GLUTEN-FREE FRUITCAKE

1.5 cup chopped dates
1 cup raisins (preferably mixed colors)
3/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
1 1/3 cups brown rice flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, beaten

——————————————————————————–

Preheat the oven to 275 F. Butter a 9 inch cake pan and set aside.

Place the dates, raisins, apple juice and molasses in a medium pan. Cook over medium-low heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and let macerate 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

Add the flour mixture to the fruit and juice mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.

Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake until pale brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes (about 75 minutes or longer if using a loaf pan). Allow to cool on a rack, unmold and cut. This is a rich cake that’s better cut into small portions and shared with friends.

12 servings

Non gluten-free fruitcake recipe

HOLIDAY FRUITCAKE

1.5 cup chopped dates
1 cup raisins (preferably mixed colors)
1 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, beaten


Preheat the oven to 275 F. Butter a 9 inch cake pan and set aside.

Place the dates, raisins, apple juice and molasses in a medium pan. Cook over medium-low heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and let macerate 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

Add the flour mixture to the fruit and juice mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.

Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake until pale brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes (about 75 minutes or longer if using a loaf pan). Allow to cool on a rack, unmold and cut. This is a rich cake that’s better cut into small portions and shared with friends.

12 servings

CRANBERRY SPELT BREAD

4 large eggs
¾ cup canola oil
¾ cup muscovado sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ripe banana, mashed
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 ½ cups whole spelt flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh cranberries, halved

 


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9X5 loaf pan with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, mix the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, mashed banana and orange zest until well combined. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and add to the wet mixture. Mix again until the batter is smooth and shiny. Fold in the cranberries.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is set and a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost clean, about 30 minutes.

Serves 8

Spelt Flour Cranberry Cake

CHESTNUT CREAM ECLAIRS

Pâte à choux
1 cup water

1 stick unsalted butter

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

4 large eggs

Chestnut Mascarpone Filling

¾ cup chestnut spread (crème de marrons)

2/3 cup mascarpone

Chocolate Glaze

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons milk

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a large baking sheet.

The pâte à choux

Bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir well. Lower the heat.

Stir in the flour and keep stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until you obtain a thick mass of dough that detaches from the sides of the pan. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and let cool 5 minutes.

With the paddle attachment on, add the eggs, one at a time, and work the dough until it looks like thick, sticky cake batter. This should take 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag or Ziploc bag and pipe 2-inch rounds or logs onto the prepared pan, leaving 2 inches between puffs.

Bake the puffs 25 to 35 minutes, or until they are golden and sound hollow when tapped or shaken. The best way may be to test taste one to make sure it is not dough-ey in the middle. For me, getting perfectly golden and hollow puffs took exactly 32 minutes.

Let the puffs cool to room temperature on a rack before filling them.

The filling

To make the filling, simply stir the chestnut spread and mascarpone well in a medium bowl until you obtain a light brown cream.

Cut the puffs in half lengthwise using a serrated knife. Fill one half with the filling using a spoon. Place the other half on top.

The glaze

To make the glaze, heat up the butter and milk over medium heat in a small saucepan until melted. Reduce heat to low, add the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted. Remove from heat.

Glaze the top half of the puffs with the chocolate glaze. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
 
Makes 24 mini éclairs.

PUMPKIN BUTTER

If upon tasting the pumpkin butter, it feels a little bit heavy on spices, don’t worry. The sharpness of the spices will mellow down after the butter sits in the fridge for a day or so. Just be patient with it.

2 (15-ounce) cans pure pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar

 


Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring very frequently, until the mixture is thicker and darker.

Let cool and store in airtight containers. Keep the pumpkin butter refrigerated–it is not safe to can it!

Makes 2 cups

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

pumpkin butter

GLUTEN-FREE NECTARINE CLAFOUTIS

3 nectarines

1 plum (for color – optional)

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup low fat milk

2 large whole eggs + 2 egg yolks

1/3 cup turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling the pan

3 tablespoons corn starch

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

 


 

Place the baking rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8 ½ -inch square or round pan and sprinkle it with turbinado sugar.

Cut the fruit into wedges. Arrange the fruit wedges in the prepared pan.

Blend the rest of the ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides with a spatula and blend for another 30 seconds until smooth.

Pour the custard over the fruit in the pan. Bake until set, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool completely on a cooling rack before cutting.

Enjoy at room temperature or chilled.

Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Serves 6

gluten-free nectarine clafoutis

DECONSTRUCTED BAKLAVA CUPS

5 phyllo sheets
Cooking spray or melted butter

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pistachios
1 tablespoon unrefined brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespsoons warm honey
 


 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Cut the stack of phyllo sheets into circles the size of your serving glass. Place the circle stacks on the prepared cookie sheet. Spray the top of the phyllo circles with cooking spray or brush them with melted butter. Bake them until golden and crispy, 5 to 10 minutes. Take out of the oven.

Meanwhile, place the walnuts, pistachios, brown sugar, melted butter, orange blossom water (if using) and pumpkin spice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to mix and chop the ingredients.

Place half of the nut mixture in a glass, top it with half of the crispy phyllo circles, then the rest of the nut mixture and finally the rest of the phyllo.

Pour the warm honey over your stacked baklava. Enjoy lukewarm or at room temperature.
 
Makes 1 large cup. Serves 2.

CHIPOTLE SCALLOPED SWEET POTATOES

2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon chipotle puree
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch slices
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whisk together the heavy cream and chipotle puree until well combined.

Season the sweet potatoes with salt and pepper. Layer the sweet potatoes in a 6×8–inch baking pan. Drizzle with 5 tablespoons of the chipotle-cream mixture. Repeat with the remaining sweet potatoes and cream mixture to form 3 to 4 layers. Cover with foil paper and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
 
Serves 4 to 6
 
Inspired by Bobby Flay.

ISPAHAN CAKE ROLL

This is my simpler, lighter take on Pierre Herme’s signature rose, raspberry and lychee yule log known as bûche Ispahan.
 
For the génoise (cake)
2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling
8 ounces mascarpone
5 ounces fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon rose water
1 (15-ounce) can lychees in light syrup (or pears in syrup)

For the syrup

Syrup from the can of lychees (or pears)
1 teaspoon rose water
 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 8×10 pan with parchment paper.

Beat the sugar with the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl until frothy. Gently whisk in the flour. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and fold them into the egg yolk, sugar and flour mixture. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the mascarpone, raspberries, sugar, and rose water in the bowl of a food processor and reduce to a purée. Set aside.

When the cake is cooked, unmold it onto a damp towel, remove the parchment paper and roll the cake immediately with the towel. Let it cool that way, about 20 minutes. Place the lychees (or pears) on a cutting board and dice them. Pour the syrup into a small saucepan, add the rose water and heat it over low heat for about 5 minutes. Unroll the cake and remove the towel. Brush the cake lightly with the syrup, spread half of the raspberry mascarpone inside the cake and top with diced lychees (or pears). Gently roll the cake, cover it with raspberry ricotta and cut off the ends. Garnish with raspberries and refrigerate for an hour before serving.
 
Serves 6 to 8

COUSCOUS WITH CARAMELIZED FRUIT

This is a delicious sweet couscous that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or even as dessert.
For the cooked fruit
1 small yellow onion, cut into thin strips
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
½ cup pomegranate arils
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon ras el hanout (I used this one–you can make or buy it)

For the couscous
¾ cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ras el hanout
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
2/3 cup instant whole grain couscous

 


 

Fill the pot of a steamer about halfway with water and bring to a boil. Place the onion, apples and pineapple in the steamer basket over the boiling water. Cover and steam until soft but not mushy, 10 to 15 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, bring the butter and honey to a sizzle until they’re a beautiful golden caramel color. Stir in ras el hanout. Add the steamed onion, apples and pineapple. Toss to coat with the glaze and cook for 2 minutes until lightly caramelized.

Bring water, oil, honey, salt, ras el hanout, cinnamon and garlic powder to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the couscous. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork.

Plate the couscous onto four dessert/appetizer plates. Top with the glazed onion and fruit. Disperse pomegranate arils on top.

Enjoy it warm.

Serves 4