Saturday, March 22, 2014

Gluten-Free Apple Turnovers

I know I'm supposed to be sharing a recipe for coconut maple rice krispies treats...but I'm more excited about this recipe :)!  Pastry isn't a word you hear a lot in gluten-free circles, but I hope that changes soon.  I know those wonderfully buttery, flaky layers of carby goodness aren't easy to come by without gluten...but I don't want to say it's impossible to make a flaky gluten free pastry.  Because, dang it, I got pretty darn close... Just look at that pic!!!  How close?  So close that a friend (who doesn't eat gluten free) said SHE COULDN'T TELL THAT THESE APPLE TURNOVERS WERE GLUTEN FREE!!!

Heck yes, now that IS music to my ears, take that SXSW (sidenote: we're in austin and this was a very musical city last week :).  We had some leftover "pastry dough" that I used to make mini cinnamon sugar twists, and my 1 year old gobbled them up.  That's why they aren't pictured here ;).

I've got another gluten-free pastry recipe 'round here.  It's a couple years old.  I scaled down that recipe and modified it a bit.  So here's something new and butterfully amazing for you to sink your teeth into this weekend.  Oh, please make them and tell me how you like them!  I promise, if you do, I will never have to beg you to make them again, this recipe will become a staple ;).

One of these days I will post that rice krispies recipe I owe you...and I know I still have to make that fried chicken, dear reader who asked about it, I promise I haven't forgotten.  But when your entire household just got over the flu, pastries are called for.

I'll be back soon!  :)

Gluten-Free Apple Turnovers

For the flour mixture:
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup sweet sorghum flour
2 tablespoons potato starch
3 tablespoons almond meal
1 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp sea salt

A few tablespoons of corn starch to work with the dough
1 stick butter, cut up into small cubes to combine with 1/3 cup reserved flour (see below)

The wet ingredients and sugar:
1 large egg, at room temp
1/4 cup half and half
1/3 cup sugar

The yeasty ingredients:
2 tablespoons warm water
1 yeast packet

The filling:
2 granny smith apples, peeled and slice up into small 3/4 in. cubes (you want them to fit into small pastry squares)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp all spice
pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Make the filling: 
After prepping the apples, combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and add the corn starch last (that's the thickener.  You can let these sit out while you do prep the pastry dough.
First start by mixing all your dry ingredients together until they're well combined.  Next, you're going to RESERVE 1/3 CUP OF THAT FLOUR MIXTURE TO MAKE YOUR BUTTERY LAYERS.
(technical term is absent from my mind right now, I know it's a french word, and I will probably misspell it so you'll have to deal with my "buttery layers" term instead.)

Fold the butter into the reserved 1/3 cup of flour until and form it into a nice buttery cube.  Stick this in the fridge.

Next, combine the "wet ingredients and sugar" with the remaining flour (the larger quantity you didn't just combine with the butter ;)

Proof the yeast in the warm water, then add this to the bowl with the flour and wet ingredients.  If you've got a standing mixer, now's the time to fold this together.

I let this dough sit in a covered, warm area for about twenty minutes.

Next, you're going to have to be really patient (this is the hardest part) because you're going to fold that refrigerated doughy butter cube into the dough that was rising for 20 minutes. This is how you'll do that (I THINK THIS BLOG HAS GREAT PICS ON HOW TO DO THAT CLICK HERE TO SEE IT):

Get some parchment paper or foil and place it on the counter, along with a rolling pin.  Sprinkle a generous amount of corn starch onto your work surface and the rolling pin.  Roll it into a rectangle as best you can.  It should be about 1/2-3/4 of an inch thick (THIS IS THICKER THAN TRADITIONAL DOUGH WITH GLUTEN, BECAUSE GLUTEN-FREE DOUGH ISN'T AS FLEXIBLE :).

Next, place your butter cube in the center of that rectangle of dough.  You're going to create an envelope out of the dough by bringing that top part of the dough toward you and covering the butter square, then tucking the bottom half of the rectangle over that layer so that the butter square is covered by the top and bottom half of the dough. Now, roll over this creation so that it's about 3/4 of an inch thick, and fold the left side over the right side and roll it very lightly.  NOW PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE FOR 30 minutes and REPEAT 2 MORE TIMES AFTER THIS.

Side note: I know this is time consuming, but I'm giving you permission to eat all of these pastries the first time as a reward for all your hard work!  Or, if your family and friends threaten to steal them all before you can take a bite, just take a picture and frame the masterpiece, because that's kinda what I wanted to do after all that.

After you've done all that waiting and rolling and folding, you can get to the next step, the fun part: Get a fresh piece of parchment and foil, sprinkle (aka a handful) cornstarch over your work surface and get ready to roll..just one more time. Shape that buttery dough into a rectangle, as best you can and use a pizza cutter or buttered knife to create 8 squares.  Fill them with as much apple filling as you want (try not to add too much juice because it will spill over and burn the bottoms of the pastry).  Give them an egg wash or dress them with more melted butter, and sprinkle with some turbinado sugar.  Now, one more waiting session: let them rise for about 30 minutes.

Next, bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Let them cool for a bit.

FINALLY, Enjoy your buttery creations without missing the gluten, that's the easiest part :)!

And of course, feel free to email me with any questions, friends.  Happy baking!

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