopped)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbls corn starch
3 Tbls dark rum
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup dried tart cherries

Crumble topping:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup GF rolled oats
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/3 cup real or vegan butter at room temperature

For crust, combine butter, egg, and sugar in food processor or mixer with paddle. Blend till well-mixed. Add dry ingredients and mix until just holding together. Form dough into flat round with hands and sweet rice flour a piece of parchment paper. Roll out large enough for pie dish. Set pie dish on it upside-down, slide a flat board or cookie sheet under it and turn right-side up all at once. Crust may break in some places, but can be gently pressed back together. Flute edges as desired and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cherries, and spices. Peel and core apples, slicing into dry mixture and stirring occasionally to mix. When all apples are sliced and coated, add rum and stir in. Pour into pie crust.

For topping, mix together all dry ingredients and cut in butter until topping has the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Some small butter lumps are just fine. Pour over filled pie, spreading to edges but not pressing down.

Bake about 30-40 minutes or until topping is well-browned and apples are able to be pierced easily with a fork. Serve hot or cold. Vanilla coconut milk ice cream (Coconut Bliss) is optional. Cover well and store in refrigerator up to 5 days.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rudi’s Multigrain Miracle

My perfect apple pie has been made and eaten twice before I could get pictures of it, so instead I want to share the incredible new gluten-free bread now gracing my cupboard.

Rudi’s is an organic bakery based in Boulder, Colorado, that’s been making wholesome loaves since 1976. Their recent venture into the gluten-free world is nothing short of miraculous. The slices are thick, spongy and delicious. Rich with sorghum, cornmeal, millet, flaxseed, and sunflower seeds, this is a gluten-free bread that actually tastes like a Multigrain bread. They also have Original and Cinnamon Raisin loaves, but I’m a fiend for Multigrain. I grew up on hearty multigrain and whole wheat breads and it’s been ten gluten-free years since I tasted anything like this.

For the past year or so, I’ve been a Udi’s girl. Their Whole Grain bread is awesome—soft, spongy, and real in taste enough to convert my gluten-loving husband to eat it instead of “regular” bread. They also carry a number of other gluten-free products: pizza crusts (addiction), bagels (oh man), muffins, and granola. But “whole grain” to me should be dark, chewy, and full of pick-them-out-of-your-teeth bits. Udi’s isn’t that type of whole grain. It’s good, but it’s not Rudi’s. Rudi’s has the texture and flavor that I missed.

According to Rudi’s website, their gluten-free breads are available at PCC, Ken’s Market, and Madison Market in Seattle. I also found it at Whole Foods.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Time for Cranberry Bread

There’s bite and chill to the air as I wander in the local farmer’s market, probing like a squirrel for my winter provisions: squash, apples, potatoes, pecans, green beans, garlic. Anything capable of being frozen or canned for future use (friends have told me they’d like to be stuck at my house should a zombie apocalypse occur). I round a corner, peeking between people at booths overflowing with the autumn harvest, and see them: fresh cranberries. Those of you who have read my website’s archives know how excited I get about fresh cranberries. These aren’t the Ocean Spray variety that pops up in grocery stores, unripe and suspiciously large. Grown in a local bog by a family with 7 acres, they’re harvested when ripe and sold here practically at my doorstep!

I’m teaching myself new lessons in time and recipes this year. Usually, I journey north to buy apples by the box, cart them home, and spend weeks making pies, crisps, sauces, and butter. Usually, I pull on my wellies and make an expedition to a bog to pick my own cranberries; however, a new husband and a full-time job have made these treks regrettably unrealistic. So I make time for what I can do: buy excellent cranberries from a local farmer, support them in their own endeavors, and celebrate with Cranberry Bread, Carcassonne, and friends when I get home. Food tastes better in community. That’s why my kitchen looks out on the rest of our apartment, and why you can always pop over for a game and end up with a piece of cranberry bread, hot from the oven.

Cranberry Pecan Bread (gluten-free & dairy-free)

Cranberry Pecan Bread
Makes 1 loaf

1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces (lightly chopped)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash allspice

1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup soymilk or orange juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp orange zest
1 cup fresh cranberries, washed well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and sweet rice flour loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In a separate measuring cup or bowl, mix together oil, soymilk, vinegar, lemon juice and orange zest. Beat eggs in well.

Add fresh cranberries to dry ingredients, stirring to coat with flour. Add wet ingredients and mix together quickly but very well so no pockets of flour remain. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake about 30-45 minutes, or until top of loaf is browned and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Recipe was created by Adrienne Kerrigan. Please give credit if reposted or copied.

Stay tuned for recipes and new posts!

Beyond Celery posts have moved to this blog for the near future. My website,, will still run, but it will not house my most current updates due to time constraints and general persnicketiness. (I’d rather be in the kitchen than rebuilding the website from scratch and teaching myself html.) Thank you for your patience!