Gluten-free and Egg-free Recipes (with some Dairy-free options)

Archive for May, 2011

Savoury Pastry Gluten-free Egg-free

I’ve been playing around for a little while to find a savoury pastry recipe that I like. I had sometimes indulged in a particular bakery’s lovely gluten-free and egg-free beef or chicken pies and found them delicious. When trying to buy these pies from a supplier recently I was disappointed to find that this bakery had gone under in the January floods in Queensland and so these pies were not available. ‘If all else fails make your own,’ seems to be my motto so I’ve been doing a little experimenting. I have a lovely recipe for sweet pastry which I’ll publish sometime but it took a while finding a savoury one that I liked. I eventually made up my own which held together well and did well for a savoury pasty. There seems to be a trend in using sour cream in pastry lately so I threw some in to see how it would work:

Ingredients

110 grams (approx. 4 oz) plain gluten-free flour

110 grams (approx. 4 oz) self-raising gluten-free flour

75 grams butter (2.6 oz)

80 grams sour cream (2.8 oz)

enough cold water to bring it together

Method

1. Sift flours into a bowl and mix well.

2. Add the butter (cut up into small pieces) and rub into the flour with fingertips under it is incorporated.

3. Make a well in the centre and add all of the sour cream and enough water to bring the pastry together. Getting this amount right takes a bit of experience, I just judge it by eye rather than measuring it. I’m guessing it was about 1 tablespoon of water to start with. I’ll try to measure it next time to give a guide.

4. Apparently my grandmother used to say that a good pastry leaves the bowl clean, meaning that it was not too wet or too dry, so I’ve always used this as a guide.

5. Roll out with a floured rolling pin on a floured board until  thin (a few millimetres) then use as needed.

Tips for using pastry for savoury pies

I used mine to make a chicken pie and these tips help to keep the pastry from going soggy with the filling:

1. Bake the pie bottom first before putting the filling in. I prick the bottom with a fork in several places and cook in a moderate oven (180 C/350 F) for about 10-15 minutes first.

2. After baking the bottom of the pie, place the filling in. Be careful that the filling is not too ‘runny’. i.e. don’t have too much sauce/gravy with the contents, especially if the sauce is quite thin.

3. Add the top to the pie and then cook until it is nicely browned. So long as the filling is not too wet the top will cook fine.

Some comments

With gluten pastry there is a need to rest the pastry first and also to allow for shrinkage in cooking. I’ve found that gluten-free pastry doesn’t need resting and also that it only shrinks just a little when cooked. When ‘blind’ baking the bottom first I’ve also found that it doesn’t need baking paper and rice or beans on top as it doesn’t seem to puff up the way that gluten pastry does, so long as you prick the bottom with a fork before baking.

Options

Add whatever you like to the pastry. One addition that tastes nice is grated parmesan cheese. The next time I might add some dried herbs also.

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Pumpkin Scones Gluten-free Egg-free

While on the theme of scones I thought that I would have to publish my pumpkin scone recipe. In Australia, whenever you mention pumpkin scones, people seem to automatically think of Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen  and her famous pumpkin scones. Lady Flo is a former federal senator for Queensland and wife of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen who was Premier of Queensland for many years. We lived in Kingaroy for over four years when my husband was teaching and the Bjelke-Petersen property was not far from the town. I met Lady Flo and her daughter when I went to see the movie “Emma” at the local cinema and found them to be very pleasant people.

Although I own Lady Flo’s cookbook, my pumpkin scone recipe is a little different in its ratios. It was given to me by a friend from church while we lived in Kingaroy and I’ve always loved the results. I haven’t cooked it for years and now that I need to exclude gluten and eggs I thought I  would give it a try. The recipe is potentially dairy-free if you use a non-dairy butter/margarine. I use margarine instead of butter as I prefer the softer texture it gives. The recipe requires an egg, which is a pain, but I use an egg-replacer and it does the trick. Apologies for the blurry picture, by the time I realised that the picture was blurry the scones were all eaten so I couldnt’ take another pic.

Ingredients

2 cups gluten-free self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

60 grams (approx 2 oz) margarine (use butter or a non-dairy substitute for dairy-free)

60 grams sugar

1 egg equivalent of egg-replacer (I use a brand called “No Egg” made by Orgran and use 1 teaspoon of egg-replacer powder to 2 tablespoons water) If you can tolerate eggs just use one egg.

1 cup mashed pumpkin

1-2 tablespoons milk (if you need it – this time the mix was moist enough without)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 230 C/450 F and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Prepare the pumpkin first. I like to use Jap (Kent) pumpkin as it is usually a lovely colour of orange which is full of flavour. I peel and cut it up into fairly large chunks and boil in water until it is just tender. Be careful not to overboil or the pumpkin ends up watery. I place the pumpkin into a sieve to drain and then mash with a fork. Make sure the pumpkin is cool before making the scones.

3. Cream the butter and sugar.

4. Add the egg replacer and mashed pumpkin and beat well.

5. Using a knife, gradually incorporate the flour to make a light dough. Use the milk if the mix is a little dry or add a little flour if too wet.

6. Place on a well floured board and pat out to roughly a 2 cm thickness. As for the lemonade scones, a slightly more moist dough is better than a dry one.

7. Dip the scone cutter in flour and cut out the scones.

8. Place on the oven tray and brush with milk. Place the scones close together.

8. Cook in the oven  until lightly browned.

Important Tips

1. The pumpkin should be cold before making the scones.

2. Don’t overcook the pumpkin or the dough will be too wet.

3. I keep my flour in the fridge so that I keep the dough cool until it is cooked.

The Verdict

Can we make them gluten and egg-free? Sure can! There were none left over to see if they freeze well.

Scones Gluten Free Egg Free

Masterchef is back on our screens in Australia and this week I noticed that one elimination challenge was to make scones. It always surprises me when an amateur cook says they’ve never made scones. Making scones is such a good technique to have because they can be whipped up quickly when unexpected visitors arrive. Coeliacs and egg allergy sufferers need not miss out on this classic afternoon tea favourite. This recipe uses just three ingredients and works fabulously every time. There is some technique involved which I’ll explain as I go.

Ingredients
3 cups gluten-free self raising flour

1 cup of thickened cream (check it does not contain wheat thickeners)

1 cup of lemonade

Method

Preheat the oven to 230 C/450 F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Sift the flour into a largish bowl and make a well in the centre.

Add the cream to the well and then not quite all of the lemonade . I like to keep a little (about 50 ml – 2 oz) aside as sometimes the full cup is too much for the mix.

Using a knife, mix in the wet ingredients. Make sure that you do not overwork the dough, you just want to bring it all together. If you need to, add the remaining lemonade to bring it all together. Don’t worry if it’s a bit sticky. In my experience a little sticky is better than too dry.

Flour a board with a little of the gluten-free flour.

Transfer the dough to the board and pat out until it is about 2 cm thickness (a bit less than an inch). Don’t roll it or knead it.

Using a cutter dipped in flour cut out the scones and place on the baking tray. Make sure the scones are placed next to one another as this helps them to rise. Don’t worry if the cutter gets a little sticky. Again, if the scones are a little sticky they turn out better because with the leftover dough you can push it together and cut again without them getting too dry or overworked.

Brush the tops with a little milk.

Cook in the oven for 12-17 minutes. My oven is not fan-forced and the scones take around 17 minutes to cook. They will be cooked when they are a little browned on the top and underneath.

Tips

Make sure the oven is pre-heated to the correct temperature. Scones need quite a hot oven to cook properly.

Don’t overmix the dough or it will get tough and the scones won’t be light and fluffy.

Don’t worry if they are a little sticky.

My scones usually rise well. Traditionally scones are broken in half but I find that these are so light and fluffy that they don’t hold together so well when broken in half so we just top them whole with cream and jam and eat them like that.

In my house the scones disappear quickly but if there are any leftover make sure you freeze them. These scones do not keep well if not frozen. The next day they are dry and horrible. If you have frozen them just pop them in the microwave to reheat and they will be fine.

The Verdict

As mentioned, these scones disappear quickly and there are usually none leftover to freeze. We eat them with whipped cream and jam.