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.

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.

Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie, Oh My!

Rhubarb is starting to get plentiful so it was a good choice for my first adapted gluten free pie recipe years ago. This is my favorite rhubarb pie and my go to recipe for a great spring dessert.

 

This is an easy pie even though it has several steps.  I store any leftover crumb mixture in a sealed container in the fridge; keeps a few weeks.  It is different from the usual rhubarb pie because the texture is a bit closer to a crumb cake, no wet, slimy texture and no ultra sour flavor.  I think this new version tastes as good as it did when I made it with wheat flour.  This GF crust will work for any pie you wish and the GF crumb topping is great for any crumb pie topper.  What I am giving you is my mixture of three recipes with some small modifications over time to create my first GF pie recipe.  I know it has several steps but each one is easy and you can use these crust and crumb recipes for other pies.

I like it because it has a great texture and the flavor is complex but subtly rhubarby.  It isn’t really soft or all that custardy but more cake-like in texture. It is a game changer of a rhubarb pie. I promise you that!

Angie’s GF Rhubarb Custard Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 1 tbsp brown rice flour mix (recipe for blend at bottom of pie recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

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Spray a 9 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. Do not leave out the juice; it is critical to the crust texture and structure!  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape the sticky mess 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 chop the rhubarb into ½ inch chunks.

rhubarb

My sister Karen bought me one of those pie crust plastic bag thingies; has a zipper around the edge.  I love it; it works better than wax paper which can get soft and torn as you roll out the crust.  King Arthur Flour sells them on line. I highly recommend you get one for making pie crusts from scratch especially gluten free crust.   Or just use a sheet of heavy duty plastic! Strong enough to work with the rolling pin better than wax paper.pie crust bag

Filling:

4-5 cups cut up fresh rhubarb – place in medium bowl

Mix with dry mix made of

2/3 – 1 c sugar (depends on how sweet you like your pie) I go with 2/3 cup

¼ c brown rice flour mix (see below recipe)

½ tsp nutmeg

Sprinkle cinnamon

Roll out pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Fill with dry rhubarb mix.  Pour the following wet mix evenly over this mixture:

Wet mix: 3 eggs beaten lightly with 1/3 c milk (not skim), and ¼ tsp almond extract.

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.

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 the pie with the crumb mix; use as much as you like.  I like about 2/3 of the mixture.  Up to your personal taste… It sinks into the rhubarb and wet mixture to create an almost cake like texture and the crumb crust adds lots of sweetness and eye appeal.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 55-60 minutes until bubbly and the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 2 to 4 hours before serving at room temperature.

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

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This post was originally published in the late spring of 2013.  I revised it somewhat since then.  I have made this pie many times in past years to rave reviews.  One of my friends had it for dessert at my house and said it was the best pie she had ever eaten, gluten free or not!  Spring is rhubarb season.  Go forth and make pie!

Flour-less Lemon Cake with Candied Lemon Slices

Cake….always a party pleaser.  I enjoy it on special occasions but confess it is not one of the things I am good at baking, never was even when I could use regular flours.  And don’t get me started on the birthday cake curse I am crouching underneath.  But sometimes you just need that fancy dessert that serves a crowd and makes everyone happy.  This cake is fairly easy to make, is gluten free and has great lemon flavor. The honey is more of an undertone. Each bite has a satisfying texture due to the almond flour, not heavy but not light with a lovely moisture built in from the honey and olive oil. The tiny bit of potato starch helps make that great texture. No butter either; extra virgin olive oil does the trick. Make sure your eggs and whites are all at room temperature for maximum loft when whipped.

The candied lemon slices take a bit of effort but look great on top. I know I was happy with the results when I bit into my slice of yummy cake!

This recipe comes from Food Network’s test kitchens and I made only minor changes, used slightly less water making the syrup as it seemed too thin even after simmering 20 minutes and no pomegranate seeds for on top; it is spring and pomegranates are a fall fruit. I looked; none to be found. I used a half pint of fresh raspberries and they were perfect – added great color and flavor.

If you can get Meyer lemons they are recommended because of their awesome flavor but I used the usual ones from the grocery store and they worked out fine. I thought the candied slices were tasty although a couple of guests who didn’t much like lemon skipped their candied lemon while still enjoying the cake itself.  It is a very impressive looking cake with a tender moist texture. Extra syrup on top is a tempting option!

I put all my pictures together in a chunk; they can be annoying sprinkled through out the recipe when you are trying to make it.  I often use my tablet to make my own recipes straight off my blog posts so I know what I am talking about here!

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Flourless Lemon Honey Cake with Candied Lemon

Ingredients

¼ cup EVOL plus more to grease pan

1 ¾ cup almond flour plus more to dust the pan

1/3 cup potato starch

½ tsp. salt

1 ½ cups sugar

2/3 cup honey

3 lemons; two zested and juiced and the third sliced very thinly

4 eggs separated

2 egg whites

½ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. almond extract

Chopped or slivered almonds; ¼-1/3 cup

½ pint fresh raspberries

Directions:

Brush the sides and bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan which you lined the bottom with a round of parchment paper; brush with EVOL and dust with almond flour.  Put rack in middle level in oven.  Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix flour, starch and salt in medium bowl.  Combine ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup honey, lemon zest, 4 egg yolks, vanilla and almond extract in mixer bowl.  Mix on medium high until creamy; about 3 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low, beat in the flour mixture just until blended.

In a separate clean bowl beat the 6 egg whites until foamy, about a minute.  Gradually beat in ½ cup sugar until stiff glossy peaks form, 3 minutes maybe 4.  Gently fold about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the cake batter, and then fold in the rest of the whites until just barely incorporated.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake until golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly; 50-55 minutes.  Place pan on a cake rack to cool completely.

While it is baking you should make the candied lemon slices.  Put the slices in a small saucepan, cover with water, bring to a simmer over high heat; maybe 3 minutes.  Drain, return to pan and cover with fresh water, repeat the heating.  Do this three times total. It gets the bitterness out of the unpeeled slices. Put the slices back in the pan; add the remaining ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup honey, the lemon juice of the two lemons and 3/4 cup water.  Bring to a simmer over high heat, reduce heat to medium, cook, stir occasionally.  Cook until lemon slices are tender and the honey liquid is thickened; becomes like a syrup; about 20-25 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Unmold the cake: run a knife around the edge of the pan, remove pan.  Flip cake to take off parchment paper.  Place on a serving plate.  Use a fork to remove the lemon slices from the syrup and brush the cake all over with some of the lemon syrup.  Then decorate the cake with them. Sprinkle with the raspberries and pass the leftover lemon honey syrup along with the cake.

Serves 8-10.

Originally posted in the spring of 2015.