Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Currant Scones

Recently I've been playing around with omitting gums in favor of pectin out of interest. Why pectin? Similar to xanthan gum and guar gum, it is used as a binder in many commercially prepared foods. It is also being added to some commercial gluten free baking mixes in addition to xanthan gum. A friend tells me she bought one of these commercial mixes with pectin in it and the dough it produced was easier to handle, knead, roll out, etc. I bet it's the pectin - now that's interesting. Pectin can be derived from apple or citrus fruits and although it has many health benefits, be aware if you happen to have any fruit allergies - pectin may not be for you.

So I've been flinging pectin around a little bit to see what happens. It works well in these scones - I replaced it 1:1 for xanthan gum and it worked just as well as xanthan gum. Then again, I used a High Protein blend which has chickpea flour in it and bean flours help bind baked goods together, so that may have helped. The pectin I chose to use is Pomona's Universal Pectin. The pectin activates with calcium (included in the package) and not sugar so I don't need to worry about increasing the sugar content of my baked goods. I'll do more experimenting soon but for now, this is what I have - gum-free scones! (Of course if you just want to use xanthan gum or guar gum, go ahead! Replace the pectin with a gum and nix the calcium water and you're golden.)

Currant Scones

2 cups GF flour blend (I used High Protein)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Pomona's Universal Pectin
6 tbsp. palm shortening or dairy-free, soy-free margarine (such as Earth Balance)
generous dash of nutmeg
1/3 cup currants

1/4 cup dairy-free, soy-free yogurt (such as So Delicious)
1/4 cup dairy-free, soy free milk alternative (I like coconut milk)
1 tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1 tsp. calcium water (included with Pomona's Universal Pectin)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour through the nutmeg. Cut in the shortening or margarine with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles fine meal. Add the currants and toss to coat. Set aside.

Combine the yogurt through the calcium water. Pour all at once into the dry mixture. Mix with a fork until the mixture sticks together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The mixture should not be too wet or too dry. If it is too dry, add 1 tbsp. water at a time until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated. If it is too wet, add 1 tbsp. flour at a time until you can handle the dough without it sticking to your hands.

Turn the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Knead the dough a few times until smooth. Pat the dough into a circle 1/2 inch high. Cut the dough into 8 wedges.

Place the scones into the oven and bake 15 - 20 minutes, or until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack and let cool a bit. With a bread knife, separate the wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature. We like our scones plain or with a bit of margarine and jam.


Ina said...

Erin - those look delicious! I would never have thought to use pectin - what a great idea. Something I will try down the road, thanks!

Erin said...

Let me know if you use the pectin and how it works for you!