Cloud Bread – Yup…That’s Its Name!

Finding or baking decent gf bread can be problematic.  Poor texture, weird flavors, big holes the middle of the loaf, leaden brick like baked products, high prices and lots of ingredients which must be compiled exactly according to the recipe.  It adds up to a fair amount of stress as to just having a sandwich.

A year ago I made some really interesting bread called “cloud bread” (also called oopsie bread) and it has no flour, no oats nor any grains.  I was intrigued when I saw this cloud bread popping up in my support group messages and just had to try it. My recipe has five ingredients but three should be in your pantry already.  It was very easy, quick and yes; tasty.  So it made a super bread for a ham and cheese sandwich and a ham/turkey and cheese sandwich.  I ate one warm out of the oven, also enjoyable. Great with a little jam or jelly on top.  Posted it back last March and sharing again so you who missed it can give it a try.

I added a couple toppings which add a lot to the flavor and look of it.  I recommend them but it sure can be made plain.   You have to use full fat cream cheese to make it work, only a few tablespoons so don’t get all freaked out over that issue!

Cloud Bread/Rolls

3 eggs, separated

3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. honey

Pinch salt

Toppings; sesame seeds and a tbsp. of chopped fresh rosemary

 

Directions

Beat the egg yolks with the cream cheese until it is very smooth, lemon yellow. Add the baking powder and honey, beat in.

Beat the egg whites until foamy, add a sprinkle of salt. Beat until stiff peaks form.  Fold together with the yolk mixture until mostly blended together.

While the egg whites were beating I lined a big baking sheet with parchment paper and sprayed it lightly with Pam.  Heat oven to 300 degrees. Some people heat the pan in the oven before spreading the dough; I didn’t bother but feel free to preheat your pan.

Using a big spoon spread the bread mixture on in six big circles spaced 1-2 inches apart.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and or finely chopped fresh rosemary. Bake until golden brown between 20 and 30 minutes.  Using a spatula separate them from the parchment paper. Let cool.  Store in a ziplock bag overnight; they will get soft and be ready for sandwiches.  Keep them in the fridge. I put slices of wax paper between them to avoid sticking.  shoe fly pie, hash 012They keep about 3 days there and a week in the freezer.  Wonderful for sandwiches: I used one for the top and a second one as the bottom of the sandwich.  Did I mention they are virtually no carbs in this bread? Yeap; great for my low carbing friends!

Originally posted in spring of 2016. Minor changes, none to the recipe.

Old School Pie; Banana Custard

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; pricy to fill a whole pie and I really try to find things that are seasonal.  I had a pie to bake for Joe, he loves a pie so what should I chose? My sister said why not the venerable banana cream pie. Bananas are here and fresh so yes!

My mom used to make this pie when I was in my early adulthood; for some reason she never made it for us as kids.  I used to cut up and set 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 an empty pie crust and make custard this pie is really simple.  If you want, buy a crust in a package to bake; that will simplify things even more.  I assume you can use a box pudding but I highly recommend this custard, straight out of Betty Crocker’s 1978 cookbook.

Angie’s 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 Tbsp. 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 resembles 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

3 tbsp. butter cut into small cubes.

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 large bananas

Topping: 1 cup whipping cream, ¼ cup powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla

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.  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.

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 real freshly whipped cream.

Whipped cream: Beat 1 cup 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.

Originally posted on my blog in April 2016.  Making one later this holiday week!

Daffodil Cake – Delish Spring Dessert

My resolution this year was to eat less cake and I am doing pretty well at it so far but sometimes it is about using the ingredients you have and the holiday that is at hand.  I have some egg whites in the freezer and have to use them up. Defrost and I have everything else in the fridge or pantry: go daffodil cake. Looks like an angel food cake on the surface but it is an old fashioned confection known as a daffodil cake.  The insides have some white and some yellow cake. I found the recipe in my 1970s Betty Crocker, a great standard cookbook I would never want to be without.  Was making it for many years before my diagnosis with celiac so once I got comfy baking gf I figured I could make it gf and it is perhaps even better than it was with gluten based flour.

I make them on occasion for my mom who is a big fan of said cake.

She is still not sure I am making it gf but it is totally gf and totally delicious.  daffodil cake, french apple tart 014

So all you gluten free disbelievers, this cake will change your mind. It is tender, moist and delicately flavored, not to mention very pretty and perfect in spring for Easter.  It is after all, a daffodil cake and spring is the only time in the year they bloom. Make some now folks! It makes a wonderful birthday or party cake; you could put a thin vanilla powdered sugar glaze on top to make it fancy for such an occasion.

Notes: I save egg whites; in a Tupperware container in the freezer, until I have a cup of them.  Then I am ready to put this beauty together. Or just use enough eggs to make a cup of whites. If you don’t have guar gum you can use xanthan gum.

A few words on separating eggs: this can be tricky and I have learned from bad experiences not to separate directly into the measuring cup full of whites; do it into a small bowl and dump. You can NOT get ANY egg yolk in the whites or they won’t beat properly.  Best to set any egg that breaks or becomes contaminated with even a speck of yolk aside and make an omelet for supper! I crack each egg on the edge of my counter, split its shell in half and dump it over one cupped hand. The white flows through into the bowl underneath and I drop the yolk into the mixing bowl. Be gentle so the yolk does not break  Don’t use old tired eggs or the yolks are more likely to break; fresh is best but they need to come to room temperature before cracking so the whites beat to a high volume.  FYI: When baking gf all ingredients should be room temperature unless the recipe tells you otherwise.

Put the yolks in the medium mixing bowl and add those six whites in with the other cup of whites: 1 ½ cup total egg whites.  I know, a crazy lot of eggs in this but remember, no fat what-so-ever! Angel food cake is a good choice for your diabetic friends, or so they say. I just think those folks love a good angel food cake. This cake is even better, a masterpiece of delicate melt in your mouth cakey delight.

Angie’s GF Daffodil Cake

1 cup egg whites (room temp)

6 whole large eggs (room temp)  separated

1 ¼ cup powdered sugar

1 cup brown rice flour blend (recipe below)

½ tsp guar gum

1 ½ tsp. cream of tarter

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

½ tsp. almond extract

1 cup granulated sugar

 

Directions:

 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Put baking rack on second slot from the bottom.  You need a ten inch tube pan with removable bottom, do not spray.

Mix and sift the powdered sugar, flour, guar gum in a bowl at least once.

Pour the egg whites (should add up to 1 ½ cups) into a stand mixer bowl, add cream of tarter and salt.  Start at medium speed.  Beat until foamy, increase speed until high, wait for soft peaks and add cup of granulated sugar a tbsp or two at a time as it beats.  No bowl scraping or stopping.  Beat at highest speed until you have stiff peaks.  Beat briefly after adding the two flavoring extracts. Set aside.

In small bowl beat the 6 egg yolks about 4 minutes until thick and lemon yellow colored.

Fold the flour mixture into the egg whites, I do about a quarter cup at a time sprinkled all over the top and I fold it with a spatula or spoonula.  Be gentle and smooth; don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly smoothly mixed.  Put about half of the mixture into a separate large mixing bowl.  Add the beaten egg yolks; gently fold until it is pretty well blended.

Put big glops of the plain mixture into the baking tube pan; I like 3 big ones.  Put three big glops of the yellow blended mix between them. Top with more glops of the mixes, using it all up.  Gently stir through the pan with your spoonula to swirl it a bit and smooth the top with the spoonula.

Put into preheated oven, bake 35 minutes, until when you press gently on the top it springs back.

Remove from oven, turn it over and hang on an empty wine bottle neck or a big funnel. Let cool totally in this upside down state before cutting it out of the pan. I use a sharp serrated bread knife, cut around the outside edge and the center tube. Lift it out and then slice under the cake all around.  Place a cake plate over the top and gently flip it. daffodil cake, french apple tart 014

I store it in a plastic cake saver or just in the microwave away from breezes and hungry folks.  You could wrap it in plastic wrap too. It is best eaten within 3 days.  It generally doesn’t last that long around here.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix 

(This mix is the same as King Arthur’s basic gf blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is my variation on the angel food cake you will find in Annalise Roberts’ Gluten-Free Baking Classics cookbook.   This post was first published in April 2016.

Krusteaz GF Cornbread Mix

Folks think cornbread is naturally gluten free.  Not so, many recipes use a blend of all purpose flour and cornmeal and then there is the cross contamination of many flours that one thinks should always be gluten free.  I have made a pretty tasty gf cornbread from scratch using a recipe by Annalise Roberts from her best seller: Gluten-Free Baking Classics, Second Edition. gluten free baking classicsThe recipe was a simple dump and stir and bake with very good results. I used King Arthur’s basic gf flour mix.

 

The other day my sister made some tasty scratch beef chili with beans and she made cornbread using a Krusteaz Gf honey cornbread mix.  Add an egg, some vegetable oil and a cup of milk, stir and pour into a pan. Yes, that was a lot easier than the scratch cornbread I made. It tasted quite decent that night. But the day after the bread had become heavy, almost sodden and the texture turned to mud after a couple of chews in my mouth. Yuck! So, this mix is very convenient, tastes fine just after you bake it but leftovers…not very appetizing. krusteaz cornbread mix

My homemade cornbread kept a couple of days with fine flavor and texture.  Everyone talks about how gf bread doesn’t keep but even regular cornbread has a short shelf life.  The mix is a great time saver and perfect if you aren’t into gf baking technique or don’t have the desire to make scratch.  Just don’t expect it to stay tasty for any great length of time.

Shoe Fly Pie…a Pennsylvania Tradition!

This sweet pie is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. It is quick to go together, needs neither refrigeration, nor a long chilling down before consuming it, pleases most everyone and best of all it can be made in any season; no fruit needed.  It wasn’t too hard to change from my old recipe to a gluten free version.  I recommend it for celiacs who miss that old time flavor of shoe fly pie.  Note: some folk say shoo fly pie but my recipe used the spelling you see in this post.  I believe either is appropriate.

I know folks who shy away from gluten free baking thinking it is too complicated.  Well, this is the year I feature pies and this is the easiest pie around so I dedicate this to a few friends who have been too scared to bake gf.  You can do this one! If you want, buy a ready made uncooked crust but I swear that with a stand mixer this is the easiest and best gf crust around.

This shoe fly pie recipe is a blending of the filling I have used for years, (my sister Margie gave me the recipe a long time ago) and the pie crust and crumb recipes from Annalise Robert’s cookbook, Gluten-Free Baking Classics.  Her cookbook is a fabulous resource and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone trying to bake gluten free for a family member.

My shoe fly pie is considered a “wet bottom” pie; not too crumbish.  If you want it drier use ½ cup molasses and ½ cup water.  I love it soft and moist so my version always is a wet bottom shoe fly pie.

Angie’s Shoe Fly 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 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray.

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 parchment or wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of parchment or wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes. Make the crumb topping while it chills.

Crumb topping

 

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form.  You will only use 1 ½ cups of the crumbs; put it in a jar and store it in the fridge until your next pie; it keeps well for several weeks.

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Next, roll out pie crust between the two sheets of parchment or 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.  Then make filling and pour half into the crust, careful not to splash it out.

Filling:

2/3 cup molasses, I used Grandma’s

¾ cup boiling water

½ tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with a spoon until blended. It will foam up a bit as the baking soda mixes with the molasses!

Then pour half the crumb topping (1 1/4 to 1½ cup total) evenly over this mixture.  Add the rest of the molasses liquid and sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on top.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes Cool at least ½-1 hour before serving or let cool to room temperature.

Note: I bake pies in my bottom heat pizza oven and it gives me a great browned crust.  If your oven isn’t bottom heat you might want to pre-bake a gf crust 10 minutes before filling.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (King Arthur’s basic gf blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

** This blog post first appeared in March of 2016

Sweet Cherry Tartlets

I love a little fruit tartlet for dessert; there is something winsome about having your very own tiny pie to enjoy.  Fruit is high on my list of loved things.  So you can see why I am really into tartlets these days.  Sadly, winter is a desert as to enjoying fresh stone fruit…they are plentiful in the summer to early fall, not in March.  I do not care for fruit shipped from the southern hemisphere; picked so green the flavors are lacking. Thank goodness for frozen bagged fruit.  I love using them to bring back the flavors and scents of fresh baked fruit pies even in March. I couldn’t find frozen sour cherries so I decided to experiment with the frozen sweet (bing) cherries that are readily available.  Bonus over fresh; they are pitted and they keep a long time in your freezer.  I wanted to make these tartlets for President’s Day.  Only two weeks late, LOL!

Don’t eat these tartlets hot; should be cooled to just warm if you like it so or room temperature or even a bit chilled. They are a perfect size, just like a big tart only tiny and each makes one individual dessert.  You could certainly serve them with vanilla ice cream, I had one like that today; dessert perfection!

Angie’s GF Bing Cherry Tartlets: makes 4

Crust:

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

2 Tbsp. sweet rice flour

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Crust: You will need 6 flat bottom 4 inch tartlet pans if you make them all at once. I actually refrigerated my dough and made the second batch of 2 a few days later so just one tart pan worked.  Adjust the filling to the number of tartlets you are baking.

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 cups frozen sweet cherries; measure and then cut in halves or even quarters if big, place in medium bowl

Mix with:

2-3 tbsp. sugar (I used 2) mixed with ¼ tsp. cinnamon and

1 tbsp. quick tapioca

A sprinkle of sea salt (less than

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Add 2 tbsp. orange juice

Stir and let stand while you prepare the crust. This is important so the tapioca can soften and absorb some juices before baking.

Break dough into 2 balls, one twice the size of the other.  Roll out the bigger ball of crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even and somewhat thin, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place across the tart pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper. Cut into four squares, mold to fit the pan, I cut off all extras and saved them for the second batch of tarts. Crimp edges all around with fork tines.  Fill each tartlet with cherry mixture after you have the crumb topping ready to go.

Crumb topping

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form. If you let them go extra long you get big fat crumbs if you want that look.  Leftover crumbs can be stored for a few weeks in the fridge in a tightly covered container.

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Take one half cup of the mixture and put in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Add 2 ½ tbsp. sliced or slivered almonds, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Sprinkle the top of each tartlet with crumb mix; use as much as you like.  I didn’t measure; just sprinkled until the fruit was barely visible through the crumbs but I did use up all the almond crumb blend. Up to your personal taste… It sinks a little into the fruit mixture.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35 minutes until bubbly and the crumb crust is light brown.  Cool at least 1 hour before serving at room temperature.  I think it is best served within in 24 hours of when you make it for optimal flavor.  The crumbs will get soggy if too much time passes.

cherry-tart-on-plate

Note: if you find your bottom crust is not browning enough bake it empty at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes before filling it with the fruit mixture.  I have a bottom heat pizza style oven which gives me perfect pie crust so I don’t ever have pale pie crust. This is a big benefit of having this type of oven; it is a two oven range with a full sized lower oven.

Note: Keep the rest of the dough in the fridge; will keep a few days; when you are ready for a repeat: make a half recipe of the filling and use it to bake 2 more tartlets after you remove the tartlets from the pan.

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

Note: the crust and base crumb recipe are out of Annalise Roberts cookbook, Gluten Free Baking Classics, Second Edition. Adaptation and filling recipe are mine.

Blueberry Cranberry Muffins

Oh nuts, out of muffins….again.  I love muffins for their great flavor, texture and how easy they are to make.  Plus they are really portable and they freeze like a dream. Homemade snacks have the great feature of no chemical preservatives or additives like snack bars you buy which is a great attraction for me.  Plus, if you have never baked gluten free these muffins are a super easy starter recipe.

This is a riff on my fall of 2014 version on a muffin recipe out of Annalise Robert’s cookbook; Gluten-Free Baking Classics.  It is very similar to her blueberry muffins but with some cranberries and a coarse sugar topping.  Yes, my picture has the streusel topping (forgot to take a pix when I made them with coarse sugar on top) and I am adding the streusel recipe at the bottom just in case you prefer it. The sugar sprinkles are extra easy and quicker when you don’t have time for fancy streusel. Either option for a topping is great.

I was never been a big fan of cranberries until a little over year ago! I decided to experiment with them and found that they play very well with a variety of fruits for muffins, tarts, pies and crisps.  The cranberries brighten the flavor and add a lovely rosy color.  Try to look beyond your prejudices as to their “zingy” flavor and give cranberries a second try.  I am so glad I did.

These muffins will not disappoint: delicate texture yet slightly crunchy outside with great berry flavor and just enough sugar for me.  To measure I poured about 1 cup of blueberries and added the rest of the measure out of the bag of cranberries. Or the opposite proportions…use any proportion of fruit that you prefer. I used frozen fruit; easy to get in the winter, don’t defrost them before adding. The coarse sugar topping insures that they look fancy and it goes on in moments.

cranberry-blueberry-muffins

There are walnuts in there to so you get some really great nutrients from the fruit and nuts.  Not much guilt in eating one of these treats! You can swap the white sugar for coconut palm sugar which is very low as far as raising blood sugar.  Just increase the milk by 2 tbsp if you do.

It is smart to freeze any you won’t eat in two days time; a zip lock freezer bag works great.

 Blueberry Cranberry Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 cup granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. xanthan gum

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

1 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries and cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 large eggs

½ cup milk, 1 or 2 percent

½ cup canola oil

1-2 tbsp. coarse sugar

——-

Directions: Heat your oven to 375 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 12-16 muffins.  I got 16 when I made them yesterday.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl Add fruits and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix.  Combine milk and oil.  Beat in eggs, add vanilla.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir just until blended.  It is a very thick batter.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  I use a big serving spoon and fill it about half way to dump in each muffin space. Sprinkle the top with the coarse sugar. Bake 21-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack.  They freeze well for a few weeks, if they last that long.  Keeps in fridge (well wrapped) or an airtight cookie jar for 2-3 days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix 

(This mix is the same as King Arthur’s basic blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Alternate Streusel Topping: Mix the following in a bowl, make sure the butter is in tiny pebbles; use your fingertips to blend.

½ cup rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond meal

1½ tbsp. butter

¼ tsp. cinnamon

Sprinkle on top; press in lightly to help it adhere.