July 19, 2008


The middle of July has arrived and with it, Summer! We've been enjoying hot and dry days after several very long wet months. The spoils of the Earth have therefore sprung. My tomato plants are starting to produce fruit, and the market is overflowing with treats. Best of all, my favorite summer food is in season...raspberries. With their brilliant red color, and their lingering slightly sweet tartness, I find they sum up everything I love about summer. And just like summer, they never last long enough.

Yesterday it was HOT (29 C, with our normal highs being around 24 C) and sunny. So I did the logical thing, I closed up the apartment, threw on the AC for the cats, jumped in the car and headed into the Valley. What could take this suburban raised girl away from the city? A few hours spent at Dempsy Corner's Orchard picking raspberries and cherries. It took me nearly 1.5 hours to pick 4 pints of berries as I was far to busy eating them from the vine. Of course they were un-sprayed...and the bugs I fought were proof enough of that for me.

However, what am I to do with all these berries? I already have enough jam to sink a ship, and very little freezer space. I keep thinking of delicious "Himbeere Kuchen" I ate in Kassel. Sadly my day's of delectable cakes are gone. Or at least until I get better at this whole baking gluten free thing. After a hunt, and the combining of a couple recipes I came up with a very nice Gluten-Free Fresh Raspberry Pie.

Gluten-Free Fresh Raspberry Pie

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
4 oz. (1/2 package) cream cheese
1 egg, well beaten
2-3 tbsp milk

Sift together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or two knifes. Cut in cream cheese. When fairly uniform stir in the egg. Sprinkle milk over mixture and gently stir and knead into a ball. Roll dough into a circle approx 2 inch wider than your pie plate. Bake at 450 F fro 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool.

I baked mine for 10 minutes, turned off the oven and left it in for the remaining 5. It came out nicely dried, with a lovely golden color on the top edges.

For the filling:
2 2/3 cups raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 1/2 tbsp corn starch

Measure out 2/3 cup of the berries and mash into a medium ceramic or glass bowl. Mix in sugar and water. Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes until bubbling.
Combine the cornstarch with a small amount of water and stir into the berry mixture. Place back in microwave and cook an addition 1-2 minute until thickened. Allow to cool. Once filling is cool, place remaining berries in the prepared pie shell and pour the glaze over. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.

Enjoy with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or just as is.