Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Everything

It's the day before Christmas  and the day before we leave on vacation. My dishwasher is broken--and I am making puff pastry. I don't have a photo of the puff pastry because I know I will be too busy to post later. Here is a link to Gluten Free Girl and the Chef's  Gluten Free Rough Puff Pastry recipe that I am using.

My son has asked me for Beef Wellington about 10 times in the last week after seeing it on Master Chef Junior. I vaguely even knew what Beef Wellington was--although I did know it involved puff pastry--which got me thinking about making puff pastry even though I already have way too much to do and it will certainly take up precious time that could be spent on wrapping or packing. 

I don't think Alex even wants Beef Wellington now--when I finally agreed to make it he seemed not so interested. Which takes the pressure off. At least it will not be a major component of the main course I am serving on Christmas Eve. My daughter has requested Ina Garten's Spaghetti Bolognese--which is easy enough and leaves time for my puff pastry experiment.

A pear tart with some amazing pears that were sent to me as a holiday gift is also on my "to do" list for today.

Wow. There is a lot to do--which is why I haven't blogged much since Thanksgiving. It's all been very good--but I am just trying to get through the day without a dishwasher. 

One recipe/meal at a time.

Happy everything. Here is a photo of my mountain of dishes drying.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Apple Tart

 My kids were fighting over the last slice of apple tart for breakfast—so my twelve year old and I made another tart out of the leftover sugar cookie dough. I always say “good comes from bad.” The way too sweet sugar cookie dough became the most delicious buttery tasting tart crust. With tart apples, the too sweet dough became heavenly. My daughter even asked for seconds. She often passes on the desserts I make and I have never heard her ask for seconds.

1 cup spectrum organic non hydrogenated shortening or earth balance vegan baking sticks
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
1 teaspoon xanthum gum (if flour blend does not contain xanthum gum)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 apples

  • To measure the shortening and earth balance, I put one tablespoon of earth balance in a one cup measuring cup and then fill the rest with earth balance until it is a level cup.
  • Combine shortening/earth balance with sugar and egg, egg white, vanilla extract and salt. Mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and stir together until combined. You can do this in a mixer or by hand.
  • Flatten into a 1 inch thick round shape. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.
  • Grease a tart pan with with spectrum shortening. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Roll out dough after it has hardened a little between two pieces of parchment paper until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Refrigerate for a few minutes if necessary so that the dough is not too soft. It must be soft enough to bend a little when you turn it into the tart pan—but you want it hard enough so that it doesn’t stick to the parchment.
  • Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and turn the rolled out dough into the tart pan.
  • Remove the second parchment paper and press into the tart pan so that it is even all around. The sides should be 1/4 inch thick.
  • Peel, core and slice 4 apples.
  • Arrange apples in circular pattern on top of crust starting with the outer circle first. Then do a smaller circle until the entire crust is covered with apples.
  • Dot with spectrum shortening and put in the oven for 45 minutes until crust is nicely browned on the edges and apples are well cooked.