Dessert

Pear & Dark Cherry Gluten-Free Fruitcake

Here’s a modern version of a fruitcake that everyone will love. A little brandy and some pear juice make it supermoist and flavorful. This recipe can be made egg-free; see instructions.

SERVES 16.

Pear and Dark Cherry Gluten-Free Fruitcake recipe

Benko Photographics

Ingredients:

2 cups dark brown sugar or coconut sugar, divided
2 tablespoons brandy, optional
2 ripe pears (D’Anjou or Bartlett), sliced in thin wedges
1¾ cups frozen pitted dark cherries, thawed and separated, divided
3 large eggs
¾ cup milk of choice
½ cup pear juice
1¼ cups vegetable oil, such as grapeseed or canola
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2¼ cups Mary’s All-Purpose Flour Blend (below)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Alternatively, lightly grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

2. In a small saucepan, heat ½ cup brown sugar and brandy. Bring to a simmer and swirl the pan to mix (do not stir), about 3 minutes. Remove from stove and pour syrup into prepared pan(s). If you’re sensitive to distilled liquor, skip this step and sprinkle sugar evenly over the bottom of prepared pan(s).

3. Arrange pear wedges in the syrup in a spiral design, starting at the center and circling out. Place 1 cup cherries in the spaces between the pears. Set aside.

4. In a heavy-duty stand mixer with a whisk attachment or with a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat eggs and remaining 1½ cups sugar, about 3 to 5 minutes.

5. In a medium bowl, combine milk, pear juice, oil and vanilla.

6. In another bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and cardamom.

7. At low speed, alternate adding dry and wet ingredients to egg and sugar mixture. Add a little at a time, just until combined. Fold in remaining ¾ cup cherries.

8. Transfer batter to prepared pan(s). Place in preheated oven and bake 60 to 65 minutes for a springform pan (45 minutes for loaf pans) or until cake center springs back to touch.

9. Remove from oven and let cake cool in pan(s) until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove sides of springform pan. Place a serving plate on the top of the cake and flip it over. Remove the bottom of the springform pan and peel back parchment paper. Replace any fruit that sticks to paper. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

For Egg-Free Fruitcake, omit 3 eggs. Combine 3 tablespoons flax meal with 9 tablespoons hot unsweetened applesauce. Let cool. Add this mixture in step 4. Reduce oil to ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons in step 5. Add 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder to dry ingredients in step 6.

Each serving contains 399 calories, 21g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 40mg cholesterol, 176mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 27g sugars, 3g protein, 32 Est GL.

Mary’s All-Purpose Flour Blend

MAKES 6 CUPS.

The combination of white and brown rice flour in this blend lightens the texture of baked goods. For a more nutritious mix, use all brown rice flour (a total of 4 cups rice flour).

2 cups brown rice flour
2 cups white rice flour
1 + 1/3 cups potato starch (not potato flour)
2/3 cup tapioca starch/flour

1. Mix ingredients together. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until used.

Each cup contains 563 calories, 2g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 22mg sodium, 127g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 1g sugars, 7g protein, 77 Est GL.

Recipe by contributor Mary Capone.

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