Using the Gluten- Free Flour blend… to make a couple of desserts.

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Using the Gluten- Free Flour blend… to make a couple of desserts. As promised in a previous post, I am posting a couple of recipes I made for a GF dinner gathering I hosted recently. One of the recipes was apple pie tartlets… a mini version. I ended up using a semi-cooked apple filling…  a filling I usually make when baking apple turnovers. I have included the link to the apple pie filling below, so you can click on it if you would like to see the recipe. And because I made mini tarts, I used my toaster oven to make things even simpler, but feel free to use a regular oven.  
The second recipe was an apple and pear cake I made on the spur of the moment… it was an adaptation from a golden apple brownie I had in one of my cookbooks. The cake somewhat  falls apart when warm… because I omitted the xanthan gum in my flour, and probably because my fruit pieces were cut a bit too big. But my husband loved the apple/pear cake, as did my guests, so I’m posting the recipe for the cake as well. The cake is a light and fluffy sort of cake with a caramel-y flavor from the coconut sugar I used. However, the cake should still work with brown sugar, if you choose to use it… it might even hold together better. 
Since I had some leftover pie crust (and some extra apple pie filling) I managed to line 3 (6 inch) tart pans with the pie crust and froze them… for baking another day. The day I chose to bake them, I used the leftover apple pie filling(also frozen) from the mini tarts I made earlier to make an apple tart. However, I still had a couple of pastry lined tarts, so I ended up making a pumpkin filling to fill the remaining tart shells. With the leftover pumpkin filling, I simply made a few extra mini crustless pumpkin pies… ended up being more like a custard/souffle. They were good and healthy for breakfast:).
In any case, these are just some ideas for using the gluten- free flour and GF pie crust I posted earlier.  The post might seem long, but I ended up posting the recipes I made… as a guide, with lots of pictures. However, they are just ideas… you can easily use your own apple pie filling, or any fruit filling for that matter… and use your own favorite pumpkin pie filling. The apple/pear cake was delicious, but you can play around with the fruits… and using toffee chips instead of the nuts, or  adding some chocolate in the mix. Be creative and make the recipes your own. Hope you enjoy…        

You will need:
powdered sugar
drizzle of icing
dollop of sweetened cream
ice cream
1. Make apple pie fill per directions in above link. Allow to cool somewhat and proceed to roll out pastry dough to line mini muffin tin/s.
2. Roll out pie crust between floured parchment paper… make sure to use a GF flour blend. 
3. Using a circle cookie cutter, cut out circles that are about 1/2 inch wider than the mini muffin well. 
4. Using a small offset spatula lift the pie crust circle and place in mini muffin tin well. Press to fit in. 
5. Continue with the rest of the pastry until all the muffin tin is lined with the pie crust.
6. Fill each muffin well with about 1 TBS of the apple filling. 
7. Bake in a preheated 425 deg F  oven for 10-12 minutes… or until crust is nicely golden and filling is bubbly. 
Note: I used my toaster oven to bake the mini pies.
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Gluten-Free Apple and Pear Cakelets… with walnuts and coconut sugar.
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Note: Since I didn’t use any xanthan gum in my flour blend, my cakelets had the tendency to fall apart a bit, especially when warm. I chose to chill /freeze them  a bit before removing from pan. I think it would work much better if the cakes would be baked in muffin liners… wouldn’t have to worry too much with them falling apart. Now, if you add a bit of xanthan gum, you might not have the falling apart issue.

You will need: I used a pan with 8 mini loaf pan wells, but muffin pans lined with cupcake liners should work equally well, if not better.

2/3 cup coconut sugar (can be substituted with lt. brown sugar)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 ex-large egg
1 medium pear, diced*
1 large granny smith apple, peeled and diced*
1/2 cup chopped walnuts/pecans
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup gluten-free flour blend (I didn’t add xanthan gum, nor any stabilizer)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp powdered ginger 
*I chopped my fruits a bit bigger than I should have, ideally it would be a ton better if fruits are diced small

  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F
  • Butter mini loaf pan and line with parchment paper… or use muffin tin lined with cupcake liners.

1. In a large bowl, mix sugar, melted butter, oil, and egg until fluffy… about 2-3 minutes.

2. Chop nuts along with the pear and apple. Fold them into the egg mixture. Mix in the vanilla. 
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
4. Stir in the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just blended.
5. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the mini loaf pans (or muffin tins) and spread batter evenly with a spatula. 
6. Bake for about 20-35 minutes (depending what pan you use, timing will vary)… OR until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan…. since I made the cake in mini loaf pans, I let them  cool in the pan completely and even chilled them a bit so they wouldn’t fall apart. But it ‘s up to you how you want to cool them:)… Serve with caramel sauce, ice cream, or sweetened whipped cream.

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Pumpkin Pie / Apple Pie…
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You will need:
Apple Pie Filling
I used leftover semi-frozen apple pie filling from the mini tartlet recipe above. 
1. Line tarts with GF pie crust, and place apple filling on top… I piled my apple pie filling on high, as it was semi-frozen.
2. Bake at 425 deg F for 15 or so minutes… or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.  Drizzle with caramel, or dust with icing sugar. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired. 
Note: I used my toaster oven to bake the tart.
Pumpkin Pie Filling:  Filling is not very sweet using the coconut sugar, so if you like it sweeter, use regular sugar or increase coconut sugar… or pour some maple syrup over the cooled pie and add sweetened whipped cream as a topping. Also, the spice is there, but on the milder side, so increase amount of pumpkin spice if you like it spicier. While a normal pumpkin pie contains evaporated milk, I subbed a bit of cream… 
15 oz pumpkin puree
3/4-1 cup coconut sugar( you can substitute with 3/4 cup cane sugar)
2 ex- large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup heavy cream (you can add more if you like)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1. In a small bowl whisk and combine the sugar, spices and salt. In another bowl, add the pumpkin puree and mix in the beaten eggs. 
2. Add the sugar mix and whisk to combine. Pour in the cream and whisk to fully combine.
3. Pour the pumpkin filling into GF pastry lined tarts. 
2. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 F for 10-12 minutes. Decrease temperature to 350 F and bake for an additional 15-18 minutes or until center is almost set(it will continue to cook as it cools).  Allow to cool completely. Chill. Serve drizzled with maple syrup, honey, caramel, … or simply topped with sweetened whipped cream, or ice cream.  
Note: I used my toaster oven to bake the tarts.
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