Five Years Gluten Free and Fabulous!

Today is a milestone for me.  Five years since I went gluten free. Five years since I gorged on regular pizza, bagels and pasta like an idiot.  Five years of tummy being mostly pain free. Five years of learning how to cook gluten free. Five years of figuring out gluten free baking. It has been great to be mostly free of gut pain, anxiety, and a host of other issues that have dogged me much of my life. I still eat well. I still love to bake. I feel I have adapted fairly well to this new diet. Lots of cooking though, as the premade stuff is expensive, not that tasty and full of crap I don’t want to put in my body.  I still make a pretty awesome pie I have to say. I have created incredibly yummy gf cookies and muffins. My mom doesn’t really think a lot of the baked goods are gluten free as they are too tasty in her mind! So far so good in the cooking realm.

kitchen sink cookies

blueberry ricotta tart

Writing this blog has been a wonderful experience. It will be five years for that in a week or so. I still enjoy this process of writing and sharing. I plan to keep at it for the foreseeable future.  Honestly, I often look up favorite recipes on my blog and cook off my tablet propped up in the kitchen.  It’s a very handy resource for me.

 

My family has been very supportive of my new diet. They bend over backwards to cook safely for me or to find safe restaurants for dinners out. I so appreciate their efforts and unstinting support.

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My man has been awesome about it. Never complains, always supports me and seems to thrive on the meals I cook for him. He always wants baked goods to take home with him. He ca be somewhat finicky so I know they must be tasty if he wants leftovers! I appreciate his support more than I can express here.

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Most of my friends have been really helpful and supportive. Countless tasty meals and thoughtful snacks. I am lucky to have them in my life.

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So I am already thinking of the new things I will cook and bake in this next gf year. Stay posted for some changes to my blog in the coming weeks. It’s gonna be awesome!

Blueberry Tartlets

It is off season for blueberries but the canned pie filling will do in a pinch if you want to whip up a delicious gluten free blueberry pie. I wanted individual tarts so everyone would feel special; that I baked them a personal fruit pie; easy to do with this simple filling recipe!  I used my flat bottomed tartlet pans.

Don’t eat these tartlets hot; should be cooled to just warm if you like it so or room temperature or even a bit chilled. They were perfect, just like a big pie only tiny and making one individual dessert.  You could certainly serve them with vanilla ice cream.

Sorry I have not been posting much lately; busy working and out of town on a retreat.  Just been hard to find time to focus on my blog but these tartlets were just too good to not blog about.

Angie’s GF Blueberry Tartlets: makes 6

Crust:

1 c plus 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 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

You will need 1 square attached set of flat bottom 4 inch tartlet pans or two if you make them all at once. I refrigerated my dough and made the second batch of a day later. Adjust the filling to the number of tartlets you are baking.

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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 a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

1 21 ounce can of blueberry pie filling

Zest of one small lemon

2 tbsp. lemon juice

Sprinkle of cinnamon

I made it in two parts; used part of can and lemon for each batch. Adjust accordingly.

Break dough into 2 balls, one a bit bigger.  Roll out each crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even and somewhat thin, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place across the tart pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper. Cut into four squares, mold to fit the pan Crimp edges all around.  Or not; I left mine kinda rough but it worked. Fill each tartlet with blueberry mixture after you have the crumb topping ready to go. Do the same with the other portion of dough; makes 3 crusts.

Crumb topping

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form. If you let them go extra long you get big fat crumbs if you want that look.

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Sprinkle the top of each tartlet with crumb mix; use as much as you like.  I didn’t measure; just sprinkled until the fruit was barely visible through the crumbs. Up to your personal taste… It sinks partially into the fruit mixture and adds lots of sweetness and eye appeal. Sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon.

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Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 35 minutes until bubbly and the crumb crust is light brown.  Cool at least 1 hour before serving at room temperature.  I think it is best served the same day you make it, or no more then 18 hours after baking for optimal flavor.  The crumbs will get soggy if too much time passes. Mine was still very good the next day.

blueberry-tartlets-baked

Note: if you find your bottom crust is not browning enough bake it empty at 375 degrees for 6-7 minutes before filling it with the fruit.  I have a bottom heat pizza style oven which gives me perfect pie crust so I don’t ever have pale pie crust. This is a big benefit of having this type of oven; it is a two oven range with a full sized lower oven.

blueberry-tartlets-cut

Not a great picture; day after they were baked and after I cut the last tartlet in half.  So yummy I totally forgot to take a picture after the first batch!

Brown Rice Flour Mix (Same as King Arthur GF All purpose blend)
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour

1/3 c tapioca flour

Note: the crust and crumb recipe are out of Annalise Roberts cookbook, Gluten Free Baking Classics, Second Edition. Adaptation and filling recipe are mine.

Info on My Blog Posts

Sometimes I get questioned on the recipes I put up on my blog. I never post anything I have not made myself.  Know too, that if it doesn’t taste great it doesn’t get on this page!  I make many things that never reach print for one reason or another.   I go back and bake/cook a lot of these things again a year or two later; most of the recipes I post become true favorites of mine.  For example, I am making a fig and yogurt cake this afternoon with some of my last few figs. I made the first one for me two weeks ago and knew it was a keeper on my first bite, see the blog post from two week ago.  Today I am making it with some orange extract I bought for the purpose to see if that was even better than the lemon extract I used last time.  I often switch things up a bit to try different flavors for new results.  Next fall, you better believe that I will be making this cake again once the figs ripen.  Ditto for that fig and raspberry galette of last week; it was an amazing dessert for sure.

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Feel free to change things if you make my recipes; if you hate a seasoning use something you prefer.  I do suggest that it may not go so well if you change the proportions in pie crusts, breads or quick breads as baking is really a science; there you need to stick closer to the proportions and ingredients.  You still can switch the seasonings if that floats your boat!

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If you are new to my blog know that I tend to cook seasonally with fruits and vegetables are they are harvested and ripe. I like using organic and local grown produce as often as possible.  I tend to add extra veggies to soups, stews and stir fries as I am a lover of them to a bit of an extreme.  My herbs are often grown in my own yard for best flavor and freshness but I do buy them when I don’t have and need them for a dish.

chicken-gumbo-005My food is totally gluten free as I must remain gf due to celiac disease.  But that doesn’t mean my meals are less than fantastic or that the plate of cookies I bring to your house won’t be delicious. They will, I promise!  Gluten free from scratch baked goods CAN taste great.  Do not think otherwise and bake gf with confidence for your loved ones.

I cook with love for my friends and family. I cook with joy for the process and I cook with great anticipation for the flavors and textures of my home cooked from scratch gluten free meals.  Enjoy!

Clarifications…FYI…

Just a few brief comments about my blog posts to clear up some issues.  Sometimes people ask if I have even made the recipe I just posted.  For the record: I never ever post recipes unless I have made them myself.  Also, I don’t post stuff that doesn’t taste good.  I do not post recipes I myself would never make again.  I don’t say it is yummy unless it is.  cranberry tartlets 001

Secondly: The pictures I post are almost always shots I have taken myself; they are pretty amateur so I doubt anyone will believe I got them anywhere but from my own camera! I do use pictures of food products or boxed gf products I find on line; better than pictures I could take of the stuff.

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Next, I do cook/bake the vast majority of the recipes I post over and over again.  I just made a batch of my granola the end of last week and I made homemade instant oatmeal this weekend.  The pie crust recipes I post are the two I use constantly in my own kitchen. Those muffins I post about often, I make muffins on a regular basis; about every three weeks.  I made my chickpea pasta soup this weekend; a post from last winter. To be honest I often cook right off my own blogged recipes; quick and easy to find them and my blog has all my changes to the dishes so I can best replicate tasty foods.

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Finally, I never post stuff I don’t enjoy eating or that is crazy complicated.  I don’t post stuff made of bizarre ingredients, yes some things may be a bit unusual but I avoid ingredients I can’t find easily in my small town; either in the grocery store or the health food store. I want my food to be accessible: tasty, affordable and easy to replicate. Foods you would be happy to serve to company or just eat yourself when you crave homemade soup. I live to post yummy food for you to make.  I really do!