Gluten-free has become a necessity for many, but some of us have discovered it as part of the “clean diet,” which recommends doing away with (temporarily) gluten products to determine if allergies to flour exist. The key for anyone on a gluten-free diet, however, is to eat as normally as possible. These recipes are traditional baked desserts that, with a minimum of modification, will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
This first dessert is the perfect fall offering. After a visit to your local apple orchard, there’s nothing better than coming home and whipping up a batch of apple crisp.
Serves 4, Temperature 375 degrees
8 medium (6 cups) apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
Dash, lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon (Tbsp) cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon (tsp) cinnamon
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (available from Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup old fashioned oats, such as Quaker
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
1. Preheat oven, grease a 9 x 9 inch baking dish or bowl.
2. In a large bowl, add apples, sprinkle with lemon juice. Add sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon, and toss well.
3. In separate bowl, add brown sugar, flour blend, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Melt butter and pour atop. Mix until consistency of wet sand.
4. Pour apple mix into baking dish, add topping. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until topping is brown and apples are soft. After removing from oven, rest 10 minutes, then serve warm with dollop of whipped or ice cream.
Who doesn’t love the taste of creamy custard? The traditional version of this dish never had any flour or other gluten products to begin with, so no adaptation is needed.
Serves 6, Temperature 350 degrees
3 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Nutmeg or cinnamon to taste (optional)
1. Preheat oven. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Set aside. In a pan, heat milk until steaming, but not bubbling. Once milk is steaming, add in egg mixture slowly.
2. Grease 6 6-oz custard cups, and place into pan large enough to hold all without touching and deep enough to add water bath to sides of cups. Add mixture from step 1 to the greased custard cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired.
3. Place hot water into pan up to 1/2 inch of top of custard cups and place in middle of oven. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting knife into center of custard; if it comes out clean, custard is done. (Custard will still be soft, however.)
4. Remove from water bath and let cool 5 to 10 minutes and serve warm. Alternatively, place custard in refrigerator and serve later, cooled.
There’s nothing better than an ooey-gooey cookie after school or at the end of a hard day of work. These flourless cookies join three favorite cookie flavors — peanut butter, chocolate chips, and oatmeal — in one yummy bite.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (with chocolate chips)
Makes 14 cookies, Temperature 350 degrees
2/3 cup old fashioned oats, such as Quaker
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup peanut butter
6 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. In medium bowl, mix dry ingredients (oats, cinnamon, and baking powder). In another bowl, beat egg, then mix in peanut butter and light brown sugar. Pour in dry ingredient mixture and combine. Once everything is thoroughly mixed, add chocolate chips.
2. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven. On two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, scoop out cookie balls with spoon and pat down. Each sheet should have about seven cookies. Bake 9 to 10 minutes (or 12 minutes if you like cookies crispy). Cool for 10 minutes once removed from oven. Cookies last seven days or can be frozen…if they last that long!
A very popular dessert is cheesecake, and this one is gluten-free with its graham cracker crust. Although this baked dish takes a little more effort than the other easy recipes listed here, it’s worth every delicious bite. It’s also perfect for serving guests: They’ll never guess it’s gluten-free.
Cheesecake, with optional cherry topping
Serves 8-12, Temperature 325 degrees
1 1/4 cup gluten-free graham crackers
4 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 8-oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 21-oz can cherry pie filling
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven. Crush graham crackers, mix with sugar and nutmeg. Pour over melted butter until the consistency of wet sand. Pat mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer. Slowly add in one egg at a time, beating well. Add cornstarch, sour cream, and vanilla. Combine thoroughly using a high speed for the mixer.
3. Remove crust from refrigerator. Pour in cheesecake mixture, smoothing top. Bake for 45 minutes.
4. Place remaining sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in bowl and combine until smooth. Once cheesecake is done, remove from oven, top with sour cream mixture, and bake for another 15 minutes. Once that time is up, turn off oven, but leave cheesecake inside for another hour.
5. Cool at least 4 hours before serving. Just before serving, combine cherry pie mix, sugar, and vanilla well. Spread atop cheesecake and serve.
No matter whether you prefer a simple dessert like apple crisp or a more complicated recipe like cheesecake, these gluten-free baking options are sure to satisfy.