Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fruit-Heaped, Nut-Crusted Yogurt Tart

It was family dinner time again, and I needed to come up with a festive dessert that didn't contain any gluten. Though I do want to see if it's possible to make a decent gluten-free cake that isn't full of scary ingredients, my mind does go quickly to pies and tarts as good options.

We have been reveling in the late-summer bounty of wild huckleberries and RAMA farm nectarines, so I decided to make a dessert featuring both. I turned to a tart I made a few years ago but haven't had a chance to make since. It's her Brown Sugar Yogurt Tart in a Nut Crust. I used her recipes as they are written, except that I substitute the Rice Flour Mix explained in my previous gluten-free tart crust recipe for the wheat flour. I also did several steps in the food processor that she described doing by hand.

I made the tart and then heaped it high with huckleberries and presented it with sliced nectarines on the plate. My only gripe about the gluten-free version of the crust is that it's very crumbly, making cutting slightly difficult. It's not too bad, though, once you get the hang of it.

1/4 c. each whole almonds and pecans
3/4 c. rice flour mix (or wheat flour)
1/4 tsp salt
3 TBSP light brown sugar
5 TBSP butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp vanilla extract mixed with 2 TBSP water

  1. Toast the whole almonds and pecans until lightly browned and then cool
  2. Process half the nuts until they form a fine powder; chop the other half of the nuts coarsely
  3. Put the fine nut powder, rice flour mix, salt, and light brown sugar into a food processor and pulse to combine
  4. Spread the butter pieces around the food processor bowl and then pulse the mixture until it forms pea-sized balls
  5. Dump the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the coarsely-chopped nuts
  6. Now add the vanilla water a little at a time, using your hands to bring the dough together
  7. Pat the dough evenly into a tart pan (I always use a metal one with a removable bottom), pressing it with your hands or with the bottom of a glass or bowl and building it up the sides. I had good success with the bottom of the glass custard cup I used for the vanilla water. I always make the crust come up slightly higher than the sides of the pan in case of shrinkage
  8. Once the tart crust is pressed into the pan, keep it in the fridge or freezer until you're ready to use. You'll want it to chill for at least 30 minutes before baking
1 1/4 c. drained yogurt
2 eggs
3 TBSP butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c. dark brown sugar
2 TBSP rice flour mix (or wheat flour)

2 c. fresh huckleberries or blueberries (optional)
3 nectarines or peaches, sliced (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place the tart crust on a baking tray
  3. Mix together all of the ingredients except the flour and fruit in a medium bowl
  4. Stir in the flour (leaving the fruit for garnish)
  5. Pour the mixture into the tart crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the tart is set and browned
  6. Once the tart has cooled or when you are ready to serve it, pile on the huckleberries and add some nectarine slices to each portion

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