Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gluten-free Apple Crisp (Yum!)

As I mentioned last week, I ran out of all four versions of my homemade GF flour mix. I had four containers, all slightly different recipes, one each for four different recipe sources (three cookbooks, one online site). I wrote the ingredients for each mix right on the container, for ease of refilling, and I have the ingredients in plastic bags in a couple of rodent-free/insect-resistant bins and in the freezer, but I just haven’t got around to the refilling part.

(In case you were wondering, Bob’s Red Mill is within driving distance. It’s a fair amount of time and gas, so we only go every two or three months, but we’re able to stock up on GF flours and starches from the bulk bins, which helps cut our costs.)

Anyhow, I mentioned last week that two of our adapted recipes use an easy-to-stir-up flour mix. They don’t even need xanthan or guar gum. Just three or four ingredients, and the mix is so forgiving that I don’t even measure all that carefully.

(Just so you know, GF flours and starches are a little different when it comes from measuring. You want to spoon them lightly into measuring cups, or for better accuracy, weigh them. This mix, below, that I use for crepes and apple crisp, I pretty much scoop, but it doesn’t much seem to matter.)

The other thing you need to know about apple crisp is that oatmeal is an important ingredient. Without the oatmeal, it just doesn’t taste like the apple crisp I’ve made over the years. Thus one of the things I buy from Bob’s is certified gluten-free oats.

Apple Crisp

4-6 apples, or enough to fill your casserole when cut up leaving about an inch for topping
2 TBS rice flour or starch (corn, potato, tapioca)
1/2 to 1 cup sugar (we like raw cane sugar — use more with tart apples, less with sweet apples)
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon (most recipes call for the smaller amount, but we like a good bite of cinnamon taste)
pinch salt
Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (you can cut down or even eliminate the sugar in the apple filling if you choose to do this)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease casserole dish or spray with baking spray.
Wash apples. Core, peel (if not organic) and cut up into chunks. Mix flour or starch with sugar and cinnamon and toss with apples until apples are coated with mixture.

1 cup GF flour mix
1 cup certified GF rolled oats
1 cup sugar (again, you can use less if you like — I’ve cut this by as much as a half)
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon (see note about cinnamon, above)
pinch salt
1/2 to 1 cup butter or coconut oil

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in fat with pastry blender, two table knives, or a fork. (A pastry blender makes this a quick process.) You should end up with a crumbly mixture. Spread on top of casserole. Bake at 350F for about an hour, or until bubbly and apples are tender when pierced.

Best served warm, but pretty good when cold, too. We can do dairy, so we like to pour cream over the top of hot apple crisp, or top with whipped cream, or serve with ice cream.

Quick GF Flour Mix

My quickly cobbled-together flour mix, that works well for crepes as well as apple crisp, contains approximately:

1/2 cup rice flour (white or brown seem to work about the same)
1/4 cup tapioca or corn starch
1/4 cup sorghum flour or millet flour

Final words

With apples in season and the weather turning colder, this is the perfect recipe for breakfast, or afternoon teatime, or dessert. It fills the house with an amazing apple-cinnamon smell while baking, and it’s a great waker-upper to get our girls out of bed on a dark, dreary, rainy morning when otherwise they’d be tempted to turn over and go back to sleep.

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