Miniature Raspberry and Rhubarb Crumbles – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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On a cold night like this, a warm dessert is a necessity. I of course mean the night that I’m writing this, not whenever this is posted; although, knowing Seattle, there’s a good chance that that night will be cold and stormy as well.

I have always loved crumbles, and Mum’s apple and raspberry crumble was my favourite dessert or hers growing up. Unfortunately, apples are now off the menu, so I had to come up with something else.

These mini crumbles were made using the last of the stewed raspberry and rhubarb I cooked a week ago but if you made them from the entire mixture you would easily have enough for one large crumble or  (estimating here) 12 miniatures… which would make it a pretty quick and easy dessert for a dinner party. Just assemble them all a day beforehand and pop them in the oven for 15 minutes before serving – this would work for the miniature crumbles but the large could be prepared a day beforehand as well.

There’s a little added sugar in the filling and maple syrup in the topping, but it’s not a lot in the scheme of things and much, much lower than your typical crumble recipe.

Notes:

  1. Both rhubarb and raspberries are listed as low FODMAP by Monash University.
  2. Coconut is low FODMAP, and there is only a small amount with each serving, anyway.
  3. Almonds are high in GOS’s and fructans in servings of 20 nuts of greater. This is amount would not be reached with each miniature crumble but be careful if you have more.
  4. You could use normal butter or coconut butter in this recipe. Coconut butter would be the low FODMAP option, because normal butter contains lactose.
  5. If you cannot have lactose, this would work well with a dollop of lactose free plain yoghurt.

Miniature Raspberry and Rhubarb Crumbles

Makes one large crumble or approx. 12 miniature crumbles in 4 oz. ramekins.

Fruit Filling

Makes enough for approx. 12 miniatures or 1 large crumble… give or take.

Crumble Topping

Makes enough to top 3 mini crumbles, multiple this by 3 for a large crumble.

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. butter or coconut butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp. white rice flour
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup

The fruit filling can be made in advance – I used stewed fruits that were around one week old and they were fine.

If you are making the fruit mixture fresh, leave it to cool completely, so it thickens by itself without requiring cornstarch or the like. Spoon it into your typical 4 oz ramekins until they are half-filled, and set them aside.

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If you are planning on baking them straight away, preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F.

To make the crumble topping, put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until combined. Did I mention this dessert was so quick to assemble when the fruit filling is pre-made?

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Spoon the topping on top of the fruit filling, packing it down slightly before sprinkling a little extra loosely on top.

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Miniature crumbles: bake at 180 C/350 F for 15 minutes and, if necessary, brown the crumble under the grill (broiler) for a couple of extra minutes.

Full-sized crumble: bake at 180 C/350 F for 25-30 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure that the crumble topping isn’t burning but it shouldn’t.

Dig in. Simple as that. Or you could serve it with my vanilla bean custard, vanilla ice cream, plain yoghurt (lactose free or normal), whipped cream or just double cream. They would all work, although not all are low FODMAP, so choose what works best for you.

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Pie Crust Pastry – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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The following recipe began as an attempt to create gluten free puff pastry. However, due to time constraints I couldn’t let it sit for an hour between each turn and I definitely couldn’t let it sit over night before using it as a crust. Thus, I will repeat my attempt with the left over pastry tomorrow (this recipe makes enough for two pies) but tonight this turned into a tasty and tender pie crust, with a little flake to it.

There’s nothing wrong with a mistake (well, not quite a mistake but a need for speed) turning out to be something that is equally as tasty and useful as the intended result. I will alter the instructions a little so that this does reflect a quick pie crust recipe, because there is no need to use frozen butter and attempt any “turns” in this recipe if you aren’t willing to be serious about making puff pastry. I have learnt from experience now that it requires patience and dedication!

FODMAP Notes

  1. Make sure you use a gluten free plain flour that doesn’t have any high FODMAP ingredients.
  2. The GF?FF plain flour blend that I make requires extra brown rice or quinoa flour to be added in pastry recipes. Your store bought brand might not.
  3. I used normal butter in this recipe, which contains very small amounts of lactose. If you are super sensitive to lactose, use a dairy or lactose free alternative, like coconut oil (refrigerated) or margarine that is FF.

Pie Crust Pastry

Makes approx. 1400 g of pastry, which is enough for three or four large tart shells or one, maybe two, enclosed pies – depending on how thin you roll it.

  • 600 g GF/FF plain flour
  • 150 g brown rice or quinoa flour
  • 3 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter
  • 300 ml water – only use what is necessary
  • 1 tbsp. icing sugar – optional for sweet pastry.

Take the butter out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for half an hour.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to combine and aerate the GF plain flour, xanthan gum and kosher salt for 1-2 minutes. If you are making sweet pastry, add in the optional sugar at this point.

Next, add the butter and combine thoroughly before adding the water slowly; you might not need to add in all of the water.

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The dough should come together into a coherent ball. Play around with adding in a little extra flour or liquid if need be – GF flour blends are each slightly different, so will require slightly different treatments.

Split the dough into two balls and wrap them securely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate them for 30 minutes before rolling them out. Alternatively, pop one in the fridge and one in the freezer to store for up to one month.

Once you are ready to roll, lightly flour your work surface – I have a pastry mat, it makes the next step a lot easier – and your rolling pin. For added non-stick insurance, I like to use a sheet of wax paper between my rolling pin and the pastry I’m working on.

Roll the dough out until it is approximately 5-7 mm thick and is wide enough to cover your pie dish. Make sure your intended pie dish is well greased to prevent a disaster later on. The benefits of a pastry mat come in here: if you lightly floured the pastry mat before rolling out the dough, you should be able to pick up the mat, up-end it over the greased pie dish and watch the pastry just slip into place. You will still need to gently push it into the corners of the dish and trim the edges but it makes life so much easier.

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Once you have done that, pierce the base of the pastry a few times with a fork or a knife and then bake according to whichever recipe you choose.

Blind baking

Some recipes might call for blind baked pastry, if so:

  • Partially blind bake for 10 minutes at 200 C/400 F before using in a large pie that requires less than 45 minutes to bake.
  • Completely blind bake it at 200 C for 10 minutes with pie weights, and at least a further 10 minutes without, until the pastry is golden brown.

This pastry works very well in quiches, like the vegetable quiche we had for dinner tonight.

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Strawberry, Rhubarb and Coconut Pie – Low Fructose

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Just last weekend there was a Strawberry Festival at a local park and I stocked up on freshly picked strawbs. Yum.

But what to do with them? I had conveniently forgotten that the fridge was full of raspberries, blueberries and kiwis that needed to be eaten, not to mention all the strawberry jam I made a couple of months ago.

Thinking… thinking…

It hit me when I was walking through the fruit and veg at the supermarket. Rhubarb is in season and I hadn’t had any since I took the very last of it from the grocer’s at the beginning of Autumn just been. Ev told me I was a bitch for taking the last of it, I maintain that it’s there to be sold.

A quick note on coconut. There is SO much confusion between all the different research and subjective reports flying around that there’s no wonder we struggle to know which we should trust. I compiled a short list of resources regarding coconut and it’s FODMAPS (or lack of) content here for your perusal.

Almond Meal Pastry

  • Use one batch of almond meal pastry to cover a 9 inch tart/pie dish.

Follow these linked instructions for the recipe and partially blind bake it according to option number 2.

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Strawberry, Rhubarb and Coconut Pie Filling

  • 2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 2 cups diced strawberries
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit or 2 tspn. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dextrose, optional for extra sweetness
  • 1 cup shredded desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

Simmer the rhubarb, strawberries, vanilla bean and dextrose (optional) for half an hour, until the rhubarb is completely tender.

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Remove the vanilla bean and mix through the shredded coconut and almond meal. If coconut flesh affects you, you could just substitute more almond meal in its place. If you want the flavours to really intensify, let the mixture cool and refrigerate overnight. It turns delicious into KABOOM!

When you are ready to fill your partially blind-baked pie shell, keep the oven at 150 C/300 F (from baking the pastry) and spoon in the mixture until it is within 5-10 mm from the top of the crust.

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Cover with chopped pecans.

Bake for a further 15-20 minutes, until the crust has turned a golden brown and the pecans are fragrant.

So I forgot to take a photo before I put it back in the oven...

So I forgot to take a photo before I put it back in the oven…

Remove and serve hot or cold, it’s up to you. Vanilla bean custard, whipped cream, whipped coconut cream (if it agrees with you), ice cream – it’s all good. And a good cup of tea.

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Enjoy!

Almond Meal Pastry – Low Fructose, FODMAPS & Gluten Free

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This isn’t so much a pastry (well, it is, I suppose) as a biscuit base that multitasks perfectly as a shortcrust base for tarts and pies. It is designed to be a slightly sweetened, plain pastry so that your filling of choice can take the spotlight.

If you would like to add in different flavours, such as ground ginger or lemon zest, to complement your tart them go right ahead; and if you can’t be bothered refrigerating and rolling out a finnicky pastry like the GF sour cream pastry, then this is a great alternative for tarts and pies that don’t need a pastry layer on top.

Almond Meal Pastry

  • 2 cups almond meal/flour
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut butter (maybe a little more) for FODMAPS
  • 3 tbsp. dextrose or castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Savoury variation – omit the sugar and spices and add in an extra 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. suitable herbs (to match your filling), such as oregano, rosemary or thyme.

Put everything in your stand-mixer or food processor and mix with the paddle until thoroughly combined.

After oiling a pie or tart dish, break the dough into quarters and gradually press them into the tin. This takes a little bit of time to do neatly and make sure you have no weak spots (or filling leaks out and the tart will stick in the tin) but it’s quite relaxing to do, almost cathartic. Make sure it’s no thicker than 5 mm thick at the base for proper cooking.

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Your options for cooking include:

  1. Completely blind bake it. This takes up to 30 minutes at 150 C/300 F, depending on your oven. Check it every couple of minutes after the 20 minute mark to be safe. It should end up a nice, golden brown and firm. It will continue to harden as it cools, though, so beware of over-cooking.
  2. Partially blind bake it for 10 minutes at 150 C/300 F and then add your filling and continue to bake until the filling is completely cooked and the pastry golden brown.

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This is great for not only tart shells but also small biscuits – I baked some left over pastry for 20 minutes at 150 C/300 F and then ate them warm with fresh raspberries and a teaspoon of whipped cream on top. Yum!

Mixed Berry Crumble – Low Fructose & Gluten Free

Berries are still in season and cheap! Woohoo!

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I’m enjoying the on again, off again summer weather we are having. At least the on again part. It reminds me of Melbourne so much it’s creepy.

I always make the most of summer, when I am not just restricted to bananas, kiwi fruits and oranges. Does anybody else get annoyed with seasonal changes in foods that mean we have cop both the exorbitant fees for the fruits we can eat as well as the tempting aromas of apple pies and pear tarts over winter? It’s so unfair!

*End rant.*

Growing up, one of my favourite desserts was apple and raspberry crumble. I’m sure I still would love it, if it wasn’t for all the fructose lurking within. I’ve been thinking about making a blackberry crumble for a week or so now and after I stocked up on blackberries, I really didn’t have an excuse anymore. So…

Let’s get ready to CRUMBLE!!!!!

I’m sorry for that.

Mixed Berry Crumble

  • 1/2 cup/120 g butter/coconut butter
  • 1 cup GF oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup dextrose
  • 2-3 tspn. cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. desiccated coconut
  • 3 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 tspn. vanilla extract

In a saucepan, combine the berries (4 cups in total, you can choose your mix) and the vanilla extract and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes. Mash them until they are 50% pureed and let the mixture reduce for the rest of the half hour.

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Lightly butter a 10 inch pie dish and if you have an uber cute pie bird, pop it in there. They are supposed to let out steam as the pie cooks, thus ensuring you don’t have a runny filling. They’re more for proper pies that are sealed in pastry – preventing steam from escaping – but I couldn’t wait to use mine, so I did.

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Pour in the berry filling and let it cool a little while you are preparing the crumble topping.

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Put the butter, oats, almond meal, cinnamon and dextrose in a food processor and mix until combined. Or you could mix by hand if you wanted to, it would just take a lot longer. If you choose the latter method, make sure you combine all the ingredients thoroughly by pinching/smooshing them together.

Tear the crumble mix apart and spread it over the top of the slightly cooled berries. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut. If you have a massive sweet tooth, the 1/4 cup dextrose might not be enough. You can always add more dextrose/sugar to your own taste.

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Bake for 30 minutes at 180 C/350 F.

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Serve with whipped cream, cream, ice cream or a vanilla bean custard. Garnish with mint leaves or some more fresh berries and enjoy.

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A note on the ingredients:

  • Blackberries have sorbitol in them. If you are sensitive to polyols (the P in FODMAPS) then it would be best to sub in a different berry type.
  • Oats are naturally gluten free but are often contaminated with gluten from the equipment they are processed on. Some Coeliacs are able to cope with GF oats but some are so sensitive that they will still react. If you are also avoiding gluten, just take that into account and maybe substitute oats for a GF rice porridge mix or a different GF cereal.

Chocolate Hazelnut Tartlets – Low Fructose & Gluten Free

Somehow I always seem to get roped into making dessert for dinner parties… unless my friend Chath is also going. I couldn’t hope to top her creations. I suppose people know my strengths; I can never think of creative or tasty canapes but dessert? That I can manage. And I enjoy making them, so it’s a win-win situation.

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After a chocolate making session with our house guest Mia, who is aiming to become a Chocolatier, I had learnt to make ganache and we had a lot of it left over. It took all the strength I possessed not to take a punnet of strawberries and start dipping right there and then. DE-LICIOUS.

A couple of days later I needed to make dessert for a dinner party we were going to and after spending the day in Seattle, I was glad I had the ganache in the fridge. Half the work done already, woo! Good thing I didn’t scoff it two days earlier!

Pastry Shells

  • One full batch of GF sour cream pastry (follow link to instructions) that has been completely blind baked. Makes 24 x 4 cm tart shells.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Filling

  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 570 g/1.25 lb milk chocolate
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tspn GF hazelnut extract – more or less to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup thickened cream – optional I’ll explain later…

Bring your cream to the boil in a small saucepan, until it just bubbles at the edges.

Place chocolate chips and butter in a separate bowl. Once the cream has finished heating, pour it over the chocolate and stir with a whisk until everything is thoroughly combined and all the chocolate has melted. You just made ganache. Easy, huh?!

Flavour it with the hazelnut extract and put aside to cool. You will probably have left over ganache, especially if you whip it. Yay!

Now, here is where you have two options. You can either:

  1. Use the ganache to fill the tart shells – they wont have any height to them and will be very rich. That isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Chill them to firm the ganache up a little before sprinkling with desiccated coconut and refrigerating again before serving.
  2. Once the ganache has cooled to room temperature, add in the extra cream to cut the rich chocolate flavour and whip it to give it some air and body. This option will allow you to give height to your tarts and for more people than just dedicated choc-aholics to enjoy them. Top with desiccated coconut and refrigerate before serving. This is what I did.

Enjoy!

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Cherries have polyols in them; if you are sensitive to them then don’t serve them along with your tarts. Duh!

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A word of warning:

THIS is what happens when you don’t let your tart shells cool completely (for an hour) before filling them. When you move them, they crumble. Whoops. You have been warned; be patient!

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Mixed Berry Clafoutis – Fructose Friendly

I love French pastries. LOVE them. And when I heard about a French pastry that requires basically no effort, I had to try it. I looked at a few recipes but decided to just go with the basic one to begin with. Next time I will definitely try adding some lemon zest or substituting almond meal and possibly research a few other alterations but this one was pretty delicious as is. And, even better, it is basically fool-proof.

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Just a word of warning, the pictures will show cherries in there. I am currently testing them to see how I react to sorbitol. When I was diagnosed seven (!!!) years ago, I was only told about fructose and fructans, so I am now beginning to test myself out on polyols. I already know that too much lactose can make me symptomatic but that requires a lot (like a huge milkshake) and doesn’t happen often, if ever. I mostly drink almond milk now, anyway.

Mixed Berry Clafoutis

  • Butter to grease your cake pan/pie dish
  • 1 tbsp. castor sugar (or glucose powder)
  • 300 g/10 oz mixed berries/fruits you can eat
  • 1/3 cup GF plain flour
  • 1/3 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarb soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup icing sugar (and a little extra to dust before serving if you wish)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup double/heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest (to try next time)

Preheat oven to 160 C/325 F. Grease a 9″ round baking dish and sprinkle it with the castor sugar and mixed berries – the berries will rise to the top when the clafoutis is baked.

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In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and put aside – if you want to try the lemon zest, add it here. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, cream and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet, while beating. Continue to mix until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the mixture over the fruit and then make sure the fruit is evenly spread around the dish.

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Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes; turn the oven off and let it cool down in the oven to prevent it from sinking.

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Serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream.

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See, I told you it was easy.

It tastes like a warm, custardy tart minus the shell. Essentially the flour you mix through allows the otherwise custard mix to form a a base as it cooks. Be careful when you flip it out. A spring form cake tin would really be best, or a ceramic tart dish that you intend to serve it in.

Have fun!