Maple Lemon Butter – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo & Vegetarian

Maple Lemon Butter - low FODMAP, fructose friendly, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, no refined sugar, paleo

A few months ago, I posted my Gran’s lemon butter recipe with a promise to attempt a healthier version soon. Well, better late than never, right?

As much as I love baking, photographing the end results and posting them up here for you, sometimes life gets in the way. Over the last few months my IBS was getting worse, no matter if I took it back to basic FODMAPs or not, after which I discovered that spelt, unfortunately, had begun to make it worse. I then embarked on a gluten challenge for ten weeks, to get retested for coeliac disease and wait for an endoscopy, which also took its toll and left me feeling constantly fatigued and with a shoddy immune system to boot.

Well, on Monday I had the endoscopy and I’m already feeling better now that I’m back to being wheat and spelt (fructan/gluten) free. It sounds like a quick turnaround but, given that I stopped eating on Saturday evening for the Monday afternoon procedure, used a colonoscopy prep (those things clean you out!) and knowing what I do about my reactions normally taking about 2-3 days to clear, I’m not surprised that I’m feeling so much better by Wednesday morning. I’m just glad to be able to get on with everything and not be in a brain fog haze.

So, Tuesday evening I decided to get cracking with this healthier lemon butter. Now, I say healthier, which it is, compared to traditional lemon curd – but it’s still definitely not an health food, so don’t go guzzling it down like water! Maple syrup (used instead of castor sugar) is unrefined and the grade B syrup (not pictured but delicious and flavourful) even contains many nutrients but it is still sugar. Luckily, using stevia allowed me to cut the sugar in half. The reason I did not use a stevia product as the only sweetener is that I find it can get too bitingly sweet and leave a distinctive aftertaste; by combining a natural sugar like maple syrup with the stevia drops, you get the best of both the flavour and low calorie worlds.

The result is a creamy looking curd with a nice balance of maple and lemon, both tart and sweet but not too sweet, with very minimal stevia taste.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Maple syrup is a natural, low FODMAP sweetener. Make sure you’re not buying maple flavoured syrup.
  2. Stevia is FODMAP friendly, however many products that contain stevia also contain other sweeteners that may not be. Read the labels. I use SweetLeaf stevia drops, which contain water, organic stevia leaf extract and natural flavours. Seeing as only 1 tsp. is required to reach the sweetness of 1/2 cup of sugar, the natural flavours are not present in large enough amounts for me to be affected, if any of them are not low FODMAP. Use the sweetener that you are happy with.
  3. Lemon is a low FODMAP fruit.
  4. Eggs do not contain FODMAPs.
  5. Coconut oil is an oil, therefore contains no carbohydrates, so cannot contain FODMAPs. This is the dairy free option.
  6. Butter is lower in lactose than other dairy products due to its very low water content.

Maple Lemon Butter

Makes approx. 1 pint.

Option 1: maple syrup and stevia combination, paleo

  • 25 g virgin coconut oil or 20 g grass fed butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp. SweetLeaf stevia drops (equivalent sweetness of 3/8 cup sugar)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

Option 2: maple syrup and raw turbinado sugar combination

  • 25 g virgin coconut oil or 20 g grass fed butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

IMG_6358

Gently beat the coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup and stevia (or turbinado sugar) in an heat proof bowl until well combined, then add in the eggs and continue to whisk until mixed through. Add in the lemon juice (using a sieve to keep out pulp and pips), then place the bowl over a double boiler on a medium heat.

Mix with a whisk until the coconut oil (or butter) has completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then keep stirring and slowly increase the heat until the mixture thickens. This should take 2-3 minutes.

Maple Lemon Butter Double Boiler

Keep stirring for another 2 minutes at that temperature, then divide it between two clean half pint-sized/235 ml jars and let it come to room temperature before refrigerating. It will thicken further as it cools, though is a little runnier than the original recipe. But don’t worry, it won’t run sideways off your toast!

All that’s left to do now is enjoy your treat on some gluten free/FODMAP friendly bread, on a scone as part of afternoon tea or use it to fill up tart shells. Yummo!

IMG_6398 IMG_6411IMG_6379

Advertisements

Lesley’s Lemon Butter – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Lesley's Lemon Butter

When life gives you lemons, make lemon butter!

Some recipes make you think of your childhood; certain tastes and smells can bring back happy memories. This particular recipe is for my Gran’s lemon butter (curd). When I eat it, I’m instantly back in her kitchen, having breakfast and maybe a cup of tea, after sleeping the night.

I have been asking my mum to find it for the last two years but it was written on a scrap of paper and had gone missing. Luckily, it turned up a month ago. By putting it up here, I am sharing it with you and storing it in a place from where it is much less likely to be lost. Touch wood.

This is a traditional British style recipe, so it’s not a big surprise that it’s also popular in Australia. No starches or thickeners required, just patience and a double saucepan (boiler)/bain-marie. Tarter lemons are more suited to lemon butter than sweet, because it adds a depth of flavour. If you use sweet lemons and sugar, it will of course work but you will just end up with sweet lemon butter and no notes of anything else. If that’s how you like it, though, then by all means use sweet lemons.

This lemon butter works well in a sandwich, as you’d expect but it also goes great guns with a Pav or as part of a Devonshire tea. Or just on a spoon, when nobody’s looking. If you can bear to part with it, lemon butter makes a fantastic gift… a great way to get rid of the ridiculous amount of jars that you (or I) may have collected.

Notes:

  1. Lemons are a low FODMAP fruit
  2. Butter is lower FODMAP than other dairy products, as FODMAPs are water soluble and it is mostly the milk fat. However, if butter does not agree with you, replace it with a lactose free alternative such as coconut butter.
  3. There is a lot of sugar in this recipe, so obviously small servings (1-2 tbsp) are recommended. As it’s intended as a spread, that’s about all I ever use, anyway.
  4. Eggs do not contain FODMAPs.
  5. Replace some or all of the castor sugar with dextrose (glucose-glucose) if you want to increase the glucose:fructose ratio of the spread.

Lemon Butter

Makes approx. 1 pint

  • 20 g softened unsalted butter
  • 225 g castor sugar (or 125 g castor sugar and 100 g dextrose)
  • 3 large eggs
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

IMG_5352

Gently beat the butter and sugar together in a heat proof bowl until well combined and then add in the eggs and continue to beat until mixed through. Add in the lemon juice (using a sieve to keep out pulp and pips) and then place the bowl over a double boiler on medium heat. Mix with a whisk until the butter has completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then keep stirring and slowly increase the heat until the mixture thickens.

Lemon butter, before and after double-boiling

Keep stirring for another 2 minutes at that temperature after it thickened, then divide it between two half pint-sized/235 ml glass jars and let it come to room temperature. It will thicken further (from a runny sauce consistency to spreadable) as it cools, don’t worry.

Now all that’s left to do is enjoy!

IMG_5363

Butter Chicken – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Butter Chicken - Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

When Ev’s little brother was staying with us over his summer school holidays (our winter), both he and Ev became a tad obsessed with butter chicken. They even had a song for it. I can understand why, it is delicious but unfortunately it does take a little planning to get this meal made as the chicken has to marinate overnight and the sauce is better if made ahead of time, as well.

Back in my pre-FM days, a jar of Pataks would have satisfied my butter chicken, or any Indian food cravings but the simmer sauces you buy at the supermarket – as always – are chock full of onion and thus unsuitable for most with FM. As if that wasn’t enough reason to make your own sauce, the pre-made sauces are really quite bland compared to a homemade sauce; not so here, I can only describe this dish as “vibrant.”

The original recipe is from a great YouTube channel called Eat East Indian. I highly recommend it if you are comfortable tinkering with recipes to FODMAP-ify them, as they have some delicious creations. I have made their recipe FODMAP friendly for all of you to try, with some other alterations as well – but of course I credit them with the amazing original recipe.

Just a note – I made a double batch below, so that’s why the amounts look so much bigger.

Notes:

  1. Garam masala can contain onion or garlic powder – it’s only a fraction of the 1/2 tsp. called for in this recipe so it might be tolerated by some. Use your own judgement and omit it if necessary.
  2. An onion is called for in the original recipe. I have replaced this with a pinch of asafoetida powder and 1/2 a cup of green chives but you could go back to the original version if you can tolerate onion.
  3. I included carrot and celery in this recipe for some added nutrition. Evgeny, if you’re reading this, don’t complain because you had no clue. 😛
  4. Make sure your asafoetida powder is cut with rice flour and not wheat (to prevent clumping) if you’re very sensitive to fructans or a coeliac.
  5. Butter isn’t high in lactose, as lactose is water soluble and most of it goes into buttermilk instead of the butter – however you could replace some or all of it with coconut butter.
  6. The cream and plain yoghurt can be replaced with lactose free versions if required.

Butter Chicken

Serves 4.

Part 1

  • 500 g chicken, diced into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup plain yoghurt – optional

Combine the spices with the plain yoghurt (lactose free or normal) and then mix through the chicken pieces. Place everything in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 1 hour – overnight is best. If you want the spice flavours to come through more strongly at the end, or if you cannot get LF yoghurt, omit the yoghurt.

IMG_4623

Part 2

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida powder
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic – to infuse butter
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 250 g /8.8 oz diced tomatoes – fresh or tinned

Prepare all your ingredients for part 2 beforehand; this makes the actual cooking process as simple as possible.

IMG_4629 IMG_4631

Gently melt the butter over a low heat and add in the cumin seeds and asafoetida powder; simmer until fragrant, then add the diced carrots, celery, garlic and ginger and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. The carrots need to soften before they are blended. If you chose to include a diced onion, add it in with the carrots etc.

IMG_4634

Next, add in the tomatoes and cook for a further 3 minutes. Pick out the garlic cloves and spoon the contents of your pot into a blender (or use your immersion blender and then set the paste aside in a bowl – but there’s no way I’m doing that in my Le Creuset!) and puree the vegetables. The paste will be used as the sauce later on. This step can be done on the same day as part 3 but the flavours can really mingle if you make it ahead of time, such as the night before when you start your chicken marinating.

Part 3

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar or dextrose
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup diced green chives
  • 1/3 cup double cream – LF variety or normal
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala – if tolerated
  • Coriander leaves (cilantro) to garnish

Seal your pot and fry the bay leaves and ground cloves until fragrant. Take your chicken pieces that have been marinating – the longer, the better – and add them in; sear until fully sealed. Remove the bay leaves and pour in the paste. Mix well, then add in the salt, turmeric, paprika, brown sugar, cinnamon and chives and simmer for 30 minutes.

IMG_4635 IMG_4640

Pour in the double cream and cook over a medium heat for 5 more minutes before adding in the fenugreek seeds, black pepper and garam masala; simmer for 10 minutes and it’s finished. Some recipes might call for a drop or two of red food colouring but really, I think it’s bright enough as it is and why add in something that is completely unnecessary if it’s only going to make it a little brighter?

If you are not serving it straight away, keep it on a low heat until it’s required.

IMG_4644 IMG_4646

Serve with white rice and a garnish of coriander leaves (cilantro). You can serve the sauce and rice in separate dishes or create individual bowls – separately is more traditional but you can do whatever you’d like.

IMG_4652

IMG_4657

It makes a delicious lunch if you store it in individual dishes that you can either refrigerate or freeze and take to work/school/wherever for the week.

WP_20140313_08_50_32_Pro

Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free Puff Pastry – Attempt No. 1

I had been delaying an attempt at fructose friendly puff pastry for a while. A long while.

It took enough courage to attempt normal gluten free pastry – I grew up using good old freezer aisle puff pastry in Australia and until I had to cut wheat out of my diet, I didn’t have a problem with using it. Mum had told me that Gran had always made top notch pastry but she never had the knack of it, so Pampas it was. Gran made top notch everything that she cooked until she started to get forgetful, which was before I really became interested in baking more than just cornflakes cookies, so I never learnt to make pastry from her; aside from that, the fact that it was always a taboo in my own house probably has something to do with my fear of pastry – even the basic sour cream pastry that I know I can make. I’m still scared of it being a complete flop every time I go to make it. I get butterflies – it’s ridiculous.

To add to this, last year my friend Mia was taking a pastry class and she asked her instructor a few sneaky questions for me about gluten free baking, one of which being, could she give her any pointers on a gluten free puff pastry. To our disappointment, Mia was told that gluten free puff pastry was impossible. I wasn’t too sad, because as far as pastry goes, the sour cream pastry that I use is very versatile and it hasn’t failed me yet – even the time I accidentally used normal cream when making pecan pies for Dad back home – those damn Bulla double cream and sour cream containers are too similar! Having a professional pastry chef tell me that something is impossible, though, meant that I never looked into it any further.

However, a month or so ago my friend Chath and I were talking – about food, what’s new? – and one of us mentioned vol au vents. From there the conversation moved onto puff pastry. Neither of us had made a gluten free version. A few days later, Chath came to the rescue with a link to a “rough” gluten free puff pastry. If you haven’t heard of “rough” puff pastry, it is essentially puff pastry that begins its journey to layered puffiness as a messy heap of barely combined butter and flour. It’s like the Picnic Bar of pastry. Deliciously ugly. But the point was, gluten free puff pastry is possible!

I spent the next few days looking over recipes in my spare time and realised that rough puff pastry, while everyone raves how easy it is, looked a little too messy for my obsessive compulsive self to be comfortable making it – at least to begin with. After looking at normal puff pastry recipes as well, and combining what I have already learnt about gluten free pastries, I decided to give it a go.

I won’t say that it’s perfect, it might have had a little too much water in it and it only puffed a little – but it is a pretty good start. I’m also open to suggestions for improvements, so comment below if you have any ideas.

For the puff pastry purists, no, I did not start with a giant block of butter. I’m far too lazy for that. Maybe I should have called this recipe “semi-rough” puff pastry instead. It is what it is, and what it is kind of works, for a first attempt.

Puff pastry is all about producing pastry that has layers separated by air after baking. Ev made wheat puff pastry a few years ago and it was successfully airy and layered. Keeping the butter and pastry cool is important in this process. The butter is frozen initially and the pastry is chilled in between “turns” to ensure that the butter does not integrate fully with the granules of flour – this is what causes a tender pastry, when the butter completely and evenly surrounds the flour granules. Flaky pastry is produced when there are chunks of butter in between layers of flour granules – this is what you aim for with puff pastry.

Notes:

  1. Make sure you use a gluten free plain flour that doesn’t have brown rice flour included, if you are sensitive to it.
  2. The King Arthur GF plain flour mix that I use includes rice, tapioca and potato flours, listed in that order.
  3. I used normal butter in this recipe, which contains a little lactose. I am not sure how this recipe would work with a lactose free alternative like coconut butter but if you are brave enough to try it, let me know.

Puff Pastry

Makes enough for three or four large tart shells or one, maybe two, enclosed pies – depending on how thin you roll it.

  • 750 g GF plain flour
  • 3 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar – optional for sweet pastry
  • 300 ml water – only use what is necessary

Dice the butter into small chunks and freeze for at least an hour, or until solid.

IMG_3845

In the bowl of your stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to combine and aerate the sifted GF plain flour, xanthan gum and kosher salt for 1-2 minutes. Add in the butter and combine until it looks like bread crumbs before adding in the water; you might not need all of the water, depending on your flour blend. The dough should become a semi cohesive ball quite easily as you remove it from the mixing bowl.

IMG_3848 IMG_3849

IMG_3853

Divide the pastry into two balls. The following image demonstrates the progression of the pastry from roughly put together to a smooth, coherent dough over the first four “turns.”

Turn 1 – Place your semi-cohesive dough ball on a lightly floured surface (a pastry mat makes life very easy). Roll it out to just over the size of an A4 sheet and then use the pastry mat (if you have one) to lift the top and bottom thirds and fold it like a letter. The pastry is angled to that its length runs parallel to the front of your body. Turn the pastry brick clockwise.

Turn 2 – The pastry brick is now angled so that it’s longest length is coming from your front at a perpendicular (90 degree) angle – the photos below might not reflect this, sorry. Repeat step one by rolling the pastry so that it is just larger than the size of an A4 sheet of paper. You will notice that it has come together more than it was at this stage of the last turn. Use the pastry mat once more to fold the sheet of dough in thirds and rotate the brick clockwise. You have completed your second turn.

At this point, I like to refrigerate the dough to prevent the butter from melting too much, for the reasons mentioned above. I refrigerated this dough every two turns for 30 minutes, however next time I will see if refrigerating it every turn improves the flakiness.

Turn 3 – Angle the pastry so that it is protruding in a perpendicular manner form your chest. Complete the rolling and folding as outlined above and turn clockwise once more. The beauty about gluten free flour is that you can’t overwork it like you can glutinous flour, so it shouldn’t get too tough.

Turn 4 – Angle the pastry so that it is protruding in a perpendicular manner form your chest. Complete the rolling and folding as outlined above and turn clockwise once more. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

I completed eight turns but I’m not going to type it all out for you! Please use your brains to extrapolate. 🙂

Semi Rough Puff Pastry - Turns 1 through 4

After the eighth turn, it should very much resemble a smooth, pliable dough. It is not as strong as glutinous pastry but it is definitely manageable and not quite as flimsy as the GF sour cream pastry that I also have on this blog.

This should function as required in existing recipes. To blind bake it, roll it out so that it is 5 mm thick and line the dish you want to use; freeze it (so that it shrinks less) while you pre-heat the oven to 190 C/375 F and then use baking paper and pie weights for the first 10 minutes of baking to prevent bubbling, followed by 10-15 minutes further baking without pie weights until it is golden brown and completely cooked.

I will post a miniature pie recipe next which works well with this pastry.

IMG_3867

The proof is in the puff. It’s there, so hopefully with improved technique and practice I can get this puff pastry down!

WP_20131007_005

Vegetable Quiche – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

IMG_3883

I have been having quiche cravings for a week now and I finally decided that today was the day, considering I was stuck at home waiting for the maintenance guys to come and fix something (they didn’t, it’s been 4 days now… grrr). I needed all that time because I had to make my own pastry and I was planning on doing it properly this time and attempting puff pastry… which didn’t actually happen but the pastry I made was pretty good nonetheless.

Notes:

  1. Tomatoes, zucchini, spinach and green chives are low in FODMAPs.
  2. The butter I used in the pastry contains lactose, so use a different pastry recipe if you are sensitive. On the other hand, this would make a delicious fritata if you wanted to omit the pastry altogether, for a low FODMAP and low carbohydrate option.

Vegetable Quiche

Pastry

Filling

Makes enough filling for one large quiche, serves 4 adults as part of a main.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk (or water if lactose intolerant)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 6 fresh oregano leaves, minced
  • 1/2 a large zucchini, diced
  • 1 vine tomato, diced
  • 3 tbsp. green chives, diced
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach, roughly shredded
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese, diced

Prepare the Feta cheese and vegetables. If you don’t want to use any of the above veggies, just swap in anything you would rather and make sure you have 2 cups of vegetables, for volume reasons.

IMG_3871

Beat the eggs until combined and slightly fluffy, before adding in the milk, salt and pepper. Add in the veggies and mix thoroughly.

IMG_3872

Pour the mixture into a semi-blind bakes pastry (blind-baked according to pastry recipe instructions).

IMG_3873

After the pastry has been semi-blind baked (for approximately 10 minutes), remove the quiche shell from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 F/180 C. Pour in the quiche filling and return the dish to the oven; bake for a further 40-45 minutes, until the quiche is firmly set (i.e. doesn’t look wet or wobbly when the dish is nudged).

IMG_3882

Let it cool for 5 minutes (this allows the pastry to harden a little) before cutting and serving it. Enjoy!

This quiche is great for a couple of reasons: you can easily use up veggies that need to go and, if you have the pastry already, it’s quick to throw together. Besides, both those pastry recipes are simple and the only time consuming parts are the required refrigeration time.

The vegetables and oregano give it a really fresh, farmy feel and the Feta cheese gives it some depth. No onion or garlic required for flavour here!

IMG_3884 IMG_3885

Even the Cone-head wanted a slice… but what’s new? Apart from his ridiculous looks at the moment – if only he’d leave his wound alone, it would be gone by now!

He got some – both the dogs did. Who can resist those eyes?

IMG_3876

Pie Crust Pastry – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

IMG_3870

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.

IMG_3848

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.

IMG_3868 IMG_3869

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.

IMG_3886

Seared Rainbow Trout in White Wine – FODMAPs, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

IMG_3744

Fish is officially back on the menu in our house! I’m glad. As much as I think we were relying too heavily on meat in our cooking and that too much meat is consumed in general these days – we were as guilty as the rest – I have to admit that, after 2 months of trying to be a good vegetarian and ensuring I got enough protein etc in my diet, I got sick twice and the one time I had chicken, I felt better within a few hours.

Maybe my body would have eventually got used to the change. Maybe timing the vegetarian diet just before the season began to change wasn’t such a bright idea. Whatever the reason, I’m happy that we’re having fish once a week again, and this was a great re-introduction of fish to our menu.

Notes:

  1. Butter’s lactose concentration is reduced, as it is mostly fat and lactose is a water soluble molecule, which is separated from the cream. If you are sensitive to lactose or want a low FODMAPs meal, you may omit the butter. It is a massive flavour enhancer but you could replace it with some herb infused olive oil to bring some new flavours to the dish instead. You know your own tolerances, so do what works for you.

Seared Rainbow Trout in White Wine

Serves 2 people

  • 1 x 1 lb/500 g whole rainbow trout (or white fish of choice)
  • Enough olive oil to seal pan
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper
  • Lemon slices to garnish

Fillet your trout – if not done already. Trout have pin bones, so make sure you feel for them and remove them – tweezers work well for this. You can leave the skin on or off. We like skin on; it helps to give the fillet some structural integrity for transferring between pan and plate – fresh fish can be quite delicate – and is full of omega 3 fatty acids, aka “healthy fats.”

IMG_3729

IMG_3736

Seal your pan, then remove the pan from the heat and turn it down to slightly above medium. Stab the butter slice onto the end of a knife and spread the butter around the pan, it will gradually melt and smell delicious.

IMG_3738

Return the buttered pan to the now medium heat and place the fish fillets inside. Cook for 5 minutes with the skin side down; season the fillets and drizzle with lemon juice and white wine. You can let the juice and wine flow into the pan, as it will let the flavour cook through from the bottom as well.

As the fish cooks, you will notice a colour change that moves from the bottom upwards. At the 5 minute mark, only the top should retain it’s raw colouring, this will cook when you flip it.

IMG_3739 IMG_3742

Flip the fish carefully – it can be very fragile – and cook for a further 1 minute, seasoning the fillets again with salt and pepper.

IMG_3743

Once the fish is cooked, place it gently on the dish with slices of lemon to garnish. Serve with a side salad and maybe some oysters au natural if you’re feeling a little fancy and they’re currently available at your supermarket. How lucky, they were!

IMG_3746 IMG_3747 IMG_3749 IMG_3750