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Easy Homemade Ice Cream Cake (Semifreddo Vanilla & Chocolate)

Easy Homemade Ice Cream Cake (Semifreddo Vanilla & Chocolate)

This homemade ice cream cake is made with vanilla and chocolate semifreddo and a chocolate cookie crunch layer in the middle. No ice cream machine required!

This homemade ice cream cake is made with vanilla and chocolate semifreddo and a chocolate cookie crunch layer in the middle. No ice cream machine required!

What is semifreddo?

This ice cream cake is made from a vanilla semifreddo, a chocolate semifreddo, and a cookie crunch layer (just like the Carvel or Baskin Robbins). A semifreddo is a combination of cooked eggs (here, just the yolks) with sugar and whipped cream.

Fat (egg yolks, cream) and sugar don’t freeze completely solid. And the word “semifreddo” means just what you think it means: that this dessert freezes semi-solid. 

The egg yolk and sugar mixture is cooked gently over a double boiler until it becomes pale and thicker and then beaten until it doubles in volume. Whipped cream is whisked in, and then the whole big beautiful mixture is poured into a pan lined with plastic wrap. 

The consistency of the ice cream is similar to gelato. It’s a smooth, creamy ice cream cake that will hold whatever shape you like.

Semifreddo is lower in sugar than our no-churn vanilla ice cream or chocolate mousse ice cream, both of which are made without an ice cream machine and with sweetened condensed milk. Semifreddo is less sweet but still totally decadent.

This homemade ice cream cake is made with vanilla and chocolate semifreddo and a chocolate cookie crunch layer in the middle. No ice cream machine required!

Do I have to use homemade ice cream to make an ice cream cake?

In a word, no! You can use packaged ice cream to make nearly any ice cream treat, from ice cream sandwiches to a homemade Chipwich.

The advantage of making any of these ice cream treats with homemade ice cream is that you can shape it when it’s first made. If you use packaged ice cream, you need to soften it before you can shape it into a cake in a springform pan or a loaf pan.

This homemade ice cream cake is made with vanilla and chocolate semifreddo and a chocolate cookie crunch layer in the middle. No ice cream machine required!

What’s in that chocolate crunch layer?

When I first made a semifreddo ice cream cake, it was only vanilla and shaped in a standard loaf pan. But the smooth creaminess and reduced sweetness of semifreddo seem just right for a more dressed-up ice cream cake.

If you’re going to make a Carvel- or Baskin Robbins-style ice cream cake, you’re going to need a chocolate crunch layer. Some homemade ice cream cake recipes use crushed Oreos (or gluten free Joe Joes in our case) and hot fudge

I prefer to make the chocolate crunchy layer with crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (cream and all), that aren’t crushed into sandy crumbs. Crush them by hand just until they’re small chunks, and then add a mixture of melted chocolate and coconut oil. 

The mixture of melted chocolate and coconut oil is a homemade version of Magic Shell, the chocolate ice cream topping that hardens when it’s poured on cold ice cream. The melted chocolate mixture helps the cookie crumbs turn into perfect clusters.

Be sure to leave some gaps in the chocolate crunch layer when you spread it on top of the bottom layer of ice cream. Otherwise, you’ll have some difficulty slicing through that layer after the cake has set fully in the freezer.

This homemade ice cream cake is made with vanilla and chocolate semifreddo and a chocolate cookie crunch layer in the middle. No ice cream machine required!

Can I make a single layer ice cream cake?

Of course! This recipe is very adaptable. You can make a vanilla semifreddo and pour it into a plastic-lined loaf pan, cover it with plastic wrap and freeze then slice and serve. You can also do the same with the chocolate semifreddo. 

If you use a larger loaf pan, you can even layer in both vanilla and chocolate semifreddo. I recommend freezing the first layer while you make the second, so the mixtures don’t bleed into one another. 

You can make the entire cake in a springform pan as shown here, with or without the chocolate crunch layer. Or make it in a plastic-lined rectangular pan, slicing the cake into squares to serve. 

This homemade ice cream cake is made with vanilla and chocolate semifreddo and a chocolate cookie crunch layer in the middle. No ice cream machine required!

Do I need special equipment?

No, the “special equipment” in the form of a springform pan and an acetate collar is entirely optional. You will need a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment to whip the heavy cream.

You’ll also need a small heat-safe bowl to place over a small pot of simmering water (not a fancy double boiler). Plus, a fine mesh sieve to strain the egg yolk and sugar mixture. 

A springform pan is great because it makes for a very clean edge when you unmold the cake. A simple acetate cake collar allows you to build the cake higher than the sides of your springform pan, but it’s absolutely not necessary.

Whatever you do, be sure to have fun with the whole thing. An ice cream cake makes for an instant celebration! 🎈

This homemade ice cream cake is made with vanilla and chocolate semifreddo and a chocolate cookie crunch layer in the middle. No ice cream machine required!

Ingredients and substitutions

Like all super simple recipes, semifreddo is not a great candidate for making ingredient substitutions. Here’s some information, maybe to prove it to you? 

Egg-free: You need to make this with egg yolks. There is no substitute, I’m afraid. 

Dairy-free: You might be able to replace the heavy whipping cream in this recipe with coconut cream. You’d follow the same general instructions for whipping cream, starting with it cold and whipping with a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Just be sure to use dairy-free chocolate in the chocolate variety.

 

Gluten Free Ice Cream Cake - No Machine Needed!This homemade ice cream cake is made with vanilla and chocolate semifreddo and a chocolate cookie crunch layer in the middle. No ice cream machine required!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: Makes 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients

Vanilla semifreddo layer
4 egg yolks (100 g)

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups (14 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled

Cookie crunch layer
About 8 ounces gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies, broken into medium-sized chunks

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons (28 g) virgin coconut oil

Chocolate semifreddo layer
4 egg yolks (100 g)

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

4 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (10 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)

1 3/4 cups (14 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled

Optional special tools/equipment/ingredients
9-inch nonstick springform pan

6-inch tall acetate cake collar (affiliate link)

Chocolate sour cream frosting, for decorating (one-quarter recipe is plenty)

Directions

  • Using plastic wrap, line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan, and then assemble the pan so the edges of the plastic wrap stick out of the sides of the pan. If you’re using an acetate cake collar, cut a piece of acetate that a bit longer than the circumference of the pan. Position the acetate collar in the pan, inside the pan, and along the perimeter. Staple the collar together where it overlaps itself. Set the pan aside.

  • For the vanilla semifreddo: In a small, heat-safe bowl, place the yolks and sugar, and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the pan. Whisk the yolks and sugar together well. The mixture will be dark yellow and thick. Allow the mixture to cook indirectly in this manner for about 4 minutes, whisking frequently. The mixture will first thin as the sugar melts, and then will become paler yellow and thicken. Remove the bowl from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium-size bowl. With a handheld mixer, beat until the mixture is nearly doubled in volume. Set the bowl aside to cool briefly.

  • In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the cooled egg and sugar mixture, and the vanilla, and whisk with a separate handheld whisk until well-combined. The mixture will lose some, but not much, of its volume. Scrape the mixture into the prepared springform pan and smooth into an even layer with an offset spatula or dull, wide knife. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the semifreddo to prevent a skin from forming on top and put in the freezer while you make the cookie layer.

  • For the cookie crunch layer: In a medium-sized bowl, place the chocolate sandwich cookie crumbles. In a separate, small bowl, place the chopped chocolate and coconut oil and melt in the microwave in short, 30-second bursts until melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate and coconut oil mixture over the top of the cookie crumbles, mix to combine, and set aside.

  • For the chocolate semifreddo: Just like the vanilla layer, in a small, heat-safe bowl, place the yolks and sugar, and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the pan. Whisk the yolks and sugar together well. The mixture will be dark yellow and thick. Allow the mixture to cook indirectly in this manner for about 4 minutes, whisking frequently. The mixture will first thin as the sugar melts, and then will become paler yellow and thicken. Remove the bowl from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium-size bowl with the chopped chocolate already in the bowl, and mix until the chocolate is melted and smooth. The mixture will be thick and relatively sticky. With a handheld mixer, beat until the mixture is nearly doubled in volume. Set the bowl aside to cool briefly.

  • In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the cooled egg, sugar, and chocolate mixture, and the vanilla, and whisk with a separate handheld whisk until well-combined. Add the cocoa powder, and whisk again until combined. The mixture will lose some, but not much, of its volume.

  • Assemble the rest of the cake: Remove the pan from the freezer and remove the plastic wrap. Place the chocolate crunch layer on top, and spread into an even layer, leaving some gaps in the crunch pieces to make the final cake easier to cut. Pour the chocolate semifreddo mixture on top and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm (about 6 hours). Decorate with the optional frosting, then slice and serve frozen.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2013. Chocolate variation and layer cake option added, most photos and video all new; basic semifreddo recipe unchanged.

Love,
Nicole

Low Carb Zucchini Keto Pizza

Low Carb Zucchini Keto Pizza

Make the most of summer vegetables and still enjoy that chewy pizza crust with this low carb recipe for zucchini keto pizza. 

Make the most of summer vegetables and still enjoy that chewy pizza crust with this low carb recipe for zucchini keto pizza. 

Baking with zucchini

Whether you’re just trying to keep up with the zucchini growing in your garden, or trying to sneak some veggies into a child who hates them, baking with zucchini is at first strange, and then lovely. 

Remember when cauliflower recipes started showing up everywhere? It’s packed with nutrients, very low carb, relatively cheap, and incredibly versatile. I like to think of zucchini as summer’s cauliflower. 

Make the most of summer vegetables and still enjoy that chewy pizza crust with this low carb recipe for zucchini keto pizza.

How (and why) to squeeze out the moisture from zucchini

Like cauliflower, zucchini has a ton of moisture. If you’ve ever grown zucchini yourself, you know that it can go from small to jumbo in the blink of an eye. That extra growth is nearly all moisture.

It’s nearly impossible to control for the amount of water in each zucchini in baking. So to level the playing field for baking a consistently good product, I like to squeeze as much moisture as possible out of the zucchini before baking with it.

In addition, if you want to make a pizza that’s crisp and chewy instead of light and fluffy, you want to limit the moisture in the recipe entirely. Here, the cheeses and eggs provide a fair amount of moisture on their own, but the coconut flour absorbs that moisture and creates just the right balance.

The best way to remove the moisture from zucchini is to shred it on a standard-size metal grater, and then place it in some sort of mesh fabric and squeeeeeze. A (affiliate link, but please shop around:) large nut milk bag, which is designed to separate soaked nuts from their liquid to make almond or cashew milk, makes this process simplest and easiest.

Simply place the shredded zucchini in the bag in batches, and squeeze over the sink until the shredded zucchini clumps and no longer appears soft. For sure, there are lost nutrients in that liquid, so maybe use it for a smoothie?

This does take some force, but you can do a ton of it at a time and then store it in the refrigerator for at least 3 days and in the freezer for much longer. Defrost at room temperature and proceed with the recipe. 

Make the most of summer vegetables and still enjoy that chewy pizza crust with this low carb recipe for zucchini keto pizza. 

How to make low carb zucchini pizza

We’ve already made zucchini pizza, and that recipe is one of my all time favorites. But we made it with tapioca starch/flour which is relatively high in carbohydrates.

Tapioca starch is unique since it provides both chew and stretch. In recipes that call for just tapioca starch, nothing else will do. In this recipe, a combination of coconut flour (which also absorbs moisture, as starch does) and a very small amount of xanthan gum, seem to do the trick in a way that’s very similar to tapioca.

Unlike our other low carb keto pizza recipe, which must be cooked partially on the stovetop to melt the mozzarella and cream cheeses, this zucchini keto pizza recipe is made simply, in one bowl. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, and mix until well-combined. 

The pizza dough is molded with wet hands into a round, then baked. You can use whatever toppings you like (if you’re trying to keep this recipe keto-friendly, avoid a tomato sauce with any sort of sugar), or serve the pizza plain. 

Yes, you can eat pizza on a keto diet

This recipe makes one, large pizza crust. There are approximately only 4.5 net carbs (carbs minus dietary fiber) in each generous slice, though (see the nutrition label in the recipe below, which is an approximate calculation using Cronometer.com).

If you’re limiting your carbohydrates and trying to increase your fat and fiber, this recipe is a great place to start. And it still has that chew that a high-fat, low carb diet can be lacking. Sometimes, you just need something to really chew!

This recipe began with the original Fathead-style recipe and crossed it with our original recipe for zucchini pizza. The result is the best low carb, keto-friendly meal you’ll have all summer!

Make the most of summer vegetables and still enjoy that chewy pizza crust with this low carb recipe for zucchini keto pizza. 

Ingredients and substitutions

This pizza recipe is made up almost entirely of shredded cheese and eggs. That means (you guessed it) that replacing either the dairy or the eggs is going to alter the recipe beyond recognition. But, as always, here is the information I can provide if you need to do just that:

Dairy-free: I have tried (and tried) to make cheese-heavy recipes with dairy-free cheese and it was nearly impossible. Dairy-free cheese simply doesn’t melt the same way as conventional cheese, and it tends to have more moisture which gives the pizza an unpleasant sponginess.

In addition, when you use this much of it, it doesn’t have the same “chew.” I also have never been able to find a dairy-free cream cheese that is a proper substitute for conventional cream cheese, I’m afraid.

Take heart, though. There’s always our basic gluten free pizza dough, which never disappoints and contains no eggs or dairy. 

Make the most of summer vegetables and still enjoy that chewy pizza crust with this low carb recipe for zucchini keto pizza. 

Egg-free: You can try replacing each egg with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). But keep in mind that if you are also making other substitutions, you’re getting further and further away from the original recipe. 

Coconut flour: Coconut flour doesn’t make this pizza taste at all like coconuts, happily. It has no equal, though, I’m afraid. You must use it in this recipe to get these results. 

Xanthan gum: Just 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum in this pizza recipe really helps hold the pizza together and make it chewy. You can omit it, though, and you’ll simply have a less chewy pizza that’s a bit more fragile. 

 

Make the most of summer vegetables and still enjoy that chewy pizza crust with this low carb recipe for zucchini keto pizza. 

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 15-inch pizza crust

Ingredients

4 cups (440 g) grated fresh zucchini (from about 2 medium zucchini) (about 250 g when squeezed dry)*

8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded

1/4 cup (24 g) coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell), beaten

2 ounces cream cheese, at soft room temperature

Optional pizza toppings: tomato sauce, more mozzarella cheese, gluten free pepperoni, sautéed mushrooms

*I squeeze the liquid out of grated zucchini by placing it, about 2 cups at a time, in a fine mesh bag (like a nut milk bag) or tea towel, closing the bag or rolling up the towel and twisting it to squeeze out all of the liquid.

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place a pizza stone or overturned baking sheet in the oven as it preheats. Line a pizza peel or other flat surface (like a large cutting board) with a sheet of unbleached parchment paper, and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the dry grated zucchini, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, coconut flour, baking powder, and xanthan gum, and mix to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten eggs and cream cheese, and mix to combine well. The mixture will be thick and clumpy. Transfer it to the parchment paper and, with clean, moistened hands, spread into a round about 13-inches in diameter. Using a moistened offset spatula or butter knife, smooth the top of the round, spread it into a 14-inch round, and even the edges around the perimeter. The pizza will spread about 1-inch wider during baking.

  • Slide the pizza on the parchment off the peel or cutting board onto the pizza stone or overturned baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pizza is an even light golden brown color on top. Remove from the oven, spread your desired pizza toppings on top, and return to the oven for another 5 minutes or until any cheese is melted and the edges are crisp. Remove the pizza from the oven and allow to set for 2 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving warm.

  • Nutrition information is per slice (based upon 8 slices, without toppings). It is provided as a courtesy, using the calculator at Cronometer.com, but values are approximate and will vary based on real-world conditions, including the particular brands of products used among other factors.

Love,
Nicole

Fresh Gluten Free Corn Tortillas

Fresh Gluten Free Corn Tortillas

Fresh homemade naturally gluten free corn tortillas made with masa harina corn flour, salt and warm water. Authentic taste and texture in minutes!

Fresh Gluten Free Corn Tortillas

Why make homemade corn tortillas (and how)?

Have you ever made fresh gluten free tortillas of any sort? They are a really, really important staple in my house. Need to take the simplest meal and make it 100 times more special? Wrap it in a tortilla. Have to serve dinner on-the-go? Wrap it in a tortilla. Tired of sandwich bread for school lunches? You get the idea.

There are plenty of varieties of packaged gluten free corn tortillas available, and some of them are really quite good. Store-bought tortillas, gluten free or not, do tend to break when we’re counting on them to bend.

These fresh gluten free corn tortillas are perhaps the simplest recipe you’ll find (if you don’t count water, there are only 2 ingredients!), but make them once and I dare you not to become obsessed with them.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Feel free to shop around, though, as always.

How to make them

All it takes to make fresh corn tortillas is to add salt and water to masa harina corn flour, which is a pretreated cornmeal (more details below). Then, let the dough rest, divide it and roll each portion into a ball, roll out rounds and cook them in a hot skillet. That’s it.

Pay particular attention to the consistency of the masa dough as described in the recipe instructions. If it crumbles at all, add more water to the dough a bit at a time and knead it in. Don’t skip the resting phase, either. It gives the moisture a chance to be absorbed into the flour.

Fresh homemade naturally gluten free corn tortillas made with masa harina corn flour, salt and warm water. Authentic taste and texture in minutes!

What is masa harina?

It all starts with certified gluten free masa harina, a finely ground corn flour that is made from corn that has been dried, cooked in lime water, ground and dried again. It should be naturally gluten free, except that some store-bought varieties are contaminated with gluten.

The moment you open up a bag of masa harina, you’ll feel like you’re in a Mexican restaurant. It just smells authentic. 

Is corn gluten free?

If you’re just getting started on a gluten free diet and you’re wondering if corn is gluten free, it is! It contains “corn gluten,” but that is not the sort of gluten that presents a problem for anyone who isn’t specifically sensitive or allergic to corn.

For a more complete discussion, check out my Ultimate Guide to the Basic Rules of a Gluten Free Diet. Everything you need to know is there, along with plenty of links for a deeper dive into some important information.

Fresh homemade naturally gluten free corn tortillas made with masa harina corn flour, salt and warm water. Authentic taste and texture in minutes!

Is masa harina always gluten free?

Like oats, you need to source a certified gluten free variety of masa harina. Bob’s Red Mill at least used to make certified gluten free masa harina corn flour that is available in most larger grocery stores and is of perfectly good quality, but I don’t think they continue to sell their gluten free variety. 

Instead, I often order certified gluten free masa harina from Nuts.com. Maseca brand masa harina is actually certified gluten free in the U.S., but it often seems to be stored on grocery store shelves with conventional gluten-containing flours, so be careful about cross-contamination right at the store.

Either way, stock up when you find a brand you trust. Once you start making your own gluten free corn tortillas, it’s hard to go back to the store-bought ones. And once you’re comfortable working with masa harina, I really recommend trying your hand at pupusas.

Do I need a tortilla press (or a cake cutter)?

The short answer is no. You do not need a tortilla press to make these corn tortillas or any tortillas at all. But a simple metal tortilla press does tend to make the job a bit quicker and easier, so I’ve included instructions for rolling these tortillas out both ways. 

Of course, you do not need to cut out perfect circles for your tortillas using a cake cutter or the lid of a pot. I just like the way it looks. I have a 6-inch cake cutter, but unless you photograph your food as I do, you really don’t need one. Fat Daddio and Ateco both make good ones, and you can find them in a kitchen supply store or online.

How to make corn tortillas without a press

Fresh Gluten Free Corn Tortillas, Step by Step

The main differences between rolling out corn tortillas with a press and rolling them out without one are the amount of time it takes, and the bother. It’s quite easy to roll them out either way, but given the texture of the masa dough, a tortilla press just works so well. 

To roll them out without a press, you simply place the same ball of masa dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper. Unbleached parchment is more flexible than the bleached kind, and it’s more stable than plastic wrap.

The paper will wrinkle when you roll out the dough, so your tortillas will have some wrinkles that you can smooth out with wet fingers if that sort of thing bothers you.

Remember that a rolling pin is just that, a rolling pin. Not a pressing pin. A rolling motion, with light, even pressure does the work. The harder you press, the more uneven your raw tortilla will be. 

How to make corn tortillas with a press (and which press to buy)

Fresh homemade naturally gluten free corn tortillas made with masa harina corn flour, salt and warm water. Authentic taste and texture in minutes!

If you have or decide to purchase a tortilla press, you’ll find that it’s best to line your press with a deconstructed plastic zip-top bag. You can use the plastic squares again and again (and again).

A quart-sized plastic zip-top bag, when separated and halved, is the perfect size to cover a standard 7 1/2-inch tortilla press and the thickness of the plastic is spot on for this task. Plastic wrap is simply too thin and prone to wrinkling, and it doesn’t allow you the freedom to lift it off the press each time to roll the dough a bit thinner and then peel away the plastic from the raw dough.  

Fresh homemade naturally gluten free corn tortillas made with masa harina corn flour, salt and warm water. Authentic taste and texture in minutes!

Using a press will produce a slightly thicker tortilla than is optimal. I remedy this nearly nonexistent problem by removing the plastic-covered dough from the press and rolling it a bit thinner on a flat surface with a rolling pin.

Remember that corn tortillas are typically a bit thicker than flour tortillas. Don’t try to roll them as thin or the dough will break and so will the tortillas. Try to roll the dough a bit more than the thickness of a nickel. As long as they’re warm, they’ll still bend but won’t break.

Which press to buy

I have a simple aluminum tortilla press made by Vasconia, and I purchased it at a local kitchen supply store. I can’t seem to find it available online to provide you with a link, but this press from Fox Run seems very similar.

There are plenty of cast iron tortilla presses available, but they’re heavy and I simply don’t see the point. They also tend to be much more expensive. I like to keep it simple with tools like this since there appears to be no downside to simplicity in this context.

Fresh Gluten Free Corn Tortillas

How to store the tortillas

Either way, store the tortillas in some sort of closed container. I have an actual tortilla warmer because I make them often and it was really inexpensive.  

You can simply store the tortillas wrapped tightly in a moist tea towel (just a towel with a flat weave, so it doesn’t get lint on the tortillas), in a pot with a tight-fitting lid, or even in a wide, flat plastic storage container with a lid. 

They’ll remain pliable and fresh-tasting for a few hours when stored at room temperature, wrapped in a damp tea towel or paper towel. They can be refreshed before eating by searing briefly on both sides in a hot skillet. They can also be cooled completely in a stack, then wrapped tightly in a freezer-safe wrap and frozen, then refreshed in the same way.

 

Fresh homemade naturally gluten free corn tortillas made with masa harina corn flour, salt and warm water. Authentic taste and texture in minutes!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: About 8 6-inch tortillas

Ingredients

2 cups (232 g) gluten free masa harina corn flour (Bob’s Red Mill and Nuts.com are both good brands here)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

9 to 11 ounces very warm water (about 90°F)

Directions

  • Make the dough. Place the masa and salt in a large bowl, and whisk until well-combined. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add 9 ounces water, and mix to combine. The dough should hold together well and have the consistency of play-doh: stiff and thick, but a bit wet. It will absorb water as it sits. If it is at all dry, add more water, about 1/2 ounce at a time, until it reaches the proper consistency.

  • Let the dough rest. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and touch the dough. It will have absorbed enough of the water that it is not crumbly but leaves no residue on your hands when you touch it. Divide the dough into about 8 equal pieces, and roll each into a tight round between your palms. If the dough is at all crumbly, sprinkle it lightly with some water and knead it into the dough.

    Heat a cast iron skillet or another heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat until very hot.

  • If using a tortilla press, line a tortilla press with plastic (cut off the top of a quart-sized zip-top bag, then along the sides, and finally in half into two equal squares. Use the two pieces of plastic to line the press). Then simply press the dough first in the tortilla press. Remove the dough from the press, roll it out a bit thinner between the two pieces of plastic and then continue with the rest of the instructions.

    If not using a tortilla press, place one piece of masa dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper and roll into a round about 6 inches in diameter.

  • For a perfect circle, cut a clean round from the dough using a 6-inch cake cutter or lid of a pot of similar diameter. Remove the top sheet of parchment or the top sheet of plastic, peel the bottom sheet away from the raw tortilla and place it in the hot pan. Allow the tortilla to cook undisturbed until it begins to pull away from the pan around the edges (about 45 seconds in a hot pan). With a flat, wide spatula, flip the tortilla over, press it gently onto the pan to ensure contact with the entire surface area, and cook for about 15 seconds. Flip once more, and cook for another 15 seconds. Remove the tortilla from the skillet and cover with a moist tea towel or place in a tortilla warmer lined with a moistened tea towel or paper towel. Repeat with the remaining dough, gathering and re-rolling any scraps and stacking the tortillas under the towel.

  • Serving and storage. Corn tortillas will remain pliable and fresh-tasting for a few hours when stored at room temperature, wrapped in a damp tea towel. They can be refreshed before eating by searing briefly on both sides in a hot skillet. They can also be cooled completely in a stack, then wrapped tightly in a freezer-safe wrap and frozen. Defrost at room temperature and refresh in a hot skillet as described.

  • Originally published on the blog in July 2012. Recipe refreshed, retooled and re-photographed in 2015; video and photos using tortilla press new in 2019.

Love,
Nicole

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