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Gluten-free fruit cobbler
August 20, 2017, 11:27 am
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Fruit cobbler is the kind of homey dessert that can be eaten year-round. Whenever you find yourself with peak-season fruit, consider the cobbler. With the right recipe, pulling one together is easy. Here is what you should expect: A deep-golden biscuit topping with a crisp exterior and cakey center that hovers over a pool of luscious baked fruit.

The challenge in baking a gluten-free cobbler is preserving the inherent ease while baking with gluten-free flours. The recipe given below does it, though, with a final dessert that rivals its classic counterpart, thanks to a cream biscuit made with cornmeal, oat flour, and easy-to-find rice flour.

Cobbler should always be easy. You should literally be able to ‘cobble’ it together with just the ingredients in your pantry and fresh or frozen fruit. A gluten-free cobbler may require you to grab one unusual flour, but every other ingredient is a regular in most pantries.
 
 
The best cobbler topping: There are many variations on cobbler toppings, but for most, a cobbler topping is always based on a lightly sweetened biscuit. Cream biscuits are particularly well-suited to sweetening and spooning atop juicy fruit. They also have the distinction of being incredibly effortless to mix up — even when you change up the flour.
 
Cream biscuits rely on baking powder for leavening, but they do not require any additional fat or liquid, as the heavy cream provides both. Expect this biscuit dough to be quite wet, so use a scoop or two spoons to top the fruit filling.
 
 
The gluten-free cobbler topping: The fun part of gluten-free baking is that there are so many flours to choose from, each lending a distinct quality or flavor to the finished desserts. Cornmeal and oat flour work in unison to create a toothsome and earthy cobbler crust, but on their own they can be quite dense. Enter: rice flour, the only specialty flour you will need for this recipe.

· Oat flour: You can buy oat flour or quickly make your own by processing old-fashioned oats in a food processor for about five minutes. Make sure the one you pick for this recipe is gluten free.

· Fine cornmeal: Either yellow or white will work here, but be sure to buy fine (not coarse) cornmeal and look for gluten-free labeling.

· Plain rice flour: There are a few different varieties of rice flour available, including brown rice flour and sweet rice flour. Plain white rice flour works best for this recipe.

Selecting fruits: The recipe below calls for fresh peaches and raspberries, but you can easily swap them for whatever is ripe; you will need about one kilogram of fruit. You can certainly bake the fruit unadorned under the cobbler topping, but expect a very thin sauce as a result. For a thicker sauce, toss the fruit with just a half-cup of sugar and two tablespoons of cornstarch before baking. The sugar and starch work in tandem in the oven to make a sauce for the fruit. The cobbler should bubble in the oven — this is how you know the cornstarch is properly cooked.
 
Is cornstarch gluten-free? Cornstarch is widely regarded as the best thickener for the fruit base. Partnered with a bit of sugar, this starch thickens the warm juices from the fruit baking up into a luxurious sauce. Cornstarch is finely processed corn-flour that is naturally gluten-free. As with cornmeal and oats, it bears repeating that when baking for those with gluten-intolerant, it is imperative to check the labels and buy from a trusted source.
 
Determining doneness: Fruit cobblers generally take 40 to 50 minutes to bake depending on the density of the fruit and topping. Beyond being golden-brown on top, the fruit sauce should be bubbling vigorously — not just on the edges, but also in the center of the baking dish. The biscuit topping should bounce back when pressed and a probe thermometer inserted in the center-most biscuit should read at least 93 degrees Celsius.

Recipe

Gluten-free fruit cobbler

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients
For the peach-raspberry filling:
1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
6 medium peaches pitted and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 ¼ cups raspberries

For the cobbler topping:
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1/2 cup oat flour
1/3 cup white rice flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Optional toppings:
1 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp coarse sugar

Equipment
25cm square baking dish, or pie pan
Mixing bowls
Rubber spatula
Whisk
Measuring spoons and cups
Baking sheet or aluminum foil

Instructions

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 191 degrees Celsius. Coat the square baking dish or pie pan with the butter.

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Add the peaches and raspberries and toss to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer.

Place the cornmeal, oat flour, rice flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine well.

Pour in the cream. Stir until just combined; the dough will be quite wet.

Scoop the dough into eight even mounds onto the fruit filling. Brush with the one tbsp cream and sprinkle with the coarse sugar if desired.

Bake until the fruit bubbles and the juices thicken, and the topping is browned and cooked through (40 to 45 minutes).

 

 

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