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.

 

 

Yellow Pear Tomato Jam…Yeap That’s A Real Jam

When I was a kid my mom used to make this jam out of yellow pear tomatoes.  Those are small and yellow; about the size of a large grape tomato, and yes, they are shaped like a pear.  Just really tiny.  They grow in a viney mess of a plant and are definitely old school tomatoes but you can still buy the seeds from superseeds.com. yellow-pear-tomato-jam-001

It had a cinnamon flavoring cooked deep into the conserve. It is sweet as any fruit jam generally is, so get that flavor of traditional tomato sauce totally out of your head!  Yes, sweet cinnamony tomato jam.  It can be done and is amazingly yummy.

Mom made this jam for my father every late summer when the yellow pear tomatoes were loaded with ripe fruit. He loved chowing down on it smeared thickly on a big slab of homemade white bread coated with fresh butter. I couldn’t find a recipe anywhere online so I have been experimenting for a couple of years.  Finally, I think I have perfected my version replicating Mom’s delicious conserve.  I think the secrets are to cook it long and slow until it is truly jammy in texture and the spices are enough but not overwhelming the tomatoes. We will be enjoying it this winter…on gluten free bread, of course!  You could also eat it on top of cream cheese spread on a cracker. Or use it in a recipe to add flavor; maybe a broiled fish dish?  I am going to experiment a bit with it to find more ways to enjoy my tomato jam.


Daddy’s Yellow Pear Tomato Jam
Yield: five 8-ounce jars

Ingredients
1 lemon
3 1/2 pounds yellow pear tomatoes
2 cups sugar
3 small cinnamon sticks
4 or 5 whole cloves
4 tsp pectin mixed with 2 tsp. sugar

Directions

Wash the yellow pear tomatoes,  chop up somewhat; halve the larger ones.  Then put in heavy wide sauce pan, add the sugar. Turn on low and let the sugar melt, once sugar is melted turn up some, stir frequently. Using a zester, remove the zest from the lemon in wide strips, leaving the bitter white pith behind. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice through a strainer into a dish. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to the cooking tomatoes. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are juicy and the sugar dissolves, 15 to 20 minutes.  Add the pectin and sugar mixture. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are dark and syrupy and a candy or deep-fry thermometer registers 220 degrees F, 40 to 50 minutes (the timing may vary depending on the juiciness of the tomatoes). Reduce the heat if the mixture starts to scorch. I didn’t really use the thermometer this last time; just stirred it often and waited for it to reduce down to a thick jammy consistency.  That consistency is key

Discard the cinnamon sticks and cloves.  They have done their part in flavoring the jam and you sure wouldn’t want to bite down on a clove hiding on your jammed up toast! Sometimes I wash up the cinnamon sticks, let them dry and put them in a small dish as a room potpourri, waste not want not! They still have a lot of cinnamon flavor left in them….

Meanwhile, sterilize five 8-ounce canning jars and lids in boiling water.  I think 15 minutes in bubbling water for jars, and 5-6 for lids is fine.

Fill the jars with the tomato jam mixture, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, then seal and process ten minutes in a hot water bath.  Cool and store in a dry, cool, non sunny location.  I always label my jam; sometimes we forget and it is just safer to write a label of what it is and when it was canned so you will know 10 months later just what you have in that jar…  Enjoy!

Jam Thumbprint Cookies, Thumbs Up!

As children we each had our favorite cookies to make, this was traditionally one of my brothers’ to bake but once grown up I continued to make it, ‘cause they are addictively tasty.  I love it made with apricot jam, you can used chopped slivered almonds instead of walnuts for that version.  But, any flavor good quality jam will work, pick what you like.  I used two flavors this time; homemade peach jam and some store bought but excellently flavored raspberry jam. Like getting two cookies out of one batch of dough.

xmas cookies 003xmas cookies 002

Last Christmas a dear friend gave me a new cookbook “Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies” by Ellen Brown.  I have tried several recipes and all were fantastic.  This is out of it, I swapped the candied red and green cherries for jam, but you can go old school and use those freaky candied cherries.

Jam and Walnut Thumbprints

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup white rice flour

1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar

½ cup cornstarch

1 tsp. xanthan gum

1 tsp. cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

2 sticks unsalted butter cut into thin slices

1 lg egg

1 tbsp. whole milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

½ cup jam; raspberry, peach, strawberry

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl food processor, steel blade, blend briefly.  Add butter to work bowl and process off an on until it resembles coarse meal.

Combine egg, milk and vanilla in a small bowl; whisk. Drizzle into the work bowl, pulse about 10-12 times until it forms a stiff dough.  If it doesn’t come together, add more milk a tsp. at a time. I added a tsp. more of milk to get the dough to form up.

Chill the dough for 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put racks in the middle of the oven. Place chopped walnuts in a wide shallow bowl and roll 1 1/2 inch balls of dough.  Roll them in the chopped walnuts, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Press an indent in with a finger and fill with about ½ tsp. jam.  Bake 14-15 minutes, until just firm but not browned.  They will be very delicate to the touch.  Let cool 2-3 minutes on sheet before carefully moving them to a cooling rack using a metal pancake turner. I bumped a couple and they just fell apart on the sheet; very fragile while hot.  They will solidify once they cool.  I store mine in cookie tins or Tupperware containers.  They won’t last as long as wheat cookies but they get snapped up fast so that shouldn’t be a problem.  I supposed you could freeze them for a week or two if necessary.

They are not too sweet and so delicate, great with a cup of tea or coffee.  As good, if not better, then when I made them with all purpose wheat flour 2 years ago before I had to go gluten free.  Your family will be amazed that they are gf, no one you serve them to will ever guess.  Totally tasty and fun to make with your kids! Enjoy.

PS: my sisters who both eat gluten/wheat loved these cookies and ate a whole bunch this past weekend!  In fact, our lunch dessert Sunday was a big plate of homemade Christmas cookies, all gluten free and there were only 3 cookies left once everyone had all they wanted.