Gluten Free Thanksgiving: Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

This is an internet recipe, but I have no idea where it’s from anymore. Regardless, it’s delicious, and you can use either bourbon or blackstrap rum to make this pie (both are delicious).

Obviously you’ll need a gluten free pie crust (which really just means pie crust made with a gluten free all-purpose flour blend, which is a little crumbly for a top crust but fine for a bottom crust, since you can piece something together in the pan), and there is a little bit of flour in the actual pie filling as well. Sweet or brown rice flour both work just fine, or more of your AP Flour Blend.

(Which I guess makes this the least Gluten Free of all my recipes, since it does require a Gluten Free Flour blend, but if you’re going for the least amount of impact on your Thanksgiving, I think these pies are worth it. I’ll also make a basic pumpkin pie with the same crust recipe.)

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

You will need:

  • 1 – 9″ prepared pie crust, do not pre-bake/blind bake
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup pecan, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl mix together eggs, corn syrup, butter, light brown sugar, bourbon, flour and vanilla until well combined. Add the chopped pecans and chocolate chips and mix well. Pour into prepared pie crust.

Bake pie on the bottom rack at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 45 minutes. Let pie cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Easy Baked Apples

It’s apple season! Yay! I love apples, and I especially love apples that are fresh, crisp, and on sale. This means you can probably make this dessert for 4 people for around $5, depending on the price of butter. Cheap apples or not, though, this is delicious and very very easy.

You need:

  • 4 medium sized apples – any firm apple will work
  • butter
  • brown sugar or honey
  • cinnamon
  • a square glass baking dish
  • some water

So, the trickiest part of this process is coring the apples while leaving the majority of the apple intact. If you have an apple corer, great! Just make sure you only pull out about 3/4 of the core, leaving the blossom end still attached.

The goal is to take the middle parts out of the apple (as apple seeds are not good eats) but still leave the bottom intact to create a container for deliciousness that we will add later. If you don’t have an apple corer, take a sharp knife and cut around the stem down about 3/4 of the way through the apple and then use a sharp edged spoon (a metal teaspoon or half teaspoon works well) and scoop out the stemmy seedy bits.

When you’re done, you should have an apple “cup” – most of the apple intact with a little plug taken out of the middle.

Set the apples in the baking dish.

Put about half a tablespoon of butter in each apple, followed by a generous shaking of cinnamon. Do not be shy with the cinnamon. Then, top with a spoonful or two of honey or brown sugar, and pour enough water around the apples to fill the pan about 1/2 inch.

Bake at 375F for half an hour to 45 minutes, until the apples are soft. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream or both. You can eat the skins (I do) or just appreciate them as apple containment devices and pitch them in the compost afterward.

As an aside, if you cook them too long, the apples will burst their skins and turn into baked applesmush. This is, while less pretty, still pretty delicious and can be served regardless.

Anna’s Great-Nana’s Banana Nut Bread

One of my wedding gifts from my Nana (my dad’s mother) was a collection of her favorite recipes to add to my recipe box. They’re not the recipes I make all the time – most of them are desserts and special occasion foods – but some of them are real treasures.

I occasionally, like many people, purchase too many bananas. I eat them frequently, but some weeks I end up forgetting about them until they start to be past their raw-eating-prime. (AKA they turn black and smushy)

Usually when this happens, I make smoothies.

At one point, however, I decided to see if I had a good banana bread recipe around. While digging through my recipe box, I came across one in my Nana’s handwriting, but the recipe isn’t hers. The recipe belonged to her mother in law, my Great-Nana Erma Martoccio, who lived in New York in the early 1900’s. She is largely responsible for my Nana being an amazing cook, since my Nana is a farm girl from rural Tennessee and only comes by her Italian cooking by marriage.

It’s a very simple recipe, with no particularly special ingredients, but the bread is spectacular. (It is neither low fat nor low calorie, but this is special-occasion bread.)

Anna’s Great-Nana’s Banana Nut Bread
Recipe courtesy of Erma Martoccio

Hardware:

  • Two regular loaf pans or three “small” loaf pans
  • A mixer
  • A large bowl, a small bowl, the usual assortment of measuring cups, a spatula

Software:

  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1 1/2c. sugar
  • 1 1/2c. mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk, divided
  • 2 c. flour, divided
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Optional: 3/4 c. chopped nuts (I use pecans)
  • Optional: 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

I also usually make this in my stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but you can easily do it with a hand mixer and a spatula.

The Program:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease the bottoms only of your loaf pans with non-stick spray or butter. I use three 1.2 quart Pyrex glass loaf pans (they have red lids, and are, I think, storage dishes, but they bake just fine).
  2. Cream together the butter and the sugar. While the mixer is going, crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat with a fork.
  3. Blend in the mashed bananas, beaten eggs, and vanilla
  4. Add, in order and mixing on low speed in between, 1/4c. buttermilk, 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4c. butter milk and the final cup of flour.
  5. With the spatula, gently mix in the nuts and chocolate chips, if using.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the loaf pans.
  7. If using two 9×5 loaf pans, bake for 70-75 minutes. If using three smaller loaf pans, bake for 50-55 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean, and the loaves should be golden brown and delicious. The tops of the loaves may crack – that’s OK (even desirable).

This recipe freezes well and will keep in the refrigerator (cooled completely and wrapped well) for at least a week or two… but it never lasts that long in my house. The chocolate chips are my own idea and not in the original recipe, but they are quite a delicious addition, if I do say so myself.

Enjoy!