Strawberry pie…as sweet as can be!

Monica says:

Oh how we love strawberry season! It’s time to pick the juiciest berries that we can find!

Do you think we did just that?

Our sweet girl, Emily, and my sister Maria (her granny), and I went to a little farm to find the best berries we could. This time we were smart and each wore disposable gloves….boy, they made all the difference!

Highly recommend this move!

Anyway, after about an hour, we had filled our vessels to capacity….here was my personal stash!

When we got home, I researched the best way to keep these beauties fresh and long lasting. Well, I found advice from a blog, Momables and I can say it was the best advice ever!

Following her instructions below, even today, after 8 days, my strawberries are still fresh and plump like they were just picked!

Washing Fresh Strawberries

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • Drop dish detergent
  1. Place above in salad spinner
  2. Clean strawberries in batches if too many
  3. Swish them around in liquid and then rinse
  4. Place on towel lined cookie sheets to dry
  5. Store them in sealed container lined with paper towels when completely dry
  6. Leave a smidge open on container so they don’t get too much moisture!

NOTE: I used 9 x 13 glass dishes with paper towels and only covered top layer with paper toweling; stayed perfect! And depending on the amount of strawberries you pick, you may have to do this several times.

I also decided to make my own strawberry filling for the pies since I wanted to eliminate some of the sugar content, so I followed this recipe!

Fresh Strawberry Filling

Note: This recipe is for ONE pie

  • 1 quart fresh, organic strawberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ tablespoon  cornstarch

To make the filling:

  1. In a sauce pan, put 1 cup sliced berries, ½ cup sugar, salt, and ¼ cup water. Bring to boil.
  2. Cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Mix cornstarch and remaining water. Add to sauce pan.
  4.  Return to heat. Stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile my official pie crust maker and our biggest gluten free lifestyle supporter, my hubby, began to make the crust. We decided to try a gluten free blend and chose King Arthur’s Measure for Measure blend with my mother’s pie crust recipe!

Mom’s Water Whip Pie Crust

Note: This recipe makes 2 crusts (either a top and bottom, or two bottoms)

  • ¾ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 ¼ cups gluten free flour (a blend of your own or any commercial blend)
  • 1 T milk (Lactaid if needed)
  • 1 tsp salt

Whip shortening and water with a fork until smooth and creamy. Add milk, flour and salt. Work into a nice dough ball.

 

Perfection!

Since you have to bake these pastry shells without filling, I cut a round of parchment

for each and filled with uncooked rice.

Baked the crusts at 375 degrees for 20 minutes and then took them out of the oven, removed the rice with parchment, and then pricked small tine marks with a fork in the bottom of the crusts.

Then I placed the crusts back in the oven for 20 minutes.

Look at these babies!

While letting everything cool (filling and crusts), I removed the stems from the strawberries.

And now the best part…..filling them up with the sweet strawberries!

Once I liked the arrangement, I began pouring the filling over the strawberries. It was so thick and lovely!

Daria told me that I could have taken the filling and placed the strawberries in it to get better coverage,

but honestly, that didn’t occur to me.

That’s why she’s a pastry chef, and I’m not!!

Anyway, here is picture of our completed strawberry pies!

And the “pie maker” and “official gluten free taste tester” finally gets to dig in!

Y*U*M!

Wishing you fun picking strawberries…

…but most of all, eating strawberry pie!

Enjoy!

 

© 2017, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

 

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Blueberry Coconut Crisp…gluten-free and oh, so good!

Monica says:

Every 4th of July brings new blueberry recipes to my collection. This one is a keeper for sure!

So easy and delicious!

I’ve even had some “coconut haters” try it and come over to the “coconut lovers” (okay, “likers”) side!

See what you think!

I adapted this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod (thank you!).

Ingredients:

5 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and a dash of cinnamon*
1 cup GF Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
1/4 cup almond meal or whole wheat flour (I used hazelnut flour)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (I used unsweetened, unsulphured flaked coconut)
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used organic coconut palm sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used Calicutts Spice Co. Saigon Cinnamon*)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (I used organic extra virgin coconut oil)
Ice cream or yogurt for serving, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Pour blueberries into dish and pour lemon juice over the berries. Add a dash of cinnamon. Gently toss.

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A huge THANK YOU to my niece, Alicia, for letting us pick these beauties from her blueberry trees!

Honestly….TREES! Never have seen anything like them!

In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour or almond meal, coconut, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

Pour coconut oil over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

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Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the blueberries in the pan.

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Bake the crisp for 35 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

Serve warm with ice cream or yogurt, if desired.

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Best thing about this dessert is that you can make it ahead of time and as long as it’s covered,

it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days!

So, in a word….YUM!

Give it a try…you won’t be sorry!

© 2016, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

A gadget that really works!

Monica and Daria say:

Cutting watermelon into equal pieces can be hard sometimes! How big of a knife do you really need?

Here’s an answer for you!

It’s called Melonslicer!

This handy device with easy grip handles ensures a perfect slice of watermelon every time….no kidding!

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It has stainless steel blades and can slice watermelons, pineapples, cantaloupes, and honeydews up to 11” in diameter. Its easy motion cuts and cores 12 slices every time!

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The only “problem” is….who gets that cool cylinder piece of watermelon in the middle???

 

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We purchased ours at WalMart in New Jersey for $19.99 and have used it all summer.

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So look for it at your local retailer and if you even get to use it once this weekend for your holiday barbeque….no worries….next year you will be so happy!

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

The juicy taste of summer!

Monica (mom) says:

How happy was I when I spotted this lovely little fruit at the farmers’ market the other day?

It’s the pluot….a plum/apricot hybrid with a huge flavor!

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Developed by Floyd Zaiger, who crossed plums and apricots, the flavor palette of this juicy wonder is mostly plum, with the feel of an apricot in your mouth! He also came up with and trademarked the name “pluot.”

Once these little treasures are picked from the tree, they continue to ripen. So if you turn them upside down on your kitchen counter, somewhere out of direct sunlight, let the magic happen. Once they are as ripe as you want them to be, store them unwrapped in your refrigerator for up to three days.

Most people claim that the pluot should be eaten at room temperature, but I prefer mine cold. If you are going to use them in a recipe, however, it is best to have them at room temperature because the skin can taste bitter.

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I remember climbing and eating plums from our trees as a little girl….the pluot is the next best thing to that memory!

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

I just can’t wait for summer!

Monica (mom) says:

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

This national holiday in Mexico officially commemorates the anniversary of an early victory by Mexican forces over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is a day of great celebration there!

Mexico enjoys a sunny climate and we are dying for great weather here in the Northeast, so today I am celebrating with a mid-morning snack of fresh fruit.

Since I only have one arm to work with since my surgery was one week ago, my “honey” (hubby) cut up all of the fruit before he left for his business trip this week. He is a dear!

The STARS of this fruit cup are:

  • juicy red watermelon which has excellent levels of vitamins A and C and a good level of B6
  • gorgeous green honeydew melon sporting vitamin C and the B vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper and folate
  • yummy yellow pineapple, a fruit that contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that digests food by breaking down protein as well as an excellent source of vitamin C, small amount of vitamin A and rich in B-complex vitamins
  • beautiful black and blue berries which contain the absolute BEST source of powerful antioxidants including anthocyanins, quercetin, and vitamin C which improve your health, protect your skin and hair, and prevent certain diseases

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Wow! Isn’t this a great snack?

And did I mention I placed all of my delicious fruit in a footed sherbert (sherbet) dessert bowl from the Jeanette Glass Company? It is the “Cubist” design circa 1929-1933 that I purchased from a yard sale! I just love Depression glass and am on the lookout for it all the time!

Have a great day! And eat some power-packed fruit!

 

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk