Gloriously Gluten Free
One overlooked factor may contribute to the growing number of people who reduce or eliminate gluten from their meals and snacks: gluten-free pastries often best their wheat-y rivals in texture and taste. Sometimes wheat-based pancakes, waffles, biscuits, and muffins have a heavy texture, even when the taste is good. Sometimes, but not always, gluten-free pastries have a tender texture that holds great appeal.
In this photo, the 12 doughnuts front and center (six white, six with local cherry glaze) are baked, gluten-free, and delicious. The secret is Pamela's Products Baking & Pancake Mix, which has saved many a gluten-free eater from despair. Try this recipe, cutting the sugar to 1/4 cup, not to be mean but to make a better, lighter doughnut. Wilton's baked doughnut pan works well.
If wheat works well for you, enjoy a taste of Ruth and Lisle's kitchen (that would be Mimi and Gramps to my kids, and Mother and Dad to my sibs and me.) Here are the recipe and technique for the raised, glazed, wheat-based doughnuts that surround the gluten-free goodies.
Nearly every week I make two dozen Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins, usually gluten-free. I use a Kentucky baking mix, Bloomfield Farm's Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix, which, unlike the Pamela's mix, contains nothing but non-wheat flours. I use the Bloomfield AP mix often.
The original recipe (not gluten-free) and a few variations, including the gluten-free version that is standard fare at Cornbread Supper, are all available here. Scroll down for the gluten-free recipes. My theory about this beautiful recipe? It's the butter. Butter makes the muffins delicious, whether gluten-free or wheat-based. The gluten-free muffins take on a particular tenderness.
Gluten-free desserts need not depend on adapting wheat-based ones. Wonders like this Maple Crème Caramel require no grains at all. Bonus: This favorite dessert can be all-Kentucky, now that more Kentuckians are making maple syrup.
Coming up: another example of a gluten-free dessert that may top its wheat-based ancestor, this time from a special bakery.