Storm clouds rolled in this morning bringing with them deliciously cool breezes that were a welcome respite from the sultry heat of the last couple of days.
Anticipating imminent rain, Luna and I herded the goats out into the fields for their daily feed. They were ravenous and as they noshed on grasses and wildflowers, Luna and I sat in our own daisy-filled patch of grass and watched the darkening skies.
It’s so peaceful out there, especially when the goats are happy eating and not conspiring among themselves to make a bid for freedom to the neighbors paddocks.
You see all sorts of things when you’re sitting in the grass instead of walking through it: mice and lizards scurrying into the undergrowth, the tiniest of wildflowers, and interesting vines and bushes.
The fields are full of what looks and smells like wild fennel. I will have to find a local to go foraging with me to see what they think.
I got the goats back to their pen just as the heavens opened and the rain started to fall. After the dry heat of the last weeks, it was marvelous to get thoroughly drenched as I tossed feed and escorted various beasties into their pens.
I checked on my kitchen garden – the one where I have most of my herbs and seedlings – and it is coming along beautifully. The black beans I planted that survived the ravaging of some bird or other, are growing marvelously. I’ve never seen a black bean plant before, so I’m excited to see how they turn out. The lupines are also coming along, as are the Roma tomatoes, chilies, and a few seedlings I can remember planting.
Nasturtiums are always extra beautiful in the rain. When the blinding sun is upon them, they look rather glaring themselves, but in the cooling rain, they glow instead of glare.
This is the second year for this strawberry plant and it is going great guns!! It was so nice to come in out of the rain and tuck into a small collection of beautifully ripe strawberries fresh off the plant.
As promised in my last gluten-free holiday recipe post, here is the gluten free apple pie I made for Canadian Thanksgiving. It is the result of not having enough of, well, ANYTHING! I had enough gluten-free puff pastry for one crust, not two, a few apples but not enough for a whole pie, and nothing to put in top…or so I thought.
Scouring my freezer I found a stash of plump raisins, half a bag of walnuts, and a bag of brown sugar. Phew! All was not lost.
I sauteed apple slices in butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar until they were beautifully browned and caramelized, then added raisins and a scattering of cinnamon and nutmeg. I pressed the gluten-free puff pastry into a deep casserole dish, piled in the apple raisin mixture and then made a delectable streusel topping with chopped walnuts, butter, and brown sugar. I baked the whole thing for 35 minutes and when it came out? Oh my. The filling was buttery and slightly sweet topped with an exquisitely crunchy streusel with a heavenly combination of toasted nuts and caramelized brown sugar. Swoon. All it needed was a drizzle of cream and the assembled diners were happy campers indeed.
It may have been a slap-dash affair to begin with, but it is now my hands down favorite holiday pie.
What is your favorite kind of pie?
Gluten-free Apple Pie with Walnut Streusel
1 sheet gluten-free puff pastry, thawed
4-6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar (or maple syrup)
1 cup raisins
1-2 cups chopped walnuts
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 F/200 C.
- Press puff pastry into deep dish round casserole. Set aside.
- In saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter and coconut oil, add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Cook, stirring regularly, until apples are browned and sauce is smooth and caramelized.
- Stir in raisins and simmer until plump and soft.
- Pour mixture into pie crust and set aside.
- In small bowl mix together walnuts, melted butter and brown sugar until well combined.
- Scatter evenly over top of pie.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until topping and crust are browned.
- Serve warm with cream.