dried fruit

Irish Tea and Fruit Muffins

gluten free and dairy free Irish Tea and Fruit Muffins

This muffin brings back fond memories of many Saturday mornings serving up fresh baked goods at the farmer's market. For 4 years I had a baking business that I ran alongside my mom and my sister in law. For about 6 months out of the year we would bake all day each Friday and be at the market most of the day selling our goodies. 

Irish tea bread mini-loaves was one of the things that we sold, especially because we were called "Farmer's Tea." We brought a lovely tea party spread to the market with our baked goods and fresh, hot organic tea that we served along with the treats. 

This delectable tea bread which I have now turned into muffins and converted to a gluten free recipe will always be one of my favorites. I hope that you will enjoy it soon with a steaming hot cup of tea on a cold, rainy day. 

Irish Tea and Fruit Muffins: 

Makes 12 muffins

2 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit (raisins, apricots, plums, pears, peaches, pineapple, cherries, dates, etc.) chopped small- to about the size of raisins

1 cup boiling black tea

1 egg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

4 teaspoons fresh grated orange rind

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups gluten free flour mix**

**GLUTEN FREE FLOUR MIX: 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup white rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour) 

1/2 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum 

--12 paper muffin liners

--12 small pieces of dried pineapple to garnish tops of muffins

1. The night before making the muffins: In a medium bowl, soak the chopped dried fruit in the hot tea. Soak overnight. 

2. Mix together the gluten free flour mix. You will use 2 cups of the mix. Store the rest in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. 

2. In the morning add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well. The mixture will seem dry at first and is very thick, but after stirring a minute or two the mixture will absorb the liquid in the tea, egg and honey. 

3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place paper liners in the cups of a muffin tin.

4. Evenly distribute the muffin batter between the 12 holes in the muffin tin. Bake for about 15 minutes, then place the dried pineapple slices on top of the muffins and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown and checked for doneness with a toothpick in the middle of the muffin.  

I hope you enjoyed this delicious muffin recipe! If you did, pass it on to a fruit & tea loving friend! 

Apricot and Cherry Election Poundcake

Apricot and Cherry Election Poundcake

With the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election coming up, I wanted to make something special for the November 8th Election Night Dinner I'm making. I had heard about an election cake that used to be made around election time a long time ago from one of my mom's old cookbooks. First, I tried a traditional yeasted version, but it ended up tasting more like very dry bread. Back to the drawing board on that one! 

Then, I thought that a light pound cake with some of the same dried fruit that the yeasted version of the cake had would be much tastier. I was right & am so delighted with this version. I hope that you stop by for some on election day, or if you live too far from me, you will make your own. 

Enjoy! 

Apricot and Cherry Election Pound Cake

Adapted from "Vanilla Pound Cake" from Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts

Makes one 9 inch bundt cake

--melted coconut oil to brush bundt pan--

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3 large eggs

1 cup organic sugar

1 cup plain Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt for a dairy free version

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped

1/3 cup dried cherries, finely chopped

Glaze: 

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons coconut milk

 

1. Heat the oven to 350F. Make sure there is a rack in the center of the oven. 

2. Brush melted coconut oil on the inside of a bundt pan. If your pan is highly detailed, like mine, make sure to brush every surface inside with the coconut oil. 

3. In a medium bowl whisk together: gluten free flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum, spices and salt. Set the bowl aside. 

4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the eggs at medium high speed. Then, slowly add sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat the mixture until it is light and thickened. 

5. Add in the flour/spice mixture, yogurt (Greek or coconut yogurt), coconut oil and vanilla. Beat the mixture at medium low speed for about 30 seconds or until thoroughly combined. 

6. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or up to 50 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. If you use a convection oven it will take less time to bake. Most conventional ovens used need to leave the cake in the oven for at least 45 minutes. 

7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it carefully onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool. Then, whisk together the glaze. Spoon a thin layer of glaze all over the cake. Slice and serve! Yum! This cake may be made 1 day ahead. You may wrap it and store it in the fridge. 

Enjoy! 

Grandma Marion's Scandinavian Dried Fruit Soup

grandma marion's scandinavian dried fruit soup

Making this delicious and pretty fruit soup brings back amazing memories of Christmases past with my Grandma Marion. My Grandma was Swedish, and she always helped us create a traditional Swedish meal for Christmas Eve. 

For this meal we would work together to create: 

Swedish Meatballs- simmered in beef stock for hours

Potato Salad- studded with hard boiled eggs and radish roses

Swedish Beans-sweet and sour beans

Lefse- A potato flatbread that we would slather with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. 

And for dessert we would have a large selection of cookies and small servings of fruit soup in pretty little bowls. I loved the smell of the cinnamon and the fruit simmering together. It is so delicious and such a holiday dish! 

So, today I share with you this amazing recipe that brings my grandma right back to life, by my side this coming Christmas Eve when I will serve her meatballs, her cookie buffet and her fruit soup. Here's to memories, delicious food and family! 

Grandma Marion's Scandinavian Dried Fruit Soup: 

2 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit: apricots, plums, pears, cherries, cranberries, figs, dates, peaches, etc.

1/2 cup raisins

1 cinnamon stick

3 1/2 cups water

2 cups orange juice

1 1/2 cups pineapple, fresh- cut into chunks

2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca

1/3 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup honey- or to taste

Thinly sliced oranges to top the soup with

1. In a 3 quart pan, combine the dried fruit, raisins, cinnamon stick, water, and orange juice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. 

2. Remove from heat and add pineapple chunks, honey, tapioca, and pineapple juice. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the tapioca to soften. 

3. Return to medium-low heat and cook, uncovered, 12 to 15 minutes longer, or until mixture is thickened and fruit is tender but not mushy. 

4. Add thinly sliced orange to hot mixture, barely heating through. Serve fruit soup hot or refrigerate and serve cold. 

I hope you enjoy this delicious and healthy dessert soup! 

If you loved this post, pass it on to a fruit-loving friend! 

Trista