Kitchen Comfort

Yesterday I finished the mincemeat I started on Monday.  Richard, my partner loves mincemeat tarts.  However, in the last two years he has found that he can no longer tolerate gluten and so pastry is kind of out, at least the pastry that I like to bake.  I am a bit of a purest when it comes to baking.  I subscribe  to the motto, ‘if you can’t use real butter, flour, sugar and organic eggs then what is the point?’  For his sake, I have modified that motto and will occasionally attempt some gluten free baking.  I have narrowed it down to desserts like creme brule, rice pudding, shortbread, chocolate mousse, butterscotch pudding and carrot cake.  I have tried many other gluten free recipes but they always turn out pasty and odd tasting.

apples from our tree

apples from our tree

my own dried cherries and figs

my own dried cherries and figs

This week I was feeling open minded frame  so I decided to attempt pastry again.  Last year I bought gluten-free tart shells but in the end we decided they were awful and Richard ended up eating the mincemeat and throwing the tart shells away.  So, last night I got out the vast array of gluten free flours, starches and what not that have been in the back of the pantry and got to work creating my own pastry recipe.  I started with my Mom’s recipe and then substituted different flours for regular flour.  I ended up using a mixture of Bob’s Mill gluten free flour, amaranth flour and rice flour.  The results were surprisingly good.  The texture was a bit tough still but it didn’t have a pasty texture or taste and I think I could improve the recipe by adding some shortening instead of using all butter.  Maybe that would give it a bit more flakiness.  Nonetheless, Richard loved the tarts and enjoyed two while we watched a movie last night.

The mincemeat

Mincemeat Tarts

Mincemeat Tarts

I also whipped up some no knead bread and this morning after the 18 hour rise, I added Chanterelle mushrooms and Monterey Jack with Horseradish cheese to the dough.  I am going out to a presentation at a friend’s tonight and thought I would bring it along to share.  In addition to that I  made Thimble Cookies.  I used the hazelnuts that I gathered in the fall and I am going to fill them with some of the Chocolate Pear Jam I made at the end of the summer. I am definitely getting nest as November comes to a close and Christmas baking is just around the corner.

bread rising

bread rising

Thimble Cookies with Chocolate Pear Jam

Thimble Cookies with Chocolate Pear Jam

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