Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mincemeat Tart with Pecan Cornmeal Crust


When I was little my parents occasionally went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch - when nobody was in the hospital! I found it a bit odd, especially when my Dad said he enjoyed the mincemeat pie. I never could get over it's name to try it, but recently on vacation I caught Alton Brown making mincemeat hand pies. Ok they were really "mincefruit" pies - no meat to be had, but even without meat (and probably with it too) I knew my boys would like a dried fruit laden dessert.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brown butter apple crumble pie


When it comes to the cake vs. pie debate I abstain. They both have their place and I love them both. But when it comes to the pie vs. crumble debate I am hands down in the crumble camp. Yes, it may be more rustic and less technically challenging. But I love that the fruit is the star of the show combined with the sweet crispy topping.

Thanksgiving is about pie, and I have to admit I love to make pies, even if I prefer to eat crumbles. So, how do I deal with this cognitive dissonance - why crumble pie of course!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cranberry cream tart with chocolate crust


When Aaron was only a year old, we had a couple of 19 year old missionaries at our home for Thanksgiving dinner. These boys were a bit taken aback by our non-traditional Thanksgiving meal. We didn't even have turkey, we had lamb (we often don't have turkey). For dessert (pre-Celiac diagnosis) we had cheater millefeuille made with filo, dark chocolate and cranberries. I love chocolate with cranberries, but our young guests didn't like cranberries nor dark chocolate. Where was the pumpkin pie? Aaron however, at one years old devoured his dark chocolate and cranberries...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pear and blue cheese souffle



Aaron has decided he hates eggs. Anything that is remotely eggy he can't stand. He says it makes him gag. Of course it doesn't occur to him as odd that some of his favorite things in life include pate choux and souffles - both of which are primarily eggs...

A few years ago I made a cheddar souffle as a special Valentine's Day meal. Of course, they have had souffle since then, but they request it whenever it pops in their little noggins. They needless to say were pretty excited about this months Daring Baker challenge.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gluten free Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving isn't too difficult to do gluten-free. But I thought I would do a bit of leg work and put together some tips on making a gluten-free Thanksgiving meal. Enjoy and feel free to suggest additional recipes!

Turkey: Gluten free plain and simple, but you can't go wrong with Alton Brown.

Gravy: Use your usual gravy, just sub in sweet rice flour for the flour but reduce the amount by half. Here is a Thomas Keller recipe. Or this step by step from Martha Stewart. Or use cornstarch slurry as Elise does on Simply Recipes.

Stuffing: You can make most stuffing recipes using a sturdy gluten-free bread. Use one that isn't too soft. Anything that falls apart as French toast will not work well for stuffing. Or skip it and try a rice based stuffing, like Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries and Hazelnuts or go Asian with sticky rice stuffing

Mashed potatoes: Another gluten-free dish, as long as any stock you use is gluten free. Thomas Keller makes a classic, rich version. Aaron loves it with blue cheese and I am a fan of lightening it up with buttermilk.

Sweet Potatoes: This dish is gluten free, as long as you use GF stock. Here is a nice homemade version - just use gluten free cornflakes. What we do, is simply cut up some parsnips, celeriac, and sweet potatoes. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven. Simple, lovely. If we are feeling saucy, we might add a pomegranate glaze. If you want a recipe, try this one or this more sweet version.

Green Bean Casserole: If you make the cream of mushroom/chicken soup with french fried onions version, you are in trouble gluten free. But you can steam the green beans, or saute in olive oil, garlic, with some mushrooms. Here is a simple green bean recipe. You can also make your own version of the classic. You can adapt the Cook's Illustrated version by subbing gluten free bread, and sweet rice flour for the flour. Just make sure and reduce the flour to 50-60% of the amount of regular flour. Use Gluten Free Mommy's French Fried Onion's. What does our family eat? Well, when we do green beans our most common Thanksgiving recipe comes from Thomas Keller. It is really yummy.

Cranberry Sauce: I admit it. I just throw a bunch of things in a pot - cranberries, spices, maybe apples, maybe orange, maybe onion - depends on what I am in the mood for...and my kids will eat cranberry sauce in any incarnation. However, I have reports from many that this is a really great recipe.

Bread: I am a fan of the wet dough, slowly aged in the refrigerator. Here is a favorite recipe. It makes a flavorful gluten free bread. Is it just like the gluten original? Not a chance...or hit up your favorite gluten free bakery and give yourself a break on one dish!

Pies...stay tuned for Apple Brown Butter Crumb Pie and Cranberry Cream Tart in a Chocolate Crust...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Roundup: Bay Area Availability 2010

This post is a work in progress. I will edit and update as I get more information from bakeries and others. For now, though, here is a list of gluten free offerings to help you through your Thanksgiving. And you die hard cooks out there, don't fret. In the days to come I will be posting a round-up of favorite gluten free Thanksgiving recipes, including pies! 

Miglets in Danville is offering Pumpkin, pecan and Apple Pie. Also, cupcakes (carrot, pumpkin, apple cinnamon raisin and chai), sugar cookies and pumpkin whoopie pies to mix up that dessert table. Pickup on the 24th, and deadline is NOVEMBER 10th. 925.831.9016

Mariposa Bakery in Oakland is offering Apple, Apple Cranberry, Pumpkin and Pecan pie as well as Apple Gallette for you fruit lovers. Chocolate cake and cheesecake provide some variety, and stuffing cubes, cornbread and dinner rolls help with the savory side of the menu. Pickup starting November 18th (some products are frozen). Preorder through November 22, 5 PM. 510-595-0955.

Zest Bakery is offering a Thanksgiving survival kit which includes Bread: dinner rolls or corn bread muffins; Stuffing: dry stuffing mix with fresh herbs; Dessert: pumpkin pie, dutch apple pie, pecan pie, or pumpkin cheesecake. Orders taken until they sell out. 650-241-ZEST (650-241-9378). 

Upper Crust continues to offer gluten-free pies, including apple, berry and pumpkin through retailers, including Whole Foods, Andronico's. You can place special orders through your retailers bakery department!


Whole Foods offers frozen pies, muffins, bread, rolls, etc. through their Gluten-Free bakehouse. What other products from Whole Foods are you eying this Thanksgiving? 

Gluten Free Gourmet has opened a storefront in Campbell. They are offering apple, pumpkin and pecan pie. They also have French Bread Baguettes, Rosemary Baguettes, Fudgy Brownies, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Zucchini Muffins.  Orders taken up to 11/19/2010 at 5pm. 408-887-6141.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lemon Goat Yogurt Ice Cream


Lemon is a curious fruit. It is light and refreshing and it seems to scream summer. Yet it is a winter fruit. It just doesn't seem to fit. Even in this temperate environment, I still crave fresh lemon in the summertime. Especially lemon with any sort of cream.