Sunday, October 27, 2013

No Bake Pumpkin Pie Filling, sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, paleo

So today in Alberta it's snowing cats and dogs. And when I say snowing, I mean the sideways snow that gets into everything. E v e r y t h i n g. 
SO, on that note of course someone is throwing a dinner party tonight and of course I am making the dessert!
Interesting enough they were asking for one of my recipes, and as soon as I mentioned "Well, I could always bring a pie.." They of course humbly accepted the offer and no longer needed my recipe. :)
On that note, I have had two very delicious sugar pumpkins hanging out in my kitchen for 2 weeks. Pumpkin is no doubt one of the easiest foods to cook.
Now usually I would show you how I baked the pumpkin before turning it into a pie but I will save that tutorial for another time. As it will mean lots of pictures, and I definitely need to bake more pumpkin anyways. 
So today I wanted a change of pace. Instead of making a pumpkin pie, I settled on tarts. Why? Because they look pretty, I wanted a change and there is like 10 people going so it's much easier to bring 10 tarts.
I wasn't certain how my pie crust recipe would hold up to a pumpkin pie tart. The only time I have used them as tarts is when I make butter tarts. And they inevitably hold together from all the butter and honey in the filling. But a wet pumpkin pie filling? Not too sure.
Now I L O V E pumpkin pie. It's just barely sweet, spicy and so simple. Oh wait except for the 2 hours of baking time. I loathe the 30min  of 425 degrees and the 1 hour of 350 degrees. But among that, I detest the burnt crust around the edge that no matter how many layers upon layers of tinfoil I apply, IT STILL BURNS.
SO. I was thinking a non bake pumpkin pie filling.  Of course you can do the pumpkin custard idea and mix the pumpkin puree with mascarpone cheese and dollop it into tarts.
I didn't want to do that of course, mostly because my husband being lactose intolerant it's not fun to substitute things. Plus I didn't feel like hiking in the snow just to go get some goat cheese.
So of course, my idea was to use Gelatin. That's right, animal hooves are in your pumpkin pie! Better than corn syrup, and refined sugar. Gelatin is natural as long as it is organic. If you are opposed to Gelatin, feel free to use Agar Agar powder (not the flakes).
For the "whip cream" topping. Well I usually substitute coconut whip cream and still make the traditional dairy whip cream. Today, I decided to put the hate on all the dairy eaters and just make one cream. Cashew, cream with vanilla and cinnamon. 
I figured since everyone can eat it instead of having all the substitutes I just made it simple and made one. 
No Bake Pumpkin Pie Filling- Paleo, Grain Free, Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Yield 1 pie or 18 tarts

2 C Pumpkin Puree (plain no additives or spices)
1/2 C Honey, or agave nectar
2 tsp Real Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Vietnamese Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Dry Ginger
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/8 tsp All spice

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. 

In a small sauce pan 1 package of Gelatin over 1/2 C goat milk, coconut milk. Let stand 1 minute. Slowly bring the milk up to a simmer over medium heat and stir constantly until the gelatin is dissolved. About 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. 

Pour the milk and gelatin into the pumpkin puree and process again until smooth. 

Pour into pie or tart crusts and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

*CAUTION - do not make the filling ahead of time and place in the fridge as it will set in the container and you will have to reheat it to deactivate the Gelatin. If you want to make the filling ahead of time, Omit the milk and gelatin on only add it when ready.

Tart Crusts

I used my double pie crust for the tart crust recipe. I just changed the steps to create tarts.

Prepare the Pie crust dough in a large mixing bowl. Increase the coconut flour up to 1/2 C as needed until dough is sticky and not wet. 

Roll the dough out between two piece of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of parchment. Using a 3-4inch circle cutter cut the dough and slowly lift up each circle with a spatula. 
Place the circle of dough over a well greased muffin tin. Slowly press the the dough down to the bottom of each muffin cup.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool for 3-5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Whipped Cinnamon Cashew Cream

2 C soaked raw Cashews

1/2 C coconut milk, water, or goat milk
1/2 C melted coconut oil
1/4 C Honey
4 tsp real vanilla extract
4 dashes of cinnamon

Soak the cashews in a bowl, covered with water over night or for 4 hours. Drain and rinse.
Place the soaked cashews in a blender with the milk or water and puree until very smooth. Add more liquid as necessary. (If you are using a food processor or less powerful blender it may take up to 10 minutes of blending to achieve a smooth texture. Otherwise, strain the cashew puree through a fine mesh sieve before continuing).
Add vanilla, honey, cinnamon, and puree. While blender is running, pour in the melted coconut oil in a steady stream until emulsified. If you have trouble getting the cashew cream to thicken, add coconut flour 1-2 tbs.

Refrigerate until firm and set. 1-3 hours.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Grain Free Paleo Baguette - Gluten free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Nut free option

Well, it appears my baguette recipe has become popular enough that I have been receiving comments about it's absence. 
I Have been soo busy and on vacation, and I am finally here. 
I have good news, I tracked down my recipe and I am going to re post it here. I Hope everyone is having a fabulous summer. 

So here is my original post and photos. 

It's been over a 1.5 years now since we have been Grain free and Primal (Primal being, legume, grain, corn, gluten and sugar free). Most of the time we have been used to not eating anything as delicious and comforting as bread, so it’s a real treat! We eat bread (always grain free) on special occasion, camping, and just when I can`t possibly go another day without it.
I have been trying to make a French bread style loaf that I could take with me to a gathering, all warm, hot form the oven and wrapped in parchment paper. This is exactly what I needed. It’s light on the inside, firm on the outside. How the heck do you make a grain free bread that is light and not like a brick?
Of course it’s not the idea of making bread that is the trouble it’s the idea of making grain free bread that is firm enough in batter form to hold its shape as a loaf without falling as it bakes, but soft moist and delicate in the middle . If you have worked with Grain free or Gluten free batters you know what I mean.  
I have made this recipe twice two different ways. First time I used raw cashews and ground them myself. This worked well, but the bread was more crumbly compared to when I used the cashew butter. You can use either or. I will provide recipe adjustments for whatever one you use as some people have a hard time finding cashew butter.
You can substitute any nut or seed butter really (except coconut butter) but my favorite is cashew. It’s light, buttery, no distinct flavor and it looks like real bread. Look for an organic Cashew butter with only 2 ingredients, no salt or sugar added.  
I chose to use my favorite ingredient Whey Powder, versus beating my egg whites for a bubbly center. It worked excellent; it rose nearly double in the oven and came out soft and bubbly on the inside. If you choose to substitute coconut flour instead, you may want to beat your egg whites to help with a rise in the oven. When I used coconut flour, I found the bread to be denser and cake like. I prefer my bread to be light so I prefer using the Whey powder. Not only does it make it lighter, it cuts out a step of beating and folding in egg whites.
Always use an unflavored, sugar free, no artificial colors or flavors Whey Powder. Read the ingredients to be sure.
I used a food processor to make my life easier with the batter as I just hate whisking nut butter by hand. It’s so sticky I never feel like I have done a good enough job. You can use a hand or a stand mixer instead of a food processor. Especially if your processor doesn’t have a very big bowl you will find your processor to tire out trying to mix the batter together. 

Grain Free “French” Bread – Gluten Free, Dairy Free*, Primal

The batter will double in size in the oven and flatten a bit if the batter is not pressed small enough before baking. You could split the dough into 2 instead of one large.

If a small round baguette is important to you then try freezing your dough on the baking tray once shaped for 10-15 minutes until the outside of the batter is firm. 

I baked my bread in my pizza oven as I wanted a crisp outer shell. You may have to experiment with yours if you are not able to use a pizza oven.

This recipe makes one large French bread or 2 small baguettes by dividing the batter in 2. 

**For a nut free version substitute sun flour for the almond flour and Sunbutter,  or pumpkin seed butter for the cashew butter. 

In a mixing bowl whisk together:
1/3 C Unflavored Whey Powder (sugar free, natural flavors only)
¼ C Almond Flour (not ground almonds)
2 tbs Ground Flax meal
1 tsp aluminum free Baking Soda
1 tsp Natural Sea Salt

**Substitute in Tapioca or Arrowroot starch for the Whey powder increase Milk to ½ C. If you remove the whey powder, you may also prefer to beat your egg whites and add them in separately just before baking to help with the rise** 

In a standing Mixer or Food Processor Bowl:
Wet ingredients:
1 ½ C Organic Cashew Butter (no salt or sugar added)
3 Organic Large Eggs
1 tbs Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ C plus 2 tbs Dairy or Coconut milk
1 tbs Raw Agave Nectar, Honey, or Pure Maple Syrup

**Substitute in Raw Cashes for the nut butter 2C raw cashews plus ¼ C melted butter, or coconut oil. Puree, scrape down sides and puree until smooth and thick**

Mix the wet ingredients until a smooth batter is formed. Slowly add in the dry ingredients parts at a time until the batter becomes very thick and well combined. 

Your batter should be very sticky and thick (hard to stir) this is the goal otherwise when placing the batter on the pan you will end up with a pancake instead of a loaf.
Prepare your pan. I used a flat baking pan with no edges to make a long loaf. If you don’t have a flat pan simply make the loaf as large as your pan will allow. You may choose to divide the batter into 2 and make 2 small French Bread similar to a baguette.
Oil the pan lightly, and place unbleached parchment paper on top. This will help stop the paper from moving while you are forming your loaf. Scoop the batter out with a spatula in a long line to the size of loaf you are wanting.

Place a long strip of plastic wrap or another piece of parchment paper on top of the batter and use your hands to smooth it out and form a loaf. Try to keep the loaf uniform as you want it to cook evenly. Smooth out the top and move the edges in. The thinner and higher you get the batter now will help your batter from spreading out too much as it cooks.

Now the fun part!! Shape the dough under the plastic wrap with your hand. smooth it out as mush as possible. Bubbles will turn into cracks while baking.
The dough will double if not triple in size as it bakes so keep it as compact as you can.
Remove the plastic carefully.
Sprinkle your dough with toppings like oats, or sesame.

Now your dough is ready for the oven. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Rotate the dough 90 degrees halfway through cooking to help it brown evenly. 

You should end up with a delicious hot baguette, soft in the center with a brown crust on the outside.

Let the bread cool for 10 minutes before cutting so it doesn't cave in or crumble.

I have brought this to many parties with a fabulous spinach dip. It's delicious with butter or toasted. yum.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scones - Grain free, Dairy free, Gluten free, Paleo

So, I was feeling like a scone. I don't mean that I myself was feeling doughy like a scone, but I wanted a scone. Sometimes at the end of the work day, late at night, I go and think about what I want to eat tomorrow. 
Tomorrow (being Friday) is a day for me and a girlfriend working together and we tend to get hungry. It's always so much easier for me to bring the food when I travel because, well, let's face it I am picky. Also, how the heck does a person who east whole grains and flour going to know what almond flour is?
Luckily, I was in the mood for scones. I had a fabulous recipe book from one of my favorite authors. However the scone recipe was only for sweet and fruit based scones. Nothing savory. Now don't get me wrong. I made a few of those sweet and delicous scones. Hazelnut chocolate chip, orange cranberry, strawberry vanilla almond, and cinnamon raisin. I wanted a savory scone though. One I could throw in with my delicious lunch time salad that I will be packing. 
Ham and cheese scones.. mmm.
Then a sudden sadness hit me as I realized my dear husband is not eating dairy. 
All of a sudden I remembered a fresh square of Goat Cheddar in the fridge waiting for me. 
These scones are dairy free, but we use goat milk as a substitute to dairy without any ill effects. If you can't use goat milk or cheese, feel free to sub in any kind of cheese, cashew cheese, soy cheese, lactose free cheese etc. The cheese is not needed to make these delicious scones into scones. So by all means, go nuts. 
Some people make the mistake that scones are like a bun. No. Scones are a firm crusty Scottish bread that is used at tea time or at coffee break. These are like twice as firm as a baking powder biscuit, but a third as sweet as a muffin traditionally. The outside is hard and crisp. The middle is soft and buttery. 
I have made many grain free scones before. They either needed cheese to hold them together, or they were strictly almond flour and they were soft and crumbly like a biscuit. 
These were by far my favorite. Out of all the different kinds of scones that I made today Only subtle changes were made to the recipe base to accommodate many different flavors. Making them really quite economical.

Ham and Cheese Scones - Grain free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

In a stand mixer bowl:

2 Cups blanched almond flour
1/4C plus 2 T arrowroot/tapioca flour
1/2 t sea salt
1 t dry mustard
2 t gluten free baking powder
1 C diced cooked natural ham
1 C organic Goat Cheddar **

In a small glass bowl:

1 large organic egg
1/4 C organic whole goat milk/coconut milk/almond milk/cashew milk/ dairy milk
2 T cold pressed olive oil or clarified butter

Mix the dry ingredients in a stand mixer. As mixer is turning pour in wet ingredients. Mix on low until just combined. Dough will be very sticky. 

Spread dough out onto parchment paper. Place a sheet of parchment on top and press with your hands into a circle about 1 inch thick. Cut into 6-8 triangles.

Carefully lift each triangle onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Separate each triangle so they are not touching. bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes until the crust sets.

**Please see my notes above for dairy free cheese options. I use goat cheese to substitute for dairy without any ill effects.

Let me know if you want the fruity version of these. :)