Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Little Fruit Tarts

Gluten Free & Dairy Free

I had some peaches, and I wanted to do something with them, I wanted to have something for dessert after dinner. I've been having mad cravings for fruit recently. I could just stew them maybe I thought... no that's boring... um maybe some type of peach crumble... no, that's not quite want. I want... something creamy, peaches, creamy, pie, tarts! oh what was that recipe I saw in that cookbook I have, there it is - Fruit Tarts!... oh I wish I had strawberries, alas I have no strawberries, but peaches will do. Yes lets give it a go!

And mmmmm, yum yum, just what I wanted.

Thank you Robyn Russell and your 'More Gluten free and easy' cookbook. For convenience I have the pastry and custard recipes listed as separate posts via links, so you don't have a gigantic long recipe.

For Pastry cases, see Shortcrust Pastry
For Custard Cream Filling see Homemade Custard
2 Peaches

1) Preheat oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. 
2) Grease Muffin tray or individual tart tins.
3) On a floured surface, roll out the pastry that has been refrigerated for at least an hour, to about 1/4 - 1/2 inch inch thickness, and using cutters cut out rounds and gently place into the prepared tins.
5) Prick the bottoms of the pastry cases and bake in the oven for 10-15 mins, then remove and cool.
6) Fill the cooled pastry cases with the custard cream and place slices of peach or strawberries or other berries on top. (I peel the peaches as the skins are high in insoluble fibre and can be irritating for those with Colitis and Crohns)
7) Eat right away, or store in the refrigerator till ready to eat.

Homemade Custard

Gluten free & Dairy free

Another recipe originally from Robyn Russell's cookbook - 'More Gluten free and easy'. I changed the ingredients to make it dairy free.

This was my first time ever attempting to make custard from scratch, but it worked out perfectly. I love when things work out so well on the first try.

This is delicious to eat just as is, or serve with fresh fruit or with pies.

225ml coconut milk
225ml soya milk
115g caster sugar (I didn't have enough so used part plain granulated sugar and it worked fine)
2 eggs
40g cornflour
1/2 tsp vanilla
30g dairy-free margarine

1) Place coconut milk, soya milk and sugar into a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar had dissolved, then leave for another few minutes, you may see bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan. Mine didn't, but if it is quite warm to dip your finger in, like almost too warm!, then it is ready. Take it off the heat.
2) Whisk the eggs and whisk in the cornflour until smooth.
3) Slowly pour the warm cream mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly.
4) Return to the saucepan and whisk continuously over low heat until thickened. Be patient, it may take several minutes, and then will suddenly get thick.
5) Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, and then the margarine, a little at a time, until incorporated.
6) Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and set aside to cool.

Shortcrust Pastry

Originally from a recipe by Robyn Russell in 'More Gluten Free and Easy' cookbook, though I changed the ingredients and quantities to make it dairy free as well as gluten free.

225g Gluten freeFlour (for this I used the Dove's farm GF plain flour mix)
40g icing sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum (it really does help with the crumb structure)
100g dairy-free margarine
75g coconut milk
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla

1) Combine the flour and margarine with fingertips until it forms breadcrumbs.
2) Add the 
icing sugar and xanthan gum and stir together. 
3) Mix the coconut milk, egg yolk and vanilla in a separate bowl. Then add to the flour mixture until it forms a soft doughy ball. If it is too sticky add a little more flour, but you want it to be soft, and not too firm.
4) Wrap in cling film and store in the fridge for later use.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Flour Mixes

As well as buying big bags of flour from asian supermarkets, where I get my rice flour, potato flour, tapioca flour and other flours, as you can get them in large weights for good prices there...

I'm also a big fan of Dove's Farm Gluten Free Plain flour mix. It works well in everything I've baked to date, and is handy and sells at a decent price too. You can get it in most supermarkets, like Tesco and Superquinn, and you can find it in health shops too, though probably more expensive in there. Recently I bought their Rice flour, which wasn't expensive and was very good quality. I believe you can order their flours online.

There are a lot of other flour mixes in shops which I haven't tried yet, as a lot of them are quite expensive. Dove's Farm seems to be at the best price. So, they get a thumbs up from me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gluten Free Flours

My favourite combination of gluten free flours is rice flour, potato flour and tapioca flour. They don't have too strong or offensive a flavour and they work well together, particularly for baking cakes and sweet things.

Cornflour and maize flour are good ones too, and not too strong in flovour. Using cornflour and soya flour with rice flour work well in baking bread, along with one of my favourite ingredients Psyllium Husk powder

I haven't found any millet flour in my searches here in Dublin, but am interested in trying it, along with sorghum flour. Perhaps I will have to find them online.

Quinoa flour and Buckwheat flour will add their own distinctive flavours, it all depends on what you want. I don't use these flours very much, but don't let that stop you.

Everyone is different and has different tastes. I can only tell you what I like to use. I think you really need to experiment with the different flours and find what you like and what works for you. Just have fun with it!