Gluten Free Cherry Almond Loaf Recipe
Firstly, let me thank all of you for your lovely congrats on my three years of blogging. It has been such a joy but the biggest joy of all has been the people I have met, virtually and in person, through this wonderful medium. I cherish all my readers. But enough of the sappy stuff, let’s get to the winner!
I used one of those random number generator thingys and the winner is…
Jas of The Gluten Free Scallywag is the winner of a $200.00 gift card from Amazon.com! Congrats Jas – I hope this will help you fulfill a little of your wish list!
This is also the kick off of December’s Go Ahead Honey, it’s Gluten Free monthly event. Started by the lovely and oh so talented Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cakefree & Dried, this event is a monthly, theme based round up of glorious gluten-free food.
This year I am hosting and the theme is Family Traditions. Here’s what you do – write a post (linking back to this one) with a gluten-free recipe of your favorite Family Holiday Traditions, whatever that means to you, and send me an email at [email protected] with a link to the post and a photo by December 27, 2010, I will do a round up at the end of the month. You don’t have to have a gluten-free blog to enter but the recipe MUST be gluten-free!
Like a lot of people, we get up early on Christmas morning and gather around the tree to open presents. It takes us hours! So of course we need sustenance to get us through until we gather for a big Christmas breakfast. I squeeze fresh orange juice (Santa always leaves oranges in our stockings), make coffee and tea and always, always have a gluten-free nut bread to nibble on during the present opening mayhem. I love this gluten-free Cherry Almond Loaf, it is so pretty and festive, studded with maraschino cherries and almonds and topped with a sweet glaze but most importantly, delicious! You can make it the day before leaving your morning free for other, more important things!
As a note, the gluten-free flours, starches and xanthan gum can be substituted with 2 cups of a good all purpose gluten-free flour.
- 1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries – drained with the juice reserved
- 1 cup superfine white rice flour
- 1/3 cup superfine sweet rice flour
- 1/3 cup millet flour
- 1/3 cup tapioca or potato starch
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter – at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Reserve 1 tablespoon of the reserved maraschino cherry juice for the glaze if you want a pretty pink glaze, this is not entirely necessary. Put the remaining cherry juice in a measuring cup and add enough water to make ½ cup of liquid. Dry the maraschino cherries on some paper toweling and chop roughly.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, starch, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.
In an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes at medium high speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl and mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well. Turn the mixer to low, add half the flour mixture, then the juice then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until blended. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are combined. Fold in the cherries and almonds and pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 55- 65 minutes or until the top is starting to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 10 – 15 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Loaf can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept refrigerated for up to 2 days at this point. If making ahead, let the loaf come to room temperature before glazing and serving.
Prepare the glaze by mixing the reserved tablespoon of cherry juice (if using), the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar. It should be thick but pourable – adjust the consistancy with a little more sugar or lemon juice if needed. Drizzle over the top of the loaf and serve.
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