I threw a wine-tasting party last Sunday night, and although wine was the star of the show, it’s always nice to have some nibbles to go along with your reds, whites and bubbles. In this case, we served a variety of cheeses along side some of the chutneys, jams and relishes I made last summer, and some charcuterie, including a vegan pate. Now, all of those things need need a vehicle in which to be served, and for the most part, that’s a nice baguette or a cracker.
One of the most popular to serve at parties are fruit and nut crisps. Basically, these are are a kind of cracker, but slightly sweeter. A little like a fruit cake, but they are twice-baked, similar to a biscotti.
The ones I got are the Pecan Fruit Crisps from Terra Breads. They make a fruit loaf that’s filled with pecans, raisins, currants, apples, cherries and orange peel, then slice them thinly and bake them a second time, to make them crisp and strong enough to be loaded up with brie, chevre, or camembert, a thin slice of apple or pear, and/or a dollop of chutney or jam.
I’m always curious if I can recreate recipes, sometimes because I feel like it might be less expensive to make them myself, or to see if can recreate them for dietary restrictions, in this case, gluten-free.
My version featured hazelnuts, almonds, apricots and dried cranberries. You can make these either with regular flour, or, as I did, with your favourite gluten-free flour substitute. They turned out pretty good–I got fairly positive feedback on them across the board.
I just have to say, though, if you are considering making them yourself to save a few bucks, it’s probably not worth it. While they retail for around $7, honestly, if you don’t already have these ingredients in the house, they can be pretty expensive to make. In addition, they do take quite a long time to make. Unless you are making them on purpose, gluten-free, I think I’d probably just continue to buy them from Terra Breads.
To make these, you’ll also have to invest in some mini loaf pans. I got mine from Amazon, but I would also scout dollar stores or the Gourmet Warehouse.
Gluten-Free Fruit and Nut Crisps
(recipe courtesy of Jo Ledingham)
- 2 cups flour (I used Cloud 9 Gluten-Free Flour mix)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup craisins
- 1/2 cup hazlenuts or pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 cup almonds or cashews
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp rosemary
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda.
- In another, smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk with the sugar and honey. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix lightly.
- Add in the nuts, seeds, fruit and rosemary and incorporate.
- Spoon the batter evenly into 4 mini loaf pans, and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely, then put them in the freezer for a couple of hours to help with slicing.
- With a serrated knife, slice very thin slices, and place them on a baking tray (next time I want to try my mandolin). Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then turn over and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- They will crisp up as they cool.
A big thanks to Terra Breads for donating the Pecan Fruit Crisps.