Dessert, Gluten-Free, Pie, Pumpkin Pie

Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie

Easy Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie

I’m a warm-weather summer girl through and through, except for October. As soon as the calendar hits October 1st I get a case of fall fever. I love the Halloween costumes, candy, and make-believe; give me all the spiders, witches, ghouls, ghosts, and goblins. I love spooky decorations, haunted houses, scary movies, and stories. I love football season (RTR! and GPG!) and the (slight) change in seasons, from 100 degree days to barely making it to the 90s (it’s Texas, we take what we can get). I love absolutely everything about fall.

A few weeks ago we were at our local grocery store when we spotted several giant white pumpkins. They were the coolest pumpkins I’d ever seen, but it was still September and fall fever hadn’t set in yet. I was still holding on to the last days of summer as tight as I could. On October 1st when my switch flipped from Summer to Fall the first thing I did was pick up one of those giant white pumpkins. This week’s bake is inspired by my love for fall and the discovery of the Polar Bear Pumpkin.

For this recipe, I wanted to try and make a healthy pumpkin pie. A healthy pumpkin pie is as rare as a unicorn, but this one is pretty close. It’s gluten-free and low sugar, but not lacking in delicious pumpkin pie flavor. One taste tester said “Happy Thanksgiving” right after his first bite! It’s perfect to share a slice with one of your favorites or you can eat three slices by yourself with very little guilt. Below is my recipe for Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie along with my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did. Enjoy!

Polar Bear Pumpkin (this week’s inspiration)

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Press in Crust

  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 1 1/3 cups of gluten-free flour, plus more as needed

Ingredients for Filling

  • 1 (15-ounce) can of pumpkin purée (not pie mix)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon of fine salt

Ingredients for Streusel

  • 1/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of gluten-free flour
  • 1/3 cup of uncooked rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 4 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions for Gluten-Free Press in Crust

  • Stir the butter, oil, sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Add the measured flour and stir until a soft dough forms.
  • Sprinkle the dough in small clumps over the bottom of a 9 1/2- to 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Using a measuring cup or your fingers, evenly press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the plate (flour the cup or your fingers occasionally to prevent sticking).
  • Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Arrange an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack and heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Make the filling

Directions for Filling and Baking

  • Place all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and combined. Set aside until the crust is chilled.
  • When the crust is ready, pour the filling into it. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet and bake until the outer 2 inches of the pie are set, about an hour.
  • Meanwhile, make the streusel.

Directions for Streusel

  • Whisk everything except the butter in a medium bowl until combined. Add the butter and, using your fingers, squeeze the flour mixture and butter together until they form moist clumps and all of the flour is totally incorporated into the butter. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
  • After the pie has baked for 60 minutes, remove it from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the streusel topping, breaking up any large clumps with your fingers as you sprinkle.
  • Return the pie to the oven and bake until the streusel lightly browns and the filling is set, but still jiggles slightly in the center. About 40 minutes more.
  • Remove the pie from the oven to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Oat Streusel

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts That I Did

  • This recipe makes a ton of filling and works best with a deep pie dish. I don’t have a one and ended up throwing some of the pie filling down the drain. Be sure to use a deep pie dish or be prepared to have left-over pie filling.
  • I was a little nervous about trying a press-in crust. Making crust is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen, but I wanted to try something new. The press-in crust was much easier AND tastier than I thought it would be. I’ll be making it for other pies again soon.
  • Speaking of crust, gluten-free crusts are always a little more fragile than the traditional crust, especially the press-in kind. Don’t stress if your pie falls apart a bit when transferring it from pie dish to plate. It still tastes delicious.
  • Be prepared for lots of recipe requests. This pie is the definition of all the things to love about fall.
  • This pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but I’m sure it won’t last that long.
  • All tricks aside, this pie is such a treat you’ll want to make two; one for yourself and one to share with friends and family.
  • As always, don’t forget to ENJOY!
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

If you’ve been following my blog, you know most of my baking and blogging inspiration comes from trying new desserts at restaurants all over Austin TX. This week is no different, we’re baking a new favorite, Tres Leches Cake (Milk Cake). I’ve heard of tres leches cake, but didn’t know what it was and had never eaten it. Last weekend I got the chance to try it for the first time and OH MY GOODNESS… A cake soaked in milk… where has this been all my life?!?! It was delicious, sweet and the texture was unlike anything I had ever eaten before. Of course, I had to try and recreate it. Below is the recipe for my Tres Leches Cake along with my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did.

Mae Bakes Tres Leches Cake

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup white sugar

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups 1% milk

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch baking pan.

Combine flour and baking powder and set aside.

Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar together in a stand mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.

Let cake cool in the pan for at least an hour.

Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.

Whip whipping cream, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Let the cake sit in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy!

Tres Leches Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream Topping

Tips, Tricks, and Don’ts that I did

The batter will be thick. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to have a cookie batter-like consistency.

Don’t be weirded out by how the cake looks after it bakes. Once it soaks up the milk it will fluff up and turn into the delicious picture below. (I almost trashed mine because I was afraid I had overbaked it, don’t do what I almost did)

GIve the cake time to soak up the milk mixture before topping with the whipped cream.

I topped mine with cinnamon, but fruit like strawberries or blueberries would make great toppings too.

This cake is best served after a night in the refrigerator, but you can serve it after a few hours if you’re pressed for time.

“Every cake should be soaked in milk”- #1 Mae Bakes Taste Tester. Truer words have never been spoken 🙂 If you love milk, this cake is for you. It’s big enough to share or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week if you want to keep it to yourself!

Don’t forget to Enjoy!

Easy Tres Leches Cake
baklava, Chocolate

Chocolate Baklava

Easy Chocolate Baklava

This week’s bake is inspired by my cousin Erin. We recently met through one of those DNA tests, 23 and me. Her mom and my mom grew up together and lost contact years ago, but through the magic of technology and science, she and I connected.We immediately hit it off and have quickly become great friends. Because I was so inspired by my new cousin who feels like an old friend, this week we’re adding a new take on an old favorite, Chocolate Baklava!

Baklava is one of my favorite bakes to make and since I was making this batch for Erin (who just had twin boys!) I knew I wanted it to be an amazing treat this new momma would love. This recipe is just as easy as my original Baklava recipe with a little added Nutella that gives it a new delicious flavor. Below is the recipe along with my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did. (side note, my baklava connoisseur loved this one too) Enjoy!

Ingredients for Honey Sauce

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

1 and 1/2 cups of honey

2 tablespoons of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Directions for Honey Sauce

Add water and sugar to medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.

Stir until sugar has completely dissolved.

Turn heat down to medium and add honey slowly while stirring.

Add vanilla extract and cinnamon

Continue to simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Ingredients for Nut Mixture

6 ounces of finely chopped walnuts

6 ounces of finely chopped pistachios

6 ounces of finely chopped pecans

6 ounces of finely chopped hazelnuts

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon sugar

Directions for Baklava

1 package (16 ounces) of filo dough

1/2 cup of Nutella (melted in the microwave for 25-30 seconds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add chopped nuts, cinnamon, and sugar to a bowl, mix, and set aside.

Melt butter in microwave.

Using a pastry brush, brush the butter on to a 9×13 in baking dish.

Add one sheet of filo and brush dough with a thin layer of butter. Repeat this step until you have layered 10 sheets of filo.

Brush Nutella on top of filo after the butter.

Add 3/4 cup of the nut mixture to the pan of filo.

Add five sheets of filo to the pan buttering in between each layer of dough.

Repeat the two steps above 3 more times.

Add 10 sheets of filo, buttering in between each layer and butter the top.

Here’s a breakdown of the order for the Baklava

  • 10 buttered sheets of filo, Nutella, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, Nutella, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, Nutella, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, Nutella 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, Nutella 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 10 buttered sheets of filo, butter top of pastry

Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into squares and then the squares into triangles.

Bake baklava for 50 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on top.

Remove from the oven and immediately pour the sauce over the entire pan.

Sprinkle remaining nut mixture over the top of the baklava.

Let sit and cool for a few hours before serving.

Chocolate Baklava

Tips and Tricks and a few Don’ts that I did

Make your honey sauce before you start building your baklava, giving it enough time to cool before adding it to the bake.

Don’t worry if your sauce is a little runny. It will thicken as it cools.

Filo dough is very very fragile. I recommend covering the dough with damp paper towels in between uses. Don’t worry if some of the filo tears during layering. You won’t be able to see it when the bake is complete.

Keep your butter hot. I melted mine in a microwavable safe bowl, boiled some water, and set the bowl in the hot water while I put together my baklava.

Be careful not to overheat your Nutella. You only need to heat enough to make it spreadable so can be brushed on the filo without tearing it. About 25-30 seconds is plenty.

When cutting the pastry, try not to cut the bottom few layers. This will help hold the sauce and allow it to soak more into the pastry.

Make sure you listen for the crackle when pouring the sauce over the Baklava. The crackle lets you know you’ve made a perfect baklava!

This bake is best after it sits for at least 3 hours and even better the next day. This gives the pastry enough time to absorb the sauce. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!

Baklava can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and enjoyed later, but it’s best served at room temperature within a few days.

Delicious Chocolate Baklava
Galette, Peach

Easy Peach Galette

Easy Peach Galette

For this week’s bake, I wanted to do something fun and easy, but also on a personal level, I needed a bake that could be a little bit therapeutic. Baking is my therapy and my flaky crust is my therapist. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there feeling the feels, but with all of the chaos happening in the world, my anxiety has been out of control. This week’s bake is inspired by my need to find my way in the new out of (my) control world and the bakes that get me through it.

This bake is a little unconventional, but super tasty. The fun part of a galette is it does not have to be perfect. It’s more of a rustic pie with a hint of tasty tart. AND since it’s the middle of peach season in Texas I had to do one last peach bake. Below is the recipe for my easy peach galette along with my tips, tricks, and a few don’ts that I did. Enjoy!

Flaky Crust Ingredients

  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  •  1 egg
  •  2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Directions for Galette

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.

Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it is the size of peas and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and milk. Add to the dough. Mix together with a fork until everything is evenly moistened. Knead briefly on a floured surface.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in half. 

Roll out the dough halves in to 2 circles (they don’t have to be pretty)

Put on a baking sheet and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

Ingredients and Directions for Pie Filling

4 cups of sliced peaches (about 5 medium peaches)

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Combine all ingredients into a saucepan and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

Let cool for 20 minutes.

Putting it All Together

Preheat oven to 425

Pull dough out of the refrigerator.

Add peach mixture to the center of each circle, leaving about 2 inches around the edges.

Fold edges to the peach filling.

Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush egg wash on the sides of the galette.

Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 for 25 minutes or until the galettes are golden brown.

Slice and Enjoy!

Sliced Peach Galette

Tips, Tricks and Don’ts that I did

I used peaches, but this recipe can be made with any fruit or combination of fruit you’d like. I made another one with strawberries and basil; it was divine!

If you use a fruit with a lot of water, be sure to add a little more cornstarch to soak up some of the extra moisture.

Don’t forget cold butter is key to this crust. If you feel your butter starting to melt while handling the dough, put it back in the refrigerator.

This recipe is very easy, but the dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator if you need a little extra time.

Serve these warm with a little homemade whipped cream or at room temperature.

As always, don’t forget to enjoy!

Mae Bakes Peach Galette
Cherry Clafoutis, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Easy Cherry Clafoutis

Easy Cherry Clafoutis

Cha Cha Cherry… Clafoutis! If you know how to pronounce Clafoutis without asking Google you know way more than I did before starting this bake. I had to look it up a few times and still have trouble.

This week’s bake was inspired by a couple of different elements. The first is an amazing beer we had last week. A local favorite brewery (Jester King) made a wild ale refermented with Cherry Juice and it was incredible! I had cherries on the brain for several days after having that beer so I knew I wanted my next bake to include cherries.

I was also inspired by the idea of baking something I had never heard of before. After a couple of days of research, I found the Clafoutis and was hooked by the name alone. Once I read what it actually was I knew I had to try and bake it. My Clafoutis is a little bit different because I wanted to make it dairy-free. I used oat milk instead of traditional whole milk and it turned out delicious. Below is the recipe for Cherry Clafoutis along with my tips, tricks, and don’ts that I did.

Ingredients

2 cups of fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half

4 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup oat milk

1 tablespoon almond extract

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons of powdered sugar (for sprinkling after the bake)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9″ round baking dish with butter. Spread out cherries in an even layer in the bottom of the pan.

In a stand mixer, add eggs and sugar. Blend until frothy. Add oat milk, almond extract, flour, and salt. Blend until combined.

Pour batter over cherries.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. 

Serve warm or at room temperature and dust with powdered sugar

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Cherry Clafoutis

Tips, Tricks and Don’ts that I did

Use fresh cherries. If you use cherries from a jar like maraschino, you’ll risk having a soggy bake.

Be careful when you remove the pits from your cherries. I found the best way is to pull the stem, slice in half, and pull apart. The pit should pop right out once the cherry has been cut in half.

You can definitely use whole milk instead of going dairy-free like I did. Keep in mind it may take less time to cook than with oat milk.

The Clafoutis is done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Due to oven variances be sure to watch your clafoutis the last 10 or so minutes left in the bake. It’s easy to under AND over bake this one.

If you’re local or ever planning a trip to Austin, do add Jester King Brewery to your must list. It’s a brewery on a farm with baby goats. They have great beer, tasty pizzas, and did I mention baby goats?

Don’t forget to Enjoy!

Cherry Clafoutis
Chicken Soup, Pop-Tarts

Ma’s Chicken Soup Pop-Tarts

Ma’s Chicken Soup Pop-Tarts

Someone once told me to call yourself a baker you have to not only know how to bake sweet bakes, but also savory bakes. For this week’s bake, I decided to take on that challenge and bake a savory bake. Below is the inspiration for this week’s blog and bake, along with the recipe and my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did.

A few weeks ago I learned how to make homemade chicken soup. A few days later I learned how to bake homemade Pop-Tarts. Soon after I had the idea to combine the two and make a savory pop tart. The chicken soup was amazing and the crust of the pop tart was the best I had ever made. Why not take two different delicious meals and combine them into one tasty tart? It was an adventurous idea for a new baker like myself, but I was determined to make it work. I thought about this bake every night while trying to fall asleep for over a week. I jotted down idea after idea like how to incorporate the broth of the soup into the tart without making a soggy mess. I was even worried I wouldn’t be able to recreate the flaky crust of my very first pop tart. Finally, I realized there was nothing left to think about. It was time to just bake it. And… big reveal…. it worked!! (the first time too). Ma’s Chicken Soup Pop-Tarts are made from a loaned chicken soup recipe, a lot of love (and overthinking), and they are one of the reasons I can now call myself a baker.

Chicken Soup

Ingredients

For the soup, the recipe I used is not mine to share…. but you can use any soup recipe you’d like. The trick to this bake is putting everything together.

Directions for Soup Filling

Strain soup, save 2 tablespoons of broth for the crust.

Add strained soup to saucepan on medium heat.

Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to saucepan and veggies.

Stir until cornstarch is dissolved.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Flaky Crust Ingrediants

  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  •  1 egg
  •  2 tablespoons of broth from the soup

Directions for Crust

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.

Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it is the size of peas and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and broth. Add to the dough. Mix together with a fork until everything is evenly moistened. Knead briefly on a floured surface.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in half. 

Roll out one piece of dough to about ⅛-inch thick, in a 9½ by 12½ rectangle. Using a sharp knife, pastry wheel or bench scraper, trim the rectangle to 9×12 inches.

Cut the sheet of dough into nine 3×4-inch rectangles. Using a spatula, transfer the rectangles to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

Assembly Time! (the most important part of this bake)

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.

Brush the egg wash on each of the rectangles.

Spoon a tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, leaving a ½-inch of space around the edges.

Roll out and cut the second piece of dough in the exact same manner as you did the first. One at a time, place a second rectangle of dough on top of the nine assembled ones.

Using your fingers, press around the seams of the dough to make sure they are sealed.

Press the tines of a fork around the edges of the rectangles.

Prick the tops of the rectangles in multiple spots to allow steam to escape.

Refrigerate the pan with the pastries (you don’t need to cover them) for 45 minutes.

While the pastries are refrigerated, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the pastries for 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving. Store pastries in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Ma’s Chicken Soup Pop-Tart

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts That I Did

Don’t be afraid to try new things. This recipe was born out of a conversation weeks ago. I spent way too much time stressing about it. For this one specifically there wasn’t a ton of research to do. I should have trusted my gut and jumped right in the day the idea was born.

Don’t forget that cold butter is the KEY to flaky crust. I try to put my dough into the fridge a few times after I handle it. If you feel your dough getting sticky, it’s time to cool it down.

Don’t skip the cornstarch step. Straining gets out the broth, but the cornstarch gets out the moisture that would cause a soggy pastry. No one likes a soggy bottom.

Typically milk is used when making a crust, but I subbed in broth to give the Pop-Tarts some added chicken soup flavor. Feel free to stick with milk if you’d prefer.

Do have fun! Try this bake with whatever soup you like or even a jam. These pop tarts can be made so many different ways.

As always… Don’t forget to ENJOY!

Ma’s Chicken Soup Pop-Tarts, best enjoyed with an ice cold Topo-Chico
Mini Pies, Peach

Mini Peach Pies

Texas Peaches

My love for Texas runs deep and one of the things I love the most about Texas is the produce. Texas has the best of every fruit or vegetable you can imagine, but the real stars of all things produce are the peaches. The peaches here are incredibly delicious and can only be described as juicy and juicy. Peaches here are so juicy you have to eat them over your sink… literally. I’m ashamed to admit that I lived in Austin for a full 3 years before ever trying one. I still remember my first bite in my friend’s car and the unexpected delicious juice explosion that happened. I came home after and ate 4 more over my sink. If you live in Texas and haven’t had a Texas peach, do yourself a favor and stop at the next peach stand you see on the side of the road. Trust me. You’ll thank me later.

For this week’s bake and to celebrate the start of peach season in Texas I decided to bake a few mini peach pies. This past weekend we made a trip to our local farmers market and grabbed the best peaches they had to offer. Below is the recipe for my mini peach pies with a hint of nutmeg and brown sugar along with my tips, tricks, and don’ts that I did. Enjoy!

Mini Peach Pies

Ingredients and Directions for Pie Filling

4 cups of sliced peaches (about 5 medium peaches)

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup of brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients into a medium sized bowl and toss to cover peaches.

Ingredients for Double Crust

2 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2/3 cup of butter

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

5-6 tablespoons of 2% milk

1 egg white whisked plus 1 tablespoon of water

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions for Pie Crust

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.

Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly.

Sprinkle with vinegar.

Gradually add milk, tossing with a fork until a ball is formed.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Putting it all together

Divide dough into 2 portions, 1 slightly larger than the other.

Roll out larger ball on a lightly floured surface to fit 4 small pie pans.

Add Peach Pie filling to uncooked pie shells. (about 1 cup per mini pie pan)

Roll out remaining pastry to fit tops, trim and flute edges.

Cut slits in tops for venting.

Mix the egg white and water in a small bowl and brush over the pies.

Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for an additional 30-40 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Mini Peach Pie

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts that I did

To peel or not to peel… lots of peach pie recipes say to peel the peach skin. I left mine on because I love every single part of the peach. Feel free to peel if you’d prefer.

I used a mix bag of super ripe to barely ripe peaches for this recipe. It took a lot of self control not to devour the super ripe peaches over my sink, but it was worth it for the pies. Pick whatever peaches you think are best. If you choose all barely ripe peaches you may need to bake your pies a tad longer.

The pie crust recipe can be used for a full pie instead of 4 minis. If you make the full pie you’ll need about 2 additional cups of peaches.

If you don’t like the taste of nutmeg, feel free to substitute with cinnamon.

Go ahead and wrap your edges with foil before you start baking the pies. Usually I wrap pie edges mid-bake, but for these lil guys you’ll get an even bake without any burnt edges if you foil wrap pre-bake.

Don’t over bake your pies. Once the pies are golden and the peach juice starts to bubble it’s time to take them out.

Don’t be sad if the pies aren’t perfect. I was a little dissapointed when my pretty pies ended up with peach juice all over them, but the peach juice is delicious and adds a little peach flavor to the crusts.

These pies don’t have a ton of added sugar which makes them fairly healthy so don’t feel guilty if you eat an entire mini pie… or two.

You can sub regular flour for a gluten free blend if you want a gf crust.

These pies are delicious by themselves or you can whip up some homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to go with them.

Don’t forget to Enjoy!

Mini Peach Pie with Whipped Topping

Blueberry, Gluten Free, Muffins

Healthy Gluten Free Blueberry Oat Muffins

Healthy Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Hey Bakers! It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog and like most of you it’s taken some time for me to adjust to our new normal (I hated that phrase 3 months ago, but here we are). I’m fortunate enough to work from home during the pandemic, but working from home AND teaching two kids in two different grades has been an adjustment. I think I make at least a thousand decisions before lunch so the blog, unfortunately, has fallen off my radar. Rest assured I have been baking and I’m ready to share all of the scrummy treats I’ve been cooking up since my last blog.

One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I’m typically a healthy eater. Although you probably wouldn’t guess that if you just looked at my bakes. I work out at least six sometimes seven days a week and have a very healthy diet that is full of protein, low in sugar, and includes tons of veggies (I do enjoy an occasional celebration weekend of course). With that being said, because we’re all staying home and staying out of gyms, I’m pivoting and taking this blog into a new direction. I’ve decided to bake and blog delicious healthy treats that are guilt-free, but most importantly taste great (I promise not to post a bake that hasn’t been taste-tested and approved by me and my taste testers). If you’re looking for delicious HEALTHY treats to get you through the quarantine, you’re in the right place.

One thing that keeps me on track with my nutrition is weekly meal preps; which includes breakfast. For this week’s bake I decided to whip up a classic; blueberry muffins! These aren’t your typical unhealthy heavy muffins so don’t worry about eating more than one. This blueberry muffin recipe is gluten-free, low sugar, and packed with yummy blueberries.

Below is the recipe for my blueberry oat muffins along with my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I use King Arthur Measure For Measure Blend)

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 large eggs room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1 1/2 cup blueberries (1 additional tablespoon of flour to coat the berries)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line muffin tins with liners.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together gf flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and orange extract.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the well. Then carefully stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just blended.

Toss blueberries in 1 tablespoon of flour then fold them into the batter.

Divide the batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack.

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts that I did

Spray muffin liners with non stick cooking spray. I hate when half the muffin sticks to the paper. Spraying it with non stick spray gives you a perfect muffin, every time.

I used fresh blueberries that were frozen, but you can use fresh if you’d prefer.

If you don’t want the orange flavor feel free to omit it and add more vanilla.

If you’re not gluten free, you can substitute with regular flour and get the same delicious results.

I made these as part of my weekly meal prep. Store in large freezer bag and pop them in the fridge. To reheat you can microwave them for 20 seconds or until warm.

As always don’t forget to ENJOY and STAY WELL.

Cookies, lemon

Simple Petite Glazed Lemon Cookies

One of my favorite things to do during the summer is soak up the sun at Barton Springs Pool in Austin TX. For this weeks blog I was dreaming of those warmer days by the pool and wanted to do a bake that was fresh and tiny but packed a huge flavor. The recipe below is easy, delicious and full of sunshine; one bite will make you feel like you’re poolside on a grassy hill soaking up the warm rays of summer. Don’t forget to keep reading to my dos and don’ts that I did to find out why this recipe might be the easiest bake I’ve ever made.

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated

7 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes

1 egg yolk

3 teaspoons ice water

Ingredients for Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

Directions for Cookies

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar and lemon zest.

Cut in chilled butter using a pastry blender until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Add in egg yolk using a fork until blended.

Using your hands gently knead the dough.

Add ice water 1 teaspoon at a time and continue kneading the dough until a ball forms.

Once a ball has been formed cut the dough in half.

Roll each half into a log about 1 inch in diameter.

Wrap logs in plastic and allow them to chill in freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove logs from freezer, unwrap and slice into 1/4 inch rounds using a serrated knife.

Place cookies on lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Directions for Glaze

Place powdered sugar into bowl and add lemon juice.

Whisk until smooth and syrupy.

Submerge cooled cookies into glaze top side down and return to cooling rack. Repeat this step 2 more times for a thicker glaze.

Tips and Tricks and a few Don’ts that I did

These cookies are so easy that the scariest part was rolling the dough. Even that part is as simple as playing with playdough. You literally just roll it on a lightly floured surface between your hands and the counter. Wrap it, freeze it and bake it. It could not be any easier.

You don’t have to make both logs if you’d like to save one. It can be kept in the freezer for at least a month, but trust me you’ll want to bake it sooner than that. These cookies may be small but they are addictive. I ate the first batch by myself in two days and only shared two. They are seriously that good.

Play with the flavor of the glaze. If you don’t want a punch of lemon flavor, you can add less juice to your sugar.

That’s it. Very few don’ts that I did and so simple I don’t have many tips or tricks. These cookies are tiny in size but mighty in flavor and incredibly easy. I’ll be eating these a lot this spring and summer. I hope you will be too! Enjoy!

baklava

Baklava

Baklava

I love living in a big city. I love the sites and sounds, the hustle and bustle, but most of all, I love the food. I love not knowing what you’re eating for dinner on a Sunday night and ending up in a random restaurant chowing down on a mediterranean buffet. It was in this restaurant that I had my very first baklava and the inspiration for this week’s bake. The tasty flaky treat was one of the best things I have ever eaten, or so I thought. The following week we found ourselves in another greek restaurant and I had another baklava that was even better. Every single element of that pastry from the crispy layers to the gooey honey sauce was amazing. I was in awe of this dessert and determined to learn how to make baklava at home. After several hours of research, a few videos and some history lessons the recipe below was born.

If the thought of making baklava seems a little daunting keep reading for my tips, tricks and don’ts that I did and you’ll see why it’s much easier than it looks.

Ingredients for Honey Sauce

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

1 and 1/2 cups of honey

1 tablespoon of orange extract

2 tablespoons of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of ground cloves

Directions for Honey Sauce

Add water and sugar to medium sized pot and bring to a boil.

Stir until sugar has completely dissolved.

Turn heat down to medium and add honey slowly while stirring.

Add orange extract and ground cloves.

Continue to simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Ingredients for Nut Mixture

6 ounces of finely chopped walnuts

6 ounces of finely chopped pistachios

6 ounces of finely chopped pecans

6 ounces of finely chopped hazelnuts

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon sugar

Directions for Baklava

1 package (16 ounces) of filo dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add chopped nuts, cinnamon and sugar to bowl, mix together and set aside.

Melt butter in microwave.

Using a pastry brush, brush the butter on to a 9×13 in baking dish.

Add one sheet of filo and brush dough with a thin layer of butter. Repeat this step until you have layered 10 sheets of filo.

Add 3/4 cup of the nut mixture to the pan of filo.

Add five sheets of filo to the pan buttering in between each layer of dough.

Repeat the two steps above 3 more times.

Add 10 sheets of filo, buttering in between each layer and butter the top.

Here’s a breakdown of the order for the Baklava

  • 10 buttered sheets of filo, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 10 buttered sheets of filo, butter top of pastry

Using a sharp knife, cut pastry into squares and then the squares into triangles.

Bake baklava for 50 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on top.

Remove from oven and immediately pour the sauce over the entire pan.

Sprinkle remaining nut mixture over the top of the baklava.

Let sit and cool for a few hours before serving.

Delicious Easy Baklava

Tips and Tricks and a few Dont’s that I did

I mentioned before that this recipe is pretty easy, but it is a little more time consuming than other bakes. Don’t let that discourage you, it’s just building the layers that takes some time. It gets easier and faster each time you make it.

Make your honey sauce before you start building your baklava, giving it enough time to cool before adding it to the bake.

Filo dough is very very fragile. I recommend covering the dough with damp paper towels in between uses. Don’t worry if some of the filo tears during layering. You won’t be able to see it when the bake is complete.

Keep your butter hot. I melted mine in a microwavable safe bowl, boiled some water and sat the bowl in the hot water while I put together my baklava.

To avoid a soggy bottom, be sure to only brush a thin layer of butter to each filo layer.

Feel free to play with flavors with the sauce. I wanted a little more spice to my sauce for a traditional taste, but you can omit the cloves or add more if you like.

Speaking of flavors. I read several articles that said pistachios and walnuts are traditionally used in this dessert, but I also read a few that said hazelnuts and pecans are typically used. I love all of them so decided to use them all. Use whichever nuts you like, just make sure it’s at least 24 ounces finely chopped.

The nuts need to be chopped pretty small for this bake. Invest in a chopper or buy your nuts already chopped. Chopping them by hand would take forever. I have an immersion blender that has a chopping attachment (I’ve had this for years and this is the first time I used the attachment or even knew what it was for). I’ve included a link below to the one I have. Definitely worth the investment. https://www.amazon.com/Immersion-Utalent-BPA-Free-Container-Smoothies/dp/B07LFY1L31/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=153PLSNP0AIMV&keywords=immersion+blender&qid=1582042040&sprefix=immersion%2Caps%2C190&sr=8-1-

Don’t worry if your sauce is a little runny. It will thicken as it cools.

When cutting the pastry, try not to cut the bottom few layers. This will help hold the sauce and allow it to soak more into the pastry.

One of the best and most fun parts (besides the taste and saying the name) of making this dessert is the crackle of the baklava. When you hear the dessert crack while pouring the honey sauce over it you know you’ve made a perfect baklava!

This bake is best after it sits for at least 3 hours and even better the next day. This gives the pastry enough time to absorb the sauce and it gets that delicious sticky gooeyness you want in a baklava.

Baklava can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and enjoyed later, but it’s best served at room temperature within a few days.

I say this with every bake, but this one is a favorite and probably the tastiest. One of my Mae Bakes taste testers and a self proclaimed baklava connoisseur told me this was the best baklava he has ever eaten. Don’t forget to share this with all of the dessert connoisseurs in your world; it’s too good not to.

Enjoy!

Easy Baklava