Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust

Turkey day is over and my fridge continues to be stuffed with too many leftovers. I went over board on the desserts this year - not wanting Doodle to feel left out when it came to the dessert table, I made her 2 allergy friendly pies, on top of the cheesecake and regular pumpkin I made for every one else. For Doodle's desserts, I made one with a gluten free pie crust and one gluten free graham cracker crust. The GF pie crust was a disaster! It was hard as a rock once baked and I could barely cut through it. I took this straight from a recipe book, but will have to experiment with my own version for the next time I try to make a pie. The GF graham cracker crust, however, turned out perfectly. It was the perfect crust for the dairy free pumpkin pie I made. I'll definitely use this recipe again.

Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust

1 package GF Graham Crackers
1/4 cup Dairy Free Butter - melted
1/4 cup Sugar

1. Place GF Graham Crackers and sugar in a food processor and pulse into a fine crumb.
2. With food processor running, slowly pour in melted butter.
3. Once butter in incorporated stop food processor. You may need to stir the cracker mixture to fully incorporate the butter.
4. Place in pie pan, tart pan, or cheesecake pan. Use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to pat the crumbs and even out the crust.
5. Cook on 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and chill.
6. Fill with your favorite pie filling and enjoy!

For Doodle's pie, I filled it with the pumpkin pie recipe from the Kid Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook - one of the first GF/DF cookbooks that I purchased. I was pleasantly surprised at the texture and taste of the filling - it rivaled that of a regular pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dairy Free Caramel-Chocolate Pecan Pie

Tonight I am embarking on making 4 different pies for Thanksgiving - 2 for dinner at our house and 2 for dinner at a friend's house. I'm aiming to make all pies gluten and dairy free, as well. Last year, I made my first gluten/dairy free pie by adapting a recipe from the December 2008 Cuisine At Home magazine (my favorite cooking publication). I was pleasantly surprised by the results - it was rich, sweet, and decadent. Perfect Thanksgiving dessert.

Dairy Free Caramel-Chocolate Pecan Pie

3/4 cup Dairy Free Cream (I use Rich Whip)
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
6 oz Dairy free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted, divided

Caramel Pastry Cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup hot water
2 1/2 cups Dairy Free Milk Substitute (Almond Milk)
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp dairy free butter substitute (Earth Balance)

Whipped Topping
1 package Rich Whip
Powdered sugar to taste

Gluten Free Pie Dough - cooked for 10 minutes.

1. For the Ganache, combine dairy free cream and corn syrup in a sauce pan. Bring to boil. Place chocolate chips in a bowl and pour cream mixture over the chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes. Whisk together until smooth.

2. Place Ganache in pie shell and top with 1 cup pecans. Press the pecans into the ganache.

3. For the Caramel Pastry Cream: boil sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat for the caramel. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon for 15 minutes or until light brown in color (like iced tea).

4. Whisk together milk substitute, brown sugar and corn starch together in a sauce pan over medium heat until blended. Add in egg yolks and salt - whisk together. Do not let mixture boil. When the caramel is done, slowly pour the milk mixture into the caramel - whisk constantly. Mixture will sputter.

5. Continue cooking mixture until combined and begins to thicken into a custard. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thick. Boil for 1 minute.

6. Off heat, stir in butter substitute. Cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Spread over ganache. Cover with plastic wrap and press into custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight.

7. Prior to serving, whip Rich Whip according to package instructions, adding in powdered sugar as a sweetener. Top pie with whipping cream mixture and garnish with remaining pecans.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I am busy deciding what to make this year for our holiday feast. We are dining with our neighbors this year, as all of our family has decided to travel out of state and we decided to stay home. Here's a look at my menu so far:

All Natural, Anti-biotic free brined Turkey from Trader Joe's
Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Apple Cranberry sauce
Wild Rice Hotdish
Roasted vegetables
Some kind of sweet potatoes - I'm still deciding what to make
Dairy Free/Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Last year, I included a delicious gluten free corn-bread stuffing. It was the hit of Thanksgiving dinner and my very picky Uncle said he really enjoyed it. While I'm not making this dish for 2009, I thought I would share for those of you who are making stuffing. I adapted this recipe from Cusine At Home December 2006 issue. The cornbread recipe I found at

Gluten Free Apple Cornbread Dressing

Gluten Free Corn Bread
1 Tbsp Dairy Free Butter
1 Cup Corn Meal
1 Cup GF All Purpose Flour
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Egg
1 Cup Dairy Free Milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dairy free butter in 9 inch square baking pan or cast iron skillet. (I use the cast iron skillet). Place the pan in the pre-heating oven until butter is melted. Remove from oven and coat pan with melted butter. Set aside.

2. Mix corn meal, flour, salt, brown sugar, and baking soda together. Add egg, dairy free milk and melted butter. Mix together with a wooden spoon - using a few strokes. Do not over mix. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Cool corn bread and cut into cubes. To stale the corn bread spread on a baking sheet then dry in a 200 degree oven for about 2 hours (or let sit out for several days ahead of time).

4 cups Gluten Free Bread - cubed and staled
4 cups Corn Bread - cubed and staled
2 1/2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 cup Apple Juice
3 eggs, beaten

6 Tbsp Dairy Free Butter
1 cup Onion, diced
1 cup Celery, diced
2 cups Braeburn or Granny Smith Apple, peeled, diced
1 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh Parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh Sage
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme leaves
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.

2. Fold breads, broth, apple juice, and eggs in bowl.

3. Saute onion and celery in dairy free butter in non-stick skillet over medium high heat until soft - 3 minutes.

4. Add onion mixture and remaining ingredients to the breads. Mix well, then pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

5. Bake 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

I'll post more of my Gluten Free/Dairy Free Thanksgiving recipes later this week. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Soup Sunday

Fall has set in and our family has been craving soup. I have taken up the tradition of my family by serving soup every Sunday after church. Growing up, we would pile in the car and head to church. Every Sunday after church, we would stop by the local grocery store to pick up the Sunday paper, some rolls, and whatever we needed for soup. I've instituted the same tradition in our house (without the paper and rolls) by serving soup on Sundays. One of the soups that mom often served was Wild Rice Soup - a Midwest favorite. Doodle happens to love Wild Rice Soup, but we gave it up once she became dairy and gluten free. However, after much trial and error, I have finally perfected a dairy free/gluten free version of this classic soup. On the next crisp, fall day, cook up a pot and savor the last remaining days of decent weather.

Wild Rice Soup

4 Tbsp Dairy Free Butter
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour
3 Cups Gluten Free Chicken Broth
2 16 oz cartons Coffee Rich Non-Dairy Creamer
1 1/2 Cups Wild Rice - cooked
2 Large Carrots - Shredded
1 Cup Ham - Cubed (prefer nitrate/nitrite free ham)
1/8 cup Sherry (optional)
1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds (optional)

1. Over Medium High heat, melt butter in a large pot. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent.
2. Add in Sweet Rice Flour to make a roux.
3. Whisk in chicken broth. Continue whisking until flour is dissolved. Cook for 2 minutes.
4. Whisk in non-dairy creamer - mixture should thicken. If too thick, add a bit more chicken broth.
5. Add in Wild Rice, Shredded Carrots, and Ham. Simmer until heated through. Add Sherry and Almonds, if desired.

I experimented with several different gluten free flours for this recipe and found that Sweet Rice Flour works best. It thickens the soup nicely, yet doesn't leave any after taste (as so many GF flours do.) I've also found that Sweet Rice Flour makes the best pancakes and waffles - they are light, airy, and crisp up perfectly. If you haven't tried Sweet Rice Flour for your GF baking, pick some up and see for yourself.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gluten Free Banana Bread

My girls used to gobble up a bunch of banana's in a matter of days. I typically buy 2 bunches of organic banana's and, in our household, that will last about 4 days. So, this past week when I went grocery shopping, I didn't think twice when I added banana's to my cart. To my surprise, they just sat on the counter - no one touched them all week. Needless to say, I now have some very ripe banana's and a perfect opportunity to make some banana bread.

Growing up, my mother always made the best banana bread around. It was delicious! I have adapted dear old mom's famous banana bread and made this recipe gluten and dairy free for Doodle. The loaf just came out of the oven and it smells wonderful - tastes great too. Moist, flavorful, and just like I remember mom's.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar
4 T Dairy Free Shortening
1 Egg
3/4 Cup Almond Milk (or other milk substitute)
3 1/2 Cups GF Flour Blend
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 T & 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
3 over-ripe banana's - mashed

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 bread loaf pans.
2. Mix sugar, agave nectar, shortening, and egg with a mixer.
3. Add in almond milk and banana's with mixer.
4. Blend dry ingredients in until combined.
5. Split mixture between prepared loaf pans. Bake in oven for 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in loaf comes out clean.

We served this bread right out of the oven with some dairy free butter. Next time around I may add some dairy free chocolate chips to the loaf - I'm sure it will add a nice flavor to the loaf.