Archives for posts with tag: tart

When I got the message from Caleigh over at Gluten Free[k], inviting me to take part in the Great Gluten-Free Recipe Challenge that she was hosting, I was really excited. Firstly, it’s great to feel part of a community that not only understands this part of my life because it’s part of theirs too but that also celebrates it and says, “You know what? I’m not going to accept this restriction on my diet lying down. Gluten-free food can be just as delicious and I’m going to show you. So there!” One of the reasons that I started blogging was that I didn’t know anyone else who ate the same diet as me, who suffered the same frustration in restaurants (WHY does the hollandaise have gluten in it?) and who suffered the same rudeness and ignorance from waiting staff. This is just one of my experiences: My husband and I went out to breakfast in a (not inexpensive) restaurant in Bristol. When I asked to not have the sausage and black pudding on my meal, it arrived without bacon as well. On questioning it, I was challenged with a surly “What’s the difference between bacon and sausages?!” Not the reaction I was expecting. “Um, cereal…” I said. Extra bacon was begrudgingly slapped down on a side plate next to me five minutes later. We never went back there.

Secondly  I love a challenge. The rules were laid down. Not only did we have a deadline – to publish our recipe on Monday 12th March – but we were also given an ingredient that had to feature prominently – orange – and the recipe had not only to be gluten-free (naturally!) but also dairy-free and almond-, hazelnut- and chestnut-free. I’m a firm believer that rules, rather than being restrictive, lead to even greater creativity. In my previous incarnation as an English teacher, I would dread setting my students a free creative writing task. Inevitably, I’d end up marking 30+ rambling, incoherent and grammatically-suspect pastiches of whatever they had been reading, watching, gaming the night before… “Enough already!” I said, “We need some rules!” Some of the most creative and beautiful pieces of work I’ve read, especially by lower-ability pupils, are in the style of the haiku – Japanese 17-syllable (no more, no less) poems – that distil a single thought into its pure essence, necessitating a purge of most articles (definite and indefinite), prepositions and pronouns. A valuable teaching tool which frees the child to focus on the simple beauty of creating metaphor.

So I had my rules. What to make? I had a choice: to make something which was naturally gluten-, dairy- and nut-free or, to make something which ordinarily would be jam-packed with them all and see how I could get around it. I chose the latter path (I like making things difficult for myself): gluten-free, I’m of course used to – dairy-free is another story. It would necessitate a journey of discovery into the world of vegan chocolate and soya substitutes. These days, rather than feel resentful at the food I can no longer eat in restaurants and cafés, if I see something that I really want, I go home and create it myself. This recipe is one such. Just before we moved to our new home in Cheltenham in December, my husband, our son and I needed to vacate our house while the prospective buyer measured up for her new kitchen. We found ourselves wandering aimlessly around Cabot Circus (the new shopping mall in the centre of Bristol) and decided to warm ourselves up with a brew at Costa Coffee. Sitting behind the glass counter, brazenly flirting with me, was an orange curd and chocolate ganache tart. I knew I’d have to have it sooner or later. So here it is. My culinary haiku which celebrates the symbiotic beauty that occurs when chocolate meets orange. Whether or not you eat it in seventeen bites is entirely up to you.

Gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate and blood orange curd tarts

This is a decadent and rich tart, perfect for sharing. You could, however, make smaller individual tartlets. I didn’t have any, but I think they would look beautiful garnished with physalis.

Makes 4 largish tarts, serves 8

For the pastry:
240g gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
65g Trex (or other vegan shortening), cut into cubes
½ medium egg, lightly beaten
cold water

For the orange curd:
1 blood orange
juice ½ lemon
4 eggs, lightly beaten
37g dairy-free spread (such as Pure soya spread)
150g caster sugar

For the chocolate ganache:
200g vegan and gluten-free plain chocolate, roughly chopped
250ml soya single cream (such as Alpro)
20g dairy-free spread

You will also need 4 13cm x 3cm loose-bottomed fluted tart tins*.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-assisted; 365°F). In a food processor, blitz together the flour, xanthan gum and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse to combine until the mixture resembles damp sand. Add enough cold water to bring the mixture together to a slightly tacky dough.

Tip the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together as a ball with your hands. Slightly flatten and cut into four portions. Form each portion into a ball and flatten into a disc about 5mm thick. I tend to do this with the heel of my hand, perhaps finishing it off with the rolling pin. Carefully lift the disc into the tartlet tin and press it in firmly. Remove the surplus pastry from around the rim, either with a knife or your thumb. Mend any tears in the base with surplus pastry and then prick it with a fork. Line the cases with baking parchment* and baking beans.

Place the cases on a baking sheet and bake them blind in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment, return to the oven and bake until the pastry is cooked which should take about another 15 minutes (my pastry didn’t go golden but I’m assuming that this is because there is no butter). Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To make the blood orange curd, wash the fruit and, using a potato peeler, pare the skin away from both the orange and the lemon in strips, making sure to leave the bitter white pith behind. Juice both the orange and the half lemon, making sure to remove any pips and pith. In a heatproof bowl, mix the juices and the rest of the ingredients, including the reserved orange and lemon peel. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with the water, and whisk continuously until the soya spread has melted and the mixture has thickened to the consistency of double (heavy) cream. This should take about 20 minutes**. Strain the orange curd through a sieve into a jug to remove the strips of peel and distribute equally amongst the four pastry cases, smoothing with a palette knife. Allow to cool and set.

To make the chocolate ganache, place the chopped chocolate into a bowl. Put the soya cream and soya spread into a microwaveable jug or bowl and microwave on ‘high’ until the cream is bubbling and the soya spread has melted (this should take between a minute and a minute-and-a-half). Pour the hot cream mixture onto the chopped chocolate and stir with a spatula until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is a dark, glossy brown. Distribute equally amongst the four tarts, smoothing the surface with a palette knife. Allow to cool and set before cutting in half and serving.

* I use Heston Blumenthal’s trick which is to scrunch the parchment up several times and smooth it out before putting it in the tins.

**If the orange curd hasn’t set after 20 minutes, take the bowl of the heat, strain it through a sieve to remove the strips of peel and put it into a small saucepan over a very low heat. Mix 1 tsp of cornflour (cornstarch) with 1 tsp of water and add to the curd. Stir continuously until the curd has thickened up.

Advertisements
A trip to the doctor’s to get the news from my coeliac screening blood test predictably revealed a negative result. I say predictably because apparently you need to have been eating gluten for at least six weeks prior to testing for the autoantibodies to be detectable in the blood. So I’m currently in limbo, waiting for my GP to check with the gastrointestinal consultant at the Bristol Royal Infirmary to see if the next steps are a gastroscopy and biopsies. Unfortunately, my doctor thinks that I may have to have eaten gluten during the past twelve months for any changes in the villi in my small intestine to be detectable. Potentially a week full of pastry, bread and pasta is rearing its ugly head. In the past, the thought of mandatory trips to Planet Pizza, bacon sandwiches made from tiger bread and Pieminister pies would have filled me with delight. Not this time.
Gluten-free orange and cardamom tart in a pistachio biscuit crust
This recipe takes its inspiration from Delia Smith’s recipe for Key Lime Pie in her book Delia’s How To Cook: Book Two.
Serves 8-10
For the base:
95g unsalted butter
175g gluten-free digestive biscuits
50g roasted, unsalted pistachios (shelled weight)
For the filling:
1 tbsp grated clementine zest (zest 4 clementines)
1 medium lemon, juiced and strained to remove pips and pulp
5-6 clementines, juiced and strained to remove pips and pulp
4 medium egg yolks
397g condensed milk
10 cardamom pods
You will also need a loose-bottomed tin, either flan or springform, with a diameter of 23cm, at least 2.5cm deep and a baking sheet.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
Start by melting the butter over a very low heat. Using a food processor, whizz the pistachios until they are a coarse powder. Add the digestives and whizz them until they are coarse crumbs. Pour them into a mixing bowl and add the melted butter, stirring until they are well combined. Next, place this butter-crumb mixture into the tin and press it down firmly and evenly into the base. Place it on the baking sheet and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 10 minutes, or until the crumb base is golden.
Lightly crush the cardamom pods on a board with a pestle to split them open. Scoop out the small seeds inside and crush them in a mortar until they are a fine powder. Place the egg yolks, clementine zest and ground cardamom seeds in a bowl and whisk with an electric whisk for about 2 minutes. The egg should have thickened and be a creamy pale yellow. Add the condensed milk and continue to whisk for another 4 minutes. Pour the lemon juice into a measuring cup or jug and add the clementine juice until it makes 150ml. Pour this into the milk and zest mixture and give another quick whisk to combine. Pour this on to the baked crust and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until it feels just set when lightly pressed in the centre with your finger.
Remove from the oven, take the tin off the baking sheet and place it on a wire rack or heatproof surface. When it is completely cool, cover with clingfilm and chill until needed. Before serving, carefully remove the side ring of the tin, cut into slices and top with crème fraîche.
Notes from the Ledge

The secret to balancing it all is...well, I'll tell you if I ever figure it out.

mygijourney

The rise of a health nut

gf and me

Gluten Free Recipes & Tips

Bunny Eats Design

Happy things, tasty food and good design

sensitive flour

Gluten-free cooking, baking, eating

AIP Sisterhood

Healing Together

Little Gal in the City

Live and Love with your whole heart

No wheat please, I'm allergic

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

wetinkpresspublishing

Pre-publishing Services for eBooks and Print Publications

afra cooking

taking pleasure in all things food

colour me happy kitchen

Because there's more than one way to make a cake.

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free Grain-Free & Dairy-Free Living

charuyoga

vibrant inspiring nourishing yoga

Pizzi e Fichi

Lo style del buon gusto

Fabulously Free From

Living Gluten Free, fabulously!

V 8 Mile

Traveling vegetarian

DO NOT feed the back packer!

A diary of my interests, my travels and my quest to find good Gluten Free food! donotfeedthebackpacker@gmail.com

Mix It Up & Make It Nice

Amateur baker with a passion for eating!

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Growing Up Gluten Free

Rantings, recipes, and reviews

Southerners in the Great White North

Ken & Becca's Canadian Adventure

thebeautyofthewrittenword

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

travels around my kitchen

Just live, read, eat and travel!

Making myself useful

Striving for daily self-accountability

The Foodies

Traditional and New Recipes for All Food Lovers

Gluten Free Gus

Baking Joy Into Every Gluten-free Bite

An Orange Kitchen

A year of food adventures in my Boston kitchen