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Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Gluten Free Baking Experience featuring Nutella Crepes and Apple "Crisp"

The other night, one of my old friends from high school was up visiting from the South and came over for dinner with her 4 year old daughter (who happens to be Gluten intolerant). Dinner was easy, as she wanted a cheeseburger. But the dessert part was going to be a little tricky as my little friend requested apple pie. So I did what any other person would do when  a cute 4 year old says "Aunt Carrie, can  you PLEASE make me apple pie?",  I went out and bought Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour. Then I looked online to see if I can find a recipe for pie crust, and found several, but they all required 3-4 different types of flours and Xanthan Gum; which I didn't have. So I tried my recipe for my own pie crust and just substituted the gluten free flour in place of the all purpose, added some vanilla and cinnamon to give it a little flavor and hoped for the best. Well, the best was horrible! It was so sticky, I couldn't even roll it out so that was the end of that experiment and into the trash it went. 

Next, Plan B. Since I had the apples anyway, I figured I'd make an Apple Crisp (see below), but I couldn't use oats. So, I mixed the gluten free flour with brown sugar and then crushed up some Special K® cereal; which I thought was gluten free until another friend told me to double check the box and good thing I did since the second ingredient was Wheat Gluten!  Well there went THAT idea and since it was already made, I just hid it in the back of the refrigerator and hoped my little friend forgot about the apple pie..and thank goodness she did. 

So that left Plan C. Her mom noticed I had some flour left and that I also had some Nutella®. According to the Ferrero website, Nutella® spread was created in the 1940s by Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker. At the time, cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. So he used hazelnuts, which were in abundance in the Piedmont region of Italy, to extend the chocolate supply. All I know is that my kids LOVE it on toast for breakfast and we've even used one of the Food Network recipes by Giada to make her Chocolate-Strawberry Panini; which is made with poundcake, strawberries and Nutella®. Anyway, she suggested we go online to look for a crepe recipe on the flour's website. We found one but didn't have all of those ingredients either, so we adapted it, making some slight changes and it was a hit!

Gluten Free Nutella Crepes
1 Egg
1 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp. Almond Extract
1/4 Cup Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1/2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
2 Tbsp. 2% Milk
3 Tbsp. Nutella® Spread

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, milk and butter. Add in the flour and mix together until it is the consistency of heavy cream. Heat a small, non-stick saute pan over medium heat and lightly spray with cooking spray (or you can use butter). Add just enough mixture to thinly coat the bottom of the pan and swirl it around until it starts to go up the sides. When it starts to lightly brown, gently flip it over to the other side until that side is lightly browned. Add 1 Tbsp. Nutella Spread to the crepe and spread it evenly. Fold in half, then half again. Serve hot. Makes 3 crepes. 

Here is the recipe I used for the Apple "Crisp". I already noted the change in the cereal so that you can make it Gluten Free. When I usually make this in the fall, during apple picking season, I use all purpose flour, whole grain oats and light brown sugar (same measurements). 

Gluten Free Apple "Crisp"
1 Cup Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Gluten Free Rice Krispies®, crushed
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
5 Tbsp. Butter, melted

In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, cereal and cinnamon and blend together. Add the melted butter and using a fork, blend it together until the mixture is crumbly. 

Apple Mixture
7 MacIntosh Apples, cored, peeled and sliced into 1/4" slices
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar

In a separate mixing bowl, add the apples, cinnamon and sugar and mix until well blended. Add the apples to a pie dish and evenly spread the crumbly mixture on top. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes or until the apples are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

Now, this came out a little too brown on the top (I got a little side tracked, I told you I wasn't a great baker!), but according to my husband, it was very good...especially when he topped it w/ French Vanilla ice cream!



  1. Looks very good. I am glad it all worked out for you. Your apple crisp looks wonderful. Gluten free is hard to do when it comes to desserts. Thanks for posting :) I subscribed to your blog, so I wouldn't miss any posts :)

  2. Carrie - This looks good. Dessert wise, there are some good options using GF Bisquick (a product fairly new to market). There's a strawberry shortcake recipe right on the box that I've made that's pretty good (Abigail is Celiac too). Rice Krispie treats made with Coco Pebbles is another favorite here! :) Lori (Crowell)

  3. Thanks for the tip Lori! I'll have to pass it on to a few friends of mine. Sorry to hear about Abigail, I know it must be hard to find stuff she can eat.


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