Saturday, August 22, 2009

Peach Crisp Bars (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Peaches. Hm. Those velvety fresh juicy fruits that you can smell miles away. They are seductive. They are beyond beautiful. How can you not want to sink your teeth into one of those? I went to the farmer's market this morning and almost every stand had peaces for sale. They are ripe and ready to devour. I bought a barrel of them yesterday at one of my favorite orchards in the area with great expectations to make something wonderful. But peaces are so delicious and wonderful even on their own. If you cut them in half, drizzle honey or agave, dash some cinnamon and then bake them in the oven for 10-15 minutes you have an instant dessert. Of course I would probably dream of putting some vanilla coconut cream ice cream right on top of that. :) But really peaches are a dessert in themselves.  So delectable, so soft and juicy. 

A recipe that I have been dreaming up is based on a pre-gluten-free recipe. I think I have mentioned in the past that I pretty much grew up in a bakery in high-school and college. Well, a fruit bar recipe I used to make in those days was with whole wheat flour and oats and lots of butter. To say it was just a good recipe was far from the truth. It was literally melt-in-your-mouth good. It usually involved frozen peaches and maybe another fruit like raspberries or blackberries. Anyways, so I have been recently been thinking about how I could re-invent these gluten-free healthy style. :) So, I came up with the following recipe...

You need 1 dozen fresh peaches for this recipe

Bar base and crumble:
1 cup of buckwheat flour
1 cup of brown rice flour
1/2 cup of sweet sorghum flour (or one of the above flours is fine)
1 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup of sifted coconut flour
1 TB of cinnamon
1 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1 cup of pure water
4 farm fresh free-range eggs
1 cup of organic palm oil shortening (or coconut oil works too)
***If you eat dairy, try 1 cup butter*** Or even try dairy-free ghee (clarified butter)

Mix all the ingredients up for a few minutes so that it is all mixed well and whipped just a bit. Cut the batter in half and roll out half of it on a 12x18 parchment-papered baking sheet. Roll out with flour if need be because it is sticky and try and pat it down for a consistent level throughout the whole pan.  When it is rolled out you can slice a dozen peaches on top of the whole bottom base. If you desire to take of the skins, then go for it, but if you have washed and cleaned the skins and want to keep them on, that works too.  Then crumble the rest of the batter on top of the peaches. The picture below is before I baked it, so you can get an idea of what you are trying to do here...
After you have the layered fruit bars complete, bake in a 375 degree pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes. If it seems like you may want to bake a tad more to get a best crust on the bottom, then use your best judgement. After baking, pull from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into square sized bars. This recipe could make 24 large bar pieces. I set aside 12 on a plate and froze the other 12 for a later date, or for a nice travel/camping food. 
Of course, you will have to try one right from the oven and make sure it tastes ok :) If you want to add some coconut ice cream or other non-dairy ice cream to this I am positive it will be delicious. Although, it is perfect on it's own. I also wanted to try and add some berries to this recipe some time, so maybe if you want to try out doing half the peaches and then adding a cup or so of fresh blackberries, raspberries or even blueberries that would be good as well. My husband liked this recipe so much he even asked if I could try and make this again the same exact way. I guess he may be tiring of how I can't seem to replicate the same recipe over and over again and it always turn out the same way. I tend to get too crazy creative and want to try something new all the time. He asked I make it again, so it must be good right?! 

Enjoy and I hope you have a beautiful summer weekend, we probably don't have that many left here in Michigan. Much love to you today!

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