I am re-publishing the following post because this is what my kitchen currently looks like.
I am truly starting to believe this renovation will never be over and I will not have a working kitchen again until we move. Meanwhile, the rest of you with working kitchens need Passover ideas. OK well, not all of you, but I’m sure the ones who do have no interest in eating a cake made with matzo meal. And really, who can blame you? I have no idea when no leavening became equivalent to no flavor and as heavy as lead. Stop the madness!!! These bars are easier to make than a whole cheesecake (after all who has the time when making a big dinner). Plus, they make a great snack for the rest of the holiday.
For those of you who take issue with rice, you can use the crust from my Baileys White Chocolate Cheesecake with Almond Brown Sugar Crust. Enjoy!
Now I realize there are a ton of recipes out there for gluten-free graham crackers. But honestly I found that every one I looked at was really just a cinnamon-flavored cookie claiming it was a graham cracker. No one seemed concerned that graham flour has a very specific taste and replicating that taste without gluten was no small task (which come to think of it, may be why no one is trying).
Anyway, just on a whim I asked one of my teachers at the local culinary school where I take classes what she thought. At first she looked panicked and said, “I have no idea I don’t work with gluten-free flours.” I reassured her that I was only asking her opinion and that I really didn’t expect her to know definitively. Well, then she relaxed and her creative juices went to work.
And they were working in overdrive. I said I was thinking brown rice flour with buckwheat or teff flour. And she suggested I toast the brown rice flour. What?! I knew you could toast almond flour but I had no idea you can toast all flours. Turns out you can and this technique may return. So we have Chef Jenny McCoy to thank for what I think is a brilliant solution for making a gluten-free graham cracker. I’m adding a shameless plug for her book here.
Yields 1 bars
45 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
1 hr, 20 Total Time
Adapted from Tyler Florence’s Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Inspired by Chef Jenny McCoy, Chef Instructor at ICE
½ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup millet flour
¾ cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (½ stick)
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 lemon, zested and juiced
½ cup sugar
8 ounces fresh blueberries
- Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Grease the bottom of a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Then line it with 2 sheets of parchment paper in a crisscross pattern. Make sure the paper overhangs the edges of the pan so you can easily lift out the bars when they are done.
- Toast the brown rice flour by pouring it into a frying pan set over medium heat. Stir constantly with a whisk for about 10 minutes. Tips: 1. DO NOT grease the frying pan. It should be dry. 2. Be careful not to burn the flour. It will smell a bit like popcorn as it toasts. 3. You can toast more than the ½ cup needed for this recipe and store the extra flour in an air-tight container.
- When toasted, pour the flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add the buckwheat and millet flours, the dark brown sugar and the cinnamon. Whisk until the mixture is combined and there are no more lumps of sugar.
- Add the melted butter to the bowl and mix with your fingers to fully incorporate.
- Pour the mixture into the lined baking pan and pat down with your palm or the base of a glass. Make sure it covers the entire pan evenly. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. When done set aside to cool.
- Add the cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar to a food processor and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Pour the batter over the cooled crust and cover with blueberries. They will sink slightly but should still be half exposed. Gently press down on the blueberries so the top is flush and no blueberries are sticking up. Tip: As the cake bakes, the blueberries will sink a little more and break down.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Once set, remove from pan and slice into 10 rectangular bars. Tips: 1. I put mine in the freezer for a few hours before cutting. 2. Use a long knife. 3. Heat the knife with hot water and then dry it before each cut.
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