What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

October 12, 2010

Homemade Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce

Filed under: Desserts,Fruit,Recipes,Vegan,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:44 am

Warning: After tasting this, you will never buy the jarred stuff again!

Thank goodness, it’s easy enough to make your own!  Since it’s Apple Season, it’s inexpensive to make as well!

You might even be able to get some damaged apples for a song this time of year and since you’ll be peeling them, who cares about any bruises or blemishes on the skin? 

I used pretty apples this time, though.

It is fairly important to use a variety of apples for this recipe.  Since you are cooking them, and you want this to be chunky, some of the apples will turn to mush and some will retain their texture and shape.  Make sure to have at least 1 or 2 Granny Smith or any other apple variety you might use in a pie.

You’ll need:

9-10 Apples

Sugar (to taste – I use about 1/4 – 1/3 cup)

Cinnamon (to taste – I use about 2 Tablespoons)

2 – 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1/3 cup Water

What to do:

Wash apples.

Peel, core and slice apples. 

Do you have one of these gadgets? 

If not, I would highly recommend getting one.  They aren’t expensive – I bought mine for less than $8 at Meijer in a half-off sale a few years ago – and they do the job in a jiffy and entice helpers to come into your kitchen to share the work with you!

Here is my Sous Chef at work.

The  slicer cuts the peel into one long – and fun – continuous strand, perfect for slurping.

So, once your coring-peeling-slicing is done by the super-gadget, your apples will look like this.

 

The leftovers will look like this.

This is going to make some chickens I know very, very happy!

Now, cut the apples into pieces.  Just quarter each apple.

And viola!  They’re not too big.  They’re not too small.   They’re just right!

Place all apples into a large saucepan, and add lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and water.

Toss together, then cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Cook until apples reach the texture you desire.

You can serve this warm – it’s AWESOME over Vanilla Ice Cream – or let cool before eating. 

How about using this to top your favorite Pancakes or Waffles for breakfast?  Mmmmmm.

This will keep in the refrigerator for several days – IF it lasts that long!

August 7, 2010

A Camping Necessity – Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Tonight, we’ll be camping out for the first time this summer.  We’re not really going anywhere, since we rarely like to leave The Compound, so we’ll instead be setting up our tent right here in the yard. 

No camping experience would be complete without a bonfire, and no bonfire would be complete without S’mores!

So, today I’m making Gluten Free Grahams for our S’mores.  Would you like to join me?

You’ll need:

2 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour*

1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour

1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum

7 Tbsp Butter

3 Tbsp Cold Water

3 Tbsp Honey

1 tsp Vanilla

Sugar

*Note: I normally use a blend of 2/3 Cup Garbanzo Flour, 2/3 Cup Tapioca Starch and 2/3 Cup Corn Starch, but I was out of the Garbanzo Flour so I substituted 2 Cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, which is a Garbanzo based blend.  I didn’t notice any difference in the result!

 

What to do:

Line 2 Cookie Sheets with Parchment Paper and spray the paper lightly with Cooking Spray.

Combine Flours, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Xantham Gum in a large bowl with a wire whisk.

Cut Butter into small pieces.

Using a Pastry Cutter, cut butter into flour mixture. 

I usually give up and start using my hands to combined the butter and flour mixture.  Then, I finish up by using a wire whisk again. 

When ready, it should look like this:

Now, pour in water, honey and vanilla and using a wooden spoon stir ingredients until the mixture is well combined and forms a ball. 

You may need to add a bit more Water, or more a bit more Brown Rice Flour if your dough is too dry or too sticky.

This is what you are going for:

Divide dough into two parts, wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.  I actually skipped cooling the dough today, but it does make it a bit easier to work with.

You can form your Graham Crackers (my kids say they should really be called Graham Cookies!) a couple different ways. 

Using another lightly sprayed piece of Parchment, roll the dough into a large rectangle on the cookie sheet between the paper.

Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment, and using a knife, score the dough into squares. 

Remove the rough edges of the dough  (you can save the scraps to form more crackers).

Using a serving fork, prick a few rows of holes in each cracker.  Then sprinkle lightly all over with Sugar.

Alternatively, for round crackers, you can roll 1 inch balls of dough and place on lightly sprayed parchment. 

Using another sprayed piece of Parchment and a flat bottomed bowl, press each ball into a circle.

Prick with a fork and sprinkle with Sugar.

This is also a great way to use up those rough edges you removed from making the square crackers.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  The individual round cookies will take less time that the large sheet.

Remove from oven and re-score along your previously cut lines by pressing straight down with a knife.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

The edges are going to be crisp, but the centers remain a little soft, which I actually really like, especially for the S’mores because they don’t crumble apart when you bite into them like traditional gluten-filled boxed cookies.   If you prefer a crispier cracker, you can roll them thinner and/or bake them a bit longer. 

My Gluten-Intolerant friend took some of these Grahams to her workplace to share and even the Gluten-eaters were asking for the recipe! 

If you  – by some miracle – have any of these Grahams leftover, you can throw them in the freezer to save for making Graham Cracker Pie Crusts.  I actually have a bag in my freezer from a previous batch which I am expecting to soon turn into a Gluten-Free version of  The Pioneer Woman’s Blackberry Cheesecake .  Doesn’t that just look dreamy???

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