We are fast coming up on one of my favorite holidays, Ostara. When Spring officially begins, we are in balance with light and dark, and Eostre is awakening Mother Earth after her sleep.
It is time to begin planting, watch the new generations of animals be born, and enjoy some of the best foods. This is time of creation, and since we want to prepare in advance to work on the day of, I thought I would give you some of my favorite recipes.
Some of these I have modified (and will credit the original creator) and others are just things I have done. I hope that you try a few and enjoy!
We must begin with Deviled Eggs. I found this fun way to do them on Pinterest years ago (http://www.foodjimoto.com/2011/04/easter-eggs.html, and I think it adds just a hint of playfulness to the day. She dyes the egg whites of the hard boiled eggs using food coloring, or in my house, since we dye using beets and teas and other natural ingredients, we use the same things we would for our egg dying.
Deviled Eggs (my way):
12 hard boiled eggs (peeled and cut in half)
2 tbs mayonnaise
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 sprinkle chili powder
Salt to taste
Color the whites in your egg dying solution – let dry
Mix the yolks with the mayonnaise, dijon and chili powder. Add salt to taste.
Spoon a tsp of yolk back into the egg white, sprinkle with paprika
Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns (this is one of my favorite unmodified recipes):
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
- 2 1/2 cups (350g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon (4g) cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
- grated zest of 1 small orange (about 1 teaspoon)
- 6 ounces dried currants (dried cranberries work amazing as well)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup warm milk (about 100 degrees F)
- 2 extra-large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature, divided
- 1 stick (112 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup (115g) plus 4 tablespoons (about 29g) confectioner’s sugar, divided
- 2 to 3 teaspoons milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the flour, xanthan gum, granulated sugar, yeast, cream of tartar, cardamom, cinnamon and allspice, and whisk to combine well. Add salt, lemon zest and orange zest, and whisk once again to combine well. In a separate small bowl, place the dried currants, toss them with a tablespoon of the dry ingredients and set the bowl aside.
- Add the vanilla, vinegar, milk, 1 egg and the egg yolk and the butter, and mix on low speed to combine. Turn the mixer up to high speed, and allow to mix for about 6 minutes uninterrupted. Turn off the mixer, and add the dried fruit and reserved dry ingredients to the dough, and mix until the currants are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, and sprinkle lightly with more flour. With well floured hands and a bench scraper, divide the dough into 11 pieces, each weighing about 95 grams. With well-floured hands, roll each piece of dough into a tight ball. Place the buns about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Place in a warm and humid, draft-free environment to rise until about 140% of their original size. They will rise more during an “oven spring.”
- While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and make the egg glaze. In a small bowl, place the remaining egg and beat it well. Add the 4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, and beat to combine well.
- Once the dough has finished rising, brush the top of each bun generously with the egg glaze. With a sharp knife, slice a shallow cross (+) in the top of each roll (see photo). Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, until the buns are golden brown and firm to the touch, 25 to 35 minutes. Allow the buns to cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the buns are cooling, make the icing for the cross. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with 2 tablespoons milk. Mix to combine well. It will form a thick paste. If it is so thick that you will not be able to squeeze it through a plain pastry tip, thin it with some more milk, a drop or two at a time. It should be just thin enough to pipe, but still very thick. Once the rolls have cooled completely, place the icing in a pastry bag fitted with a #10 plain tip, and pipe a cross (+) neatly over the cross you made with a knife, on each roll. If you attempt to ice the cross before the rolls are completely cool, the icing will melt and run.
Of course you must have something sweet…
Gluten Free Iced Lemon Pound Cake
Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: >50 minutes
1 1/4 cups (175 g) all purpose gluten-free flour (I use Bob Red’s Mill)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot or potato starch)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (I get mine from my tree)
12 tablespoons (168 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
4 eggs (200 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounces) freshly squeezed lemon juice (again I just go pick a lemon or two off the tree)
1 1/2 cups (173 g) confectioner’s sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 to 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a loaf pan that is no more than 9-inches by 5-inches, and set it aside
In a small bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, salt and about 3/4 of the lemon zest, and whisk to combine well, working to break up any clumps of lemon zest. Set the bowl aside.
Make the pound cake batter. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), place the butter and cream cheese and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the granulated sugar and mix to combine. Add the eggs and lemon juice, mixing well after each addition until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, beating well to combine after each addition. The batter will be smooth and thick, but relatively light. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top with a wet spatula.
Bake the pound cake. Place the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a tester inserted in the center of the pound cake comes out clean (about 50 minutes). If the loaf begins to brown too much, cover it tightly with a piece of aluminum foil. Remove the pound cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze & assemble the cake. Once the pound cake is nearly cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, place the confectioner’s sugar, salt, and the remaining lemon zest, and whisk to combine and to break up any lumps in the confectioner’s sugar or the lemon zest. Add the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, and mix well. Continue to add lemon juice by the teaspoon, stirring in between additions, until the glaze is thickly pourable.
Pour the glaze over the cooled pound cake, and allow to set at room temperature. Slice and serve.
This recipe was brought to you by Nicole Hunn of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring