One of my readers, Flyinthesky, has an excellent recipe for gluten-free white sauce made with cornflour.
I have tried it and it works beautifully.
He posted it in a comment in January 2016, and is well worth reproducing here for anyone who has problems with gluten.
Flyinthesky’s gluten-free white sauce
Bring required amount of milk with the desired amount of butter to the boil.
Dissolve, at a guess, two tablespoons of cornflour in a small quantity of water.
Slowly add while stirring the cornflour water mixture into the liquid until the required consistency is achieved. [Note from Churchmouse: when the cornflour is cooked, it will have lost its opacity. At that point, the sauce thickens.]
Apart from the fact this tastes near the same as roux base it has two advantages, it’s gluten free and it’s heat stable.
I use this for pepper, basic cheese, Stilton and all savoury sauces including gravy.
Top tips for gravy: white pepper to taste as well as sugar and milk. When I put sugar and milk (full cream, of course) in gravy I get puzzled looks from guests, but they love the result.
Mr Fly and I had a disagreement about flour-based sauces. He says they return to a watery state if heated for a long period of time. I said that I’d found that true of cornflour-based sauces.
In retrospect, I had problems because I was not adding enough cornflour.
My cornflour box states that the proportion should be 1 tbsp for every quarter litre (8.8 oz.) of liquid.
Besides being gluten-free, other advantages of using cornflour are that it gives gravies and sauces a lighter texture and lends a translucent look.
I’m using cornflour in all my sauces now, thanks to Flyinthesky.