Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Secret to Gluten Free Baking! Ginger Blueberry Buckwheat Crumble


My friend Elizabeth is on a gluten-free diet so last night, when she and her husband Noah came to dinner, I had to come up with a gluten-free menu.  In addition Elizabeth said she was not into really sweet desserts.  I had already decided to make salted butter toffee ice cream, which is probably the sweetest thing I make next to chocolate pecan tart, so I had to come up with a not too sweet gluten-free goodie. 

Time always being an issue I decided to use some of my stockpile of frozen organic blueberries in my freezer (which I got from my friend Jane's daughter's farm ... order some jam or chutney for the holidays!) and I had some crystallized ginger in the cupboard.  Someone had said to me just recently that they had started using buckwheat in everything that called for flour.

Buckwheat is not actually wheat.  In fact, it's not even a grain!  Its actually related to rhubarb, of all things, and its benefits, aside from complete lack of gluten, include being rich in protein, anti-oxidants, and a variety of minerals.

So I modified my standard crumble recipe: 1 cup ground pecans/walnuts/hazelnuts/almonds, 1 cup buckwheat (instead of the usual flour), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter and a 1/2 teaspoon of ginger or cinnamon, 6 T brown sugar, 2 T cane sugar) , added to the blueberries 2 Tablespoons chopped up crystallized ginger and a 1/3 cup of sugar to the fruit, put it in a baking dish and covered it with the buttery crumble and baked it for about 45 minutes in a preheated 375 F oven - it's ready when the fruit is nice and bubbling.  It wasn't until I was putting it in the oven to bake that I realized that what I had made was akin to a blueberry buckwheat pancake. It actually makes me want to try and make a blueberry cobbler with buckwheat, so you would get the cake/pancake like topping with tons of gingery blueberries underneath.

Who knew gluten-free could be so much fun!
Even the gluten eaters devoured this simple, tasty, treat.
As always, everything is better with a little bit of unsweetened whip cream.

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