This recipe came about through desperation. Geoff and I were recently on a vacation to one of those holiday destinations where bakeries and treats abound, but, as usual, there was next to nothing that was gluten free. Sure we could go to the grocery store and buy prepackaged gluten free cookies, but it’s just not the same as biting into something sweet and crispy and oh-so-dreamy from the bakery case! Other than that, though, our vacation was great (read: warm and without snow). It also turned out to be inspiring because when we got home we decided to create a recipe that would look and taste as good as all those confections on display. I think we nailed it! These cream cheese pastries are crisp and flaky on the outside and soft and creamy and sweet in the middle. Geoff says they are better than anything he’s had in a longgg time! And they are versatile: make them with your favorite fruit pie filling – cheery, apple, blueberry … whatever you can imagine. Drizzle them with glaze or melted chocolate, dust them with icing sugar, or just leave them plain, which is the way we like ’em. (Scroll down for the recipe.)
Like this? You might like these other gluten free recipes from gfandme.com:
cream cheese pastries
What you’ll need:
1 teaspoon yeast
TIP: To the yeast-phobic (those of you who quickly slam your recipe books closed or hit the “back” button on your browser whenever you come across any recipe that uses yeast): Don’t panic! Yes this recipe uses yeast but there is no rising, kneading, waiting, hoping and praying that it works and that the conglomeration you spent hours of your life building actually rises. None of that here. Promise. … I used to be one of you. You can trust me.
2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup soft or spreadable cream cheese
1 tablespoon icing sugar
2 tablespoons almond flour
TIP: If your all purpose gluten free flour does not include a gumming agent, you will need to add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum.
pinch of salt
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cold butter
1 egg yolk (keep the white for later)
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 to 1 1/2 cups of your favorite pie filling
TIP: Save time by using canned pie filling (gf of course) and adding a few ingredients to make it your own. After all, you just made gluten free pastry! We used half a can of E.D. Smith apple pie filling and spiced it up with a dash of nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
What you’ll do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In small bowl, dissolve granulated sugar in water and add yeast. Set aside for at least 5 minutes. Remember: Don’t panic. Just breathe.
In another bowl stir together the egg yolk and sour cream. Set aside.
In yet another bowl, stir together the cream cheese and icing sugar.
Put flours and salt (and xanthan gum if needed) into your food processor and pulse to combine. Cut the butter into cubes and sprinkle on top of the flour. Pulse the mixture until it is crumbly (approximately 10 quick pulses).
Stir together the yolk and yeast mixtures and drizzle over the flour in your food processor. Pulse just until the dough begins to come together.
Lay a piece of parchment paper on your counter. Remove the dough from the processor, place on parchment and work it until it comes together nicely. (Okay, maybe there is a bit of kneading…)
Cover with a second piece of parchment and roll out to a about 1/4 inch thick. Now cut out as many 5 inch squares as possible.
TIP: Geoff is a bit of a perfectionist so he made a template out of cardboard which he laid on top of the pasty and cut around with a sharp knife. I admit it works well and the results look a lot prettier than my freehand ones.
Take what’s left of the dough and re-roll it, cutting out more squares (like you would with cookies).
You should end up with 4 five-inch squares and a bit left over.
Drop a dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the middle of each of the squares and smooth out into a 2 1/2 inch circle. Place about 1/4 of a cup or so of your pie filling on top of the cream cheese circle.
Now, carefully fold each corner of the square to the centre to make a smaller square.
TIP: You can roll out the bit of pastry that’s left over and make a decorative flourish for the top using a small cookie cutter.
Remember that egg white I told you to keep? Now you want to whisk it until frothy and brush some of it onto each pastry to help it brown. You can also sprinkle them with granulated sugar to make them shiny.
Place the pastries on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until nicely browned. Remove from oven and let cool completely. These are best at room temperature.
Makes 4 squares and I’d call each one 2 servings. These will keep on the counter for a couple of days.
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photo credit: gfandme.com
Gluten free recipes from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada