Thursday, July 2, 2009

I did it!

Part of me wishes this was a photo and post about homemade cherry chocolate chunk ice cream. But that endeavor was a disaster. I am going to remember there are good local ice cream parlors who make very good cherry ice cream. I need not waste my time.

Gluten-free fruit tarts however, they are impossible to find! We are have special company for dinner next week and Tina wants to make her fruit tarts for desert. They are good, they are beautiful and they are a quintessential summer treat. However, I don't like being left out, especially left out of dessert. I also don't like having something different than everyone else. So this week I set my mind to creating a gluten-free fruit tart, actually the crust was the only issue. Everything else is naturally gluten free.

This particular recipe came from a gluten-free cook book our friend Joan gave me. I don't actually use GF cookbooks but this one is a baking book from the Culinary Institute of America and it is an excellent resource!  I am also the cook in our house, not really a baker, that is Tina's domain. So I was way outside my comfort zone.

I started by making a flour-blend with 1 3/4 cup white rice flour, 1 1/4 cup brown rice flour, 3/4 cup potato starch and 1 cup tapioca starch. Fortunately I had all of these flours in our GF freezer. Then I made a tart dough using 1/2 cup cold butter, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 1/4 cups of the flour blend and one egg.  I cut the butter into small cubes and then combined all the ingredients in the bowl of a mixer, using a paddle attachment. I mixed until the dough came together and then worked the dough on the counter until I was sure the butter was incorporated. The dough went into some plastic wrap and into the fridge for an hour. Once chilled, I rolled the dough out to 1/8 an inch thickness and cut circle big enough to fit into my tart pans. I did poke the tarts with a fork to dock the dough and then baked the tarts for 20 to 25 minutes at 325 degrees. 

They came out the pans very easily once cooled but were very fragile! I made a traditional pastry cream to fill the tarts and topped with fresh fruit. Ordinarily I would finish the tarts with an apricot glaze but I was way to eager to try the tarts.  They are identifiably gluten-free, no doubt, they crumble easily and have that rice flour grittiness. But I was simply thrilled. I felt very accomplished and satisfied with the result, especially since Tina ate an entire tart. That is a very good sign people!  

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