Category Archives: Pies

Spanakopita Gluten Free – Spinach and Cheese Pie

Our current favourite we are eating this once a week

Our current favourite we are eating this once a week

We love spanakopita – the salty fetta, healthy spinach. I have worked to perfect this recipe over the last 6 months to get it how we think is just the right combination of fetta, other cheeses and the spinach. Its super easy to make. Super yummy and there is never any left over.

You will need:

1 diced onion, sautéed until it is just browning

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 cup of grated tasty cheese

200 grams of fetta cheese (I use the Danish because I love its creaminess)

300 grams of  spinach leaves, chopped and make sure they are dry (even though I find it difficult to cook anything that has the word baby to describe it I do use baby spinach leaves)

6 eggs

3 tablespoons of fresh oregano

1/2 cup of gluten free self raising flour – now you can leave this out and sometimes I do – but then you have to make sure the spinach really is dry. If you add the 1/2 cup of flour you will have a fail safe pie.

No salt – the fetta is salty enough on its own

To make it:

what it will look like before you pop it in the oven

what it will look like before you pop it in the oven

Combine all these ingredients and pour into an oiled baking dish and top with extra cheese and some extra fresh oregano.

To Upload it

Sometimes – and my daughters love it when I do this – I line the greased dish with nitrate free prosciutto and then pop the spinach cheesy mix on top. It does make it more salty but also super yummy.

to upload line the dish with prosciutto

to upload line the dish with prosciutto

 

 

Hidden Shepherds Pie – a Fair Dinkum Aussie Meal

Shepherds Pie with hidden layer of Cheese Melt

Shepherds Pie with hidden Cheese Melt

My baby daughter (okay she is 17 so maybe not a baby) is off to the other side of the world – to Italy and she wants to make a Fair Dinkum Aussie Meal for her host family. She decided there was nothing more Fair Dinkum Aussie than Shepherds Pie and asked me for my recipe.

So why do I call it Hidden Shepherds Pie – I have been making this one for years and when the kids were little they never picked up on the hidden veggies and lentils which add to the texture. But its not just stuff kids don’t like that are hidden in here – there are also yummy slices of Tomatoes and Cheese.

It looks like a lot of ingredients but it is really quite simple to make.

The secret to this recipe is it tastes even better the next day.

This serves 6-8 people.

Ingredients

1 Onion
2 – 4 cloves of Garlic (depending on taste – we are 8 cloves kinda people)
2 Tablespoons of fresh Herbs or 1 tablespoon of dried Mixed Herbs. For fresh I used rosemary, thyme and oregano because that is what grows on my back porch.
1 Stick of Celery sliced thinly
1 kg of Minced (Ground) meat. We use Kangaroo – its low fat, cheap and ecologically sound in Australia. Kangaroos breed prolifically and don’t hurt our environment. You can use Lamb or Beef just as easily
I Grated Carrot
I cup of Peas fresh or frozen
1 can of Lentils
2 Tablespoons of any Gluten Free Flour
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Red Wine (more if like me you want to have a glass while you cook) or Balsamic Vinegar
4 generous Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
Olive Oil
3 Cups of Diced Sweet Yellow Potato or Yams or Butternut Pumpkin
4 Cups of Diced Potato’s
Sliced or Grated Mature Tasty Cheese
Fresh Tomatoes

Let’s Make it

Meat Base

In a deep saucepan fry the onion, garlic and herbs in a good lug of olive oil until the onion is transparent. Then add the meat, grated carrot, celery and peas and continue frying until the meat is cooked.
Remove from the heat.
Add the flour and stir thoroughly so lumps don’t form. Then add the Lentils, Soy, Worcestershire, Red Wine or Balsamic and the Tomato Paste.
Pour into a deep baking dish and pat flat.
Cover the meat with slices of fresh tomato
Cover the tomato with a yummy layer of Tasty Cheese.

Potato Top

Boil the diced Potato until cooked soft enough to mash.
Mash the potato with Olive oil (I used 3 tablespoons of Oil) – you want a soft but firm consistency.
Place the mashed potato on top of the cheese and spread evenly with a fork
If you want to you can drizzle olive oil or grated cheese over the potato to assist browning.

Bake 20 minutes @ 350F

Apple Pie with delicious Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry

Apple Pie with Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry

Apple Pie with Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry

It is so difficult to make gluten free pastry that stays together when cooked and doesn’t taste like thongs (flip flops for non aussies).
This recipe for pastry is fantastic, its rich and buttery and crisp. So I have used it to make a traditional Apple Pie.

Shortcrust Pastry Dough

1 cup of Ground Almonds
2 Cups of Plain Gluten Free Flour
2/3 Cup of icing sugar
200 g of cold butter or margarine
2 eggs

Crumb together the flour, almonds, icing sugar and butter. Then add the egg and with floured hands work into a dough. Now for non gluten free dough you would pop it in the fridge at this stage and let it rest but I find that just doesn’t work with gluten free flour and the sooner you use it the better and the less you work it the better.

Saving 1/3 of the dough for the top of the pie roll out the remaining dough.

So I roll it out straight away on baking paper and use the same baking paper to line the pie tin, so I just lift the whole thing into the pie tin and trim any edges that need trimming. Its good to do it this way because even though this pastry is yummy, its still gluten free which means its a pain in the you know what to work with. Cover the pie with baking paper and pop in your blind baking balls and bake in a warm oven 180c/350F for 12 minutes. Remove the ceramic balls and let the shell cool.

Apple Filling

8 Granny Smith Apples
Almond slices
Cinnamon
Lemon zest

I made a thick custard and once cool spooned it into the bottom of the pie dish. But you don’t have to, you can just go full on apples.
I used thinly sliced granny smiths (green apples). Make sure to cut all the cores out thoroughly or they will taste like toe nails in the pie.
In a pot cook the sliced apple with a cinnamon stick and the zest of one lemon for no more than 10 minutes. You want the apple softened but still firm so it doesn’t turn mushy. Drain the apple and let it cool before adding to the pie.

Add the cooled apple to the pie. Now you can either lattice the top or completely cover the pie with dough (if you do this make sure you make fork holes for hot air to escape), decorate the top however you want to, let your imagination run wild and create a painting on top of the pie. The rolled out pastry will still need supporting as you place it on the pie. I actually cut strips right through the baking paper and the dough and supporting the dough with the paper turned them onto the pie.
I used natural food colouring for the rose buttons.

Bake the pie again for 20 minutes.

Lemon Fruit Tart with Coconut Shell

Lemon Fruit Tart with Coconut Shell

Lemon Fruit Tart with Coconut Shell

So I had a really crap week, really bad, I felt really screwed over by someone I cared about and I may have spent several days lying around with tissues and ice-cream or not :).

Then my friend Louie set me a challenge, could I make a gluten free fruit tart?

There is nothing better when you feel like crap than to cook something that is celebratory and forces you smile just by looking at it and fruit tarts are such bursts of colour.

So I took up Louie’s challenge.

The first two efforts went in the bin, despite using flour assured by the manufacturer, was perfect for gluten free pastry. The outcomes were like most gluten free pastry, rubbery enough to re-tread a tyre.

So I then I had a light bulb moment and here is what I came up with for Louie.

And if you live in Cairns and want to try the real thing – the actual tart I made, you can do so at the gorgeous Louie’s gorgeous café – Tosca’s at Earlville. (P.S thanks Louie for cheering me up)

https://www.facebook.com/toscasespresso

I made this with a lovely zingy lemon filling but I will also give you the recipe for a chocolate
filling.

Ingredients
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of shredded coconut
butter for greasing
fresh fruit
mint leaves
2 tablespoons of marmalade jam

for lemon filling
250 mls of cream
250 gr of cream cheese
100 gr of lemon curd/butter

for chocolate filling
250 mls of cream
1 cup of chopped chocolate good quality

To Make the Tart Shell

You will need to really grease with butter or margarine a pie/tart tin.
The best to use is one with a removable side.
Now you can’t grease this enough. Its really important every part of the tin is well greased.

Separate 3 eggs. Put the yolks aside (don’t tip them out you will need them) and mix the egg whites with one and a half cups of shredded coconut.

Gently spread this over the bottom and sides of the tin. It will be quite a thin layer. But egg white is an excellent binder. Artists used to use it as a medium to paint with by mixing egg whites and pigments.

Put it in a slow over around 160C until it browns. Leave to cool.

To Make the Filling

Lemon Filling
In a saucepan mix together 250g of cream cheese, 4 generous tablespoons of lemon curd/butter and 250 mls of cream. Stir this together over a low heat until there are no lumps and it is runny or alternatively mix it all up in a blender. Continuing over a low heat mix in the 3 egg yolks. Continue stirring over a low heat until you see the first sign of reaching a boil. Its important to keep stirring, you dont want the egg to cook, you dont want the filling to catch on the bottom of the saucepan and burn or create lumps.

Remove and leave to cool a little.

Putting it altogether
Pour the filling into the pie shell and pop it in the fridge to really cool.

Once cool decorate with fresh fruits and glaze.

To Glaze
Bring to the boil 2 tablespoons of marmalade jam/jelly.
With a pastry brush gently brush the hot jam over the fruit.
Decorate with fresh mint leaves.

Chocolate Filling
Melt together I cup of chopped dark chocolate (good quality) and 250 mls of cream Add the egg yolks Stir continuously until the first sign of boiling as above.

Best Gluten Free Meat Pie Ever

Welcome to my Gluten Free Recipe Blog.
So I am starting this blog with my kids favourite recipe. Aussie Meat Pie with an epic gluten free pastry. Robbi'spieI thought I would bring my kids up to be good Vegetarians and to entice them I made them Apricot Tofu instead of Apricot Chicken which they declared was yuk! and Kidney Bean Bolognaise which was yukker! and eventually I gave in to their demands for meat. Mince is without a doubt the easiest meat to cook, especially for an ex veggo.

My Coeliac daughter bemoans the lack of gluten free comfort food – (as she’s a bit of a carnivore) especially a good yummy gluten free aussie meat pie.

So I made her this one.
Credit where credit is due it was inspired by Jamie Oliver – thanks for the cream cheese idea Jamie – it’s great for holding gluten free flour together.
I thought there would be left overs but it all got gobbled up.
I served this pie in Aussie tradition with Mash, Gluten Free Gravy and Peas.

Ingredients

Pastry
200 grams of Gluten Free Self Raising Flour. (I use Organ)
100 grams of Cream Cheese
100 grams of butter

Filling
A good splosh of Olive Oil
600 grams of lamb mince (you can use beef)
1 large onion – red/purple onion is best because of their sweetness
2 teaspoons of French mustard grained
1 Tablespoons of GF Soy Sauce (I use Kikomans)
3 Tablespoons of GF Worcestershire Sauce (I use Spring Gully)
2 extra Tablespoons of GF Flour
140 gram tub of Tomato Paste
1 heaped cup of grated carrot
1 Gluten Free beef stock cube (I use Massels)
2 Tablespoons of Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
Prep Time 20 mins.

Making the Pastry
Now normally you would use plain flour in this recipe but I rarely use plain flour for any Gluten Free flour item because anything using GF flour tends to be heavy. So to combat that I nearly always use Self Raising.
Put the 200 grams of Self Raising Flour into a food processor with the 100 grams of cream cheese and 100 grams of butter and pulse process until thoroughly mixed. It won’t form a lump like ordinary flour but will form granules like bread crumbs. Tip it into a bowl and then form a ball of the pastry with your hands.
Put the pastry into glad wrap or aluminium foil, seal and put it in the fridge. I use aluminium foil because I think that plastics leach into our food and we don’t want that! Leave it in the fridge whilst you make the filling.

Making the Filling

Leave the pan on the stove for all these steps, I am a patient cooker and use a low gas setting.
Finely chop or process the onion.
Put the onion into the olive oil in a pan and fry till browning or at least translucent. Stir occasionally.
Add the mince and fry until browned, continue to occasionally stir.
Add the 1 heaped cup of grated carrot, stir well.
Add the 2 teaspoons of mustard, the 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, sprinkle in the crumbled stock cube, add the 140 grams of tomato paste and stir to combine.
Sprinkle the extra 2 tablespoons of gluten free flour over the top then stir really well and cook for a minute to cook the flour to remove the flour taste and thicken the filling.
Remove from the stove top, cover and set aside to cool.

Don’t worry that the carrot isn’t cooked.

It will be by serving time.

When the filling is room temperature remove the pastry from the fridge.

Now this is the tricky bit with Gluten Free flour. Put the pastry onto one sheet of baking paper and work the pastry until it is soft and warm and pliable again.
Then push it into a round shape and flatten it out as much as you can without over working the pastry.
Put a sheet of baking paper over the top of the pastry and roll it out the rest of the way until it will cover the top of the pie dish.
Put the filling in the pie dish.
Keeping the pastry on the baking paper gently tip it onto the filling then chuck out the baking paper and with a fork make some holes in the pastry for air to escape and scallop the edge if you like. It’s really important to use the baking paper to support the pastry while you get it on the filling, gluten free pastry is extra crumbly.

Bake for 20mins at 180C 350F