Thursday, May 15, 2014

Healthy fruit bars and then quince and apple crumble---all gluten-free!

There is no need to be too fussy with these two ideas---just play, but then again, some of you are hooked on being 'exact! I feel for you.
Healthy fruit bars:
Go find your favourite big bowl. Found it yet? Just kidding you, cause who the hell cares what bowl you use!
Put between a half cup and a cup (The more you use, the more 'product' you will have, so consider how much space you have on your baking trays before you get too generous.) of the following ingredients into the 'bowl:'
Desiccated coconut
Chopped dried apricots
Chopped nuts and seeds of your choice---go choose about three different varieties---OK --you want me to spell it out!===yeesh! Sunflower seeds, sesame, cashews, almonds--get the picture?---it's over to you and what you have in your cupboards and items from the bulk bins. Use whatever combinations you like. Reserve about half to one cup of the whole seeds and nuts for sticking on top later. This is a freedom recipe.
Now, in your food processor (or bash the hell out of them between the clean folds of a dish towel) process about a cup and half of some of the above 'dry' ingredients, not the 'wetter' but strangely described dried fruits like raisin, craisins, blueberries and the like. Mix them with the other ingredients and then use your hands to work in three ripe bananas. Have much fun and pretend its your boss. Note---there is no added sugar as there is plenty of 'sweetness' in the dried fruits and bananas and of course your wonderful sweet self! If you feel adventurous, add as much ground ginger or allspice or even cinnamon but if you have still not hooked on to freedom baking, then stick to my confusing instructions. If you think the squishy mix that is no doubt coating your fingers (yes I licked mine!) looks too dry, don't worry--it's OK---but who says you can't slosh in some booze---like a favourite liqueur.
Now line a tray or trays with baking paper, depending on how big your mixture has grown, and spread the mixture evenly onto the said tray(s). Press the reserved seed sand nuts on top and gently press.
Bake at about 160-170C for about 20-30 minutes. Check to make sure it doesn't burn. If it does, ice it and give it to someone who's peeved you off.
Let it cool and then cut it into bite sized pieces and place in a tin and hide it. It's way to good to share.

Quince and apple crumble:
If you didn't read my post on FB, that's OK. You can use any fruit in this yet another example of freedom baking. If you can find quinces, peel about three and cook them with a few apples (I used Ballarats, but who's checking what you stick in?) in a slow cooker---yip leave them cooking all day on low if you wish. I added a clove or three and only about three tablespoons of sugar.
Remember the lovely healthy fruit bars above? Grab a big handful or two from the hiding place, crumble them up and add about cup of 'any' gluten-free baking mix of rice flour and a little sugar to taste (if you must, because there is sweetness in the bars) plus a generous two teaspoons of ginger or as much cinnamon as you love and then work some chilled butter ( I used about a tablespoon) into the mix. Spread it gently on the top of the fruity mix in the baking dish that your mum gave you. Bake at about 160C for as long as it takes for the crumble to go a lovely brown.
You can serve it hot or cold, with or without your favourite ice cream or yogurt.
Did I write this blog with the help of one of New Zealand's best wines?---go figure! Now my sister knows what's for 'pudding' tomorrow night. Damn, now I can't eat it tonight!