Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free

Sweet cinnamon and brown sugar crumble tops sweet roasted baked fruit inside an almond pastry shell. This is a celebration of the height of summer, and the coming autumn, in the combination of sweet late summer peaches and tart early season apples. I love this crumble topped pie because it means you get the best of both worlds: no need to choose between my favourite summer desserts when they are combined into one delicious dish.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe story of this pie is the story of a happy Sunday. The story of a Sunday that started with a sleep in and a quiet breakfast in the light of my kitchen. I slowly chopped peaches and apples, sweetened them with a touch of brown sugar and tumbled them into an almond crust I had prepared the night before. The extra chilling time for the pastry rendered it superiorly flaky and shortbread textured. I crowned my pie with an oat, brown sugar, and cinnamon kissed crumble and then watched it bubble and brown in the oven before Chris and I headed to lunch.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWe sat on the verandah with our friends that have become family, and my family, and ate, drank and laughed long into the afternoon. The feast was not just the food lovingly prepared and shared by all, but the love around the table. You could taste the sweetness of affection long-held, ripened into honey like a late summer peach.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe laughter never stopped, the conversations tumbled on top of one another, and there may have been a minor lychee seed fight between two members at the table (I’m looking at you Jess and Matt…). I sat back with my slice of pie, and looked around the table and felt in my heart, in my heart that never stops racing forward to the next moment, that I had found peace and love in a golden afternoon. Love is sweeter than any pie.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy Peach Apple Crumble Pie features a crust very similar to my Linzer Torte crust, but here the tart shell is filled with ripe peaches and an apple and topped with an oat and cinnamon crumble. The shell of the pie is flaky, not too sweet, and spiced with vanilla and cinnamon. The addition of two eggs to this pastry makes it extra rich and helps the gluten free crust to bind and have a flaky rather than crumbly texture. The filling is the simplest part of the pie, merely fruit, brown sugar, and cornflour to help fruit juices released during baking to thicken into a sweet peach and apple sauce. The crumble topping features oats, and more cinnamon and brown sugar. Oh my, I want this crumble on top of everything now! I had to stop myself from eating all of it before it even made it to the top of the pie!

Each bite of pie brings you to sweet peach and spiced crumble pastry heaven. Like mixing your favourite oat and almond cookie with the sweetest summer peach jam. This is the pie you serve to your loved ones with a jug of cream on a bright summer afternoon when all you feel is love and contentment.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Peach Apple Crumble Pie

Gluten Free | Serves 8-10 (makes 1 10-inch pie)

Notes: Use very ripe peaches so that your filling will be naturally sweet. You can increase the brown sugar in the filling if your peaches aren’t as sweet as you would like.

Serving suggestion: ice cream, cream, creme fraiche, or Greek yoghurt would go very well with this late summer pie.

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 85 grams brown rice flour
  • 90 grams white rice flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
  • 125 grams butter, frozen
  • 120 grams almond meal
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the crumble

  • 40 grams brown rice flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour
  • 20 grams gluten free cornflour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 60 grams butter, melted

For the filling

  • 1 kilogram (2 pounds) ripe peaches (about 5 large)
  • 1 tart apple (Granny Smith or similar)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free cornflour

Method

  1. Grease a 25 cm (10-inch) removable base tart pan well and line the bottom with baking paper.
  2. Sift together brown rice flour and white rice flour.
  3. Using a box grater, grate frozen butter into sifted flours. Stir gently with a fork and then rub butter into flours until large pea-sized chunks of butter remain.
  4. Add almond meal, caster sugar, and cinnamon to butter and flour mixture. Gently stir with a fork to combine.
  5. Beat together vanilla extract and eggs and add to bowl. Mix until the dough starts to come together into a large ball.
  6. Sprinkle a large piece of baking paper with rice flour. Place dough onto baking paper. Place another piece of baking paper on top. Use a rolling pin to roll out to a circle about 35 cm (12-inch) diameter and 0.5-.0.7 mm (~ 1/4 inch) thick.
  7. Transfer dough to tart pan and gently lift and press into tart pan. If you experience any tears, just patch them with the dough that overhangs the sides. Trim the sides to be level with the top of the tart pan. Place pie base in refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
  8. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  9. Make the crumble. Mix together brown rice flour, white rice flour, cornflour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon.
  10. In a small bowl melt the butter in the microwave. Heat in 10 second bursts until melted. Stir into your dry ingredients until well incorporated. Set aside crumble until required.
  11. Prepare the filling. Halve peaches and remove stone. Then chop into 1.5cm (1/2 inch) squares. Halve apple and remove core and dice to similar size. Place fruit in a large bowl. Sprinkle brown sugar and cornflour over fruit and stir gently until well coated.
  12. Remove pie base from the refrigerator. Tumble fruit into the bottom and spread out into an even layer.
  13. Sprinkle crumble evenly over the top of the fruit.
  14. Place pie in the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the fruit filling is bubbling and the crumble is golden.
  15. Remove and allow to stand for a half hour before serving.

Peach Apple Crumble Pie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Gluten Free

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Last week at work I got the news that I am going to be working in one of our other teams for the next two and a bit weeks. The work I am going to be doing isn’t particularly hard, but it requires more focus than my usual position, and is great practical experience in things I only studied on a theoretical basis in my post-graduate study. Naturally, I am nervous as all hell.

I know this weakness in myself. When faced with a shift in focus, a challenge that I know in my logical mind that I am perfectly capable of achieving, my not-so-logical mind takes over and pumps up the anxiety levels.

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I wish I could approach work challenges and changes the way I approach challenges in the kitchen: work out the science, be methodical in the creating, put all my heart and soul into it, and see how it goes. Lose or win I have tried my best and (most of the time) the results are yummy, or I learn from the experience and take those lessons into my next attempt.

What I’m saying is, I wish my work-life could be more like pie. Pastry has never been my strong suit, and gluten free pastry has been on the list of challenges that I have yet to attempt with gusto. But, on the weekend, I strapped on my big-girl panties apron, got out my frozen butter, various flours, and got my hands dirty experimenting with a basic press-in pie crust. This summer is going to be the Great Pie Experiment summer, which is going to mean lots of challenges, a few failures, lots of learning, and some leaps of faith. )Also a lot of running and lifting of weights.)

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis tart crust is the best to start with if you are either: a) new to cooking pies and tarts (like moi), b) new to cooking gluten free, or c) afraid of cooking things that fall into category  a) or b). There is no kneading, rolling, lifting, cutting or any such tricky thing involved in this savoury tart. You simply make up the crust, allow it to chill for a while, then press the crumbs evenly into a lined and oiled tart pan. It’s just like making shortbread.

The trickiest thing is getting your crust even along the bottom and the sides, and if you make a few mistakes there, no one will know because we load the center of the tart with fresh summer tomatoes, herbs, and fresh mozzarella cheese. If someone does notice, tell them it’s a rustic summer tart. ‘Rustic’ forgives all inconsistencies.

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAfter some time in the oven, the tomatoes will have deepened and sweetened their natural flavour, and the bright soft baby mozzarella will have melted into cheesy pockets. Trust me, you want cheesy pockets in your life. The reward vs. output for this gluten free savoury tart is high. This is a challenge you can win.

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSummer Tomato and Herb Tart

Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 4 -6 as a light meal

Note: If you do not require this to be gluten free, just use 140 grams (about 1 cup) of plain flour in place of the first four ingredients.
Note: Xanthan gum is available in supermarkets and health food stores. It helps with the elasticity of the dough.

Ingredients

  • 35 grams sorghum flour
  • 35 grams brown rice flour
  • 35 grams white rice flour
  • 35 grams buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 50 grams butter, frozen
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 275 grams (about 8 small) roma tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 100 grams mini bocconcini (or firm fresh mozzarella)

Method

  1. Measure your flours and xanthan gum into a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  2. Use a box grater to grate your frozen butter into your flour. This is the best way to get small pieces of butter into your dough. Gently ‘rub’ your butter into the flour until it looks like a course meal. You can use your hands or a pastry cutter to do this.
  3. Add salt and pepper and lightly mix to distribute.
  4. Measure in 3 tablespoons of iced water and stir until the dough starts to come together.
  5. Tip crumbly dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Do not bother trying to knead it all together. Wrap tightly and press into a flat disc. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).
  7. Oil the bottom and side well of a 7-inch (18 cm) removable bottom tart tin, and line the bottom with baking paper.
  8. Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator, tip into the bottom of the tart tin and press dough even around the bottom and up the sides of the tin.
  9. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the bottom looks dry but is still pale.
  10. Slice tomatoes in half and place in partially baked tart shell cut side up. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and dot the mozzarella between the tomatoes.
  11. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the tomatoes have started to blister and the mozzarella is melted.
  12. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving with a large green salad.

Okay dear readers, who is ready for this challenge? What should my next pastry experiment be?

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life