Wednesday, July 04, 2012

A Gluten-Free Treat for the Fourth

My dear friend, Ken, got in touch with me the other day and asked if I might create a gluten-free dessert for him to take to a Fourth of July picnic. GF baking makes me a little nervous, because I don't have much experience with it, but I would do anything for Ken, so I gave it a try. I decided to make a blueberry crisp, and I actually made a little extra in a loaf pan as a sampler. My roommate loved it, especially warm with vanilla ice cream. Ken took it to his holiday gathering today, and he said that they didn't tell anyone that it was gluten-free, and still the partygoers raved! So if the berries are ready in your area, you might want to try this easy but flavorful crisp. And your celiac friends will adore you for it!

Blueberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars
(adapted from Tessa the Domestic Diva)

1 cup GF baking mix (I used Bob's Red Mill) 
1 1/2 cups GF oat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup walnut pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons any milk, more or less (I used almond milk)

3 cups fresh blueberries (or thawed frozen)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Combine the baking mix, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the the fat into the dry ingredients until it is well dispersed and no bigger than small peas. When well combined, toss in the oats and walnuts, and sprinkle the mixtur with the vanilla and then the milk, one tablespoon at a time. Stop adding milk when the dough can be pressed together with your fingers. HINT: If you like a softer dough, add a bit more milk, if you prefer more crunch, don’t! Press half of the dough into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan (wet fingers to help it not stick to your hands).

Mix the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch together. Spread this over the crust, and crumble the remaining crust mixture over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes until the crust is golden and the center is set. Let cool before cutting.

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