Gluten-Free Plantain Pizza Crust

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My list of favorite foods goes something like: cherries (all-time favorite), pizza, cabbage, ice cream. Something like that. Subject to change. Regardless, you will notice the pizza. Pizza also appears in my business name and this website: Polifroni Pies and PIZZAS. I like to make pizza crusts for the market, because even though you’ve change up your eating and diet or have eating restrictions, doesn’t mean you can never eat pizza.

I have made loads of different crusts. I’ve used almond flour. I’ve used cassava. I’ve used arrowroot. I’ve used tapioca flour. And I’ve also used bunches of vegetable/root alternative. You can click through my recipe inventory and check some of them out. It started with cauliflower a decade ago. But I’ve also used: broccoli, rutabaga, sweet potato, butternut squash, and zucchini. One of my all-time favorites was plantains.

I did a lot of home-cooking last week for Zach and I. I really wanted to revisit the plantain crust. Oh man was it good. Hands down my favorite. Everyone thinks it is going to be sweet. Plantains are not bananas. They don’t peel like bananas. They are starchier, not sweet like a banana. I made this crust kind of thick (which I like), however, next time I think this would make two perfect 9 inch pizzas. I used a large tart pan I have with a removable bottom, but a pizza pan or spring pan would be good as well (maybe put it in a cast iron and make a deep dish).

If you want a great pizza, this is it! I like pork with plantains, so I put sausage. You could put all kinds of flavors, though. Pepperoni. Chicken. Bacon. Spinach. Mushrooms. With Cheese. Without cheese. Whatever your topping preference. Go crazy.

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Gluten-Free Blackberry Ricotta Tarts

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Cheesecakes are probably my favorite dessert to eat. Pies are my favorite to make, but if I could eat any dessert, it would be cheesecake. In fact, for my birthdays growing up my granny would make me cherry cheesecake instead of cake (another truth- I hate cake and cherries are my ALL time favorite food).

I do like to play around sometimes, though. Sometimes I like to swap out the cream cheese. One of my favorite tarts (things) I’ve ever made, was a Blueberry Basil Goat Cheese Tart (click for the link for the recipe). Last week, however, I wanted to replace the cream cheese with a ricotta cheese.

I like ricotta cheese. I remember about a decade ago one of our clients came to our family with a ricotta pudding recipe. It was the first time I had ever had ricotta. It was delicious. Last month I got some ricotta to make a spinach lasagna (click the link for the recipe). Since then I kind of kept some in the fridge. Last week while baking tarts, it just came to me to make a ricotta tart. I had some blackberries, why not add those?

These were delicious! I made like 4  different tarts/pies and these were hands down my favorite. The ricotta layer on the bottom had a lovely texture and not-to-sweet flavor. And the blackberry toppings added a nice freshness to the tart. Plus they were beautiful. I also had some extra egg-whites, so why not add in some little meringue cookies?

Blackberry Ricotta Gluten-Free Tarts

  • Gluten-Free Pie Dough

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Gluten-Free Raspberry Pistachio Frangipane Tarts

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As I’ve mentioned, I have a bit of a British Baking Show problem (is it a problem though if it leads to delicious food, high creativity, and beautiful treats?). It has inspired me A LOT lately. Choux. I’ve got an upcoming eclair recipe. I really wanted to try that one.

I also like pastry week. Some may know, pies and tarts are kind of my all-time favorite thing to bake (hence my company being called P3: Polifroni PIES and Pizzas). I was really intrigued with the frangipane. It’s not something you see a lot here in the Midwest, actually I have never seen one offered anywhere. No restaurants. No bakeries (which there are a lack of actual bakeries in my town-not the premade and just-bake. Those do not count). So my experience with frangipane only comes from TV and then searching for it on Pinterest.

Last summer I made my first frangipane for a market. It had a lovely rhubarb lattice on top (pictured below). The feedback was a success. Most gave me a clueless look when I said there was frangipane underneath the rhubarb. But they were all pleasantly surprised that they liked the flavor.

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Braided Pesto Braid

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Some times I get in a bread making mode. It’s not too terribly often. I WANT to make bread. I do, it’s not that I don’t want to make bread. It is just that gluten-free bread is rough and tricky. I can get good flavor. Getting a rise can definitely be a challenge. Gluten-free bread has a tendency to be small and dense. Add to that, that I wanted to do a braided bread. That is a challenge on its on. To fill it, roll it, slice it and then have it withstand to twisting? Wow, that is tough, I will keep it real.

However, I love braids and twists. Growing up, I used to braid and do hair all the time. I taught myself on my dolls how to do it. Then my cousin Angelica became my muse. I would do elaborate designs in her hair and put curlers in the rest for her gymnastics meets. Which, was also a challenge as she has very fine, very straight hair (I just can’t make things easy for myself).

I’ve been watching the British Baking Show (again, maybe for the 3rd time, don’t judge), and I have watched them make several braids and twists. They are just so beautiful and the artist in me, really yerns to make beautiful (as well as delicious) food.

And pesto. I adore some pesto, it has such a great flavor.

I have to say, this loaf didn’t rise and get super huge (next time I think I would use a small loaf pan, however, it had AMAZING flavor. And this is the best twist have been able to obtain. I felt accomplished to say the least with this bread. I would serve it toasted with some spaghetti squash and meatball pie maybe (click the link for my recipe on this).

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Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Scones

20180202_164047Oh man it has been a moment since I posted! Sometimes life gets a bit busy though and takes our focus elsewhere, temporarily. But my busyness has passed for now and here I am, ready to share with you all. Because I actually have several recipes I made last month, that I just haven’t got around to posting.

In order to share, I’ve got myself pumped up with the British Baking Show. I am currently re-watching it, curled up with some tea and writing to all you lovely people. I would compare it to an athlete watching game film. It gets me super pumped up to bake and dream up recipes. It also gives me loads of ideas of things I want to make or convert. Plus I learn a ton, because they share things I have never heard of. The only downside, though, may be that I fixate on making something. Like eclairs. I have it set in my heart that I am going to make eclairs. And then my brain spirals with flavors I want to make. Lemon meringue. Sweet potato cream with a maple praline frosting. Triple Chocolate. White chocolate raspberry. Rose pistachio. Blackberry lavender. Before I get ahead of myself, though, I have to make the choux pastry. I have tried it once, but was not satisfied. But sometimes gluten-free baking takes SEVERAL attempts. So soon (hopefully Thursday or Friday) I will have another go at it.

As you can see, sometimes I get caught up in a flavor. Lemon. I love lemon. I confessed before how I can just nibble on lemon curd. I also adore some lemon paired with blueberry. A while back I posted a recipe for Lemon Blueberry Cookie Sandwiches (click the link and check it out, probably the best vegan cookies I have ever made). I decided to use the combo again in these Lemon Blueberry Scones I am about to share with you. I like them in mini sizes. I typically make large triangular scones, but I really liked the bite-sized one this time. A slight drizzle, adds a touch of sweetness. I would like to try this again, with maybe a lavender infused glaze.

Regardless, I hope you enjoy these. They freeze well. And the flavors can be changed. Maybe a lemon raspberry or lime raspberry. Or a cherry almond. Or a chocolate orange.

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