Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gluten Free Cinnamon Crackers with Pear, Fig and Vanilla Bean Jelly and Baked Pear Flan

Although I am no expert in gluten free baking, I have managed many times to bake gluten free cakes and cookies, but this was my first attempt at baking yeast breads using gluten free flours. I have to admit it was a challenge and it took three trials to get to these crackers that you see in the photos. It is a very simple recipe but I couldn't get the consistency right the first two times.

The trick to getting a thin cracker is to roll it as thin as possible, almost like paper. The first two doughs were tough so rolling them became a challenge. The baked crackers were rather thick and hard. Finally, for the third batch, I added a bit more water to see if a softer dough would be easier to roll. And there it was, worked like a charm.

To accompany the crackers, I made a pear, fig and vanilla bean jelly and also a baked pear custard. For the custard in these photos, I used cow's milk (I am not of an dairy free diet), but it works the same with rice, hemp or coconut milk.

Gluten Free Cinnamon Graham Crackers

1 1/2 cups gluten free baking mix (used Bob's Red Mill all purpose mix)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 Tbs agave nectar
1 Tbs vegetable oil
3 to 4 oz water, at room temperature
Ground cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, stir together the baking mix, salt, instant yeast, agave nectar, oil and 3 oz of water. Mix well and slowly add the remaining 1 oz of water, if needed. Shape into a ball and place it in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for 90 minutes. It can also be placed in the refrigerator overnight retarding the fermentation (I chose to retard the dough this way).

Lay out two sheets of parchment paper or silicon mats. Divide the dough in half and place the dough between the sheets of parchment. Roll out the dough until it is paper thin and about 15" x 12". Peel away the parchment on top and place the dough on a sheetpan. Spray the surface with cooking spray and sprinkle cinnamon sugar and top.

Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes or until brown. Let them cool before serving.

Pear Flan

250 ml rice milk, hemp milk or coconut milk
3 eggs
60 grams sugar
Half a pear, thinly sliced

Whisk together the eggs and the sugar. Slowly add in the milk and whisk until thoroughly combined. Strain through a fine sieve and pour the custard in your ramekins. Place ramekins in a baking sheet or deep baking dish and add some hot water to go up about an inch high. Bake at 300F for about 25 minutes, but it will depend on the size of the ramekins. The center should still jiggle a little but the rest should be set. Let them cool for a bit and store in the refrigerator.

Pear, Fig and Vanilla Bean Jam

2 pints of green figs, quartered
2 medium sized Bartlett pears, medium diced
1 lb sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1 vanilla bean split

Wash the figs, pat them dry and cut the stems off. Cut them into quarters and place them in a ceramic bowl. Dice the pears and add them to the bowl. Add the lemon juice, sugar and vanilla bean. Stir the fruit gently and cover the bowl with parchment paper. Let the fruit macerate at room temperature for an hour.

Transfer the fruit to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Transfer the fruit to another bowl, cover with parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.

The following day, transfer the fruit to a saucepan, bring it to a boil, skim impurities from the surface and cook for about 7 minutes. Laddle the jam into jars and seal.


nadia said...

beautiful photographs and the recipes sound great, i really want to introduce more and more gluten free recipes.

Deb Schiff said...

Your crackers look lovely! To reduce toughness, could you try apple cider vinegar?

Aran said...

Deb- I am not sure. I have never tried that but will next time.

H.Peter said...

WOW. Those pictures look amazing. Lick the screen type of images.

The flan sounds excellent.


kimberly said...

The pear is useful in weight loss diets, including food, fiber maintains its fullness and cleanses the body, also have many vitamin and potassium. SO the pear is one of the fruits with more properties and is very easy to find it. Just go at supermarket and you will have varieties to shoose from.

buy viagra