If you’re newly diagnosed as gluten intolerant/celiac, it’s difficult at first to find solutions to the question, “What can I eat?” I’ve come across several people who are finding it difficult to eat enough calories, and because of this, they are losing weight not so much because they want to, but more because of the perennial problem of finding enough gluten free calories!
It’s true that most processed food is off limits if you can’t stomach gluten, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without all the good things in life – and desserts are definitely one of the best!
Well, that’s my opinion, anyway, and I kinda think you wouldn’t be reading this page at all if you weren’t at least partly of the same opinion. Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone about your little secret – let’s just keep it between you and me.
It’s funny, but I have been surfing around looking for desserts, and is it just me, or are they ALL cold? Ok, that’s fine in the summertime, but what about the cold winter months when there’s snow piling up outside and you just don’t seem to be able to get completely warm through, even with the central heating on full blast? That’s the time when you might really miss old fashioned puddings.
Well, although traditional sponge and suet puddings are too complicated to go into details about here, there are some hot puds that are naturally gluten free. Rice pudding, baked custard (not the sort in pastry cases), sweet souffles, stewed fruits and best of all in my humble opinion, baked apples.
Baked apples used to be my absolute favorite dessert when I was a child, and I would make sure I ate every scrap of my main course, to be sure of my entitlement to one of these afterwards. They are so simple to make, and not expensive – especially if you’re using the oven to cook the main course.
You need Bramleys or similar cooking apples. Choose one for each person, and use a corer to remove the core. If you haven’t got a corer, an old fashioned v-shaped potato peeler is another way, you have to go round the core with it, or at the last resort a thin bladed kitchen knife (as you don’t want to cut the apple in half by accident). Make sure there are no little bits of core left inside, as these are not nice to find in your wonderful fluffy cooked apple.
Cut four or five cuts into the skin around the top of the hole outwards like spokes in a wheel, to about halfway down the apple. The apple will expand a little bit when it cooks, and this will stop it exploding! Now put the apples in an oven proof dish and fill the centers up with brown sugar (demerara is ok, but molasses sugar is amazing) almost right to the top. Add a knob of butter on top of the sugar in each apple. The butter will melt and combine with the sugar to make a sort of toffee filling which is gorgeous. But without the butter (or you could use margarine I guess), this doesn’t happen.
You can also fill the apples with dried fruit, such as raisins, instead of the sugar, but you don’t get the toffee filling which I loved so much as a kid. In fact, if it hadn’t been for that, I probably wouldn’t have liked baked apples at all, as I’ve never been keen on cooked apples any other way even in pies.
The prepared apples can just go in the oven towards the bottom along with whatever else you are cooking for the last 20-30 minutes at 180º C (350º F, gas mark 6). When you serve the main course, you can take the apples out and let them cool because they will be very hot, and will stay that way for quite a while.
These are just great with some cream or your preferred topping. If they haven’t had them before, it’s best to warn your family and guests that they are hot, and to eat them carefully so as not to burn their tongues.