Going gluten-free is a big deal….whether it’s a lifestyle choice or out of necessity. From pastries to pasta, more and more products are jumping aboard the gluten-free bandwagon. This week we’re sampling some of these treats, paired with gluten-free wines!
Many of you may have heard of Karen Morgan, the founder of the elusive Blackbird Bakery that has a cult-like following in Austin. Before graduating college, Karen was diagnosed with celiac disease. After just one trip to the grocery store, she vowed to make her new gluten-free life sentence better than what the market was offering.
After four years of dogged recipe development, Karen had nearly 100 recipes that she felt the rest of the world needed to try. She then took a job as a pastry chef at a chateau in Nans Sous Ste. Anne, France. Karen shipped all of her ingredients ahead of herself and without telling anyone, made nothing but gluten-free products that got her a standing ovation night in and night out.
The next step in Karen’s incredible journey was to create a functional tool that would give the ‘at home’ chef the gift of creativity and versatility in the kitchen. Seven years and over 14,000 recipe trials later, her revolutionary line of gluten-free flour blends was born.
Currently she offers six different flour blends (with a seventh on the way), each one capable of making thousands of different recipes…not just the recipe on the back of the bag.
Speaking of recipes, here’s how to make Karen’s legendary raspberry Le Pop Tart, along with her famous short crust:
2 1/4 cups Pie & Pasta Blend
2 sticks of unsalted butter, diced
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the Pie & Pasta Blend with the diced unsalted butter. Mix on low until the mixture looks like damp cornmeal. Add the eggs, mix on high for about 1 minute and the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
Turn the dough out onto a counter that has been dusted with glutinous rice flour. Knead the dough just until it is smooth as a leather ball, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, again dust a counter with glutinous rice flour and knead the dough, being mindful to push the dough away from you with the heal of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to a thickness of no more than 1/4-inch.
Using a rectangular cookie cutter, cut out 12 pieces. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place 6 of the cuts on the cookie sheet, evenly spaced, so they bake evenly. Fill the center of each piece on the cookie sheet with about a tablespoon of your favorite preserves (in this case, raspberry).
Dip one of the tops in water, carefully place over the top of the base and seal with your fingers. Repeat until all of the pop tarts are covered. Bake in a toasty 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes and the pop tars are risen and flakey. Ice, garnish and consume!
Yet another gluten-free goodie we like from Blackbird Bakery are these Jelly Filled Donuts below…
Watch the video above as we also preview Blackbird’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies, Biscottis, and Wild Blueberry Muffins. All of Karen’s phenomenal creations, in addition to her signature line of flour blends are available exclusively through her website.