Pecan Tart is Terrific!

Something sort of sweet for a spring weekend, no fresh fruit available in the house. But I have a bag of pecan halves. Perfect. I wanted a whole tart not some small individual tarts like I’ve made in the past so I just used my long rectangular tart; it worked great, correct amount of filling. You can also use a 9 inch round tart pan . A rectangular one is kinda fun to cut in narrow slices across the width. And a tart is not quite as thick as a pie; I like the crust and filling proportions.

Notes: You have to use dark corn syrup.  Yes, I know corn syrup is an unhealthy item but sometimes you just have to go wicked!  It’s worth it, I promise. Cross my heart. Oh and NO margarine. Butter! Or Earth Balance if you don’t eat real butter.

This tart was awesome as is but are also great with some freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream which is quite popular at my house.

Ready for the oven….

Angie’s GF Pecan Tart

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 Tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Crust directions: Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembles coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you get the rest ready.

Filling:

2 large eggs

1/3 c sugar

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 and a half tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

1 cup pecan halves

Sprinkle cinnamon

Filling: Beat eggs, sugar, salt, butter and corn syrup in a bowl until well mixed, can use a hand held mixer.  Stir in pecans and a good sprinkle of cinnamon.

Assembly: Roll out pie crust between the two long sheets of wax paper; try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and lay in long rectangluar tart shell or a round one if that’s what you got.  Crimp edges all around.   Fill your shell with pecan mix.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven on a low shelf for 25 or so minutes until set and crust edges lightly browned.  Cool at least 1/2 hour before serving warm or at room temperature or even slightly chilled. 

Freshly baked long pean tart!
My slice!

Cloud Pie, Yes…that’s a Thing!

choc cloud pie

It’s spring but not much fresh fruit is out for pies; I am rather tired of apples pulled from refridgerated storage, ditto the pears. And peaches/plums.necterines are here after traveling thousands of miles from South America. So for a quick dessert try this recipe: a chocolate cloud pie. This works well with a premade graham cracker crust. My guy actually liked it better that way. I especially loved the version I made once with a mixture of chocolate cookies and ginger snaps. Do any crust you like.

chocolate pudding

It is not hard to make: I throw it together in three easy steps. It was one of those recipes where the sum of the ingredients is far tastier than the components would lead one to believe. The first time I made it everyone devoured their slice. some took slices home. The name came from the fact that it is as light as a fluffy cloud and from my love for my older sister who died over eight years ago. Margie’s love of pie was renown in our family and I am absolutely sure she would have adored this pie. Whip some up this week and woo your family with chocolaty goodness that should please everyone. choco cloud pie slice (2)

Notes: I used Amaretto this time instead of rum as I was out. I think cognac would be nice too. I have used bourbon too; works fine! I used 3/4 cup almonds as that’s all I had; worked great; I put 2 Tbsp. aside for topping and rest went on top of the baked cookie crust. You can buy a crust or make your own. I often leave out the almonds on the crust before you put in the filling. I don’t really miss them…good to know if you don’t have a full cup of almonds. A healthy slice is like eating a chocolate cloud….with puffs of cream and the crunch of toasted almonds. I used a hybrid crust when I made it a couple of years ago; I was tired of my gf oreos; so I scraped out and discarded the filling and crunched up the cookies, I thought I was a bit short on cookies so I added 7-8 gingersnaps I still had from my last cookie crust. Crunched up and mixed with butter, baked into what became a flavor delight of a cookie crust! One of the best pies I have ever made. And I make a lot of pies….

Chocolate Cloud Pie

Ingredients
1 pre-made graham crumb crust, GF
1 pkg chocolate pudding, the kind you have to cook
2.5 cups whole milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cocoa

1 tbsp dark rum, Amaretto, brandy, coniac
3/4 cup slivered almonds, divided
1 1/3 cup heavy cream, divided

4 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Pour the almonds into a frying pan, no oil and toast them, stirring constantly. Alternately you could do this in the oven at a low temperature but I prefer the frying pan. Stop when they are medium brown, try not to let them get black on the sides.

Cook the filling; put the whole milk into a medium sized heavy sauce pan, Then add the dry pudding mix, the corn starch and the cocoa. Stir with a whisk as it heats on medium heat. Once the mixture is bubbling all over the surface turn off the heat and add the rum. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill until cooled. Take ½ cup heavy cream and whip. Add this to the pudding and whisk until blended. Take 4 tbsp of almonds and set aside for garnishing the pie later. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted almonds over the chocolate pie crust Gently spoon the filling into the pie shell on top of the toasted almonds. Chill at least 2 hours until set and cold. Whip the rest of the heavy cream in a chilled bowl, adding the sugar near the end of the whipping. Gently put dollops of it all over the pie top. Sprinkle the reserved almonds on top. Enjoy!

Originally posted March 2014. No changes to recipe.

Almond Tort

I found this recipe on line somewhere for an almond cake but it was in British measurement and oven temp. I did some math and measuring; a lot of number changing and a bit of guessing. I gave it a whirl; made some minor changes to amounts, simplified a bit and added some almond extract for more flavor. And it turned out so delicious.   More of a torte in my mind so that’s what I am calling it. Next time I think I will use a slightly smaller spring-form pan; an 8 inch rather than the 9 inch I made it in.  That will make it thicker; might have to bake it longer. Otherwise; perfect dessert treat: tender with a delicate almond flavor. The coconut is a back note but I liked it in there. Just sweet enough for us. You can add another quarter cup of sugar if you are mad for sweet…

I wasn’t planning to blog this so I took no pictures. This is the last slice left 24 hours after it was baked. Went fast…definitely a keeper recipe! Next time I will snap a shot of the whole torte and some pictures of the process of making it.

almond torte slice3

Almond Torte – serves 6-8

Ingredients:

11 Tbsp. butter; melt it and let it cool to room temp. Plus a tsp. to butter the pan.

1 ½ cups almond meal plus a Tbsp. to coat the buttered pan

2/3 cup sweetened coconut, flaked

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 cup sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. almond extract

3 Tbsp. sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS:

Place shelf in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the 11 Tbsp. of butter and let it cool. I did that in my microwave. Butter (1 tsp butter) a 9 inch spring-form (8 will work too) on bottom and first inch and a half up the sides and then dust with almond meal; about a Tbsp of almond meal should do it.

Mix almond meal, coconut, sea salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl beat the eggs until frothy; add almond extract and vanilla extract. Add the cooled butter. Mix. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well with whisk. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Top should spring back lightly when touched, lightly browned. You can dust with powered sugar but I liked the look of it plain. Guessing it could be yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Cover to store leftovers; doubt they will last long. Enjoy!

Originally published in spring of 2019

Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

My love for snacking muffins unfolds further…what new flavor shall I make?  Turning to my trusty basic muffin recipe I went for a sweet treat; chocolate chip muffins. They are a riff on my blueberry muffin recipe. If you are wondering why I am posting yet another muffin recipe: homemade muffins are lots cheaper than commercially made GF muffins plus they taste so fresh and oh so tasty. I walk right by all those pricey gf snack bars and cookies; knowing that in my freezer is a zip-lock bag full of luscious muffins that defrost to taste as though I made them that morning.

This batch of muffins was delightful: delicate texture yet with a great crunch and the lightly chocolate flavor from the mini chips.  I cut back on the chips a bit so they are not too heavy or too chocolaty. The walnuts also contribute to the crunch and add a subtle nutty taste.  I added a bit of cinnamon which pulls it all together.

The streusel topping gives a great look and adds texture and flavor.  I messed up my topping this batch; had to sprinkle melted butter over them after topping. Still yummy but they are slightly bald on top as a lot of the oats didn’t stick properly due to my error.  Next time they will be perfect. And there Must be a next time as these sweet treats are awesome!

I love how healthy these muffins are compared to commercial gf muffins, no preservatives, chemicals or weird ingredients I would never bake with.  Try them and see how eating gluten free can be so easy when you bake your own snacks. As always I freeze those I won’t eat in two days time; a zip lock freezer bag works great.

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below) or King Arthur Basic GF Flour blend

2/3 cup granulated sugar  or granulated coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. xanthan gum

¼ tsp. salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

2 large eggs

½ cup milk, 1 or 2 percent plus 2 tbsp more if you use the palm sugar

½ cup canola oil

—————-

Topping: Mix the following in a bowl, add the butter last after you stir it up a bit: use a spoon to blend. Set aside while you make the muffin batter.

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/3  cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond meal

¼ tsp. cinnamon

3 tbsp. butter, melted

——-

Muffin directions: Heat your oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 14-16 muffins.  I got 16 when I made them.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl Add chips and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix.  Combine milk and oil.  Beat in eggs, add vanilla.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir just until blended.  It is a very thick batter.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  I use a big serving spoon and fill it about half way to dump in each muffin space. Sprinkle the top with the topping. Press it in a bit so it won’t all flake off after baking. Bake 21-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  Remove within 2 minutes from the pans and cool on a rack.  They freeze well for a few weeks: if they last that long.  Keeps in an airtight cookie jar for 2-3 days.  

Originally published in March 2019, no recipe changes made.

Brown Butter Apple Galette

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine and thought I could make it, just a little simpler and (of course) gluten free. Feel free to check it out on line or in the magazine rack at the library.  http://www.bonappetit.com/

I liked how it looked: the shape of it and all those skinny slices.  What the heck is a galette?  I goggled it and the term can refer to a French free form cake or a free form tart that is sort of between a pie and a tart.  It should be less work than a pie or a fancy tart.  This one is a rectangular shape which I loved.  Not that tough to shape.  You can do it. The hardest part for me was spelling the word correctly for this post!

apple galette 017

For more galette info; check this New York Times article with a great video: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/dining/the-galette-forgives-you.html?_r=0

Anyway, my apple galette was easy to make and gorgeous to look at and even tastier to eat! Impress your family when you toss this together – they will think it took hours to make.  Leaving the skin on the apples makes them easier to slice thin, they hold their shape better and you save time.  Plus you get the bonus of all the fiber and nutrition of the apple skin and right below it.

First, make the crust and chill it a bit while you slice the apples.

GF Tart Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 Tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg, room temperature

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a flat fat rectangle with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), put another piece of wax paper on top and chill it all in your fridge 15 minutes

Baking pan: Spray 10 x 14 inch metal baking pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour or line with parchment paper.

Filling:

3 cooking apples – a pound or a bit more

2-3 tbsp. salted butter

3 tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

Take 2 tbsp. salted butter and heat it in a sauce pan until it is browned, watch closely or it will burn.  Pour it into a small bowl to cool a bit.  It will brown a touch more even out of the pan so take it out at a medium brown.

Wash and dry three firm cooking apples.  I used golden delicious that I bought at an orchard store; Bechdolts Orchard to be exact. Apples are extra fresh when you get them from where they grew. I cut them in half and cut out the core with my knife. Not peeled; the peel helps the slice keep its shape.   I put the cut side down and cut the apple half into skinny1/8 inch slices.  Leave them all close together still shaped like an apple half. Cut them all like that. I ate the end pieces that were rounded or otherwise less than perfect!  apple galette 008

apple galette 007

Roll out the somewhat chilled crust between the two sheets of wax paper into a rectangle; about 10 by 14 inches, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! I use my pie bag as it works great even for weird shapes. Peel off one side of paper and place on pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.

Place your skinny sliced apples skin side up, separating them slightly.  I made two long rows and put a few slices down the sides.  Leave a 1 ½ inch border of crust untouched all around the fruit.  apple galette 009

Pour the brown butter all over the fruit.  Sprinkle with the dark brown sugar.  Fold up the border of dough to form rustic sides; connect at the corners, no need to make it perfect; it is a galette!  Beat the egg well with a small whisk and add the water.  Brush the entire tart shell and fruit with it.  Sprinkle with that spoonful of regular sugar.

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Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40-50 minutes until bubbly and the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

apple galette 011

I served mine with the time honored tradition of vanilla ice cream, my favorite: Turkey Hill’s homemade variety of vanilla.   It was also delightful all by itself so you can savor the delicate flavors of the apples with the brown butter and brown sugar.  apple galette 017 The original recipe had some fancy whipped cream flavored with a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup; next time! And there sure will be another apple galette this fall. It was tasty and I loved the extra crunch the crust had from the painting of egg wash and sugar.  My pie crust has never been put to better usage nor had better flavor.

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

We had this for lunch today; made with empire or Cortland apples; absolutely delightful.  I put 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in the crust before adding the egg. And I used big crystal sugar for the topping tbsp. of sugar.  Even better than last time I made it.

Last posted in 2018; minor text changes made.