Tag Archives: blueberry

Gluten Free Blueberry Pie Bars

Last weekend, I went berry picking with some friends.  I have never done so in Oregon, which is idiotic, because everyone knows Oregon has the best berries anywhere.  It is strawberry season in Oregon, and is starting to be blueberry and raspberry season.  Blueberries are easy to pick, because they are on trees at a normal, human height.  Strawberries, however, are low to the ground and apparently enjoy hiding in thickets of thorny nonsense.  You kind of squat down and scuttle along the rows looking for berries.  Collecting a big bucket of berries made me feel satisfied to have come from a long line of peasants on both sides of my family, which is contrary to my childhood feelings about the same subject, during which time I was sure I was descended from royalty.  Not so, I’m told.

In any case, I picked a shitload of berries.  Far more than one person can consume.  So, I froze a bunch of them, in that Martha Stewart-y method where you lay out the berries on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then gather them up into ziploc bags individually when they’re frozen, so you have pretty, individually frozen berries instead of a frozen gloppy mess.  It worked perfectly.

In the interest of using up some of my berries AND of making a gluten free dessert for a buddy, I landed on Gluten Free Blueberry Pie Bars.  (I wanted to make a blueberry tart, but I don’t have a tart pan and seeing as I DO have a bundt pan AND a springform pan, that seems like enough pans I use once per decade.)  If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know anything about celiac disease, wheat allergies or the general gluten free food thing, I’d like to introduce you to the internet.

I’ve never made anything gluten free on purpose.  You know, like roasted asparagus.  That is gluten free.  But something normally made with wheat not made with wheat?  No.  Turns out, though, that there is a plethora of gluten free choices.  Almond flour, amaranth flour (?  This seems like what lembas bread is probably made from, and if you get that reference, you’re a dork and we would get along famously), rice flour, oat flour, arrowroot flour, fava bean flour, chickpea flour, etc.  I opted for rice flour, because a dessert made out of fava beans is weird, and oat flour, because that is something I could make myself.

These bars were so easy.  So so easy and so very delicious.  I think with nuts in them, these bars would be easily good enough for you to have for breakfast, or you could have them for dessert with ice cream and they’d still be wonderful.

Gluten Free Blueberry Pie Bars

Crust:

1 cup rice flour

1 1/4 cups oat flour (you can make your own by pulsing oats in a food processor until more or less fine, but they make a nice base when they’re a little rough)

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup (1/2 a stick)  butter, softened

1 egg

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Blueberry compote:

2 cups fresh blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp corn starch

juice of half a lemon

Method:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a small saucepan, cook the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, then let it cool until you can touch it.  It should be relatively thick, like jam.

For the crust, mix together all the dry ingredients, then smush in the butter, egg and oil with your fingers until the crust is sandy but mostly holds together.  Into a greased square baking pan, press 3/4 of the dough into the bottom, pretty firmly and be sure to cover the pan completely, not leaving any holes.

tamara doing the actual work.

Pour the blueberry compote onto the dough, then drop the remaining 1/4 of dough onto the top of the berries.

notice in this picture that i have some extra Thai chiles from when i made stir fry last week.  they’ll just sit there.  forever, probably.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top dough is lightly browned.  Let cool completely before cutting.

These turned out perfectly. Taking the extra step of cooking the blueberries was my way of ensuring that they didn’t get too runny and create a cobbler instead of bars.  They turned out beautifully.  I even took them to the beach.  And!  No gluten!

– Cat

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Filed under Baked Goods, Breakfast, Dessert, Recipes

BBQ week: Lemon Blueberry Icebox Cake

Ice box cake is an old dessert…if you haven’t figured that out by the reference to “icebox” instead of refrigerator. But icebox cake sounds a lot better than refrigerator cake, so I’m going to stick with that. This cake is ridiculous easy to make and decidedly old school- all things I can appreciate. The original cake, which some of you may have had, was created by the Nabisco company back in the 1920’s. It is still printed on the back of the box of Nabisco chocolate wafers. This “cake” consists of layers of whipped cream and chocolate wafer cookies. With an overnight rest in the icebox, the wafers lose their crispness and become cake like. It sounds rich, but it’s actually a really light flavored dessert.

Now, like usual, I can’t follow a recipe as is. So here is my lemon-blueberry icebox cake…made with graham crackers instead of chocolate wafers. I used homemade lemon curd because I had some, but store bought is just fine.

Ingredients:

3 cups of heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup lemon curd (divided into two 1/4 cup amounts)

1/4 cup sugar

15 (or so) graham crackers

Blueberries

Method:

Chill a metal bowl and beaters in the freezer. (Remember how we talked about cream being easier to whip when it’s cold?) Whip the cream until it starts to thicken then add the sugar. Continue beating until it forms stiff peaks (when you pull out the beater(s) the whipped cream should stand up stiffly,not fall).

After the cream is whipped, gently fold in 1/4  cup of the lemon curd using a curved spatula. To assemble the cake, start with a thin layer of the whipped cream. Using an offset spatula (or just a knife if you don’t have one) spread a thin layer across the bottom of an 8X8 dish.

Layer with graham crackers, I used 4 ½.

Repeat with another layer of whipped cream, and another layer of graham crackers. On the third layer, spread the whipped cream and then drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup lemon curd (store bought curd may be thicker, so microwave for about 10 seconds if needed) top with graham crackers. Repeat one more layer of whipped cream and graham cracker ending with a substantial layer of whipped cream (there should be 3 layers of graham cracker total). Top with a large handful of blueberries, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Three notes:

1. You could probably subsitute Cool Whip for the whipped cream here, but i’m not sure why you would want to (except for the 300 million calorie difference).

2. It’s entirely possible that I love lemon too much and use it in everything. I have admitted it, and I’m okay with it.

3. You could make this with strawberries, or raspberries too. You could even do a chocolate strawberry version by flavoring the whipped cream with a little bit of cocoa powder. I’m just throwing out non lemon ideas now…

-Sue

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Filed under BBQ, Dessert, Recipes