Back in March, my mom had some general pain, and couldn't find the source of it. She had had tests for lots of different diseases, all of which had come back negative. After lots of tests, she discovered that she has Celiac disease, which means she can't eat anything containing gluten (wheat, barley, or rye). This really isn't all that difficult to deal with, especially when cooking at home, but the problem is cross-contamination. It turns out that in restaurants, everything has flour! Because of the disease, if her food even touches flour, it is "contaminated" and she can't eat it.
My mom loves sweets, and there are places that make gluten-free desserts, but they are often not that great, and you risk cross-contamination. I had been reading Celiac Teen, another teen food blog I find really interesting, written by Lauren, who is 18, about her dealing with Celiac disease. I saw that it was possible to make something really delicious without any gluten, and not crumbly and bland like the store-bought gluten-free desserts often are. I did a little research and decided to give it a try.
I decided that I wanted to make Dorie's Summer Fruit Galette, because it wasn't a cake or cookies, where the texture is so important, but the only gluten-containing part of it is the crust. Since then, I've used the recipes I always use with certain substitutions, but since it was my first time baking without gluten, I went on to King Arthur flour's website and found this recipe for pie crust. I bought their gluten-free flour mix (I don't trust myself to mix the flours myself yet), and the crust came together easily. I couldn't find "instant clearjel", so I didn't use it. The one difference I noticed in making the crust was how difficult it was to roll out - it was crumbly and dry, making it really hard to shape in to a pretty galette...
Oh, I know it's hideous. But it was so good. I used nectarines as the summer fruit, and their tartness went really well with the sweetness of the custard.
The crust? It was great. I honestly couldn't tell the difference from a regular "gluten-ous" crust, and neither could my happy mommy. So if you know anyone with Celiac disease, or have it yourself, don't be afraid of baking. Just do some research, try out some recipes, and be sure to keep the kitchen free of contamination (the one thing that can be annoying, especially when you do bake with flour as well).
We all loved this, and I'm not afraid to try baking without gluten anymore. Enjoy!