Thursday, November 19, 2009

Remember the sights sounds, and smells of Autumn?


Apples, pumpkins and candy,
pies, cookies, and haunted houses,
cider, donuts, and a hayride,
Halloween, Harvest Feasts, and Thanksgiving Day,
children running, laughing and jumping,
crisp leaves on crisp days,
the list could go on.



As a little girl my best friend Mary Ann and I would rake leaves into rows, making corners, and going around until we had a series of boxes representing the walls of a house. After we made a quick trip to the corner store for candy we played house. We lived in a neighborhood filled with kids and in great hordes, we went tricker-or-treating. Each coming home with a grocery sack of candy.

It must have been as a baby when I fell in love with the Fall Season, because I can't remember a time when I didn't love autumn. It has the most beautiful mix of warm colors with cool days, with crisp leaves to shuffle your feet through.

Crisp is the word that keeps coming to my mind. It is one of my trouble spots with gluten-free cooking. I'm pleased with my cookies, but they still don't have the crunch I'm looking for, I believe I have, however, learned a few tricks.
Starch has the ability to provide flexibility during the dough stage of a bake good and adds a bit of crispiness in the finished product.
Almond meal can make a cake product more tender, yet help things like cookies, pies, waffles, and fruit crisps have a melt in the mouth flavor and a satisfying crunch.
Flax seed meal is nearly as good as almond meal, but beware to use one or the other in most cases. Using both can make bake goods stick in their pan.
Coconut oil works better than palm shortening when you are looking for a flaky, tasty, crispy, crunch.
Palm shortening works better than Smart Balance Light, when looking for crunch but it won't add the buttery flavor.
Water will make a crispier waffle than milk ever will.
With these facts all lined up I have created a fruit crisp that surprises even me. Even better, I have my Hubby's seal of approval. Give it a try and let me know how the recipe worked for you.

Fruit Crisp
Melt :
2T Smart Balance Light
2T Coconut oil

mix with it

¾ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. guar gum or xanthan gum
¾ tsp. cinnamon
½ c. rice flour
¼ c. millet
¾ c. almond meal or flax seed meal
2 Tbs. cup tapioca flour or potato starch
¼ c. quinoa flakes or oatmeal
1/4 tsp. each baking powder, salt, and baking soda

Sprinkle this over sliced fruit in a 9x9 cake pan.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.

For apple
peel, core and slice 6 medium apples, mix in ½ Tbs. Lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon of arrowroot starch.

For peaches
use 3 15 oz. Cans of peaches in juice. Drain off the juice. If desired add a ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 Tablespoon or 2 of sugar.