Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gluten Free Dutch Oven “Blappleberry” Crisp

 I got an apple wood fire going, and knowing it was going to be a while before it burned down into a nice bed of coals, I added the cream to my good ol’ shakin’ jar and started agitating it like mad. The cream thickened into whip cream within fifteen minutes, and separated into butter and buttermilk in another five minutes.

The butter went into the fridge (my Mom explained that it needs to be cold to make the biscuit crust flakey), and we started coring the apples. Usually, we’d be using our own heirloom organic winter apples, but I was up north later this year as my wife and I had been working hard applying to PhD programs. Alas, we were forced to buy apples. But the blackberries were home foraged! Mixing the dough, my Mom walked me through the inner workings of the gluten free biscuit crust as she worked the cinnamon and local honey into the blackberry apple medley with her hands.

My mom is hands down the greatest chef I know. Many folks assert this about their moms, but rest assured, my mom can out cook anyone! I owe a great portion of my adventuresome spirit when it comes to cooking and eating exotic foods to her influence, so today, cooking a blackberry-apple crisp aka. Blappelberry crisp, with her was a real treat. Now there is cooking, and then there is cooking! Today, we were using a time tested method, the Dutch oven. My girl had bought me a new Lodge Dutch oven for my birthday knowing that I love to cook and have a love for the old time ways. I had been looking at it each night after working on grad school applications, and it seemed like an eternity before this moment; we were finally going to try it out!

The coals were glowing, and I was getting hungry, so I added 1/3 of the coals to the bottom, 2/3 to the top of the oven and sat back patiently. Every five minutes I rotated the lid a quarter turn clockwise, and the oven a quarter turn counter clockwise to help even out any hot or cool spots and ensure even cooking. The aroma was beautiful! Apple wood smoke and layers of baking dough, sweet cinnamon, and fruit; by this time my belly was not just growling, it was howling! Though Dutch oven cooking takes time and patience, we were greatly rewarded this day with a fantastic dessert made fresh from the coals. The whole family enjoyed the bounty of our efforts, and I can’t wait for the next time. Remember to enjoy quality time with those who are closest to you, try new things and time tested traditions, and always strive to keep the old ways alive.

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