It’s not necessary for those following a gluten-free diet to miss out on any of the flavors of Thanksgiving Day. With a little creativity, almost any Thanksgiving dish can be re-created to be gluten-free. Today we have a stuffing recipe (that can be adapted to be made for non-gluten-free eaters too), and two dessert options: Pecan-Walnut Tart and Pumpkin Creme Brulee.
If you are hosting someone with a gluten-free allergy, you’ll want to think through your menu to see how much can be gluten-free. Check the turkey you are buying to make sure there are not gluten additives. Make your gravy with cornstarch instead of flour. Mashed potatoes are almost always gluten-free. Choose to make a gluten-free stuffing (or serve it as a second option). Vegetable and sweet potato side dishes can often be gluten-free. Dinner rolls are a hard conversion, but you can buy gluten-free flour mix and make biscuits, or try our pumpkin muffins made with rice flour instead of wheat flour.
We have two wonderful options for dessert in today’s post and you can use the crust recipe from the Pecan Tart to make a gluten-free crust for pumpkin pie (the filling of which is often gluten-free). In fact, you could make our Blueberry-Cranberry Pie using the gluten-free pie crust since the filling for that pie is made with cornstarch and thus gluten-free. Options for a gluten-free Thanksgiving abound!
GF CORNBREAD SAUSAGE STUFFING
(Heather and Christina W.)
3 c. 1/2-inch cubes brown (or white) rice bread
3 c. 1/2-inch cubes GF cornbread (make from a basic recipe, substituting rice flour for wheat flour)
1 1/2 c. GF chicken stock (or water if you don’t have stock)
1 lb. turkey sausage, sauteed
1 tsp. salt
ground pepper to taste
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. fresh chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped sage (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp. dried)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 eggs, beaten
In a large bowl combine the bread cubes, corn bread, and enough stock to make a fairly moist mixture (I used 1 1/2 cups). Season with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in a pan. Add celery, onion, and garlic. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Tip in the fresh herbs for the last minute. Add the onion mixture to the bread mixture along with the sausage and apples. Let cool slightly. Add the eggs and gently combine (you may add a 3rd egg if you feel the mixture is too dry).
Spread in a buttered 9×13-inch pan. Bake at 350F until golden browned and warmed through, about 45-60 minutes. If you want a crispy topping, leave uncovered. Otherwise, cover with foil halfway through cooking.
Note: If you want to make this recipe for gluten-eaters, just use regular wheat bread and regular corn bread.
GF PECAN-WALNUT TART
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
GF pie crust to line tart pan (recipe below)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. maple syrup (I used dark corn syrup)
1 1/2 c. pecans (I left mine whole)
1 1/2 c. walnuts (chopped or whole)
Line the tart pan with the GF crust. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt. Add the nuts and syrup. Pour filling into tart shell. Bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes or until set. Cool in pan.
GF SWEET PASTRY
(Healthy Gluten Free Cooking)
3/4 c. rice flour
3/4 c. fine cornmeal (polenta or masa)
3/4 c. potato flour (if you don’t have this, use more masa or polenta)
1 heaped tsp. xanthan gum (optional)
pinch of salt
10 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 egg mixed with 2 Tbsp. cold water
Sift the flours, xanthan gum and salt together. Cut butter into cubes and gently rub into the flour mixture. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the center and gently add the egg and water mixture. It should just bring the flour together using a fork. Collect the dough together with your hands to judge accurately if you need more water. It is tempting to add extra liquid but try not to as it will make the pastry too wet. Damp pastry is easier to handle but will make the crust tough and will shrink when baked.
On a lightly rice-floured board, gently knead dough for a few minutes to form a silky dough. Flatten slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. This will make the pastry easier to roll.
When chilled, roll pastry between parchment paper and use as required.
Makes 2 crusts.
GF PUMPKIN CREME BRULEE
(A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash)
6 egg yolks
1/3 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. demerara sugar (or whatever you have)
Preheat the oven to 275F. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until lightened in color. Add the brown sugar and whisk until dissolved. Add the cream, pumpkin, ginger, and cinnamon and whisk until blended. (I used a hand mixer.)
Place six (or eight if you want to make smaller portions) ovenproof ramekins in a large baking pan. Divide the cream mixture among them. Pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until almost set and the center still has a slight jiggle (mine took closer to an hour).
Remove the pan from the oven and lift the ramekins from the hot water. Let cool briefly; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day to chill thoroughly. (I recommend making these a day ahead so they can chill properly.)
When ready to serve, place the dishes on a baking sheet and sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp. demerara sugar over each one. Use a handheld torch to carmelize the sugar, or, if you don’t have a torch, place the pan under a preheated broiler and, watching carefully to prevent burning, broil until the sugar melts and turns a light golden color. Serve immediately.
One more recipe I’d like to recommend is Pumpkin Pie Bars. I made them this past weekend for a shower and couldn’t believe how delicious they were, despite being gluten-free. In fact, I fed them to all my gluten-eaters and they loved them too! You’ll find the recipe here.