The Sunday Recipe: Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

There is something about this time of year that turns my mind to cooking with lemon and blueberries. It’s perfect because the blueberries are just coming on and can be used while they are fresh and firm instead of defrosted with their juice oozing out. Some recipes are just better with fresh blueberries.

I thought of making my lemon bars then I saw a recipe for lemon blueberry bars and that sounded incredible, but the crust used a sugar cookie mix and the filling was a custard with only lemon zest for flavoring. So I came up with this recipe, combining a crust from my favorite lemon bars with the cheesecake filling I perfected, to my taste, last year. I hope you give it a try and I hope you enjoy it. #glutenfree #refinedsugarfree

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (About 160 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Filling

  • 1 ½ cups, washed and dried blueberries
  • 1 8-ounce block cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca or cornstarch

Directions

  1. Get out ingredients for the filling and allow to come to room temp. I often get them out before lunch then make the recipe after lunch. Alternatively, it will work to warm the cream cheese and maple syrup on low in the microwave for a minute or two. To warm the egg, place it in hot tap water for just ten minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8 by 8 pan with cooking spray, butter, or oil, and line with parchment paper. (Wax paper also works.)
  3. Combine the crust ingredients and press into the prepared pan with your fingers, using the edge of your hand or a finger to press the crust up the side just a little.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes.
  5. While the crust is baking, combine all the ingredients for the filling, except the blueberries and tapioca flour, in a mixing bowl and whisk or use a mixer to beat until just smooth.
  6. Beat in the tapioca flour and set aside to rest.
  7. Remove the crust from the oven when it is ready and turn the temperature down to 300 degrees.
  8. Place the washed and dried blueberries into the bottom of the crust in a single layer. (I rolled the blueberries in my fingers a little as I chose them to make sure they were reasonably firm.)
  9. Pour the filling slowly over the blueberries, moving the bowl around to cover the blueberries without forcing them to move too much.
  10. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
  11. Without opening the oven, turn the heat off and leave in the oven for another 30 minutes to finish baking.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the counter for an hour.
  13. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
  14. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Almond Sponge Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

It’s a holiday weekend and we’re all busy but here’s a super simple recipe. We just adore rhubarb but this time I used strawberries AND rhubarb, as many people don’t think rhubarb by itself is as wonderful as my family does.

I adapted the strawberry rhubarb sauce from https://www.skinnytaste.com/strawberry-rhubarb-compote/ by simply using maple syrup instead of honey. I also used rhubarb I had already frozen. I didn’t even let it defrost, just dumped it in the pan with the chunked up strawberries. The rhubarb was diced more finely than her recipe calls for, about a quarter inch slices, but I think that helped it break down easier from frozen.

Almond Sponge Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 ounces almond flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 ½ inch spring form plate, or even just a cake tin, or pie plate. (If using something that you can’t take the ring off, I would use a piece of parchment paper or wax paper in the bottom.)
  3. Separate the 5 eggs into 2 mixing bowls. (I highly recommend you do the actual separating over a small bowl and then dump the egg yolk into the one bowl and transfer the egg white into the mixing bowl.) If you don’t know how to separate eggs, here’s a simple 1-minute video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAGX-54iR30
  4. Mix the maple syrup into the egg yolks then stir in the almond extract and almond flour.
  5. Using a mixer, beat your egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. (Tip: for best results make sure your bowl and beaters are clean and dry, free of any oil.)
  6. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, about one third at a time. (Basically, folding means to use a large rubber spatula to stir up gently from the bottom.)
  7. Pour the mixture in the pan and bake for 40 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound strawberries, sliced
  • ¾ pound rhubarb, diced in quarter inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. Combine the ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to medium low.
  4. Simmer until the fruit breaks down, about 15 minutes.
  5. Chill and serve over almond cake. (Preferably with soft whipped cream.)

The Sunday Recipe: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins #glutenfree

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Muffins #glutenfree

I’d been craving cinnamon apple oatmeal one day but didn’t have a chance to get any so that weekend, when I decided to make oatmeal muffins, I thought, why not? I peeled then grated up a granny smith apple, added a teaspoon of cinnamon, and we had cinnamon apple oatmeal muffins. My daughter turned her nose up at them, but my husband and I enjoyed them thoroughly, and for a few days.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats (quick or old fashioned)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup light tasting olive oil
  • ¾ cup white rice flour (120 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees and spray or grease a 12 muffin tin.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup then fill to the one cup mark with milk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. (This is a substitute for 1 cup buttermilk.)
  3. Combine oats and buttermilk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. In a measuring bowl, whisk eggs.
  5. Add maple syrup.
  6. Mix in light olive oil.
  7. Add white rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  8. Peel and grate apple then add to batter immediately.
  9. Divvy up into a 12-muffin pan.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
  11. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before running a thin knife around edge to lift out.
  12. Enjoy!

Cheesecake Brownies (gluten free)

Cheesecake Brownies

I was going to swirl brownies but it ended up being simple layers, still delicious. Fudgy brownie layer with cheesecake on top. What could be better? This makes 9 decadent little squares. They may look small but they are rich and satisfying. We served them to my mother-in-law for her birthday and she was very pleased.

Ingredients

Brownie Batter

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons light tasting olive oil
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 9 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut flour

Cheesecake Batter

  • 8 oz, cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • One large egg, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Prepare an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Cut the butter into tablespoon cubes in a medium plastic or glass mixing bowl, and melt in the microwave on 50% power for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the olive oil.
  5. Whisk the maple syrup into the butter.
  6. Add the eggs and beat.
  7. Gently stir the cocoa powder into until dissolved.
  8. Add the vanilla.
  9. Sift and stir in the coconut flour until just mixed.
  10. Pour into the prepared pan.
  11. In another glass or plastic mixing bowl, cut the cream cheese into tablespoon chunks.
  12. Pour the maple syrup over the cream cheese.
  13. Soften in the microwave on 50% power for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
  14. Use a large whisk or spoon to beat the cream cheese and maple syrup smooth.
  15. Add the vanilla and egg.
  16. Pour over the brownie batter.
  17. Bake for 35 minutes.
  18. Allow to cool at least 1 hour.
  19. These are good warm, but even better fully chilled.

The Sunday Recipe: Simple Waldorf Salad

Simple Waldorf Salad

This is a basic recipe based on the old Betty Crocker one. I remember having Waldorf salad as a side dish on special occasions as a kid. It was one of my favorites. It has probably gone out of fashion but I think it’s time to revive it in my house. The Betty Crocker recipe calls for serving it on lettuce, but I like to just use it as a fruit side dish or snack.

The basis for this dish is simply apples, celery, and pecans with a dressing of prepared mayo, lemon, and milk. I was going to use Granny Smith apples because we used tart Northern Spy apples when I was growing up, but it called for red apples and I happened to have some Snapdragon on hand so I used that. I almost added two chopped Granny Smith because I tend to like things lightly dressed and this made a lot of dressing, but I just went with it for this time.

I toast my pecans for things like this in the toaster oven. I use the lightest setting and make sure the pecans are whole and ridges up. You can also toast them in a hot pan on the stove for just a few minutes, moving them around with a spoon to keep them from burning. Or, you could just use them as is.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s vegan mayonnaise or Just Mayo, which are both egg free.)
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer.)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves (I measured 1 ½ ounces or 44 grams, then toasted them.)
  • 2 stalks of celery, cleaned and diced
  • 2 red apples

Directions

  1. Toast your pecans however you like then set aside to cool.
  2. Mix together the mayonnaise, milk, and lemon juice in a small dish.
  3. Dice the celery and place in a medium bowl.
  4. Break or chop the pecan halves. I like to have fairly large chunks so I usually break or chop a pecan down the middle then each half into 3 pieces. Dump in with the celery.
  5. Stir in the dressing.
  6. Core, and dice apples. I like to cut the apple in half down the middle, notch each end to take out a little triangle and then use the tip of my knife to take the very center, where the seeds are, out. Lay the cut side down on the cutting board and cut from top to bottom down the center. Then cut each of those quarters you created in half lengthwise. Now you can slice across all four sections, making nice quarter inch bite size pieces. Mix the apple into the dressing as you finish each half apple, to prevent browning.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to use.

The Sunday Recipe: Chocolate Coconut Cake

Chocolate Coconut Cake

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut flour (105 grams)
  • 6 tablespoons or 30 grams cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs (I used 1 jumbo and 1 small from our hens)
  • ½ cup coconut milk (I used full fat but the fat had congealed and I didn’t blend it so it would be the equivalent of light, I imagine)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, in it’s liquid state
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup boiling coffee (Hot water works fine too.)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep a 9 by 9 baking pan. (I prefer a glass dish.)
  2. When working with coconut, it seems to be particularly important to make sure everything is warmed up to room temp. This is easy enough to do with the aid of a little tap water and the microwave. Put the eggs in hot tap water for just 10 minutes. Warm the coconut oil on 30% power for 2 minutes. If you keep your maple syrup in the fridge, as we do, you can also warm that on 30% power for 2 minutes.
  3. Sift together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a bowl.
  5. Beat in the coconut milk.
  6. Mix in the maple syrup.
  7. Mix in the coconut oil.
  8. Add the vanilla extract.
  9. Mix in the dry ingredients. (This will get very thick, very quickly.)
  10. Stir in the hot coffee or water.
  11. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes or until a sharp knife or tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  13. Cool and enjoy. (Some whipped coconut cream is perfect with this.)

The Sunday Recipe: Peach Cobbler with Coconut Flour

Peach Cobbler with Coconut Flour

This is a nice simple cobbler based on an apple dutch baby. I found the coconut flour created more of a cobbler that stayed on top, and we’ve been eating it that way ever since. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, just use a spoon. I used one jar of Dole peach slices in juice, drained, for the peaches, but frozen or fresh should work just as well. I have just laid them out in the pan, but this time I tried dicing them for ease of serving. I don’t think it made a big difference, to be honest.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups of peaches, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup coconut flour

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray or grease a deep-dish pie plate or a 9 by 9 deep casserole.
  3. Melt the butter in the dish in the microwave then tilt the dish around to cover the bottom of the dish and up the sides with butter.
  4. Dump the peaches into the prepared dish.
  5. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. (You can use honey or even sugar if you prefer.)
  6. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.
  8. Add in the milk.
  9. Sieve the coconut flour with the salt, to remove any lumps.
  10. Stir the flour and salt into the milk and eggs, working quickly as it will thicken very fast.
  11. Drop by spoon or cookie scoop onto the peaches.
  12. Flatten a little.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes.
  14. Allow to cool before serving with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

The Sunday Recipe: Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Milk Custard

Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Milk Custard

This is one I make often, mostly for myself but my family doesn’t seem to mind. It’s gluten and dairy free, plus refined sugar free.

This time I don’t think I put enough water in around the ramekins, but no matter how poofed it gets, once it’s chilled, it is still delightful creamy goodness.

I use full fat coconut milk in this but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with light. Just don’t try it with the cartons of coconut milk, I don’t think that would be the same.

I don’t mind the seeds in the raspberries but if they bother you, try frozen cherries.

This recipe is also easy to cut in half and I often do that to make it easier because then I can just use a square tin and four ramekins. I even bake it in the toaster oven on the front porch in the hot weather.

If you give it a try, let me know how you like it.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (approximately 13.5 ounces) canned coconut milk
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour/starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces frozen raspberries (about 3 tablespoons per ramekin)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the 8 ramekins into a roasting pan or baking dishes.
  3. Put a layer of raspberries in the bottom of the dishes.
  4. Heat 4 cups of water for a water bath. You may need more if the pan is big.
  5. Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender or bowl and mix thoroughly. (I used an immersion blender.)
  6. Pour batter slowly over fruit.
  7. Pour hot water into pan around ramekins. (Be careful, the pan can now become quite hot.)
  8. Bake for 40 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and remove ramekins from pan to a towel using tongs.
  10. Allow to cool then refrigerate for several hours.
  11. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Potato Rosti Pizza

Potato Rosti Pizza

This is based on Potato Rosti Quiche by Nadiya Hussain. You can find the original recipe here https://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/nadiya-hussains-potato-rosti-quiche.

The first time I made this, I made it to her directions, though I left out the chives. I had to increase her baking time for the quiche quite a bit, by ten minutes. It turned out “okay” but I didn’t love it, so I started making some changes.

First off, I replaced the wheat flour with potato flour, to make it gluten free. Then I halved the salt she called for. I replaced the pie plate with the bigger pizza tin to get a more roasted potato flavor. (I also peeled the potatoes.)

Next time I might try smoked paprika and increasing the baking temp to 425 and reducing the cooking time by half for the crust. Experimenting is how we find our new favorite recipes!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 12 ounces white potato, peeled and grated
  • 12 ounces sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons potato flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten, to mix with the grated potatoes
  • 1 large egg to brush on crust after baking for 25 minutes

For the filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 5 ½ ounces extra sharp cheddar, grated
  • small handful fresh chives, chopped (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Generously grease a metal pie pan with a rim.
  3. Grate the potatoes, wrap in cheesecloth or thin fabric, and squeeze out any excess moisture. (I got 1/3 cup of moisture out of mine, may vary by potato age.)
  4. In a large mixing bowl, toss the dried potatoes with the salt, paprika, garlic, onion and flour.
  5. Add the egg and mix through well.
  6. Press the mixture onto the pizza pan.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Brush the base and sides with the beaten egg, filling in any gaps that might have appeared.
  9. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  10. While the crust is baking, grate the cheese and set aside.
  11. Mix the milk and eggs.
  12. Chop the chives.
  13. When the crust is baked, pull out and distribute the grated cheese evenly over the surface.
  14. Pour the egg and milk mixture over that.
  15. Sprinkle with chives and some fresh grated pepper.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes.
  17. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

The Sunday Recipe: Vanilla and Peach Coconut Custard

Vanilla and Peach Coconut Custard

This is a simple custard with just a few ingredients that comes together quickly and is gentle on the stomach.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of full fat canned coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 peach slices, frozen or canned, for each ramekin, diced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the four ramekins in a square baking dish, metal or glass work.
  3. Put one layer of chopped peaches in the bottom of the dishes.
  4. Heat 2 cups of water for a water bath.
  5. Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender or bowl and mix thoroughly. (I used a bullet blender.)
  6. Pour batter slowly over fruit.
  7. Pour hot water into pan around ramekins. (Be careful, the pan can now become quite hot.)
  8. Bake for 40 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and remove ramekins from pan to a towel using tongs.
  10. Allow to cool then refrigerate for several hours.
  11. Enjoy!

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