When Drew and I were vacationing in the Pacific Northwest earlier this Summer, Drew had a piece of Marionberry Pie. It wasn’t gluten-free, but I had to try a bite and it was delicious. Once we got back home, I had to make a gluten free pie! We don’t have marionberries (a certain type of blackberry) in Louisiana, but we do have other blackberries and raspberries, so a homemade gluten-free blackberry/raspberry pie it was!

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This was actually the first fruit pie I’d ever made. Growing up, my family never really made/ate fruit pies, so I never had the desire to make one myself. Boy, has that changed. Homemade blackberry pie is now one of my favorite things ever and the perfect summer treat (served with some fresh homemade vanilla ice cream!). I’ve made three pies in the last month (even though it is 100 degrees in New Orleans and about that hot in our house). Not even kidding, about the pies or the heat.

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For the crust, I used my Gluten-Free Shortcrust Recipe that I shared a couple months ago. It works wonderfully as a pie crust!

Gluten-free Blackberry/Raspberry Pie

Ingredients:

For the crust: (make two batches of this if you want both a top and bottom crust)
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
- 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 6 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
- 1 small egg
- 2 Tbsp water

For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- about 24 oz fresh berries (I used a mixture of blackberries and raspberries)
- about 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
***Note on the filling: I really just threw these ingredients together and didn’t do a lot of measuring, so feel free to add them in, taste, and add more of whatever else you think it needs. You can also make this with more berries, just up the measurements of the other ingredients a bit.

For serving:
- homemade vanilla ice cream (optional, but delicious!)

Directions for the Crust:

1. In food processor, mix dry ingredients (brown rice flour, white rice flour, cornstarch, sugar, xanthan gum, salt).
2. Add cubed butter and pulse until crumbly.
3. Add egg, mix until combined, then add water and mix until combined.
4. Remove dough from food processor, roll into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap.
5. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
6. When ready to bake, roll out chilled dough between two sheets of wax paper. (You might need to dust the crust with a little brown rice flour while rolling if it is too sticky).
7. Transfer dough to bottom of pie pan.

Directions for the filling:

8. Melt butter in saucepan over medium/high heat.
9. Add berries and stir until they start to soften.
10. Add sugar, vanilla, lemon zest/juice, cinnamon, orange juice, and corn starch.
11. Stir until all dissolved and bubbly. (I also slightly mash up the berries a bit).
12. Taste and alter ingredients if necessary. You might need to add more sugar, depending on the sweetness of your berries (raspberries are usually sweeter and a little less tart than blackberries).

To Bake:

13. Pour fruit filling into prepared pie crust in pie pan.
14. Add second crust (if desired) over the top of filling.
15. Pinch crust edges together and slice a hole or two in the top. You can also spread a little melted butter over the top and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
16. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Enjoy!

P.S. A side note that I’m adding here so that I don’t forget: When I published this post, my cousin Neva saw it and told me that my great-grandmother, Verba Pearl (my Papaw’s mom — “Grandma Wallace” as they called her), used to make the best Blackberry cobblers and Neva was happy to know that I was continuing that tradition. In Neva’s words, “We would finish eating lunch, and gobbling her cobbler, and LOVING it. So, she would stand up that minute and go to start making another for supper. She kept her flour poured out of the bag into one of her cabinet drawers. She would reach in and just grab out handfuls. She didn’t measure. Her crusts were perfect. I am sure she used lard. She usually made her blackberries into cobblers, with just the top crust. She was a good down-home cook. She cooked (and canned) despite the Southern Illinois summer temperatures.” I mentioned it to my dad and he said that he remembered her out in the middle of the woods in her dress wading through the weeds to pick wild blackberries. I never got to meet my great-grandmother, but I’m so happy to know that little tid-bit about her and to be continuing her tradition! :)

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Drew and I were grocery shopping in Whole Foods one afternoon when I saw a little stack of recipe cards sitting next to the display of onions and shallots. I picked one up, it sounded tasty, so we bought the ingredients and made it for dinner that evening. It was immediately a hit. One of my favorite recipes ever I think. I’ve seriously made this four times in the last month or so. I even more than doubled the recipe to feed to a group of 10 family members in town for my art show last week. They all seemed to love it.

Fun Fact: I hate yellow mustard, but I am absolutely obsessed with cooking with Dijon mustard. I just love the tangy flavor it gives things. I love it roasted on potatoes, meats, and it is my secret (or not-so-secret?) ingredient in my white cheddar mac-and-cheese too!

Classic Braised Chicken with Potatoes and Celery

adapted from original recipe here, to be gluten and dairy free. Serves 4. 

Ingredients:

-4 bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs
-1/4 cup brown rice flour
-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil)
-4-6 celery stalks (about half a bunch), chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
-4 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), cubed
-1/2 cup white wine
-1 3/4 cups chicken broth
-1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Directions:

1. Melt butter (or olive oil) in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Meanwhile, combine brown rice flour, salt, and pepper in a wide bowl or plate.
3. Coat chicken pieces with flour mixture and add to melted butter in pan.
4. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, until outside is crispy and golden brown.
5. Transfer chicken to a bowl.
6. Lower heat to medium and add chopped celery and potatoes to pan. Cook, stirring frequently until celery softens, about 5 minutes.
7. Stir in wine and cook, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes.
8. Pour in broth and stir in Dijon mustard.
9. Return chicken to the pan, bring to a boil and then lower heat, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees) and very tender, 20-25 minutes.
10. Once chicken is done, transfer chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon to a larger serving bowl or platter.
11. Continue to cook the liquid over medium to medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.
12. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables and serve.

Enjoy!

One treat my sisters and I loved when we were little were what we referred to as “pie crust cookies.” Whenever my mom was making pies with a homemade oil pastry crust, we would use the leftover dough to spread with cinnamon and sugar and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes to bake into little cookies. We loved them so much we would often whip up a batch of oil pastry dough just to make into cookies, no pie crusts needed.

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This is a tradition that I’ve continued into my own home. I don’t make pies often, but in the winter I love a good homemade chicken pot pie. I would top the pie with my homemade oil pastry crust dough and bake the leftover bits into pie crust cookies, just like old times. After going gluten-free, I tried substituting different gf flour mixes into my regular pie crust recipe, but each turned out too crumbly or hard to roll out. Lately, I’ve really been craving some fresh strawberries with some homemade shortcrust cookies, so I experimented with different recipes and tweaks until I came up with one I liked. I haven’t tried baking this recipe into an actual pie crust, but I’m sure it would work great for that too.

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Gluten-free Strawberry Shortcrust

Ingredients:

For the shortcrust:
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
- 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 6 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
- 1 small egg
- 2 Tbsp water

For the topping:
- turbinado sugar
- cinnamon

For serving:
- Fresh strawberries, sliced
- honey

Directions:

1. In food processor, mix dry ingredients (brown rice flour, white rice flour, cornstarch, sugar, xanthan gum, salt).
2. Add cubed butter and pulse until crumbly.
3. Add egg, mix until combined, then add water and mix until combined.
4. Remove dough from food processor, roll into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap.
5. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
6. When ready to bake, roll out chilled dough between two sheets of wax paper.
7. Transfer dough to baking sheet, spread with cinnamon & sugar mixture, and cut into squares.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
9. Serve whole or crumbled with sliced strawberries that have been tossed with honey.

Enjoy!

One of my favorite things to make with over-ripe bananas is banana bread. Back in my gluten-eating days, I had a delicious recipe that I always used. Now that I’m gluten-free (and cutting other things like processed oils and sugar out of my diet), this is my new go-to recipe. It is jam-packed with delicious ingredients and makes for one pretty healthy banana bread. Hope you enjoy!

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Healthy Banana Bread (gluten-free)
recipe adapted from this one

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups mashed over-ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
-1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
-3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
-2 eggs
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 1/2 cup oats, ground in food processor (a little more coarse than actual oat flour)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/4 cup flaxseeds (whole or slightly ground)
-1/3 cup shredded coconut
-1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
-1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Grease one large 9×5″ loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350º F.
2. In a large bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients (mashed bananas, honey, applesauce, eggs and vanilla).
3. In a separate bowl, combine the ground oats, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, flaxseeds, and coconut. Add to the wet ingredients.
4. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.
5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake about one hour and fifteen minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
6. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

These white Cheddar crackers are a nice, crisp, crumbly, buttery stack of goodness. An easy, homemade snack great with cheese, dips, or by themselves! I particularly like this recipe because it is easy and uses simple ingredients that I always have on hand in my kitchen (and can easily be tweaked to make various other flavored crackers!). These are so much cheaper to make than your typical $5 box of gluten-free crackers!

One thing to note– the texture of these crackers is a little more buttery and coarse (sort-of like shortbread without the sweetness), so it might be a little different than your gluten-containing cracker of choice. I really happen to love that crumbly texture though!

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White Cheddar Crackers (gluten-free)

makes about 50 bite-sized crackers; original recipe from this cookbook

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp Italian seasoning
-1/2 tsp salt
-6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into small cubes
-3/4 cup finely grated sharp white Cheddar cheese
-1/2 cup cold water

Directions:
1. Combine brown rice flour, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt in a food processor and process until well blended.
2. Add butter and cheese, pulse until coarse crumbs form.
3. Add water; process until dough forms.
4. Divide dough into 2 pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Place each ball of dough between two pieces of parchment paper, roll out to 1/16 inch thickness, and then refrigerate another 5 minutes.
7. Cut dough into squares and place squares onto prepared baking sheets.
8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Enjoy!

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