The light is leaving the sky earlier these days. Our daughter goes out to play in the yard, barefoot, and comes in 5 minutes later complaining of the cold. She doesn’t want to admit yet that it’s time to put on socks and shoes. It’s not summer anymore. We’re starting to roast vegetables, braise meats, and make sure we have big jars of homemade soup in the refrigerator to heat up for lunch. It’s fall. Oh yes. It’s fall.
There’s something about fall that means baking, don’t you think? Of course, I bake all the time, for this site and for my pleasure. Summer meant a steady stream of fruit pies and crisps for potlucks and gatherings. But hot weather meant the baking had to happen early in the morning, not whenever I had the time. Now, with the light low and the air cool, I pull out the flour and baking powder, soda and salt from the baskets in our baking station and grab the scale and a big metal bowl. Time to bake.
Baking is such a balm against a damaged day. We’re good here. But this culture right now — fractious and bifurcated, dumbing itself down on memes and name calling, sad and near-hysterical. Election season calls for coconut sugar and butter, ginger and nutmeg, plump egg yolks plopping into a bowl. Let’s bake, shall we?
And since it’s fall, we can bake bread together, if you’re in the Seattle area.
Each class runs from 11 am to 1 pm on a Saturday, which gives you a leisurely morning, then the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore Vashon Island.
I’ll teach you how to make artisan crusty bread, sandwich bread, and pizza dough. (Plus, we’ll eat!)
Each class is limited to a baker’s dozen people, giving us a small, intimate class.
Do you need to avoid dairy or other foods? Let us know and I’ll adapt these recipes for you in class.
I will also have a big pot of soup and crusty bread to share, as well as all the treats from the class.
Price is $85 per person.
Dates available this fall.
Saturday, November 5th
Saturday, December 10th
Then, email me at email@example.com to tell me which date you would like to attend. I’ll email you a confirmation and further details for the class.
treat yourself to some time at the Lodges on Vashon.
I’m teaching the classes at the lovely Lodges on Vashon, a great place to stay on our little island. In fact, they have a special rate going on for 2 people who want to attend the class — a night’s stay in a king lodge, a special gluten-free welcome package, a guide to some of the best places on the island (including where to eat), and the baking class wwith me. I hope you can treat yourself to this.
As you can see, we love to teach. And to learn with you. We look forward to meeting you in one of these classes.
bake with us online.
If you can’t make it to Seattle, remember that we have a great online baking series. It’s called Baking with the Gluten-Free Girl. We shot it last year with Craftsy in Denver, a remarkable team of people. We love this class. Thousands of people have taken it already and I hear from someone every day that this series helps him or her move into the kitchen and start baking.
In the class, we teach you how to make great gluten-free cookies, cakes, muffins and quick breads, sandwich bread, pizza dough, and crusty artisan bread. And pie. What is life without pie? No need for deprivation here. We have you covered.
The class is 50% off right now, only $19.99. And you can ask questions in the forum and I’ll answer them for everyone. We think you’ll love it.
So think about a trip to Seattle soon. And if not, then learn to bake with me at Craftsy.
Now, let’s make some pear crumble together.
gluten-free pear crumble
This recipe is based on a recipe for plum crumble by Marion Burros, a crumble I made 11 years ago for this site. So much has changed since then, but my love for the topping this crumble makes has not wavered. It’s a little like a good sugar cookie — crisp on top and soft in the center. Unlike a crisp, where the softness of flour and oats sort of melt into the fruit, this is a fruit dessert with a definite presence. It’s wonderful with Italian prune plums but I think it might be even better with pears.
This is the fall we have all swooned over pears. My kids go through apples at a rapid pace. But for some reason, we’ve been finding perfect pears in our local grocery store. Pears are so particular — a few days too early and they are too taut, the skin stuck between the teeth, a few days too late and they turn to mush against the tongue. But just right and they are sweet as honey with flesh that softens as you eat it. Those are the pears you want for this crumble.
You mix sugar, spices, a little flour, and evenly chopped pears. Spread them out in a 9×13 pan — you’re going to make a big crumble here, since everyone is going to want to eat some. And then you mix the dry ingredients and then plop in three eggs. When you work the eggs into the flour with your hands, it will turn crumbly. Here’s the part that makes this crumble special: put the flour over the pears and drizzle melted butter all over it. When it bakes, the topping will turn crunchy, like a cookie. Inside, soft honey-sweet pears.
Prepare to bake. Heat the oven to 375°.
Prepare the pears. In a large bowl, toss together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and ginger. Add the chopped pears and toss until they are coated. Put the pears into a 9 x 13 pan.
Make the topping. Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt in a large bowl. Plop the three beaten eggs into the bowl. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, work the eggs into the flour mixture, making sure that all the dry ingredients have been touched by the eggs. This should be a crumbly mix with dry bits.
Spread the topping over the pears. Slowly, drizzle the melted butter over the topping. It will look soaked. You might worry there is too much butter. Trust the recipe. This works. When 2/3 of the butter is drizzled into the topping, spoon the rest over any dry spots until all the butter is on the topping.
Bake the crumble. Bake the crumble until the topping is browned and starting to crisp and the pears yield to a sharp knife when pierced, 30 to 40 minutes.
Allow the crumble to cool for 15 minutes then dig in.