My youngest son eats gf and lives in NYC. He emailed me the other day telling me that I should open a gluten free southern cooking restaurant in the heart of Manhattan. He pointed out that there are not any southern restaurants in Manhattan, just Harlem, and absolutely not any southern eateries that are gluten free. Just think, I could corner two markets at once! Part of me thinks he is just homesick for some of mama's cooking, but part of me thinks that would be a great idea ya'll!
For kicks, I decided to begin honing some recipes. I have been working with recipes from the Culinary Institute's Gluten Free Cookbook and found one there for Buttermilk Biscuits. These came out so sweet and light. They were golden on top and you would never know that they were gluten free. I found for an extra special treat I would warm with a little (more) butter and dark chocolate chocolate chips on top. You can then swish the chocolate and butter once melted across the top and it becomes a little cake! Just never mind the calories!
But they are sweet and even though they do not have yeast in them, they come out tasting like the sweet yeast rolls that I used to bake as a kid. It kind of reminded me of a Kolache dough. Ah, Kolaches! How I miss Kolaches!
Surely I could turn these delectable things into a gf form of a Kolache! First, the filling. I decided to go with fruit. Some of the most popular fillings are apricot, prune, apple, or cream cheese. In Texas, you can get Jalepeno Kolaches or Sausage Kolaches. Just don't order those from anyone in Nebraska or you will get an earful from a Czech descendent who will loudly explain to you that a true Kolache does not have meat or jalepenos in them. Nor should they ever!
I didn't have any fresh fruit on hand, so I looked in the freezer. There I have several bags of frozen cranberries and a bag of frozen mangoes. Not sure mangoes would work, but might play with that another time. With the frozen cranberriesI had frozen cranberries I made a basic cranberry sauce but added some vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to the simmering fruit. After I got the dough formed in the pan, I made indentions and spooned in the cooled sauce.
This comes super close to stopping that craving for Kolaches. Okay, so it isn't what you would usually think of as Southern Cooking. But, it brought me a little closer to my home state of Texas where you can get some of the best Kolaches in the U.S.