Archive for October, 2009

Gluten-Free Cranberry Bars

October 30, 2009

Uh oh…new blog obsession. I’m salivating over Katie Goodman’s blog goodLife {eats}. Her photography is wonderful and she makes simple yet amazing recipes that are easily adapted. She is not a gluten free baker, but I was able to adapt her recent recipe for Cranberry Crumb Bars with no problem at all! Please take a second to go click around on her site and check out her other recipes, I am incredibly impressed with her clear writing style and wonderful photography.

On another note…these cranberry bars are DELISH. I seriously ate half a pan this morning after they were cooled. Even Keith, who is not particularly fond of fruit in desserts liked this one, especially the sweet cinnamony cake! I actually halved the batch (on my first try! I know, I know…I’m a daredevil!) and they turned out great, I just baked them in an 8×8 glass pan and they turned out perfectly.

Gluten Free Cranberry Bars
Adapted from goodLife {eats}

Ingredients

1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup flour*
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup cold butter
1 egg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
juice of 1/2 orange
4 cups fresh cranberries
2/3 cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs cornstarch

1) Preheat to 375 F. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.

2) Mix 1 cup sugar, flour, almond meal, salt, xanthan gum and baking powder. Cut in butter and egg with a fork or pastry cutter until incorporated and texture is crumbly. Pat half of dough evenly into pan.

3) Stir together sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and orange juice in a separate bowl. Mix in berries and toss until evenly coated. Spread evenly over dough.

4) Add cinnamon to remaining dough, then crumble dough over berries. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until brown on top. Chill completely before eating.

* I used the flour blend linked above to make these because it’s a really nice crumbly shortbread-esque blend. It was perfect if a little TOO cohesive because of the xanthan gum that I added. Next time I would try it without the additional xanthan gum and just use the blend as is.

Autumn Pear Clafouti

October 21, 2009

I know when people think about fall, they normally think about apple orchards, cider, woodsmoke and pumpkins. I do too, but I also think about pears.

Have you ever taken a really good look at how many pear varieties there are in the grocery store or at the farmer’s market? Tons. They’re all so different too. Bright green Bartlett’s with a blush of pink and yellow, dusty Bosc’s, squat burgundy Seckel’s and round yellow Asian pears. They’re all beautiful, delicate, and completely different in taste. And I will probably eat at least one of each at least once this fall!

I was wandering around Whole Foods the other day when I saw an awesome deal on a bag of small Bartlett pears. They were tiny and adorable and I need more fruit in my diet. Sold. So all week I’ve been thinking about ways I could use up all these darn pears, and I started thinking about Bea at La Tartine Gourmande. She makes clafouti, a baked custard-like fruit dessert, like nobody’s business, and best of all she does it gluten free! Also, her pictures are amazing and beautiful and if you’ve never checked out her blog, I highly suggest you do!

Anyway, pear clafouti got into my head, so I found a recipe by Ina Garten of The Barefoot Contessa that sounded doable due to a very very small amount of flour. Yay! I adapted it and am completely addicted. I’m a sucker for a custard based dessert, and this one is particularly delicious, especially spiked with booze as it is! Try this out and savor the tastes of fall, ya’ll.

Couldn't wait for the picture before sampling...

Pear Clafouti
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c. + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
6 tablespoons gluten free flour mix (I used this one)
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
2 tablespoons gluten free vanilla
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 kosher salt
2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy)
2-3 firm pears
Confectioners sugar
Creme fraiche

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) Butter a 10x3x1.5 inch baking dish (I used a porcelain tart pan)and dust with granulated sugar

3) Beat eggs and 1/3 cup sugar in stand mixer for about 4 minutes or until fluffy.

4) On low speed, mix in flour, cream, vanilla, lemon zest, salt, and Calvados. Set aside for 10 minutes.

5) Peel, quarter, core and slice pears. Arrange slices in a single layer, fanned out, in the baking dish. Pour batter over fruit and bake until top is firm and golden, about 35-40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with creme fraiche and powdered sugar.

Buttermilk & Brown Sugar French Toast

October 17, 2009

Rain rain rain. I’ve watched all of my friends update their Facebook statuses (stati?) this morning, sad about the cold rain and gray skies that we are experiencing this week. I have to say to my friends, with respect: I don’t mind at all.

Rainy days give me the excuse I need to make comfort food. What might be too fattening or decadent on a warm sunny fall day all of a sudden becomes acceptable and preferred nosh. “Oh, 8 cups of hot chocolate and marshmallows? 10 pieces of cinnamon sugar toast dripping with butter? A whole bowl of spaghetti and homemade meatballs to myself? Done.”

Quick sidenote: I have FINALLY gotten moved into my new apartment. I am happily ensconced on the 11th floor of a highrise, right down the street from:
Whole Foods
Williams Sonoma
Crate and Barrell
Pottery Barn
Barnes and Noble
And about 85 other amazing ways to waste money. I can walk and save gas money and parking fees though, right? 🙂

Anyway, I’m unpacking my kitchen, which is proving to be a bit of a challenge because of a lack of storage for pots and pans along with my gargantuan amount of gluten free cooking supplies (ie, flours). I wanted to share with you all a recipe that I made before I packed up the last of my things at the old place for Buttermilk & Brown Sugar French Toast with Cherry Compote. MM. This was your basic “what I had in the pantry/fridge” recipe. I was out of regular milk, had 4 pieces of gluten free bread to use up, and needed to use up a bag of frozen cherries. TA DA. I wish that I had enough of my stuff unpacked to actually make this recipe today. Maybe Saturday… 🙂

Nom nom nom.

Nom nom nom.

Buttermilk Brown Sugar French Toast with Cherry Compote
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
4 pieces of gluten free bread (I used Whole Foods sandwich bread, but I also think this would be awesome with the cinnamon raisin kind)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
Unsalted butter

For the Cherry Compote:
1/2 bag frozen cherries
splash of orange juice
sprinkle of sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1) Beat together buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a shallow bowl.
2) Soak bread in liquid until most/all is absorbed, about 3-5 minutes. Melt butter on griddle while you are waiting for the bread.
3) Fry bread slices in butter over medium heat until golden brown on both sides, approximately 3-4 minutes per side.
4) While you are frying, heat frozen cherries in a saucepan with juice, sugar, and cinnamon until they are warm, soft, and have released their juices.
5) Top the french toast with the cherries and juice. Feel as though living is a gift and luxuriate in the moment.