Strawberry Shortcake….the Real Deal!

strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake is a classic and no one turns down a slice of it at at a family gathering. I am not sure where I got the gf shortcake recipe; maybe my old Bette Hagman Gourmet Cookbook. I used to make shortcake a lot when I could still use all purpose flour but my gf biscuit version is pretty tasty. But there is one thing, you gotta make it with the best freaking strawberries you can find.  None of those ultra firm ones with whitish cores that are shipped in from far away.  You need juicy ripe scented red berries that are served over a gluten free short bread.  Yes, my local season is done but it can be done with other than local produce – the riper the better and it will taste great!

My mom always made a gorgeous version of strawberry shortcake. When I was a kid she would serve it as an entire meal.  I have done that and it is kinda cool.  Pre gluten free I generally made a huge oval biscuit with a smaller topping biscuit that I split off and buttered the split area before topping with berries and the smaller biscuit and topped with more ripe berries and a pillow of softly whipped heavy cream.  Oh berry perfection!  Now I bake it in two separate pans but the construction of the final product is the same otherwise. The pictures on construction are a couple of years old but the process is the same; just made some this past weekend; came out perfect.

Mom’s Strawberry Shortcake, GF2.3

Biscuit dough

1 cup white rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. xanthan gum

6 tbsp cold butter

1 medium egg

2/3 cup buttermilk

2-3 tsp. sugar (optional)

2 tsp. soft butter

Other ingredients:

2 quarts ripe strawberries

½ cup sugar

2-3 tbsp. Karo light syrup

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ tsp. real vanilla

2 tbs. powdered sugar (if you like your cream sweet)

Directions
Heat oven t0 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the cold butter until it is small pebbles.  Add the egg and most of the buttermilk.  Mix with a spoon; add rest of buttermilk if you need it.  It should be a bit sticky, don’t over mix; just until dry is blended in.  Spray the inside of an eight inch cake pan and a 6 inch cake pan with cooking spray.  If you don’t have a small pan just use two 8 inch ones.  Pat ¾ of the dough into the 8 inch; make it about ¾ to 1 inch thick and try to smooth the top and side edges a bit.  Put the rest of the dough in the smaller pan and do the same smoothing.  Make that one ½ to ¾ inch thick.  Optional: take 2-3 tsp. of granulated sugar and sprinkle it over top of them. I think it gives a great finish to the shortcake. Bake them about 20 to 25 min; the smaller one should be done in 20 minutes; a golden light brown. Set on a cooling rack for a few minutes.

While it bakes, get the berries ready.  Hull 2 quarts of fresh ripe berries.  Place them in a glass mixing bowl; chop through them a few strokes with a sharp knife.  Add ½ cup sugar and about 2-3 tbsp. Karo light corn syrup to the berries.  Stir well and refrigerate until the shortcake is baked.  You could do this berry preparation up to two hours in advance.  No more or they will start to disintegrate.

Place the fairly hot bigger layer on a large platter, one big enough to hold the shortbread and still have room for a generous overflow of strawberries. Butter lightly if you wish.  Top with several big spoonfuls of berries.  Don’t worry if there is juice in the berry bowl; there should be; melted down sugar and Karo syrup with berry juice will give you a delish berry liquid.  Top with the second smaller biscuit and then more berries.   Cut into chunks.  Top with freshly whipped cream; beat a cup of heavy whipping cream until it is softly whipped.  Add ½ tsp. vanilla and ¼ cup sugar if you wish it sweet.  Be sure to pour the berry juice over your shortcake; it soaks in and adds to the strawberry experience.

My dad liked to pour unbeaten cream over his shortcake. My mom usually set out the whipped cream, a jug of cream and some whole milk so you could chose how to finish off your personal shortcake.  I might add that I grew up on a farm so this was raw milk from grass pastured cows; fantastic cream equaling a freaking perfect shortcake topper.  We also grew our own berries; no chemical sprayed on them ever.’

Notes: Karo is sugar syrup; I know, I know its not very healthy but it is only a bit and it improves the berries to have some. Just do it. And while I am being bossy: please use real whipped cream. So easy to make and if you are going to the trouble of a scratch shortcake you need the real deal topping. It is hugely worth it.  I actually stored some whipped cream in the fridge overnight and it was still decent the next day although the texture is a bit softer than it originally was. Strawberry shortcake is a decadent treat but honestly no more so than a sundae you get at an ice cream place. SO go ahead and indulge. Enjoy!

shortcake, one serving

If there is any left over it makes a great breakfast the next morning!

Originally published in June 2014. Minor text changes this time.

Rhubarb Crisp For Dessert…or Breakfast.

It’s still rhubarb season, at least at my house and garden! The last three desserts I made were this recipe. It was super easy and super yummy. I swear it tasted like there were cherries in there! My brain can hardly believe I never made rhubarb crisp; make apple crisp all the time in the fall and winter…so glad I tried it this spring. Hence, my sharing of this tasty quick dessert with you.  Makes a yummy breakfast too!

It keeps about 3 days depending on humidity. I have a glass baking dish with a plastic lid for keeping things fresh; works great.

Notes; any gf flour blend will do, I use King Arthur blend.  You can use sliced or slivered almonds. Or no nuts! Tried it with both nuts and I prefer walnuts.  I think the walnuts add a hint of cherry flavor to the result. But great with no nuts too…

Rhubarb Crisp

Ingredients

Fruit layer

4-5 cups rhubarb cut into ½ inch bits (I do 5 cups)

¾ cup sugar (could use up to a cup if you like it sweeter)

¼ cup tapioca starch (or cornstarch if you chose)

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Topping

½ cup gf flour blend

1 cup gf oats (not quick ones!)

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup brown sugar, not packed

¼ cup butter, cold

½ cup walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray inside of 8×12 glass baking dish; any dish roughly that size will do. In a large mixing bowl dump all the dry ingredients; sugar, starch and cinnamon. Mix a bit; add rhubarb, mix well. Dump into baking dish.

Dump all dry ingredients left except nuts into bowl of stand mixer, blend briefly. Add butter which you have cut up into about 12 or more tiny bits; a few cuts with a knife do it quick. Blend a minute or so until you can’t see the butter. Add nuts. Pour over the rhubarb. Bake on middle shelf for 35 to 40 minutes; the thicker the layer of fruit is the longer it takes; you want it bubbling and the top lightly browned. Let cool at least 15 or 20 minutes.  Great with vanilla ice cream or plain Greek yogurt on top. Store with a tight lid on top. Enjoy! rhubarb crisp in dish

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

I love trying new versions of things; a few years ago I cam up with this magical idea: I combined my chocolate chip muffins with my classic banana nut muffins.  Muffin heaven is here and I baked this afternoon so there are a couple in my muffin jar for snacks!  The rest go in the freezer to stay fresh for a sweet chocolatety banana muffin treat.

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They are perfect in texture, moisture and totally yummy. I put a streusel topping on them but a good measure of it fell off; do try to press it in firmly, I guess I wasn’t firm enough!  They are good even without the streusel topping if you like less on top, could instead sprinkle with chunky sugar for a nice finished appearance.  And if you only have one kind of chocolate chips I am sure they will still be fantastic. I just loved the contrast of big dark chips with small semi-sweet ones.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 c packed ripe mashed banana

½ c coarsely chopped walnuts

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

2 lg eggs beaten

½ c milk plus 2 tbsp extra if you use coconut sugar, 1 or 2 percent

½ c canola oil

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Topping

½ cup oats

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond flour

½ tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. butter

Mix topping dry ingredients, rub butter in with your fingertips.

Or just use 1/3-1/2 cup gf oats sprinkled on top; this lower calorie topping is my go to these days.

 

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Muffin directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes about 16 or 17 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl.

Add bananas and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix, then add the chocolate and stir briefly.

Combine milk and oil.  Add liquids and the two eggs to bowl. Stir on low until well blended.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  Sprinkle with topping and press in carefully if you do the streusal. Bake 20-24 min until golden brown. Do not overbake or they get dry.  Remove from oven and let cool 2-3 min before gently turning them out from the pans to cool on a rack. I use a butter knife to release them by running it around the edge once before tipping them out. They freeze well for up to 3 weeks.  They keep in my ceramic muffin/cookie jar for a few days. muffins 001

Brown Rice Flour Mix *same as King Arthur’s GF flour blend
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Note: This muffin recipe is my version of the muffins from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics.

Post originally put up by me in 2015, minor changes to text.

Bratwursts From Aldi’s are the Best!

This post is an addendum to my buckwheat crepe post of the other day. I neglected to tell you how delish the bratwurst were in my crepe wrap entree. I bought the package of 4 uncured Bavarian bratwurst at Aldi’s. They were kinda pale and unexciting looking in the shrink wrap but when I pan fried them in a bit of olive oil they browned up nicely. Each brat was still juicy and tender with a delicate flavor I was very impressed with. bratwurst

 

I have bought brats before at other grocery stores and found them rather dull and pedestrian. These are thinner, longer and far tastier.  bratwurst packageUncured means they have less junk added in the curing process of many sausages.  Definitely a yummy and healthyish choice for sausage in any recipe. They cook in about ten minutes.  And grilling them is on the package as an alternative to the frying pan. Next time I will try them on my grill. Maybe for camping…

They are imported from Germany so I am guessing they are very authentic compared to stuff made in the USA. I give these an A plus in every category. Enjoy!

Bratwurst in a Crepe!

This post came as a result of me buying some uncured German bratwurst at Aldi’s and I didn’t know what to make with it.  Then I saw a blog post; for a meal of bratwurst served in a “galette” which is basically a buckwheat crepe. Bratwurst is a quick cooking meat; about 10-11 minutes in fry pan. The crepes took far longer. I used dark buckwheat flour.  You will need some water, a bit of coconut oil or butter, salt and an egg. You beat it up and refrigerate it for an hour or more; up to overnight.  I made the whole recipe which should make 8 crepes; I got about 6-7.  I have made crepes before, long ago; they are a bit smaller; these were made in a 12 inch non stick frying pan.  They are harder to turn as they are so large. The crepe is thin, fairly flexible especially when it is just made. I reheated one tonight on a plate; for about 35-30 seconds.

I cooked the brats and then opened a can of sauerkraut and got out the mustard. It goes especially good with country style mustard; aka stone ground mustard.  One time I had it with a pickled okra added in and second time with some caramelized onions added.  Both tasty.

So here are my hints.  I made the batter in a 4 cup flexible measuring cup; measure the water and dump in flour and rest of ingredients. Mix it well.  Put in fridge while you do something else. When you measure batter to make a crepe, go for a touch less than a ladle full. I found that the first one was crap; just as the author said it would be.   Then I got out the cooking spray and changed from coconut oil to butter and sprayed the pan as well; Much less sticking. You have to rotate the pan around quickly to spread the batter into a thin big crepe. Be patient to turn and be careful not to flip it onto itself; sticks together and cannot be separated again; mutant crepe! Let it get some brown spots on the bottom. The edges might be all feathery; they look pretty when that happens.

I think you could use these to make wrap sandwiches; far better tasting and more flexible than any gf wrap bread I have found. They are fairly easy once you get the hang of making them. I love that there is no baking and in an hour of batter resting plus 15 or 20 minutes I can have 6 wraps to use with brats, hot dogs, lunch meat or whatever! Six is plenty for me; not sure they freeze so don’t want a ton of them. This is definitely a keeper recipe I will be able to use in many meal situations.

Here is the link to Margaret’s recipe: http://www.kitchenfrau.com/buckwheat-galettes/

Enjoy!!

Jam and Almond Tart

European jam tarts.  Heard of them. Never had a taste of one. Have a lot of jam/jellies so I thought it was the right time to give it a whirl. I also had some almond paste, just a bit but it proved enough to make a touch of frangipane filling.  I think you could leave out the frangipane part but why? It definitely adds to the flavor of the finished tart. Honestly it felt like I got it from a really high-end bakery.  Gluten free too.

Yes, I know of the famous British Bakewell  Tart, this is sort of the reverse of that: with more of a tart and less of a cake result – next time I crave jam I may well try my hand at a Bakewell  Tart.  It is sort of like jam topped with a rich thin cake.  Stay tuned!

There are just a few simple steps to this; if you want the jam or jelly sweeter you can cook it down a bit with a half cup of sugar added. I did do that but honestly, I think it was not really necessary. Once it was thickened I put it in a new bowl and chilled it in my freezer as it was too darn hot! Extra work. Next time, just gonna stir up the jam and go with it.

Angie’s Almond and Jam Tart

Crust:

1 c. and 2 Tbsp. brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 Tbsp. sweet rice flour

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 egg, room temp

2 tsp. lemon juice

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal. Add the egg and juice; blend until it clumps into a ball. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes.  Roll out  between plastic sheets or wax paper and lay in pan: press onto the sides of a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Set in fridge to cool while you make the filling to 1 1/3 cup fruit jam/jelly; I used homemade red currant jelly

2-3 Tbsp. almond paste

½ cup sugar

¼ cup gf flour

½ tsp. almond extract

2 ¼ ounces sliced almonds

 

Directions:

Make crust; chill.  Stir up jam/jelly.  Put the almond paste, sugar, extract, and flour in a food processor; mix until well blended. Sprinkle over crust. Glop on the jam and smear around with a large spoon or butter knife. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes; until the crust is lightly browned.  Cool at least an hour before slicing. Great  with a dollop of whipped cream or plain yogurt. Stores for about 2 days (tightly covered) – if it lasts that long… Enjoy!

jam tart slice

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur basic gf blend)

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch – not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

The crust recipe is from Annalise Roberts great cookbook, GF Baking Classics, Second Edition.

 

 

Rhubarb Frangipane Pie: Almond Sugar Filling to Keep it Sweet

Got another great but uncommon rhubarb pie recipe.  This time I used a simple almond filling; called frangipane. It’s is just a sweet layer under the rhubarb but it’s quick to make and blends in: you won’t really notice the frangipane but its flavor will be delish  when you bite into this luscious pie.  This is easy to make even though it has several steps.  Keeper recipe!

The GF crust will work for any pie you wish and the sugared topping is a great look and a crunchy sweet treat.  This is one of the few two crust pies I do and I have to say the top crust was very flaky and tasty.

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Angie’s GF Rhubarb Frangipane Pie

Crust:

2 ¼ c brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

¼ cup sweet rice flour

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

12 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

2 large eggs

4 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Directions: Spray 9 or 10 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into two equal balls with your hands. Put each on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust balls some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you chop the rhubarb into ½ inch chunks.  I now use a rectangle of medium thick plastic; fold it in half and roll out the pie dough between the layers; works much better than wax paper.

Frangipane Filling:

2/3 cup almond meal

1/3 c sugar

6 tbsp. butter at room temp

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1 tbsp. rice flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix the almond meal and sugar in your stand mixer on low, add the butter, cream well, use spatula to make sure the butter gets down and fully integrated into the mixture and then add egg and almond extract, mix and add the flour and cinnamon.

Rhubarb filling:

5 cups cut up fresh rhubarb

3 tbsp. tapioca flour

¼ tsp. salt

Zest of one orange (optional)

2 tbsp. sugar

1 or 2 tsp. of milk to brush on for a glaze

Raw sugar to sprinkle on top

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In large bowl: place rhubarb, add tapioca flour, salt, plain sugar and orange zest. Stir with spoon to coat.

Assembling the pie:

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out one pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! I use a pie bag my sister gave me; works fantastically with gf crusts. Peel off one side of wax paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.

Spread frangipane filling on the bottom of the crust.  Fill with dry rhubarb mix.  Roll out the other pie crust. Place gently on top of pie, crimp around edges. Cut a few vent slits in the top crust. Brush top crust carefully with milk, sprinkle heavily with raw sugar.

Place on baking sheet to catch drips (I have a pie drip pan I love!)  Bake 20 mi, rotate it half way through so the back and front are the same level of golden. Lower heat to 350 degrees.  Bake for 30-40 min until crust is golden and you can see the filling bubbling.  Cool on rack for at least 1-2 hours before serving.  Enjoy!rhubarb frangipane pie 001

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur Basic Blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is a blending of one I found on splendidtable.org with my favorite crust recipe out of Annalise Roberts cookbooks with my own small changes to create a pie to my taste buds happiness.

Originally posted spring of 2016, no changes to recipe, minor updates to text.