Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Sweeties

Both of these recipes were served to the people in my home who are not gluten, dairy, or egg challenged and they liked them too!

My first treat is adapted from a recipe for Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake, which was given to me by my sweet friend, Carol. It was published in the August 2009 edition of Guideposts, page 84 and there is a lovely story behind the recipe. The recipe that follows is my own gluten free adaptation.

Chocolate Craisin Pecan Spice Cake
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Egg, No Soy, No Kidding

1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup Safflower vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray Craisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup corn starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder

Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Make sure all of your spices are gluten free (click on Spices label for possible options - I am picky about using pre-GF days spices from my cupboard due to cross contamination issues).

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine maple syrup, water, oil, Craisins and spices in a saucepan, and boil for three minutes, stirring frequently. Take the pan off of the heat and allow to cool for ten minutes. Dissolve the baking soda with the salt in the 2 teaspoons of water and mix into the Craisin mixture (this foams up, which is almost as fun to watch as when the cherry liquid thickens in the next recipe...I love chemistry experiments in the kitchen!).

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and xanthan gum well and then pour into the saucepan with the Craisins and mix together. Pour into a greased 9 inch square pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips and then garnish with pecans.

Bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

In my opinion: This is really yummy, and I do want to try it with raisins some time. I believe the next time I make it I will add either 1/2 cup of pumpkin or unsweetened applesauce to make it a little bit more moist. Enjoy!


This nice little Cherry Pie is adapted from a delightful recipe from one of my favorite GME chefs, Mel from France - Untidy Apple Pie - whose blog is called Pig in the Kitchen (I had to do some digging to find Mel's name and picture).

Mel uses metric measurements and some ingredients we can't get in the states, so I am posting my conversions and changes below.

Cherry Pie
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Egg, No Soy*, No Kidding

The Crust
(You need to get the full recipe from Pig in the Kitchen - linked above)
1/2 lb sweet potato (which is exactly what this little guy weighed!)

1 1/8 cup rice flour (with up to 5 tablespoons extra/I used brown rice flour)
A scant 1/2 cup of lard
(When I first made Untidy Apple Pie, I had not found any truly dairy free margarine in my town. Since that time I have discovered that Earth Balance and Fleishmann's salt-free margarine both fill that description; for my cherry pie, I used lard in the dough and Earth Balance to coat the dough before baking. If you can't use soy, use butter; if you can't use soy or dairy, use lard.)

For this particular pie, I also added 1/4 cup freshly ground almond mill (I grind my almonds fine in a coffee grinder) and some cinnamon.

Follow Mel's directions to put your crust together. I don't know if it was because of the lard, but I did't roll out my dough. Instead, I just pressed it into a pie pan I had coated with cooking spray. The back of my spoon worked very well. For this pie, you should press the dough all the way to the top of sides of the pan.

Cherry Pie Filling
1 - 14 1/2 ounce can tart red cherries, reserve juice
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 cup sugar
Reserved cherry juice and apple juice to equal 3/4 cup liquid, divided

Place 1/2 cup of liquid in a saucepan over medium heat.

Place the cornstarch in the bottom of a coffee cup and pour 1/4 cup liquid over it, stir to mix well - add more liquid if needed.

Pour cornstarch liquid into the saucepan and mix together, stirring until it thickens (which is fun to watch!). When thickened, fold in cherries and add 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla.

Assembling the pie
Put your cherries into the crust, exactly as you would expect they should go. Then using the back of your spoon, gently fold the dough over the cherries. I actually pressed the edges so that they stood up a little, making a wall around the cherries, as I was afraid the juice might boil over. Not sure that was necessary, but it turned out nice anyway. Then I pressed almonds all around the outside of the crust and coated it with about a 1 teaspoon of melted Earth Balance and then sprinkled the entire pie with sugar and bake at 350°F, according to Mel's time table.

In my opinion: this pie turned out very nice. The crust was quite light. My husband thought it was quite cakey and cobbler like.

*To adapt this to be soy free, use lard in the crust and use apple juice instead of Earth Balance to coat the outside of the crust before baking

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