Allergy-Friendly Spiced Pear Cobbler

Even though it’s gluten-free, this “cobbled” biscuit topping has a delicious scone-like flavor and texture. I prefer to make it with flaxseeds instead of xanthan gum, as we like the tender cake-like crumb, but if you want a firmer biscuit topping, use the xanthan.

Makes: 7-9 servings
Free of: gluten and all top allergens

Ingredients

Fruit Filling

  • 2 1‚ÅÑ2 lbs Anjou or Bosc pears peeled, cored, and cut into 1‚ÅÑ8 to 1 ‚ÅÑ 4-inch slices (about 6 cups of pear slices)
  • 1‚ÅÑ3 cup (80 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp tapioca or potato starch
  • 1 1‚ÅÑ2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1‚ÅÑ2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1‚ÅÑ4 tsp powdered ginger

Biscuit Topping

  • 1‚ÅÑ2 cup (120 mL) brown rice flour (superfine if possible). If not GF, see variation next page.
  • 1‚ÅÑ4 cup (60 mL) tapioca starch
  • 1‚ÅÑ4 cup (60 mL) potato starch
  • 1‚ÅÑ4 cup (60 mL) + 1 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp lightly packed ground flaxseed or 1 ‚ÅÑ 4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1‚ÅÑ2 tsp baking powder
  • 1‚ÅÑ2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1‚ÅÑ4 tsp salt
  • 1‚ÅÑ4 cup (60 mL) solid or softened coconut oil* or palm shortening
  • 1‚ÅÑ2 cup (120 mL) plain or vanilla non-dairy milk alternative (such as rice, flax or coconut milk beverage)

Recipe Tips

*A Note on Coconut       Coconut is technically a fruit. While most allergists do not consider it a tree nut, if you are nut allergic, ask your doctor if coconut is safe for you.

Recipe Variation     Non-Gluten-Free: If gluten isn’t an issue for you, omit both the flaxseed and xanthan gum, and simply use 1 cup of all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour in place of the brown rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch.

Instructions

For Fruit Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to evenly distribute the starch and spices. Add the sliced pears and toss to coat.
  3. Pour the pear mixture into an 8×8-inch baking dish, and shake the pan gently to spread the pears evenly.

For Biscuit Topping

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, ¼ cup of sugar, ground flaxseed or xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon and salt ‚Äì until well combined.
  2. Add the coconut oil or palm shortening and mix it in with a fork or pastry blender. Do this until it looks like coarse crumbs, with no large chunks remaining.
  3. Gently stir in the milk alternative, just until combined; the batter will still be a bit lumpy.Next page: Biscuit topping continued.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, ¼ cup of sugar, ground flaxseed or xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon and salt ‚Äì until well combined.
  5. Add the coconut oil or palm shortening and mix it in with a fork or pastry blender. Do this until it looks like coarse crumbs, with no large chunks remaining.
  6. Gently stir in the milk alternative, just until combined; the batter will still be a bit lumpy.
  7. Drop the batter by the tablespoonful onto the fruit filling, creating 3 rows of 7 to 9 biscuit toppers. (They will spread during baking.)
  8. Sprinkle the cobbler with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  9. Bake the cobbler for 35 to 40 minutes. With the gluten-free flours, the biscuits won’t brown, but they will develop a delicious crust, and the filling will start to caramelize around the biscuits.
  10. Let the cobbler cool for at least 30 minutes before serving with hot tea or topped with a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream.

is a contributing editor to Allergic Living magazine and the author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein Free Living, and founder of http://www.godairyfree.com