• 19Aug

    It was another fun evening last night at WCRC where I had a chance to talk about stone fruit and demo three of my favorite stone fruit recipes. In this post, I’m sharing the recipe for Peach Shortcakes which by the way features Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits!

    We’re quickly racing towards the end of Peach season so get over to your local Farmer’s Market now where you will find the sweetest ripest peaches.

    The great thing about this gluten free buttermilk biscuit recipe is you can mix all the dry ingredients with the butter then store the dry mix in your frig or freezer. Now you have your own all purpose biscuit, pancake, waffle, cobbler topping mix…a Gluten Free ‘Bisquick.’ When you want to make any of the above mentioned, just mix in enough buttermilk or thinned down yogurt to the appropriate consistency. If you aren’t into gluten free, here is a waffle mix that my Mom loves.


    Peach Shortcake

    Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits

    1 ½ cup brown rice flour
    1 cup tapioca flour (starch)
    ¾ cup cornstarch
    ½ cup glutinous rice flour (sweet rice flour)
    ¼ cup flaxmeal
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
    1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ½ cup cold unsalted butter — cut into bits (1 cube)*
    2 cups buttermilk — or yogurt thinned with water to buttermilk consistency*
    ½ teaspoon vanilla

    Heat oven to 425F

    In a medium size bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
    Cut in the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
    Drop 1/4 cup scoops of batter 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet. With a damp knife, press down the center to flatten a bit.
    Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

    For cobbler topping add 1/3 cup additional buttermilk.

    *For Dairy free use ghee or non trans fat shortening in place of the butter and 2 Tb of vinegar in water or alternative ‘milk’ (rice, almond, hemp, etc) in place of the buttermilk.

    3-4 ripe peaches, washed
    1/3 cup raw organic sugar, more or less to taste
    ¼ tsp almond extract
    dash of cinnamon & nutmeg (optional)
    pinch of sea salt

    In a large bowl, cut peaches into thin slices one to two inches long. Add remaining ingredients and gently mix together. Let sit for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to assemble shortcakes.

    Whipped Cream
    2 cups of heavy cream
    1 Tbs powdered sugar or other sweetener like maple syrup
    dash of vanilla

    Put cream, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whip with a whisk until soft peaks form. Best to use right away. Refrigerate until ready to assemble shortcakes.

    Assembling Shortcakes

    Split biscuits in half.
    Spoon some peaches and juice on the bottom half. How much is up to you.
    Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the peaches
    Place the top half of the buttermilk biscuit on top and repeat with peaches and whipped cream.
    Once assembled, peach shortcakes should be eaten within 30 minutes as they will begin to soak through the biscuits.

    About 10-12 peach shortcakes.

  • 16Apr

    The search was on…too many over-ripe bananas and unable to rely on the standby banana bread recipe due to the need to avoid gluten and eggs.

    Here is what I ended up with:

    Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Bread

    1 1/2 cup millet flour
    1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
    1/4 cup teff flour
    1/3 cup sugar
    3 Tbs ground flax seed
    2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1 Tbs baking powder
    1/2 tsp xanthan gum
    1/2 tsp Redmond Real Salt
    3-4 very ripe bananas
    1 1/4 cup water
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 350F

    Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

    Mash the bananas and mix with the water, vanilla and butter.

    Mix the banana mixture into the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.

    Pour batter into a well buttered and rice floured 9x5x3 loaf pan.

    Update: I have used a 9 x 9 square pan and it works well too.

    Bake at 350F for 50-70 minutes – until a knife poked into the center comes out clean.

    Cool in the pan for 20 minutes then finish cooling on a rack. Best to slice when fully cool but who can wait…

    Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Bread

  • 29Nov

    This is the latest candied yam recipe. Slightly healthier than previous iterations. A must have at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

    Bake 4 pounds (4 large)  orange yams (sweet potatoes) at 350F until soft and the skins are “loose” – about 90 minutes. Let cool and peel skins off. Cut into 1 1/2″ disks. Arrange tightly into a 9″ square baking dish. Brush a generous amount of the bourbon brown sugar glaze and bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes. Brush on some more glaze and bake another 20 minutes.  If you want to crisp up the top you can brush on more glaze and put under the broiler for a few minutes. Serve warm.

    Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze (approximate)

    1/4 cup butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 T bourbon
    1/2 tsp vanilla

    Put all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. The butter and brown sugar should blend together into a nice thick glaze.

  • 28Nov

    In the last few years, I’ve tried a number of holiday recipes for the first time and a few were big hits. Cranberry Sauce, Apple Crumble Pie, a new method of making spiced nuts, Artichoke Dip and more.

    This year I tried to remember where I got the recipe for the, I swore the best Cranberry Sauce I’ve ever had…I could not remember and barely could remember any ingredient past…well, cranberries!

    So, I will use this blog as it was intended, to record recipes I have tried and also family favorites – both old and new.

    Ok, now to the the recipe in the title of this post. Since I am wheat free and egg free these days I wanted a holiday dessert that I could enjoy. On the plus side, Patti really loves cheesecake. This recipe is a blend of a recipe I found from Whole Foods and Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pumpkin Cheesecake.
    The Whole Foods recipe is a basic refrigerator cheesecake but I was hesitant that the pumpkin wouldn’t have that nice baked caramelized quality even though I am using canned pumpkin. So I stumbled on the Beranbaum method of cooking the pumpkin in a sauce pan with the sugar. Viola! A + B = Spiced Refrigerator Pumpkin Cheesecake

    Then I made up a crust that used a combo of oat bran and almond meal to avoid the wheat in graham crackers or gingersnaps.

    Spiced Pumpkin Refrigerator Cheesecake

    Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method
    ——–  ————  ——————————–
    2/3           cup  almond meal
    1/2           cup  oat bran
    1/4           cup  brown sugar
    1           teaspoon  cinnamon
    1/2      teaspoon  ground ginger
    1/4      teaspoon  allspice
    1/4      teaspoon  salt
    4        tablespoons  butter — melted

    4        tablespoons  butter
    1/2           cup  brown sugar
    1                cup  pumpkin puree
    1           teaspoon  cinnamon
    1/2      teaspoon  ground ginger
    1/4      teaspoon  allspice
    1/4      teaspoon  salt
    1           teaspoon  vanilla extract

    16            ounces  cream cheese — 2-8oz packages, room temperature

    Preheat oven to 400°F.

    In a medium bowl, combine almond meal, oat bran, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of a 8 or 9-inch springform pan and about 1/4-inch up the sides. Bake until golden brown and toasted, 7 to 8 minutes; set aside to let cool completely.

    In a small, heavy saucepan, melt the butter and sugar together. Stir in the  pumpkin purée. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a  simmer, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.
    Add the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring
    constantly, until the mixture has darkened and thickened a bit, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature.

    In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the cooled pumpkin mixture; beat until smooth. Transfer pumpkin mixture to prepared pan, spreading it out evenly over the crust. Cover and chill until set, about 6 hours, or overnight.

    Un mold and slice:
    Be sure the cheesecake is thoroughly chilled – I froze mine. Have ready a serving plate and a cutting board as wide as the cake wrapped in plastic wrap.
    Use a hair dryer to warm the outside side of the pan. Release and gently loosen the ring and then lift it off.
    Set the board with the plastic wrap on top of the cheesecake and carefully invert the pan. Heat the base of the springform with the hair dryer and lift it off.
    Set the serving plate on the bottom of the cheesecake and reinvert the cake. Lift off the plastic-wrapped board.

    To cut neat slices, use a sharp, thin-bladed knife dipped in hot water (wipe off excess water) between each slice.

  • 23Nov

    I love Pot de Creme…a custard that is oh so creamy.
    And if you make them in 2 ounce or so ‘pots’ it is just the right amount to satisfy (most) sweet tooths after a big meal like Thanksgiving dinner.

    I’ve got a Lemon Verbena bush in the garden and have been plucking it’s leaves for a soothing cup of tea and a treat –  Lemon Verbena Pot de Creme

    Here is a recipe based on Alice Water’s recipe for Vanilla Bean Pot de Creme from Simple Food.

    Lemon Verbena Pot de Creme

    3/4 cup heavy cream
    3/4 cup half and half
    pinch of sea salt
    1/3 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves, loosely packed (sub: zest from 3/4 of a medium lemon if you do not have lemon verbena. Strips of lemon zest from 1/4 of a medium lemon, I like to use a vegetable peeler)
    4 egg yolks
    3 Tablespoons + 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar

    Preheat oven to 350F. Boil about 2 quarts of water – set aside.

    Heat cream and half & half with the pinch of sea salt, lemon verbena and lemon zest over medium heat. Heat it just until before it boils.

    While the cream is heating, mix egg yolks with the sugar.

    When the cream mix is hot slowly whisk in a few tablespoons of this hot mixture into the yolk mixture at a time until all the cream is mixed into the yolks.

    Strain lemon in to the cream mixture and pour into 8 – 2 ounce ramekins. Put the ramekins into a pan and pour hot water into the pan until it reaches halfway up the outside of the ramekin. Seal with foil and bake in the 350F oven for 15-20 minutes.

    The custards are ready when the edges around the ramekin are ‘solid’ but the middle still has a little jiggle to them. Remove from pan and set on a rack to cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.