Banana Muffins…Tried and True

Sometimes you find that the bananas you got only a few days ago are getting squishy and you have no desire to eat sticky overripe fruit.  This recipe is perfect for those days.  This muffin recipe is my own version of muffins from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics.  They are easy to make, perfect in texture and totally yummy.  My family and friends love them for snacks. They were my first kind of gf muffins and were so tasty and foolproof they launched my love of gf muffins.

I have subbed in chopped apples for some of the mashed bananas or applesauce will do too.  Sometimes I add ¼ cup currents, raisins or dried cranberries.  They add a tasty surprise when you bit into your muffin.  If you are not a fan of nuts leave them out.  Sometimes I leave out the nutmeg, or add extra cinnamon.

I do love to sprinkle them with chunky sugar; used for fancy baking.  Sometimes I ice some for company and we have them for dessert.  They were banging good that way. I feel no guilt; these muffins are low fat, low sugar and totally yummy, even when left un-iced!   muffin with frosting

I freeze any I won’t eat in 2 days; in a Ziplock freezer bag.  They make super school or work snacks and I sometimes take a couple on a hike, wrapped carefully so they don’t turn to banana nut crumbs on the way up the mountain!

Here are some I made on 6-1-16; they have a streusel topping and some chocolate chips added for extra yummy.

Banana Nut Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 c packed ripe mashed banana

½ c chopped walnuts

2 lg eggs beaten

½ c milk, 1 or 2 percent plus 2-3 extra tbsp. if you use the palm sugar

½ c canola oil

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 12-16 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl

Add bananas and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix

Combine milk and oil and.add liquids and eggs to mixing bowl; stir until blended.  Sometimes I add ¼ c dried cranberries which is a nice addition.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake 18-24 min until golden brown. Do not overbake or they get dry.  Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack.  I like to sprinkle the muffins with big sugar granules before baking for crunch.   Freezes well for up to 3 weeks.  Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) a few days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix  (same as King Arthur basic gf flour blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch (not potato flour)

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

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Banana Cream Pie Pleasures

Early spring brings a dearth of fresh fruit.  I find the apples to be less than optimal for pies after about February.  I was looking for something fresh and fruity.  No frozen fruit either; pricey to fill a whole pie and I really try to find things that are seasonal.  No rhubarb yet, just made a shoofly pie… hummn. I had a pie to bake for Joe’s birthday, he loves a pie so what to make, he isn’t a pear fan either. My sister said why not a banana cream pie? Bananas are here and fresh so yes! Besides, 2016 is my year of the pie plus I just love sharing a great pie recipe.  Here goes…

My mom used to make this pie when I was in my thirties; for some reason she never made it for us as kids.  I remember cutting up and setting the banana rounds in the baked pie shell for her.  The contrast of the rich custard, the flaky crust and the fluffy cream with the delicate banana flavor is just so memorable.  And if you can bake a pie crust and make custard this pie is simple.  If you want, buy a crust in a package to bake; that works too.  I assume you can use a box pudding but I highly recommend this custard, straight out of Betty Crocker’s 1978 cookbook.  It is an easy pie to convert to gluten free; just get that pie crust baked fully as it doesn’t go back in the oven.

I only have a couple of pictures and I have to say my pie filling was soft so the pictures do not do this pie justice; I guess I need to make it extra firm for some better shots. Trust me; it taste much better than my pictures hint at.

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Mom’s Banana Cream Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbps cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup corn starch

½ tsp sea salt

3 cups whole milk or 2 percent, no lower fat than that

4 egg yolks beaten lightly

2 tbsp. butter cut into small cubes.

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 large bananas

Topping: 1 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: Mix the dry ingredients in a 1 ½ qt sauce pan, Add the milk and stir as it heats.  Once it reaches a boil time it for one minute, STIRRING CONSTANTLY.  Then add 1/3 of it to the egg yolks, stir and return all to the pan, bring back to boil and time for one minute stirring constantly.  Add the butter and stir as it melts, then the vanilla, stir.  Pour into a mixing bowl, let cool a bit and then put a film of plastic wrap on the top; press it down onto the custard.  Chill at least an hour before using. Do not use until cold.  I must confess I nearly burnt my custard and actually strained it to get out any lump or browned bits.  It had a bit of a caramelized flavor due to the near disaster but I loved that sugary taste so I will maybe let it get like that next time too.

Roll out pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Prick with a fork evenly every inch so it won’t bubble as it bakes.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12-18 minutes until the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 15 minutes

Cut peeled bananas into 1/2 inch rounds and cover the bottom of the pie crust with them close together.  Pour the custard over the sliced fruit and smooth the top.

Chill pie 1- 4 hours before slicing and serving cold topped with a big dollop of whipped cream.

Whipped cream: Beat cold whipping cream with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks; add a quarter cup powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla.  Do not beat any more, just stir in.

I think it is best served the same day you make it, or no more then 12 hours after baking for optimal flavor.  The crust will get soggy if too much time passes. Mine was still very good the next day; just not as great as when really fresh.

Note: I froze my egg whites for later use in a cake. No wasting them, that’s for sure!

Brown Rice Flour Mix (Same as King Arthur GF All purpose blend)
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

** Pie filling from Betty Crocker Cook Book, 1978 Edition.

Smoothie Time!

This is September 1, Labor Day, the start of fall. But it is hot, humid, and just plain sticky.  Sure, you are going to celebrate with a bbq or party. But while you get everything ready you will likely get a tad warm. This is a great day for a refreshing smoothie; go back to my July 11th post and whip up a blender full to quench your thirst and keep you going strong!

Here is the post: smoothiehttps://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/pineapple-banana-smoothie-let-me-count-the-ways-i-love-you/

Change it up; instead of bananas; put peaches or nectarines in there, throw in some strawberries or blueberries. Cold, thirst quenching and healthy for sure.  Go for it!