Dessert without guilt or gluten


New cookbooks flood the market every week. We will test recipes from some of these new cookbooks to help you make sense of what’s new, what’s coming and what’s worth trying.

Book: “Leon Baking & Deserts”; 300 pages, $29.99, by Claire Ptak and Henry Dimbleby. Published by Octopus Books.

The skinny: Leon is a restaurant chain in London, England, and the book is the third promoting its dishes that use local, seasonal ingredients.

In their own words: “The dishes you will find here look indulgent, sound naughty, and taste like the kind of treats that normally come with a side helping of guilt. Yet, three-quarters of the recipes are wheat-, dairy- or sugar-free, with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options.”

What you get: The book is very well produced, with clever design and an organization that is fun to read. Early how-to advice and information about ingredients is followed by 20 groups of recipes organized by the way Brits eat: “Every Day,” “Tea time,” or “Bonfire Night.”

What we made: A dessert — Strawberry and Blueberry Cobbler

Strawberry and Blueberry Cobbler

Prep time: 1 hour

8 oz blueberries

1 lb. strawberries, hulled and quartered

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (can use regular)

4 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder (can use regular)

a large pinch of salt

3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup heavy cream

1. Heat oven to 350

2. Combine berries, sugar and cornstarch in deep 1- to 1.5-quart baking dish.

3. Put flour, baking powder, salt and butter into bowl; use back of fork to break up butter into tiny pieces; pour cream in and mix until it all comes together.

4. Press topping into ball, place on floured work surface. Let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out 3/4-inch thick and cut into circles with cookie cutter.

5. Lay circles flat over fruit, brush with extra cream, bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Fruit should be bubbly and topping golden brown.

6. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream

Alternatives: Can substitute any cobbler fruit like peaches, cherries or other berries.

The co-workers: This dish got 3 stars out of 4 from a roomfull of co-workers. The biscuits soak up their sweetness from the sugared fruit, but are otherwise not sweet. This makes it less overwhelmingly sugary than recipes that use cake mix or more sugar.


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