Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gluten-free sweet potato cobbler recipe

Gluten-free sweet potato cobbler
 I distinctly remember the first time I ate sweet potato cobbler.  I was about 10 and had just enjoyed breakfast on my grandparents' porch.  My grandpa Al always quizzed me about whether I had tried different foods (usually it was some uncommon fruit or vegetable, a classic southern food, or something weird he concocted).  I was an adventurous eater compared to most kids, so I tried quince jelly (it was delicious), tomatoes with sugar (not my thing), and even cornbread doused in buttermilk (you should have seen the look on my face - I haven't had any buttermilk since).  And all throughout breakfast that day he told us about sweet potato cobbler.  I love sweet potatoes and it's hard to beat cobbler, so I was excited when he announced that he had some in the refrigerator and insisted that I try some (never mind that it was still early in the morning).   As I expected, I loved it, which tickled Al to death (as my grandmother would say).

(Un)fortunately, Al passed away last weekend.   He found out about a week before that he had terminal cancer, and luckily didn't have to suffer very long.  I made a last-minute trip down to Atlanta to see him (hence my lack of posting), but didn't make it in time.   We were all as mentally prepared as possible, but that never seems to be enough.  As we reflected on our memories of Al over the weekend, it always came back to food.  Al loved to garden, he loved to cook, and he LOVED to eat. I remember spending summer mornings shelling peas and beans with Al and Grandmother in the basement.  Al also taught me how to make pickles.  Even when he no longer had energy to spend hours in the garden or kitchen, he would give me numerous tips on growing and preserving various fruits and vegetables (I now wish I had taken notes!).

Al also won me over with food.  He and my grandmother got married when I was 6, and I think we first bonded over our love of eating.  Before they got married, I was out in the yard with them (likely picking up pine cones, as that's Grandmother's favorite activity), and Al said that he had something for me inside.  We went in and he handed me a few Bugles (you know, those horn-shaped corn chip things).  Grandmother wasn't excited about this because she thought it would spoil my dinner, but Al explained that it was just a "sample," and samples don't count.   Almost every time that I saw Al, one of us would make a joke about having a sample of something and the calories not counting (sometimes the sample would be a large piece of cake, but as long as we called it a sample, it didn't exist).  I was hoping to bring Al a box of Bugles last week, but oh well.

Instead, I made a sweet potato cobbler today, because I know that's what he would want me to do.  Instead of using his recipe, I made a gluten-free, low-sugar version.  I made a small amount because I wasn't sure how it would taste, but I loved it.   It was very different from Al's, but fantastic and still reminds me of him.   Now I wish I had made a big pan of it!

Sweet potato cobbler (adapted from Gluten free Mommy)
(Printable version)

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/3" slices
1 1/2 Tbsp sorghum flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
1 Tbsp almond meal
1 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 Tbsp potato starch
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
pinch of cardamom
pinch of cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp orange juice
3 Tbsp milk (more or less)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla

Cook sweet potato slices in boiling water until tender (about 7 min).  Then drain the sweet potato and place it in a small baking dish (I used a 4 cup round Pyrex dish).  While the sweet potato is cooking, combine flours, starches, sugar, salt, xanthan gum, and spices in a small bowl.  Combine the orange juice and butter, and stir this into the flour mixture.   Then add enough milk so that it is the consistency of muffin batter.  Sprinkle the lemon juice, agave nectar, and vanilla over the sweet potatoes, and then top with spoonfuls of the batter.  Bake at 350 until the dough is set and beginning to brown (about 30 min).   Serves 2.


Julia said...

What a lovely tribute to your grandpa! So sorry to hear of your loss, but it sounds like you have wonderful memories.

Joanne said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa but it's so wonderful that you guys were able to bond so much over the years. I'm sure he saw this tribute and appreciated it. The cobbler looks lovely.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

So sorry to hear about your grandfather, but what a lovely way to remember him. I've never had sweet potato cobbler, but I can imagine it's wonderful!

katerina said...

I am so sorry to hear about your grandpa, but what a sweet post.

Myself, I have never had sweet potato cobbler. It sounds good!

Katie said...

Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your kind words!