Applesauce and then some

It was a great weekend.  Saturday I got to spend a bit of time with my cousin Dianne who is getting married in a few weeks.  We went and checked out her wedding and ceremony site – The Aldrich Mansion in Warwick, RI. I loved being able to see the place before the wedding to scope out some great photo spots (I’m her wedding photographer!).  Then Bryan bought me two more pieces for my Le Creuset collection.

Before moving up to Rhode Island I found two Le Creuset pie dishes (cobalt blue that match my free Le Creuset tea-pot!) which had never been used by his mum so she gave them to me! A few weeks ago when we were at T.J. Maxx we found a bunch of Le Creuset pieces in cobalt and apple green (those are our kitchen colors – sadly though Le Creuset doesn’t make the apple green anymore so it is very hard to find pieces) so he bought me an apple green utensil holder and a cobalt baking dish.  On Saturday he bought me four apple green ramekins and an apple green baking dish. I truly love being able to find such amazing products for so little. Then yesterday Bryan and I went apple picking and we came home with about 10lbs of macintosh and cortland apples – my two favorites for baking.

I’ll be making him some mini-apple pies this weekend in medium-sized ramekins and using the pre-made pie crusts from the store.  For myself some more apple crisp sounds pretty good, I’m telling you its my weakness.  I wanted to try something different though, I wanted to make something I have never made before so I decided to try my hand at making apple sauce…in my 1970’s crock pot that Bryan’s mum gave us when we moved.

I don’t think I ever realized how easy it was to make applesauce, especially if you have a crock pot.  I need to put this crock pot to use more often, especially now that the cool weather is approaching.  I’m thinking chili sometime soon would be good!

Applesauce

5 medium to large apples – I used a mix of macintosh and cortland

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup honey (or you could use agave)

1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (all depends on how much you like the cinnamon flavor in your applesauce)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Peel, core and dice the apples in large pieces – discard the peels and cores.  Add all ingredients to crock pot and set on low for about 4-5 hours.  Apples will become extremely soft/mushy.  Mash apples with a fork or potato masher and enjoy!  Keep in an airtight container for up to one week.

Extremely easy to make, throw it all in the pot and come back in a few hours for some very tasty (if I do say so myself) applesauce! Best part – it is naturally gluten-free:)

Now for the “And then some” part of the title of this post

By now many if not all of you have probably heard of  The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef’s new cookbook “The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef – A love story and 100 tempting recipes“.  If you haven’t well what are you waiting for?? Check out these amazing reviews (and many of them if not all are doing give aways of the book also!).  I haven’t bought my copy yet but it is on my Amazon Wish list!! I can’t even begin to explain the mouth-watering reviews that I have read, but they all talk about the bread recipe that is in the new book and I am dying to try it.  Please check out the reviews/giveaways below:

Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

Ginger Lemon Girl

Celiac in the City

Celiacs in the House

So go, read, drool and enter for your chance to win a copy of this book…if you don’t win then go and buy it!

And on another side note, I would like to thank the wonderful people at Small Appliances for my amazingly wonderful new Coffee and Espresso Machine!  I’ve had some major coffee pot issues lately, my french press broke (shed a tear) and then when we moved in my dad gave me back “my” (it wasn’t mine, no idea where this pot came from but I gave mine away when I moved to California) old coffee pot.  So when my french press broke I started using that one.  It worked fine at first even though the top of the carafe was broken and I bought the wrong filters until one day it just decided it wouldn’t drip down any longer.  I had to take hot water, put the cup under it and hold up the part that makes it drip – seriously.  I posted on twitter that my half working pot had completely broke and the extremely kind and generous people at Small Appliances contacted me and offered me a new coffee pot.  I seriously thought it was a joke and if it wasn’t I was expecting some little four cup mr. coffee.  Instead they sent me the Krups Coffee/Espresso machine below!  I can’t thank them enough for their generosity!  So if you are in the need of any  appliances check them out!

Blueberry and Raspberry Galette

Fall is almost here. The air is chilly and crisp.  I’m ready to go apple picking in the next few weeks and of course can’t wait to go to the pumpkin patch so Bryan and I can carve them.  This time of year also means lots and lots of baking.  I love having the oven on to help balance out the chill in the house.

Last night I made Bryan some blueberry muffins and today I woke up in the baking mood again.  Seeing as I am still unemployed, what else am I to do besides cook and bake tasty things for Bryan.  Last week I made him a gluten filled apple pie and posted a photo of it on Facebook.  Everyone got all excited because it looked sooo yummy and I sadly had to post under the photo that it wasn’t gluten-free.  Oh but how I wish it was because that pie crust looked so good.  I decided that I would start trying other pie crust recipes and I hope to create a nice flaky one at some point.  I did some searching around for an easy gluten-free pie crust recipe.  I found some recipes with horrible reviews so I stayed clear of those.  I did find one little gem in my searching today – Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl has a fantastic Easy Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe on her blog.   Not too many ingredients and I just so happened to have them all on hand.

Even though I was searching for a gluten-free pie crust recipe I had in my head that I wanted to make a galette – a bit more rustic than a pie.  So I made her super simple recipe and decided to cut the dough in half and freeze the other half for another day.  Like I said this was super simple to make and pretty easy to work with.  She even put a disclaimer under the recipe.  When I first rolled it out and tried to lift it on to my baking sheet it all fell apart so I just wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap and put in the freezer for a few minutes to harden just a bit.

*** Please be aware that because the dough does not contain gluten it may STILL tear while you are transferring it to the pie tin. That is OKAY!! This dough is very forgiving and you can simply press the dough back together in the pie tin and even “patch” the dough if necessary with leftover crust! It will “mesh” together beautifully and is very, very forgiving!! ***

I’ve been asked several times today “What is a Galette?”  In simple terms it is a free form pie, but here is an official definition:

Galette is a general term used in French to designate various types of flat, round or freeform crusty cakes. One notable type is the galette des Rois (King cake) eaten on the day of Epiphany. It is frequently garnished with egg, meat, fish, cheese, cut vegetables, apple slices, berries, or similar ingredients.

Ginger Lemon Girl’s Easy Gluten Free Pie Crust

4 ounces cream cheese **
4 ounces (1/2 cup, or 1 stick) butter**
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions:

*30 minutes before making pie crust, remove butter and cream cheese from fridge and set on counter to soften.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together softened cream cheese and butter. Mix remaining dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Add dry mixture slowly to cream cheese mixture. If you use a stand mixer this will be easy, and you can slowly combine the ingredients on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until dough forms a stiff ball. If mixing by hand, this may take 5-8 minutes to combine well enough to form into a stiff ball.

You can chill dough if you like, but you can also use this dough immediately. When ready to use dough, place two sheets of a good quality plastic wrap on your counter or table. Place the sheets of plastic wrap side by side, slightly overlapping, to give you enough space to roll out a 9″or 10″ crust. Sprinkle white rice flour on the plastic wrap and place the dough in the center.

Sprinkle additional white rice flour on top of the ball of dough. Then, place a new sheet of plastic wrap on top of the ball of dough (so it won’t stick to the roller) and start to roll out your pie crust starting from the center. Roll out the crust to 1/4″ thickness, or however thick you desire. I actually had enough dough to make a large 10″ pie crust along with a smaller 8″ pie crust. So you could probably make 2 (9″) crusts with this dough if you desired.

Gently place crust in pie or tart shell and bake as directed in your recipe of choice.

I prepared the crust per her instructions.  Then I rolled out half of the dough into a 8 inch circle, sprinkled the dough with a cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Added my berries (1/2 cup of small blueberries and 3/4 cup of raspberries) to the center of the dough and gently started to fold up the sides.  This is a rustic free form pie, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.  If you need to use cold water to seal the dough folds together.  I didn’t need to use water, but did need to patch my dough a little bit.  Once it was all together, I sprinkled the top lightly with sugar and baked at 400 degrees for 40 minutes (if you making a larger galette, you may need to cook it a bit longer).