French Apple Cake- Gluten and Dairy Free!

I found a recipe for French Apple Cake, so I decided to convert it to lactose and gluten free.  I am blown away!!  Think about the best homemade vanilla custard you’ve ever had, with crust on the outside as crisp as you could want, then add apples baked in with plenty of fresh vanilla…heavenly!!!   This dessert is a custardy, apple rich base with a very light crispy crust and top layer with brandy and vanilla. 

1 1/2  pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and sliced 1/8 inch thick crosswise

1  tablespoon Calvados

1  teaspoon lemon juice

1  cup  plus 2 tablespoons Sweet rice flour-  Do NOT use regular rice flour, as the cake will not set right.  Sweet rice flour is available from Asian markets.

1  cup  plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2   teaspoons baking powder

1/2  teaspoon salt

1  large egg,   plus 2 large yolks

1  cup butter

1  cup coconut milk

1   teaspoon vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar

 

1)   Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter a springform pan.  Place prepared pan on rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place apple slices into microwave-safe pie plate, cover, and microwave until apples are pliable and slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Toss apple slices with Calvados and lemon juice and let cool for 25 minutes.

2)  Whisk 1 cup of the rice flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together in bowl.  Whisk only the whole egg with the melted butter, coconut milk, and vanilla together in second bowl until smooth.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until just combined.  Transfer 1 cup batter to separate bowl and set aside.

3)  Add egg yolks to the and whisk to combine.  Using spatula, gently fold in cooled apples. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using offset spatula, spread batter evenly to pan edges, gently pressing on apples to create even, compact layer, and smooth surface.

4)  Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour into reserved batter.   Pour over batter in pan and spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar evenly over cake.

5)  Bake until center of cake is set, toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and top is golden brown, about 2 hours.  Transfer pan to wire rack; let cool for 45 minutes.   Run paring knife around sides of pan and let cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.  Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar, cut into wedges, and serve.


Chicken Kiev- An Overlooked Classic!

image

I was reading a courtroom drama not too long ago and saw a reference to Chicken Kiev. Having never made it, or even tasted it…I found a recipe. I put it on the menu this week for my Meal Delivery Service.  OMG!!  This is one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever baked.  Traditionally this dish is fried, which is just as healthy as baking if you use beef fat to fry in, not any type of vegetable oil.  As I was short on beef fat, and the round shape of these made it imperative to have enough fat to come up to about 2 or 2 2/3 inches in the pan…I decided to bake them.  They were awesome!

Serves 4

  • 4 large organic chicken breasts, placed in a large Ziploc bag and pounded to just over 1/3 inch.
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/3 teaspoon cayenne 
  • 2-3 tablespoons sweet rice flour, seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a teaspoon of water
  • Gluten Free Bread crumbs for coating, mixed with melted butter (this makes them brown evenly and come out crispier)


Method

1. In a small bowl, mix together butter, garlic, dill and cayenne; season with salt and pepper and then freeze for 25 minutes in a 3 by 4 inch rectangle shape.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.

3. In the middle of each pounded chicken breast, place a fourth of the compound butter, then fold over the chicken to envelope the butter.

4. Using wooden toothpicks, seal around the outside of the parcel, sealing the butter inside the chicken.

5. Dredge each chicken breast into the seasoned flour to coat evenly.

6. Then roll each chicken breast in egg mixture, then coat in breadcrumbs.

7. Place onto a baking tray (sheet/pan) lined with parchment paper.

8. Bake in the middle of preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, then flip over gently.  Bake another 25 minutes or until golden on the outside, and cooked on the inside. Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the chicken is at 175 degrees.  Make sure that you insert the thermometer in the chicken and do not go directly in the middle of the breast, as the butter will run out.

9. Carefully remove toothpicks before serving.  I use a form to hold the chicken while tugging on the toothpick…otherwise the chicken may tear.

Enjoy!


Crab Quinoa Salad

crab Tabouli

I demonstrated this dish in cooking class one night and my students had taken one look at the recipe and said they would never make it, they said it had too many ingredients!. But after tasting it they agreed that this dish was REALLY worth the effort!!

serves 4   

1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
1 Granny Smith Apple – diced small
2Roma Tomatoes- diced small
1 small cucumber- deseeded and diced small
3 scallions- sliced thin, diagonally
2 Tablespoons spearmint, chopped
1/3 cup  basil- chiffonade
1/3 cup  sliced black olives
1/2 cup fresh mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 pound lump crab meat
1 small yellow tomato
salt and pepper to taste

1)  Toast quinoa on stovetop, in heavy skillet, shaking pan, until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl, pour in boiling water, cover tightly and let sit for about an hour. Or you can simmer on low until liquid is completely absorbed. 

2)  Combine all ingredients with quinoa after if has cooled. Fold in crab and season to taste. cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.