Saturday, 27 April 2013

Simple Pleasures: Gluten-Free Apple Crumble

I've dealt with a lot of butter lately. Between creaming it into cookie dough, folding it into puff pastry, and just plain absorbing it, air-born, through osmosis, I think I've just about saturated myself as much as I'm willing to. For the time being.

Going from "hobby" to professional scale baking has given me a new appreciation for the lighter, the less diabetes-inducing, that the culinary world has to offer. I'm still dessert obsessed, don't get me wrong! But sometimes what you need isn't butter and sugar cushioning at the end of a long day but rather something nourishing and flavorful.

This crumble is definitely that. Without sacrificing any of the stomach-filling, heart-warming goodness of the apple-cinnamon-butter trinity, it cuts back some of the damage.

This recipe doesn't have any wheat flour or sugar and it's absolutely delicious. The natural sweetness of the apples made the filling perfect without any additional sweetener. A light drizzle of honey was all it took for the topping to taste fabulous too.

Guilt-free, scrumptious dessert that tastes like a cross between apple pie and oatmeal. Yum.

Gluten-Free Apple Crumble
apples (peeled and thinly sliced)
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed (113 g/ 1 stick)

Mix the cinnamon and apples together and layer the apple slices in a 9"x 9" baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt and then stir in the oats. 

380° F (193° C)

Bake for 25-35 mins, until the top is lightly browned.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Making Time: Banana-Bran Muffins

Well, I've started culinary school. It's actually happening.

Evening classes can be pretty rough, and it's been a little hard adjusting to the four-to-ten schedule. It still feels as though I have no time to get anything done and then, suddenly, the day is over.

I'm working on it, though. I've even managed to do some baking at home in between all the homework and bus commutes. Whoot!

But, in all honesty, it's been pretty awesome so far. I foresee it getting really intense and stressful but, hey, how else are you supposed to learn anything?

Banana-Bran Muffins
(adapted from

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose/plain flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400° F (204° C). Grease a 12-muffin pan (or stand-alone silicone cups) and set aside.

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, soda, and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until creamy and then beat in the sugar, mixing until smooth and fully combined.

Stir in the bananas and mix well, then add the vanilla, oil, wheat bran, and buttermilk, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Now add the flour mixture, about a third at a time, mixing only until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup to the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.

Makes about a dozen muffins.