Pear Crumble Pie Bars (Vegan, GF, DF)

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I made a conventional version of these a couple years ago and really wanted to make a gluten free vegan version. After following the AIP and now a gluten free vegan diet, it's so weird to look back at my old recipes and see ingredients like all purpose flour and butter. Did I really used to cook with that stuff? It's so funny how much your outlook can change in a short period of time. I guess I've really changed how I eat and cook. 

Feel free to change up the fruit on these. Personally, I love pear desserts but pears usually never make it into baked goods around here because they're so good on their own. If they had been ripe when I bought them, they definitely would not have made it into bar form. Apples or peaches would be great stand ins. If you do change anything - please leave a comment and let me know how it goes!

These are really easy to make. I use a fork for all the mashing and mixing and then switch to my hands. Easy stuff. 

I've made this with both Trader Joe's gluten free baking flour and Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 baking flour. Either one will do or your own preferred gf flour. 

Makes one 8 x 8 inch pan. 

Pear Pie Bars

1 very ripe banana, well mashed

1/2 cup unsweetened non dairy milk (I used boxed coconut milk beverage)

1/2 cup coconut oil, in liquid state

1/3 cup maple syrup

juice and zest of one lemon

3 cups gluten free flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt

2 pears, cored and sliced

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

Heat oven to 375 degrees, Paper or grease an 8 x 8 baking dish and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, combine mashed banana, milk, oil, syrup, lemon zest and juice. Stir until well combined. In another bowl, whisk flour with baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir or work with hands until flour is hydrated. Evenly press 2/3 of dough into prepared pan. 

In another bowl, toss pear slices in cornstarch, nutmeg and ginger powder. Arrange pear slices in an even layer on top of pressed crust. Sprinkle little pinched off pieces of remainign dough over pear layer but don't completely cover the pear. You want it to look crumbly. Dust your hands in flour and lightly press down on surface. 

Bake 40 minute. Top should be golden brown. Let cool. 

Cranberry Upside Down Mini Cakes

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Perfect for serving after your holiday meal or bringing to a party.  The holiday season has arrived when we start seeing cranberry desserts.  They're so festive.  Serving these individually plated with a scoop of ice cream would be a lovely end to dinner.

Makes 8 mini loaves or one 9" cake

Cranberry Upside Down Mini Cakes

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 pint fresh cranberries

1 1/2 tablespoons butter + 6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar + 1 cup sugar

1 egg

zest of 1 orange

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 

3/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a mini loavf pan.

In a small bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder together.  Set aside.  

Toss cranberries with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and 1 tablespoon sugar until cranberries are covered.  Divide cranberries into the wells of a mini loaf pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream remaining butter and sugar for 2 minutes.  Add egg and mix 2 minutes more.  Add orange zest, ginger, flour mixture and milk.  Mix 1 minute.  Spoon batter over cranberries.  

Bake about 30 minutes or until cakes test clean.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut of any peaks so the loaves tops are flat.  (Feel free to eat any piece you cut off.)   Run a knife around the end of each loaf and carefully invert pan to remove and 'upside down' each cake.  

 

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

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I love an upside down cake. The pineapple type is my mom's territory so I thought I would give this citrus version a try.  

I used only 3 blood oranges because I ate some of the ones I had.  While it looks pretty (notice the ombre?)  I  think it's better if the top is covered with blood orange slices.  Just a thought.  

If you like that dark sugary, caramelized cake top like you get on a traditional upside down cake, rub 1-2 tablespoon of butter on the bottom and sides of the baking dish and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoon of brown sugar before arranging orange slices.  

Makes one 9.5 inch cake.   

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

4-5 blood oranges

6 tablespoons butter, soft

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon angostura bitters

3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 cup flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9.5 inch round baking dish.  Set aside.  

Cut tops and bottoms from oranges, slice off peels and slice into medallions. Remove seeds. (Save peels for candying or future zesting needs.)  Arrange slices on bottom of baking dish.  Set aside.  

Mix butter and sugar until smooth.  Add egg, bitters, milk, poppy seeds, salt, baking powder and flour.  Mix until combined and pour over fruit lined baking dish.   Bake 40 minutes or until done.  

Let cake cool 5 minutes in pan.  Run a knife along the edges to loosen and carefully invert onto flat surface.   

Chai Apple Cake + Lemon Ginger Frosting

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 If you are needing a little indulgence, this cake will do the trick.  Originally, I wanted this cake to be a bread but after making 3 different test breads (because each wasn't just right) it seemed like the bread was telling me it wanted to be cake.  It would also be good as cupcakes.  I like cupcakes.  

Chai Apple Cake

1 cup milk

2 chai tea bags

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons cardamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 stick butter. softened

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons white vinegar, separated

2 apples, peeled, cored, diced

Lemon Ginger Frosting

1 stick butter, softened

grated zest of one lemon

grated fresh ginger of about 1 inch root

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease two cake pans, 8 or 9 inch rounds and set aside.

For cake, Heat milk until hot but not boiling and brew a strong tea using both chai tea bags, about 5 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon white vinegar and let stand 5 minutes.  It is now chai flavored buttermilk.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.   Set aside.  In another bowl, mix butter, sugar, eggs 1 teaspoon vinegar and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and chai butter milk.  Lastly add apples.  Pour evenly into prepared baking rounds.  Bake about 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes in pans and then turn out to cool completely.

In the mean time, make the Frosting.

For Frosting, with an electric hand or stand mixer, combine all ingredients.

Frost the cake.