Friday, September 17, 2010


We have been having lots of family dinners lately, gathering to remember one of Elspeth's great-grandmas who died this week. I lost my grandparents years ago, before I ever met Evan. It's been a blessing that Elspeth has spent so much time with Evan's grandmothers, Nana Ellen (92) and Grandma Julie (94). I know that Elspeth has given them much joy, as well. Grandma Julie was quite a character and we will miss her greatly.

Family dinner means offering gluten-free options. The family member with celiac never expects the rest of us to bend over backwards for him, but I love being able to serve something tasty and then add, 'Oh, and it's gluten-free'.

Tonight, Evan's mom is making chili, so I thought I'd do a gluten-free cornbread. I had referenced cornbread in my Southwest Shepherd's pie recipe, but never did a stand-alone recipe for it. I am pretty sure that I can just swap out the wheat flour for the GF flour mix (2 c. brown rice flour; 2/3 c. potato starch; 1/3 c. tapioca flour) and add some xanthan gum.

This recipe is adapted from Deborah Madison's basic cornbread recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

A knob butter for the pan
3/4 c. corn flour (not cornstarch)
1/4 c. cornmeal
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour or GF flour mix
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum (omit if using wheat flour)
1 c. milk
2 eggs
3 TBSP agave nectar (or honey or sugar)
1/4 c. butter, melted and slightly cooled

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Put a knob of butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or an 8x8 square pan. You could also just use a bit of nonstick cooking spray--there's plenty of butter in this cornbread. You may also make this into muffins. If doing muffins, use nonstick cooking spray if needed
  3. Let the butter melt in the oven and swirl around in the pan to coat. Do not leave the butter in the oven too long or it will burn
  4. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl
  5. In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and agave nectar/honey together
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just moistened
  7. Stir in the melted butter. Try not to overmix
  8. Pour into prepared pan or muffin cups and bake 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

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