Almond Torte for Dessert

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.

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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:

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

Melt the butter and let it cool. I did that in my microwave. 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 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!

 

Jam and Almond Tart

European jam tarts.  Heard of them. Never had a taste of one. Have a lot of jam/jellies so I thought it was the right time to give it a whirl. I also had some almond paste, just a bit but it proved enough to make a touch of frangipane filling.  I think you could leave out the frangipane part but why? It definitely adds to the flavor of the finished tart. Honestly it felt like I got it from a really high-end bakery.  Gluten free too.

Yes, I know of the famous British Bakewell  Tart, this is sort of the reverse of that: with more of a tart and less of a cake result – next time I crave jam I may well try my hand at a Bakewell  Tart.  It is sort of like jam topped with a rich thin cake.  Stay tuned!

There are just a few simple steps to this; if you want the jam or jelly sweeter you can cook it down a bit with a half cup of sugar added. I did do that but honestly, I think it was not really necessary. Once it was thickened I put it in a new bowl and chilled it in my freezer as it was too darn hot! Extra work. Next time, just gonna stir up the jam and go with it.

Angie’s Almond and Jam Tart

Crust:

1 c. and 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 egg, room temp

2 tsp. lemon juice

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal. Add the egg and juice; blend until it clumps into a ball. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes.  Roll out  between plastic sheets or wax paper and lay in pan: press onto the sides of a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Set in fridge to cool while you make the filling to 1 1/3 cup fruit jam/jelly; I used homemade red currant jelly

2-3 Tbsp. almond paste

½ cup sugar

¼ cup gf flour

½ tsp. almond extract

2 ¼ ounces sliced almonds

 

Directions:

Make crust; chill.  Stir up jam/jelly.  Put the almond paste, sugar, extract, and flour in a food processor; mix until well blended. Sprinkle over crust. Glop on the jam and smear around with a large spoon or butter knife. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes; until the crust is lightly browned.  Cool at least an hour before slicing. Great  with a dollop of whipped cream or plain yogurt. Stores for about 2 days (tightly covered) – if it lasts that long… Enjoy!

jam tart slice

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur basic gf blend)

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch – not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

The crust recipe is from Annalise Roberts great cookbook, GF Baking Classics, Second Edition.

 

 

Chocolate Cloud Pie…Oh My!

 

I have a fantastic cookbook, all pies, nothing else. By Farm Journal, published in 1981 but it has the vibe of the 1950’s. Lots of interesting combo fruit pies and chiffon pies like you never heard of. I found this recipe for a chocolate rum pie. The pre-made cookie crust could sub in for a traditional pie crust which the recipe called for. I had all the ingredients except the crust ….but I thought it sounded tasty and worth a trip to the grocery store for the crust cookies, gluten free of course!

chocolate pudding

It was not hard to make either. I threw 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. Everyone devoured their slice. People took slices home. My mom was eager to keep a second slice….for tomorrow. This enthusiastic audience caused me to mention it on facebook. I got all these likes and a few hungry comments. The buzz of happy responses led me to decide to share my version of chocolate rum pie. I have renamed it Chocolate Almond Cloud Pie. That was four years ago….

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 five 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 french brandy instead of rum as I was out of dark rum. I think cognac would be nice too. .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 just buy a crust.

I posted this back in the spring of 2014 and hadn’t made it since; a matter of just forgetting how amazing it tastes.  Like eating a chocolate cloud….with puffs of cream and the crunch of toasted almonds. I used a hybrid crust when I made it yesterday; 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 Almond Cloud Pie

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

1 tbsp dark rum
1 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 too many get black on the sides.

Cook the filling; put 2 cups whole milk into a medium sized and heavy sauce pan, Then add the dry pudding mix, the corn starch and the cocoa. Stir with a whisk as it heats. 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 3 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!

choc cloud pie

Originally posted March 2014. No changes to recipe.

Dark Chocolate Almonds Snack Pack

Always on the lookout for a shelf stable gluten free snack choice… Saw this small bag of dark chocolate almonds at Walmart. Not generally where I shop for groceries…but there I was and there it was. On a shelf on the edge of the produce department, right next to dried fruit items.  It was only like $1.29 for two ounces so I picked up one to try. It is just whole almonds dipped in dark chocolate. Made by Orchard Valley Harvest located in Illinois.  15 grams of sugar, 5 of dietary fiber, no sodium, 24 grams of fat.  I didn’t gobble the whole thing; ate like 4-5 almonds at a sitting so I got at least 3 or 4 servings.  I didn’t find it to raise my blood sugar much and I enjoyed the crunch of the almonds against the dark, almost bitter chocolate flavor. Delish and definitely worth getting again.  Only wish it came in a bigger bag.  Opps; while looking around for pictures I found that it does come in a 14 ounce size. Next time!   dark chocolate almonds

FYI: I have been blogging for just over five years, first on Patch and then on WordPress.  Recently I upgraded my blog to remove advertisements that WordPress puts up and to give me more storage space. Moving on up!

I still enjoy the process of writing my blog posts and plan to continue for the foreseeable future. I write about new recipes I have made, new products I have tried out, restaurants I have eaten at or my struggle to find gluten free foods that are healthy and yummy. Occasionally I have to whine and vent about my life but mostly I am just so thankful to be healthier and to have good food for my meals. I am not much for pre-made foods so you will find many posts with recipes and not so many product reviews for readi-made entrees.  I also try to cook and eat low sugar when it comes to dessert. I eat most produce seasonally and I eat a wide variety of veggies and fruits. Often my snack is a fruit; ;this afternoon I had a tiny tangerine and after work half a ripe pear. They are like my candy; sweet and juicy. I crave the fresh!!

Thank you for tuning in and reading my posts on my gluten free life style. I enjoy writing, enjoy cooking and sure do enjoy eating tasty food. Most of my recipes are pretty easy. Before I went gf I ate a lot of snack bars and junk food.  I have cut back severely on that stuff. My body feels better for eating healthy choices and that makes me feel better in general.  Everything I post I have either cooked myself or eaten something I bought. No one pays me to post stuff, I am totally independent and honest about anything I report on here. I love good food; just hate eating crappy tasting so if I give you a recipe it is gonna taste great.  Enjoy!

Rhubarb Frangipane Pie: GF of Course!

 

Another week, another rhubarb pie.  This time I went with almond; a frangipane layer under the rhubarb but it’s quick to make and blends in: you won’t see it  when you bite into this luscious pie.  This is easy to make even though it has several steps.  Keeper recipe!

The GF crust will work for any pie you wish and the sugared topping is a great look and a crunchy sweet treat.  This pie does has several steps but each one is easy.  This was my first try at a two crust pie and I have to say the top crust was very flaky and tasty. I am now wondering why it took me three plus years to attempt a double crust.  Apple pie coming our way this fall with two crusts for sure!

 

Angie’s GF Rhubarb Frangipane Pie

Crust:

2 ¼ c brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

¼ cup sweet rice flour

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

12 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

2 large eggs

4 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Directions: Spray 9 or 10 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

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 two equal balls with your hands. Put each on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust balls some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you chop the rhubarb into ½ inch chunks.

Frangipane Filling:

2/3 cup almond meal

1/3 c sugar

6 tbsp. butter at room temp

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1 tbsp. rice flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix the almond meal and sugar in your stand mixer on low, add the butter, cream well, use spatula to make sure the butter gets down and fully integrated into the mixture and then add egg and almond extract, mix and add the flour and cinnamon.

Rhubarb filling:

5 cups cut up fresh rhubarb

3 tbsp. tapioca flour

¼ tsp. salt

Zest of one orange (optional)

2 tbsp. sugar

1 or 2 tsp. of milk to brush on for a glaze

Raw sugar to sprinkle on top

——–

In large bowl: place rhubarb, add tapioca flour, salt, plain sugar and orange zest. Stir with spoon to coat.

Assembling the pie:

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out one pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! I use a pie bag my sister gave me; works fantastically with gf crusts. Peel off one side of wax paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.

Spread frangipane filling on the bottom of the crust.  Fill with dry rhubarb mix.  Roll out other pie crust. Place gently on top of pie, crimp around edges. Cut a few vent slits in the top crust. Brush top crust with milk, sprinkle heavily with raw sugar.

Place on baking sheet to catch drips (I have a pie drip pan I love!)  Bake 20 mi, rotate it half way through so the back and front are the same level of golden. Lower heat to 350 degrees.  Bake for 30-40 min until crust is golden and you can see the filling bubbling.  Cool on rack for at least 1-2 hours before serving. rhubarb frangipane pie 001

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is a blending of one I found on splendidtable.org with my favorite crust recipe out of Annalise Roberts cookbooks with my own small changes to create a pie to my taste buds happiness.

Cherry Frangipane Tart – Cherrylishous!

Cherries are a Drake family favorite.  I have one sister who seems to live on sweet cherries all summer long.  I love them myself; a bowl of sweet and tangy cherries for dessert is the best! Once I made a whole dinner with cherries of one form or another in every recipe. Rave reviews from everyone.

Pies should be made with sour not sweet cherries.  Not sure why, cause you gotta add sugar anyway but it is the way of the cherry.  I love sour cherry pie…but, I never ate cherry pie as a kid because I couldn’t trust my mom to pick out any worms she saw in the home grown cherries she used for pies.  So I cheated myself out of many slices of delicious cherry pie.  This past summer I picked a lot of sour cherries and pitted them all.  One pie for now and the rest measured and frozen.  No worms, I promise!

At Christmas I made this yummy frangipane tart (almond tart) full of cherries for my family.  Yes, I used some of my frozen ones. Somehow I forgot to share it here on my blog.  Since it is the week we celebrate President’s Day [think George Washington and that cherry tree] it seemed appropriate to pass it on to you all.  Besides it is my “Year of the Pie” and tarts count! I totally want to make it again soon. Hmmnn, think there is one more bag of cherries in my freezer… christmas baking 2015 015

The recipe comes from my new bestie gf baking book; Gluten-Free Baking Classics The Heirloom Collection by Annalise Roberts. I didn’t change it at all.  Perfection with cherries. I am telling you, this cookbook is worth buying just for the pie section!

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Cherry Frangipane Tart

Crust:

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

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal tart pan (with removable bottom) with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.  I actually used a ten inch ceramic tart pan; worked fine too. Use the tart pan you have.

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 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 make the filling.

Roll out pie crust between the two sheets of wax paper; try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! My sister Karen gave me a pie bag last year and I love it for an even thin crust.  You can get one on line from King Arthur Flours.  Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees, cool before filing. Crust can’t be hot or the almond and butter filling will melt when you spread it over the crust!

Filling:

½ c unsalted butter

½ cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup almond meal

1 tbsp. brown rice flour mix

1 tbsp. Amaretto

1 tsp. almond extract

½ tsp. salt

3 cups pitted sour cherries

Beat butter and sugar in bowl of large mixer until pale and fluffy. Add egg and other ingredients except cherries; beat it all together with a mixer at low speed until well blended.

Put tart together:

Fill cooled crust with frangipane mixture spread over bottom of the baked tart crust.  Then spread the pitted cherries evenly over the top. I put them on, one at a time to make sure they looked the best I could do.  No “just dump them” for this tart…

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, until tart is puffed and light brown across the whole surface.  Take out of the oven and cool at least 1 hour before removing the side ring.   Serve warm or close to room temperature. christmas baking 2015 015

Note: if you use frozen cherries; measure and weigh frozen. Let them defrost, pat off excess moisture and spread them over the filling.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur GF Flour Mix)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Almond Cloud Cookies…Delightful

Sometimes you feel like you gotta have a cookie and nothing store made will do.  This basic recipe from the King Arthur website will show you how easy it is to make scrumptious gluten free cookies; these are flour free; made with almond paste, sugar, egg whites, almond extract and some powdered sugar.  So simple even a 7 year old can make them.  No fancy molding, shaping or rolling out.  No tricky flours to mix, no meringue to whip.  Simple blending, measure it with your tablespoon; shape quickly by pressing with three finger tips and bake. The cookie dough spreads out as it bakes so don’t worry if it looks like an artless clump on your baking sheet.  It will flatten and round into an attractive cookie.

Almond cloud cookies have a delicate crunch to them, deeply almond in flavor.  They look very pretty with the powdered sugar on top.  I find them somewhat addictive; can’t eat just one cookie. Yes….an almond cloud is a very descriptive name for these delightful treats.

I used ¾ cup white sugar and they were quite sweet enough for me. I also sprinkled the baked cookies with sifted powdered sugar after they came out and cooled a minute or two right on the baking sheet. Don’t leave them there more than a couple more minutes or they will be hard to lift off the baking sheet. If you are more cautious in  your use of sugar leave that stop off. I cut the sugar down in the dough to 3/4 cup but did sift some powdered sugar on top; makes the cookies even more attractive.

Great recipe; definitely planning to make it again for company and maybe for Christmas. No flour needed; just lots of almond paste! I measured mine on a small kitchen scale to make sure I had the right amount of that pricey ingredient.  You can make your own you know: l did last holiday season – very easy and I loved the fresh flavor of my very own batch: https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/almond-paste-holiday-joy/

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Almond cloud cookies  makes about 21 cookies.

INGREDIENTS

10 ounces almond paste

¾-1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon gluten-free almond extract

1/8 teaspoon extra-strong bitter almond oil

Confectioners’ sugar for topping

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two rimmed baking sheets.

Blend the almond paste, sugar, and salt until the mixture becomes uniformly crumbly; this is best done in a stand mixer.

Add the egg whites gradually, while mixing, to make a smooth paste.

Stir in the flavorings. I left out the almond oil; didn’t have any; fine without it.

Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared pans. I did eight to a pan. Sprinkle the cookies heavily with confectioners’ sugar, then use three fingers to press an indentation into the center of each cookie.

Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool right on the pan for 4-5 minutes. I froze some and stored some in my cookie jar.  They stayed a bit soft making them easy to enjoy a couple days later…I was afraid that they would become tooth breakers upon sitting a while.  Nope…still perfect. Get your cookie with these charmers…you won’t regret it.seafood pasta and swordfish 027