Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A Gluten Free Picnic In The Sun

There is something quintessentially English about a picnic. As soon as the sun peeps through, us Brits like to clingfilm some crustless sandwiches, buy some crisps and dip and head to the nearest piece of grass with a warm rug and a crowd of friends. This weekend I decided to have a picnic with a group of friends who were not coeliac- however I insisted I treated them to a fully gluten free picnic.

Initially they didn't seem very keen. Some mentioned that the bread was going to taste crumbly and flavourless, another said they would rather pick up some snacks from a nearby Supermarket, but I insisted, I wanted them to give gluten free food a chance.

The menu consisted of:

Cream cheese and cucumber & smoked chicken and avocado sandwiches using Warburtons brown bread (crustless of course)

Tuna and sweetcorn buckwheat pasta salad

Glebe Farm Carrot Cake

Flapjacks with baked peaches and crème fraiche

Let's just they regretted their previous assumptions that gluten free food was dull, tasteless and boring- the hamper was left empty and they all left with new recipes scribbled down on their phones.

I personally think that the oaty flapjacks with baked peaches and crème fraiche was the piece de resistance- It is often thought that oats should be left at the back of the cupboard until winter dawns however, flapjacks are a perfect picnic snack and not too high on the calorie front either!

Serves 12 (realistically 4 as they are too addictive)

175g butter

175g golden syrup

175g muscovado sugar

350g Barkat porridge flakes

½ zest of 1 lemon

1 cup of raisins (ideally soaked in milk for a couple of hours as it helps hold their flavour)

12 peaches (I like the flattened ones)

1 pinch of cinnamon

3 tbsp raw honey

250 ml Crème Fraiche

* Preheat the oven to 150C and line a 20cm baking tray with baking paper.

* Melt the butter over a low heat, add the golden syrup and sugar to the butter and heat gently. Once the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the porridge flakes, lemon zest and sultanas.

*Pour the mixture into the baking tin and squash down. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

* Meanwhile slice the peaches in half removing the stone and place them skin side up on a baking tray.

* Scatter the cinnamon and with your hands rub the honey onto the peaches (it gets sticky!).

* Place in the over for 20 minutes.

*Once the flapjacks are cooked, remove from the oven, leave to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a chopping board and cut into squares.

*Leave the peaches to cool and then place into a bowl with the left over juice.

***I like to serve this up at the picnic: place 2 peaches in a bowl followed by a dollop of crème fraiche and 2 squares of flapjacks on the top! It looks delicious and tastes even better!***

A perfect recipe to convert your friends to a gluten free way of life!

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