November 15, 2010: This post was featured on FoodBuzz Top 9 today
I love that I can bake again, enthusiastically. Only a couple of months back, it was unbearable to even think of switching the oven on. I have a gas oven and I do think they radiate more heat than the electric ones. Nevertheless, these days even that is a blessing; multipurpose efficient energy use! :)
That the cooler months bring out a bounty of vegetables and fruits that inspire more baking just makes it perfect. Roasted vegetables satisfy the palate in a way that no other preparation can while keeping individual flavors clean and perceptible. Besides, baked meals are so much lesser effort than stove-top! Less labour, more flavor! Can't beat that :)
Anyway, recently due to an overcrowded life schedule, we have been eating some simple meals that are mostly done in the oven and polished off happily. One such was the Roasted Butternut Squash, Potato and Feta Gratin. We rounded off the meal with a gluten free Apple and Red Grape Cobbler.
On the topic of gluten free, do you know how many cuisines are mostly gluten free. When I thought about it, I realised that Indian food is largely gluten free. Even the rotis that are staple to almost half the country are not always made with wheat. A variety of grains such as bajra, millet, sorghum etc. are used which are all gluten free. And, of course, rice is the easiest substitute!
In the south, rice being a staple is used in its many forms in various dishes - regular, dried flattened, broken like semolina and the flour in various savory snacks. I always have some lying around and so, when I was planning this cobbler, I just decided to go with rice flour instead of regular all purpose.
Rice flour is lighter and sweeter than all purpose flour. You do have to adjust for volume of liquid as also sugar. But, these qualities make it an healthier substitute. Flavor wise, there was really no difference. Also, I used almond flour in the cobbler topping to give it an extra punch of flavor.
And, the gratin? It really speaks for itself! Layers of thinly sliced potatoes, roasted butternut squash and feta lightly drizzled with light cream and topped off with Parmesan bread crumbs! What more do you need for a good lunch?! :)
Btw, aren't those cocottes really adorable??! I won them at a giveaway on Naomi's gorgeous blog. YIPPE!!:D. Also, I am sending my cobbler for the cook-off Damaris is hostin at her site, Kitchen Corners. The theme of the month is apples. Do check it out! It's a fun event:)
And this glutenfree cobbler is also perfect for the Monthly Mingle hosted by Meeta and Deeba. The theme of the month was Fruit in Baking.
For more ideas on cooking fresh, seasonal produce, please click on the "Farm to Table Series" tab above.
Apple and Red Grape Cobbler (Gluten Free)
1 - 3/4 oz. rice flour
1 oz. almond meal
4-5 T sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup light cream
2 T butter, melted and cooled
2 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced
handful of red grapes
3 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. rum
2 tsp. lemon juice
Toss together the filling ingredients and set aside for 15 minutes. Sift together the flour, almond meal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, cream, and butter. Add the wet mixture to the dry and combine till the dough just comes together. Divide the filling between 8 ramekins. Drop pieces of the crust batter on top of the filling and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes until the crust is browned. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm as is or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.