Product: gfJules Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour – $8.42+
I have had this fun and passing relationship with the famous (in the gluten-free community, anyway) Jules Shepard, formerly known as Jules Gluten Free, now know as gfJules. When I had to go gluten-free three years ago, one of the first people I encountered through social media was none other than Jules Gluten Free. She was funny and knowledgeable, and she had these elusive product mixes (from all-purpose flour to bread mixes to cookie mixes to cake mixes to pizza crust mixes) that nowhere in my area carried. At one point, she was presenting in Lexington, Kentucky, and I had intended to drive down and see her presentation…until the Sherman-Minton bridge here in Louisville was closed indefinitely due to a large crack in the weight bearing portion…making going anywhere from the Indiana side of the river a real nightmare.
I finally met gfJules last year, at a Gluten Free Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana. I bought her cookbook. We talked. We laughed. We took a picture together. It was awesome. And it was like meeting a celebrity, to be honest. I have followed her Facebook page, saw her through the very public break from her partners in the company that she founded, Nearly Normal Cooking, and had grandiose plans to find and purchase her flour at some point. Or a mix. I didn’t care.
Until December 2014, that had yet to happen.
But then, my Holiday 2014 (December) Cuisine Cube arrived in the mail with loads of holiday goodness just ready to be explored and used. For those of you who may be new to some of my blogging, let me quickly tell you a little about Cuisine Cube!
Cuisine Cube is a subscription service that delivers 5-6 gluten-free, full-size products to your door for as little as $34.99/month. Inside the cube, you will discover full-size products (not sample sizes) that are made by local and smaller, artisan companies, rather than those that you can find at the average grocery store. It has introduced me to so many new and delightful products. Each box contains a breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert product…and then, sometimes, an extra bonus item. Who doesn’t love a little something extra, right? Keep in mind, however, that Cuisine Cube has gone through some changes as of May. No longer do they strictly only offer gluten-free cubes. In addition to their gluten-free option, they now also offer Artisan and Vegan cubes as well. The Artisan cube means that you have no food allergies and foods that contain common food allergens will be included. The Vegan cubes contain products that are dairy and animal free. And, they still have the Gluten Free cubes, which will have products that contain no gluten or wheat. So, if you’re really interested in being introduced to the smaller, lesser-known, artisan companies, give Cuisine Cube a try!
So…here I was…in December and inside my cube was a 1.5 ounce box of gfJules Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour. With this item, Cuisine Cube also provided a recipe card for Baguettes. I don’t have a baguette pan, so I tucked this box into my pantry to use…and then got distracted by the open bags of Better Batter and Cup4Cup in my pantry. It happens. But it shouldn’t. This product never should have gone untouched for that long. But, before I tell you why, let me first tell you a little bit about Jules Shepard.
Jules Shepard was diagnosed in 1999 as a Celiac. She didn’t see this diagnosis as the end of the world though. In fact, the former attorney was unwilling to accept the dry, gritty, vacuous foods that were the norm for the gluten-free diet back then. After two years of hard work in her kitchen, Shepard perfected an all-purpose gluten free flour blend that allowed her to continue to do something she loved – bake! Even she never would have guessed that this one thing would eventually set her apart in the gluten-free community as a leader, inspiration, and advocate. She perfected her ‘acts-just-like-wheat-flour’ blend, and word spread in her circles. People began to beg her to make her 5-flour blend for them. She introduced this flour to the gluten-free community at large in 2008, with her former company, Jules Gluten Free, but it is now developed and available exclusively through her new company, gfJules, which began in March 2014. From there, her journey has only become more amazing…and her products remain top of the line!
I can vouch for that, mind you, as I was preparing a dessert for a birthday party at the office (and 4th of July celebration) this week. I have delicious local blueberries that my friend, Harry, picked for me. I love blueberries, and always am happy to receive a bunch of his harvest. With all these amazingly fresh berries on hand, it occurred to me that I could make a festive and (hopefully) delicious blueberry cobbler. Because my kitchen is strictly gluten-free, everything I provide to office pitch-ins is gluten-free. Some people at the office won’t even give my food a try, but some do…and most are surprised by the flavor and texture…and how normal it is.
Well, my love affair with gluten-free flours just reached a whole new level. I actually found a recipe for the gluten-free (and vegan) blueberry cobbler on gfJules sight. And being that I had a box of gfJules Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour in the pantry. New recipe…why not go for broke and try a new flour too. As this was one of her recipes, I figured it was best to stick with the flour originally used to make it. Logic!
Let me tell you something…from the get-go, I realized how amazing this flour truly was. When I mixed it with the vegan butter and the egg substitute, it all just came together perfectly. It had this great biscuit texture to it. And this was before topping off my blueberries with it! How’s that for being impressed really early in the game. It worked as a thickener with the heated sugar and water that the blueberries were stirred into, and it produced the most amazing batter for the biscuit-y top that gets baked right on top of the fruit. I was nervous when I popped it into the oven to bake…but I should have never doubted it.
When my cobbler emerged from the oven, piping hot, it was warm and sweet on the bottom, and the cobbler part…that top bready portion, was this perfect crisp, golden brown. I had to wait until the following day to actually taste it…but when I did, I was beyond impressed. The flour really made this remarkable crusty top…and it didn’t have that weird gluten-free flavor or texture to it. No one, save for the fact that I brought it in, would have known it was gluten-free. Seriously…and everyone who was brave enough to try it gave only the highest praise for the treat. The perfect blueberries…with the perfect flour…made for the perfect summer dish for this little pitch-in. As I have failed miserably at gluten-free bread, this makes me want to pick up baguette pans so that I can give the recipe that accompanied this product in my Cuisine Cube. This might happen. Williams-Sonoma…I’m coming for you.
So, now that I’ve gone over why I fell in love with the gfJules Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour, let me tell you a little bit about what is inside. This flour is made from modified tapioca starch, potato starch, corn starch, corn flour, white rice flour, and xanthan gum. It is gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan, KOSHER – and now NON-GMO!
As far as the nutrition information goes, gfJules Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour really falls in with others on the market. A serving size is 31 grams of flour, which will give you 110 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 mg sodium, 26 grams carbohydrates, less than 1 gram fiber, 0 grams sugars, and 1 gram of protein.
And if you don’t believe me, the truth is in the use!! And below is the recipe I used this flour in! You should really try it out. I think you’ll be impressed too!
Recipe: Gluten Free Old-Fashioned Blueberry Cobbler
Time: Prep 10 minutes; Bake 40 minutes
- 3 Tbs. gfJules Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 cup gfJules Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar or unrefined coconut palm sugar
- ¼ cup milk, dairy or non-dairy
- 1 egg or favorite egg substitute
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ cup butter or non-dairy alternative (Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine gfJules™ Flour, sugar and water. Stir and cook over medium heat until thickened, approximately 12-15 minutes. The mixture will over-boil and burn if not stirred often, so watch the pot and reduce the heat if the mixture is too bubbly or is browning. Add the vanilla extract.
Wash and remove all blueberry stems. Stir the blueberries into the cooked sugar mixture to coat.
Pour the filling into a 9- or 10- inch, deep pie plate (it’s important not to bake the cobbler in too small or too shallow of a plate, or the hot blueberry filling will bubble all over the sides).
Preheat oven to 375° F.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together gfJules™ Flour, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, cut in the butter until the flour looks like small gravel or pebbles.
In a separate bowl, stir the egg and milk to mix. Slowly add this mixture to the flour bowl and stir with a fork until completely combined.
Scoop several large spoonfuls of this batter onto the top of the filling in the pie plate. It will rise and touch the other spoonfuls as it bakes, to cover most of the top of the filling, as pictured.
Line the oven rack with foil and place the filled pie plate on top of the foil to prevent any bubbly mixture from falling onto your oven floor and burning.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or just until the cobbler is browning and somewhat firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted into the cobbler, then removed, should be clean.
Serve warm or cold.
This flour is the best yet. Honestly, it bakes up perfectly. It is light, fluffy, and amazing. It would fool the unassuming person into not even guessing that it was gluten-free. This product is as amazing as the woman who created it. Thank you gfJules (Jules Shepard) and Cuisine Cube…for finally giving me the opportunity to try this fantastic flour. Now…to get more!