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Jan 30, 2012 08:28 AM

Gluten-free Recipe Modification

Hi Chowhounds! I'd like help from this group of amazing cooks. I have a favorite family recipe that has been modified to be healthier, but now I need a gluten-free version for one of my relatives.

Can anyone help?

The recipe is something like:

peel and slice apples, mostly filling a foil pan

topping (mix it in a bowl first):

brown sugar (used to be half white but we changed to all brown)
a little flour (holds it together)
ginger (a little)
oil (used to be margarine but we changed it to oil)
when I make it I sometimes add a bit of lemon juice.

The thing is the oatmeal – we can use potato starch instead of flour.
Nothing quite tastes like oatmeal or has that texture.

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    1. re: chazzer

      Since it's not my kid I don't know all the specifics but I thought that oats were gluten too.
      Her mother certainly thinks so.

      Please explain.

    2. My sister has celiac. Oats are gluten free, but sometimes processed in a plant that uses flour, so you have to look for some that are "clean". My sister has no problems with plain old Quaker Oats, as long as you use the OLD-FASHIONED, not the quick kind.

      Then just replace the little bit of flour to hold it together with an all-purpose GF flour, like Bob's Red Mill, and you are good to go. I've also made a similar topping with chopped nuts, instead of oatmeal, and it is pretty tasty. You still get the crunchy, sweet effect.

      2 Replies
      1. re: arashall

        I guess we are confusing chometz with gluten. We settled on making her food that was basically non-gebrokhts Pesach food. (Translation: Passover food in the style of those who do not eat matzah meal.)

        She was understandably not happy.

        1. re: SoCal Mother

          Non-gebrokhts works too, I now people with celiac that stock up on the Passover Mix Boxes to use during the rest of the year.

      2. Try using millet flour to bind. you can also use tapioca flour.

        1 Reply
        1. re: KosherChef

          Oats are GF, but make sure you are getting certified GF oatmeal. I think the tapioca is a good re-placer here.

          Good luck and make sure your sugar is not tainted with any flour ( I know mine is).

        2. One last question. If I can't convince her that oats are not gluten, what else would do? Coconut?

          3 Replies
          1. re: SoCal Mother

            I baked a blueberry pie with a crumb topping for a emal with gluten-free friends recently. I used an old fashioned crumb recipe, substituting rice flour for flour. (I didn't think oats were gluten-free either) It worked really well.

            I don't have an exact recipe. Melt about 1/4 cup parve margarine or butter, add 2 cups flour, cinnomon, and not too much sugar, I think about 1/3 of a cup. The main thing is to mix so that the margarine really sprads itself thought the flour. I put the topping on after the pie bubbles, and let it brown.

            1. re: SoCal Mother

              I have done some cakes recently with coconut flour and coconut milk as the shortening, various riffs on chocolate tortes and layer cakes. It works brilliantly. Great for gluten free guests. But also just generally great. The combination of chocolate and coconut is heavenly. This past Shabbos I did one in a spring-form pan taking it form the oven with the center still slightly gooey. I served it with a raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries. But it was the choco-coco combo that mwas over-the-top good. Even the perpetual dieters were snagging extra pieces.

              It's not healthy. I do something almost exactly like your apple crisp with oatmeal topping which is pretty healthy for a delicious dessert. There's something magical about cinnamon and apples. You can, by the by, also do it with maple sugar. For a variation. And I'm sure you do it with peaches when they come into season.

              1. re: AdinaA

                Your sister in law may have been told not to give her daughter oats at this time (very common to be told to not eat oats the first year ). However there are a lot of us with celiac that cannot tolerate even gluten free oats.

                Based on what I have been reading and told by those in the know the risk of cross contamination with ANY oat product that is not processed as gluten free is VERY high.

                Another source of gluten free oats that is from a different variety and has been found to be tolerated by some that cannot tolerate other gluten free oats is:

            2. There's a great site for recipes that are gluten and dairy free: Diet, Desserts and Dogs. Here's that site's suggestion for a topping for a fruit crisp dessert:

              For the Topping:

              1/3 cup (45 g) coconut sugar
              1/2 cup (65 g) raw walnut pieces
              1/2 cup (80 g) raw natural almonds
              1/3 cup (50 g) coconut flour
              1/4 cup (60 ml) potato starch
              1 Tbsp (30 ml) cinnamon
              generous pinch fine sea salt
              3 Tbsp (45 ml) unrefined virgin coconut oil, preferably organic
              30 drops plain or vanilla liquid stevia, to your taste
              1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
              3 Tbsp (45 ml) water

              My suggestion would be to forget the more exotic ingredients and use the ground nuts with a binder for the topping. I'd also go with the brown sugar and lemon juice. Main thing will be getting that crunch and softness combined, which the walnuts and almonds should do nicely.
              BTW many of us vegans happily use Earth Balance margarine which has no partially hydrogenated oils. Also, substituting oils for margarine can be a bit tricky. There is a special website for this. I also highly recommend "The Substitution Bible," by David Joachim. As a kosher vegan, there's not a week that goes by without my using it. His suggestion for oats substitute is straight forward: one cup of nuts to substitute for one cup of oats, "especially to top baked goods." I do like the almond walnut combo idea.