So GoodOct/Nov 2008 Issue

Delicious Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Apple and Pear Baking

Apples and pears make delicious gluten-free, dairy-free baking

Nothing’s better than biting into a fresh apple or a ripe pear, plentiful this time of year in orchards, roadside stands and grocery stores. Whether you pluck them from the tree or buy them at the market, apples and pears offer crisp, juicy goodness that’s hard to resist. Fruit added to your recipes imparts a satisfying flavor and ensures that warm aromas will be wafting through your kitchen.

Apples and pears are versatile foods, supplying juice for drinking and pulp for eating and baking. They can also be a source of delicious sugars, all-natural sweeteners you can make yourself by dehydrating the fruit and grinding it to a powder in your food processor. Fruit sugars enhance the flavor of baked goods, adding richness and dimension.

Another way to fortify your recipes and enhance the taste is to use fruit juice instead of water in cakes, crisps and pies. If you have a juicer, make fresh juice yourself. For more intense flavor, try apple or pear juice concentrate as a liquid substitute.

Try these gluten-free, dairy-free ways to tuck fresh apples and pears into baked treats your family will love.

Bartlett pears are ideal for eating, baking and dehydrating.

Pear Griddle Cake

SERVES 6

This special-occasion dessert contains whole grains and is sweetened naturally with pear juice and pear sugar. Try making the gooey topping with Sucanat, a natural derivative of cane sugar.

 

Topping

1 tablespoon sunflower oil or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar or Sucanat*

1 ripe Bartlett pear

½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut or 12 pecan halves, optional

Cake

½ cup sunflower oil

½ teaspoon liquid lecithin, optional 1 cup sorghum flour

½ cup brown rice flour

¼ cup amaranth flour

¼ cup sweet rice flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

¼ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup pear or apple juice

2 tablespoons water

½ cup pear sugar or organic cane sugar

½ cup brown sugar or Sucanut*

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. To make the topping, heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet on medium low and spread the 1 tablespoon oil around the pan and up the sides. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar or Sucanat to cover the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat off. Place pear slices and coconut or pecans in the pan in a decorative design. Set aside.

3. In a mixer with the whisk attachment, emulsify the ½ cup sunflower oil and optional lecithin.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.

5. Add the dry mixture and the juice, water, sugar, ½ cup brown sugar or Sucanut and vanilla to the ingredients in the mixer and mix slowly until incorporated.

6. Pour cake batter over topping in the skillet and bake in preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes until done. Let cool. Place a plate on top of the skillet and flip it over to turn out the cake.

Each serving contains:

534 calories, 24g total fat, 4g saturated fat,

0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 76g carbo-hydrate, 401mg sodium, 5g fiber, 5g protein

*TIP Sucanat is available in natural food stores or www.wholesomesweeteners.com.

Fruit Coffee Cake

SERVES 9

Made with whole grain flours, fruit and sunflower seeds, this coffee cake is deliciously nutritious.

Crumble Topping

2 tablespoons sunflower oil or

walnut oil or vegetable oil

1/3 cup brown sugar or Sucanat

½ cup toasted sunflower seeds

¼ cup chopped dehydrated or dried apples or raisins

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch sea salt

Coffee Cake

½ cup sorghum flour

½ cup brown rice flour

¼ cup tapioca starch/flour

½ cup brown sugar or Sucanat

1 cup sugar, preferably organic

cane sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 egg whites*

½ cup dairy-free butter spread,

room temperature

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup water

½ cup chopped apples, peeled

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8x8-inch baking pan

2. To make the crumble topping, mix together oil, 1/3 cup brown sugar or Sucanat, sunflower seeds, dehydrated apples or raisins, cinnamon and sea salt until well combined. Set aside.

3. To make cake batter, whisk together the flours, tapioca starch, brown sugar or Sucanat, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Beat in dairy-free butter spread, sea salt and vanilla and water. Add chopped apples.

5. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk

until incorporated.

7. Place the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle half the crumble on top and swirl it into the batter with a fork. Sprinkle the rest of the crumble on top.

8. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, covering with foil or parchment after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning.

Each serving contains:

393 calories, 17g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 57g carbohydrate, 325mg sodium, 2g fiber, 4g protein

TIP For an egg-free coffee cake, place 2 tablespoons flax seed and 2/3 cup warm water in a blender and blend until emulsified. No need to whisk this mixture as you would the egg whites; just beat in the dairy-free butter spread, sea salt, vanilla and water. Add chopped apples and proceed with the recipe.

Baked Apples

SERVES 4

When the temperature drops outside, this simple, wholesome recipe makes a warm and cozy dessert. Top each baked apple with a dollop of non-dairy rice-based ice cream.

1/4 tablespoon walnut oil or

vegetable oil

1 cup almond meal or ground raw sunflower seeds

¼ cup chopped candied ginger

½ cup raisins

1 tablespoon apple sugar (recipe on page 43) or sugar

2 tablespoons sugar, preferably

organic cane sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch salt

4 apples

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients except the apples.

3. With a paring knife, core and stem the apples, leaving the bottom ½ inch of fruit intact. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and scrape until the hole in the apple is about 1 inch in diameter.

4. Place apples in individual ramekins or a baking pan and stuff the cores with the almond meal mixture.

5. Carefully fill the ramekins or baking pan with ½ inch of water.

6. Place stuffed apples in preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until apples are soft and cooked through.

Each serving contains:

425 calories, 15g total fat, 1g saturated fat,

0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 74g carbo-hydrate, 32mg sodium, 6g fiber, 7g protein

Pear or Apple Crisp

SERVES 8 to 10

Sweetened with natural sugars and fruit juice, fruit crisp can be a nutritious dessert or a crunchy breakfast.

2 cups gluten-free oats or flaked grain* (rice, buckwheat or quinoa flakes)

¼ cup brown rice flour

½ cup rice syrup**

2 tablespoons sunflower oil or

walnut oil or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut or slivered almonds

4 pears and/or apples

2 tablespoons cornstarch

11/2 cups apple juice or concentrate

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. In a medium bowl, mix together oats, rice flour, rice syrup, oil, cinnamon, salt and coconut. Set aside.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8x11-inch baking dish.

3. Peel, core and chop apples and/or pears. Place fruit in prepared baking dish.

4. Dissolve cornstarch in apple juice. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and pour mixture over fruit. Sprinkle fruit with oat mixture.

5. Place pan in pre-heated oven and bake 45 to 60 minutes until fruit is soft. Cover pan with parchment after baking 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.

Each serving contains:

520 calories, 11g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 99g carbohydrate, 150mg sodium, 12g fiber, 10g protein

*TIP Gluten-free oats are available at www.bobsredmill.com. If you don’t want to use oats, a combination of flaked grains makes an equally nice crisp.

**TIP Rice syrup is mildly sweet with a lower glycemic value than table sugar. It’s available in natural food stores. LW

 


Apple and Pear Sugar

MAKES 1 CUP

Homemade fruit sugar is a nutritious alternative to white table sugar. Not as sweet as table sugar, it adds a new taste dimension to your baked items. Try this easy and delicious way to sweeten, naturally.

4 apples or pears

1. Peel and core the fruit. Cut each one into thin slices, 1/16th-inch thick. Place slices in a food dehydrator or on a rack in your oven set at the lowest temperature. (If your oven doesn’t go below 175 degrees, prop it open a couple of inches with a ball of aluminum foil or a small saucepan.)

2. Dehydrate the slices for 8 to 12 hours, until crisp. Let cool.

3. Place slices in a food processor and blend until they turn to powder. You can use fruit sugar to replace up to half the table sugar in your recipes.

TIP One piece of fruit yields about ¼ cup of sugar.

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