It’s spring and the temptation to purchase strawberries is renewed again. Unfortunately, “strawberry disappointment” follows, when the first strawberries to arrive in the supermarket, while red, are not flavorful! Time to make trifle, but how to do this in an interesting and gluten-free way?
We searched the internet for gluten free trifle recipes, and found the most interesting recipe, not quite gluten-free and way too complicated, at this address: Teafactory. Even though this recipe is “simplified” it is still too complex for ordinary humans like us, and it includes puff pastry which is not gluten free, and 2 custards. So, we have modified it to a delicious, easy and gluten-free dessert.
At the request of a fan, we have added the measurements for volume, rather than weight, for the dry ingredients, but we strongly recommend using the weights. GF flours can be ground finely or coarse, and that changes the volume tremendously. When we measured the ingredients with tablespoons, we used Koda Farms mochiko, and finely ground cornmeal and garbanzo bean flour from the natural foods store nearby.
Included in the original recipe is a Cardamom Biscuit which is gluten free and a very close textural approximation of an English digestive biscuit, but with a whallopping cardamom punch. This is an excellent cookie in its own right.
You need to make 4 layers: The strawberries, the cookies, the custard, the whipped cream. Use a scale to measure the ingredients.
Make a compote by mixing the following ingredients and simmering them for 20 minutes:
250 grams of strawberries, cut in quarters
40 grams of sugar (3 TB or slightly more)
1 teaspoon gluten free amontillado sherry or vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
(the original recipe includes rose water which we omitted)
When it has cooked for 20 minutes, add 1 envelope of plain gelatin (no flavor) which has been softened in cold water. Do not add the gelatin directly to the strawberries without first softening the powder in water or the gelatin will form globs of glue in a strawberry soup – not what you want. Cool to room temperature then distribute amongst 8 dishes that hold about 1 cup each. Refrigerate these 8 dishes until the strawberry layer has firmed up. (If you do not add the gelatin, the strawberry liquid would soak through the biscuits which are the next layer.)
Cookie layer: (this has been altered to eliminate some refrigerating and freezing steps)
Use a scale to weigh out the ingredients – this really makes a difference!
70g unsalted butter (softened) – about 5 Tb
45g white sugar – about 3 Tb + 1 tsp
25g ground almonds – about 3 Tb + 1 tsp
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
35g glutinous rice flour (also called mochiko) – about 4 Tb + 1 tsp
25g cornmeal – about 3 Tb + 1 tsp if finely ground
20g chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour – about 2 Tb + 2 tsp
1 tsp freshly ground cardamom (skin the pods, and grind 1 teaspoon of seeds in a mortar and pestle)
1/2 tsp powdered vanilla from Authentic Foods
1 egg yolk
- Cream the butter & sugar.
- Add all the dry ingredients & mix well.
- Add the egg yolk and mix until a dough forms. Make the dough in to a disk shape.
- The original recipe calls for chilling the dough for one hour here, but we just proceeded since the air is cold in winter.
- Get 2 pieces of waxed paper about the size of a cookie sheet. Put 1/8 cup of white rice flour on the bottom piece, put the disk of dough on the flour and turn it over to coat both sides with rice flour. Put the second sheet of waxed paper on top. Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut cookies in a size that will fit in the dishes that have the strawberry mixture in the bottom. Re-roll the dough as necessary to make 16 cookies (17 if you want to taste one.)
- preheat the oven to 300F
- Transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Cool on the pan, then remove them gently and put one cookie on top of the strawberry mixture in each dish. You will have 8 cookies left for the next layer.
Mix 1 cup 2% milk, 3/4 cup light cream, 1 teaspoon amontillado sherry and one small (3 oz.) package of gluten free instant vanilla pudding. Beat with a whisk until thick. Divide amongst the 8 dishes on top of the cookie layer. Add another cookie on top of this custard.
Whip one cup of heavy whipping cream with some sugar to sweeten. Add vanilla or sherry to flavor this whipped cream and distribute on top of the last cookie layer.
Candied nuts (can be omitted):
Taste some pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds to see if their flavor will be an asset to the dish.
In a pan that can be heated relatively hot, put 2 Tb of pumpkin seeds and 2 Tb of sunflower seeds with 2 Tb of sugar. Heat the nuts over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar melts and the nuts brown slightly. Transfer to a plate immediately and cool completely. Garnish the top of the whipped cream with these nuts if you want an extra crunch texture.
Make sure all your ingredients are gluten free!