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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Season of Pie, part 1

We are coming into the fall season, even though the temperatures outside seem steadily in the "high" area of the thermometer. Children are back at school. Apples are growing ripe, and riper. Cinnamon fills the air, at least where I'm baking.

The start of a new school year always beckons me to pie, especially those made of the autumnal nectar from childhood: apples and pumpkins. That, combined with more and more questions on whether or not I make new vegan items, or gluten free items, or low/no sugar items, yielded my usual routine to some experimenting, or some playing around. As with whenever I experiment, a success gives me an "on top of the world" feeling, while a failure gives me an Anne Shirley moment where I crash into the depths of despair.

Right now, as I type, I am blind baking an Oat-Nut crust which happens to be gluten free and vegan. The ingredients are rather simple: Gluten free rolled oats, toasted almonds, toasted pecans, cinnamon, salt, agave nectar, tapioca starch, coconut oil, and real vanilla.

Depending on how I like the crust, I will either tweak, keep or throw away entirely and start afresh.

If I keep, I plan on filling with pumpkin pie (made with pumpkin, almond milk, and agave) and an apple version, filled with Granny Smith apples.

Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Raspberry Ripple Muffin

Where have I been these last couple of weeks? Time goes by so quickly! Let's see...last week I started two new farmers markets. I'm now in Wednesday mornings in the Spencer's parking lot in AG, and Thursday afternoons in the Spencer's parking lot in Morro Bay.

The great thing about specifically the Wednesday market is that I can focus on morning pastries! After all, who can turn down a muffin or a scone on a nice market morning?

So that led me to decide which flavor of muffin to make. So many choices, but my mother had made this AMAZING raspberry jam with Rutiz Farm berries a couple of weeks ago, so my choice was pretty much made for me.

A Raspberry Ripple Muffin is  a layered pastry/cake/yummy goodness. At the bottom is a cinnamon and orange zesty rich cake background, then there is a ribbon layer of cream cheese lacing through , and of course, a spread of raspberry jam, topped off with streusel. How can you go wrong? Add some more fresh berries with your muffin and you have a gourmet meal at your fingertips.

Oh, and for the scone, I brought my Blackberry (boysenberry, specifically), Lavender, andEarl Grey Scone. Mornings are fun, especially on Wednesdays.