Alsatian Apple Custard Tart

I am wrapping up my 2016 Year of the Pie and I cannot leave this one out! Apples and cream; a marriage made in a cook’s heaven – the Alsation apple tart. It is from Annalise G. Roberts’s“ The Heirloom Collection” cookbook wherein she re-creates many classic recipes we all love but in a gluten free version.  It came out last year.  Everything I have made from this book is delicious. If you have her other cookbooks you will definitely want this one.

We enjoyed this tart two times last fall/winter.  It is a very easy recipe; make the tart shell and while it pre-bakes, peel and slice the apples and mix up the custard which you pour over the sliced fruit and carefully place in the oven for a transformational baking.

The baked filling has a lovely texture; the apple slices are soft but hold their shape and the custard is silky and subtle.  The long baking makes the crust very crisp.  No ice cream needed; this is perfect just by itself.

So freaking good; you must try it even if you use a wheat crust!

alsatian apple tart 007

Alsation Apple Tart
6 large slices or 8 skinny ones

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 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray a nine – ten inch tart pan that has a 1 ½ inch side with cooking spray, set aside.  I use a ceramic pan but if you have one of those tricky deep tart pans with a removable side that would work perfectly.

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), or a pie bag. Do 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.

Roll out the flattened ball into a pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in the tart pan, be sure to center it.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

Filling:

4 medium-large sized apples, yellow delicious or fuji work well as they don’t squish down too much.

Peel apples, quarter, cut out core, slice into 1/2 inch thick slices (8 for a medium apple)

Mix in a medium  mixing bowl with:

6 tbsp. sugar

2 eggs; stir well

Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, ¼ tsp. cinnamon.

Arrange the apple slices in the warm/hot tart shell, squash them close together.  Pour the custard filling over the apples.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 50-55 minutes until the custard is set and the crust is light brown

Cool the pie at least 1 hour before serving. You can sprinkle the slices with confectioner’s sugar if you like to guild the lily; not really necessary though.

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

2/3 c potato starch (Not potato flour)

1/3 c tapioca flour

Note: This recipe is from Annalise Roberts’ great cookbook: Gluten-Free Baking Classics – The Heirloom Collection.

Originally posted November 2015.

Cranberry Crackle Tart: Light and Flavorful

I discovered this recipe on line, back before last Thanksgiving, at splendidtable.com. I loved the look and sound of it but didn’t find time to make it until last Christmas. Love at first bite. Like a fruit tart and a pavlova had a baby: this is the felicitous result. Light and delicate making it perfect after a hearty Thanksgiving feast. It is really guilt free if you eat it minus any toppings. I devoured it with vanilla ice cream on top at last year’s Christmas luncheon, nice flavor combination. I want to make one for Thanksgiving, maybe this time I will be serving it like you do a Pavlova, with lightly sweetened real whipped cream on top. Yumm!

It is really easy to throw together. If you are gluten free you can use the recipe provided below, which I adapted the splendid table recipe to make it gluten free. At holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Wegmans often has gf redi-made crusts. So does Frey’s Better Foods in Hellertown. If you are a wheat eater use whatever cookie tart crust you like. I added the cinnamon to my crust and found it added a lot to the complexity of the flavors. The crust absolutely needs to be prebaked before you put the tart together.

I should say I seldom use fresh cranberries; I generally make a fresh relish – old family recipe – for Thanksgiving but never got it made last November. So I had the bag of cranberries in the fridge in the fruit bin. Yeah, it sat there a month: I did have to pick through it (you always should) after I rinsed them and remove and squishy ones. There are usually a few of those mixed in and they aren’t great for anyone to eat. Let the picked over berries dry. Anyway, my point is; this tart is fantastic tasting even if you aren’t a huge cranberry fan.

I used some smooth raspberry jam (what I had) but you could probably use most any jam. Just chose one full of real fruit in a flavor you like as you can definitely taste the jammy flavor mixed in with the crust and the meringue topping. I loved it with raspberry jam, a favorite flavor for me.

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Sweet Cookie crust

Place the following in a stand mixer bowl and combine

1 cup GF flour (recipe below)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp. cinnamon
Add 5 tbsp cold butter, cut into 6-7 chunks. Mix on low until the butter is just crumbs blended in.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tbsp water. Blend well.

Pour the crumbs into a ten inch tart pan that was sprayed with cooking spray. Or a glass pie pan. Spread it up the sides. Press gently in so it is a cohesive crust but do not press really hard or it will be like concrete when you finish baking it!

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Set the crust on a rack to cool to room temperature. Do not let it get more than light brown.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (Same as King Arthur’s GF Blend)
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour
Filling

2 tablespoons chunky cherry, raspberry or strawberry jam
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cranberries (if they’re frozen, don’t thaw)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions: When you’re ready to fill and bake the tart: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Gently spoon the jam on top of the crust and spread it evenly over the bottom, I used the back of my big spoon for this operation. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt at medium speed just until they are fluffy and fairly opaque. With the mixer going, add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, then keep beating on high until the whites are shiny and form definite peaks; they will look like marshmallow. This is a meringue.

Pour the cranberries into the bowl of meringue and, using a flexible spatula or spoonula fold them into the meringue. Try to distribute the fruit evenly, but don’t mix too much– you want to keep the meringue fluffy. Spoon the meringue over the jam and spread it to the edges, making it swirly if you’d like. The jam might push up around the sides of the meringue, and that’s fine. Don’t fret if it looks like not enough filling, it will puff up in the oven to fill the pie pan.

Bake the tart for 1 hour, at which point the top will be light beige and cracked here and there. (If you’d like more color, you can bake it a bit longer or even put it under the broiler.) I did not go there! Transfer the tart to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature. I did cut it while slightly warm and we all thought that was just perfection. If you’d like, and I do, dust the tart with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Whipped cream on top is also great.

Storing: The tart is best the day it’s made, although it’s still pretty nice the next day. Leave the tart at room temperature, covering only the cut part with a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. I doubt you will have any the second day anyway. It is that tasty.

Alsatian Apple Tart: New Classic at My House

I bought a few new gf cookbooks this past 6-7 months. I have been too busy to do much with my new one by Annalise G. Roberts; she wrote my favorite gf cookbook “Gluten-Free Baking Classics”. In “ The Heirloom Collection” she re-creates many classic recipes we all love but in a gluten free version. Eighteen cakes, thirteen muffins, scones and quick breads, sixteen cookies, twenty breads as well as eleven tarts. And some other misc. baked goods. SO many yummy looking things to bake. All gluten free. And knowing Annalise Roberts, all yummy!

She starts with a section on how to take a wheat flour based recipe and make it gluten free; very interesting: I have a few cherished recipes I would love to convert.  She is such a reliable and careful baker; all her recipes turn out exactly as promised. With so many great looking recipes and if you have any of her other cookbooks you will definitely want this one.

Anyway back to my tart: I was looking for an apple recipe that only needed 4 apples, cause that’s all I had and this tart caught my eye. I had everything but the heavy cream. So I procured a small container and I was good to go.

It was a very easy recipe; make the tart shell and while it pre-bakes, peel and slice the apples and mix up the custard. Arranging the apples took me 3-4 minutes and another 30 seconds to pour over the custard and carefully place it in my oven for a transformational baking. alsatian apple tart 002

This tart has a lovely texture; the apple slices are soft but held their shape and the custard is silky and subtle. The long baking makes the crust very crisp. No ice cream needed; this is perfect just by itself.

alsatian apple tart 007

After making this tart I noticed that this is the baked good featured on the back cover of the book; a place of honor for a fantastic apple treat. So freaking good; you must try it even if you use a wheat crust. Alsace-Lorraine is an area in Germany close to France; over the years it has been passed back and forth a few times. One of my ancestors is from this area so I was thrilled to find a recipe my great great grandmother might have baked!alsatian apple tart 004

Alsatian Apple Tart
6 large slices or 8 skinny ones

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, lemon juice, even lime juice works

Spray a nine – ten inch tart pan that has a 1 ½ inch side with cooking spray, set aside. I use a ceramic ten inch pan but if you have one of those tricky deep tart pans with a removable bottom that would work perfectly.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of a 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.

Roll out the flattened ball into a pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! I like to sprinkle a bit of my flour mix on the crust as it gets thinner so it doesn’t stick to the pie bag/wax paper. Peel off one side of paper and place in the tart pan, be sure to center it. Remove other slice of wax paper. Crimp edges all around.
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

Filling:

4 medium-large sized apples, yellow delicious or fuji work well as they don’t squish down too much. I used Fuji; best use for them yet as I find they don’t squish like I want in pies.

Peel apples, quarter, cut out core, slice into 1/2 inch thick slices (8 for a medium apple)

Mix in a medium mixing bowl with:

6 tbsp. sugar
2 eggs; stir well
Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, ¼ tsp. cinnamon.

Arrange the apple slices in the warm/hot tart shell, squash them close together. Pour the custard filling over the apples.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 50-55 minutes until the custard is set and the crust is light brown

Cool the pie at least 1 hour before serving. You can sprinkle the slices with confectioner’s sugar if you like to guild the lily; not really necessary though.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur GF Flour mix)
2 c brown rice flour, finely ground
2/3 c potato starch (Not potato flour)
1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is from Annalise Roberts’ great cookbook: Gluten-Free Baking Classics – The Heirloom Collection.

Apple Pear Tartlets: Terrific

Apples and pears go together delightfully and fall is the perfect time to indulge in baking them into tartlets for company. I love to make individual tarts because they make people feel so special when you each get your own tartlet. Use what ever kind of baking apples you have. Good choices are red Rome, Empire, Golden Delicious, but no to Fuji, Red Delicious or Gala apples. I got mine from an actual apple orchard (Bechdolts which is south of Hellertown, PA.) I like to buy their small basket of seconds which are cheaper and just as fresh as can be especially compared to grocery store apples. Plus the taste is the same as the fancy unblemished ones in the display baskets. Bosc pears are perfect for baking; great flavor and texture.

I used Annalise Robert’s crust recipe and flour mixture. I think this crust tastes terrific and has a wonderful texture.

2014-10-26 pasta tower 005These are simple tarts: no need to make them perfect looking. I used a fork to press around the crust before I lay the fruit in it. I cut out leaves from the leftover crust to make a sort of a top crust. The coarse sugar adds a certain eye apple and crunch. Enjoy!

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Rustic Pear Apple Tartlets

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 4 inch metal tart pans or 4 inch mini deep dish pie pans with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour. Set aside.

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.

Cut it into 4 balls and roll out each ball into a small pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in mini
pie pan, centered. Remove other slice of wax paper. Crimp edges all around. Do again until you have 4 shells and use all the crumb leftovers to make a fifth tartlet crust. I actually do two of them side by side and turn them out onto the tartlet pans together. Repeat for other four shells.

Filling:

2 medium sized yellow delicious or other baking apples
1 large bosc pear

Peel apples, quarter, cut out core, slice into 1/3 inch thick slices. Same for pear except you can leave the peel on if you like. Or peel! Mix in a large bowl with:

3 tbsp. granulated sugar (4 if you like it sweet)
1 tbsp. minute tapioca
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
A sprinkle of ground nutmeg.

Heap into tartlet shells. Top with a leaf cut out of the spare crust. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake 375 for 40-45 minutes until lightly browned. Cool before serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Brown Rice Flour Mix- (same as King Arthur gf flour blend)
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published October 2014.

Cranberry Apple Tartlets: Company Dessert!

Truth is I never was a fan of cranberries, sure I eat cranberry relish at Thanksgiving and maybe Christmas and sometimes I drink cranberry juice but that is about all I ever thought those little red fruits were good for. In this past year I have tried them in a few desserts and they have been spectacular – great flavor and color, yes they are rather tangy but with a little sugar they are perfect.

cranberries

If you only have a few apples and some cranberries you can make a really special dessert. I used my flat bottom tartlet pans to make these elegant little tarts; each one is a separate dessert which makes for a special look. My mom gave me two tart pans a few years ago and I use them all the time; each pan makes 4 tartlets.

cranberry tartlets 003

This is a simple recipe; toss the fruits with sugar and a touch of tapioca. If you don’t have tapioca use some cornstarch or rice flour mix. The individual tarts look like I bought them in a bakery. I tried them with bits of crust for a rustic topping and the crumb version which I liked a bit better in the flavor department so I went with that.

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I served them the other day and my guy pleaded for one to take home for breakfast. He does not need to eat gf but he loves a great dessert. Serve these tartlets and I promise you no one will even believe they are eating gluten free!

Angie’s Cranberry Apple Tartlets
Makes 5

Start by making some gf pie crust and the crumb topping. If you have leftover crumb topping in the fridge you are ahead of the game for making pies and tarts!

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
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 prepare the filling.
Crumb topping:Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form.

¾ c brown rice flour mix
½ c sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

You will use less than a cup of the crumbs. Put the rest in a tightly sealing glass container and store in the fridge for your next pie/tart. It should keep for several weeks.

Heat the oven to 375 while you make the filling.

Filling
1 baking apple
1 1/2 cup raw cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. granulated tapioca
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:
Peel, core, quarter and chop coarsely the cooking apple, put in a mixing bowl with the cranberries. Be sure to first wash and pick over the cranberries and remove any soft or iffy ones. Add the sugar, tapioca and cinnamon, mix with a spoon.

Roll out the crust into one big crust, lay it over the tart pans and use a knife to cut it into 4 pieces. Press, snip and fold to fit it into each of the small tart pans. Don’t make a big crust edge; not necessary, cut off excess dough. Re-roll the leftovers for a fifth tartlet.

Pour filling into the crusted tartlet pans. Sprinkle the tartlets with the crumb topping, I didn’t make a solid layer over the entire top; thicker in the middle. Place in the oven and bake 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Cool at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or cold. Great with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Brown Rice Flour Mix (Same as King Arthur gf flour mix)
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)
2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!
1/3 c tapioca flour