Last year was the first time I had a gluten-free Thanksgiving and Christmas. I rather enjoyed the challenge to adapt my favorite recipes. This year was no different. Being gluten-free for the Holidays is not so bad if you’re prepared with an arsenal of good recipes.
My husband gave me Aran’s new cookbook, Small Plates and Sweet Treats, for my anniversary last month. It was supposed to be for Christmas, but I couldn’t wait and begged for it early. I LOVE THIS BOOK!
When I’m looking for a gluten-free recipe, I go to Cannelle et Vanille first, and now the same goes for this book. The recipes are simply fantastic.
Aran’s tart dough recipes are the best I’ve tried. I’ve used the one below at least a half dozen times already since cracking open the book for the first time.
Armed with a great gluten-free tart dough recipe and the inspiration from a maple cream tart, I went to work trying to come up with the perfect Thanksgiving tart.
I ended up making a slightly adapted version of Aran’s recipe (also in the book) for an Orange Blossom Water Custard Tart. It worked out very well. We quite liked the slight sweetness. I read that the maple cream tart might be too sweet from a whopping 1 1/2 cups. Aran’s recipe only calls for 1/2 cup, which seemed more like what I wanted. (I have a sweet tooth, but couldn’t imagine how sweet an extra cup would have been.)
We still served it with slightly sweetened Greek yogurt, and I topped it with a few candied pecans. And it was perfect. Even my little kids smacked their lips. The only thing I will change for the next time (and there will be one very soon), is to use all maple syrup for a stronger flavor. I used Grade B, which is very flavorful and dark, but I’m a maple fiend, so a little more punch of maple flavor is more than welcome.
- For crust:
- ¾ cup fine brown rice flour
- ¼ cup sorghum flour
- ¼ cup potato starch
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2-4 Tbsp. ice water
- For filling:
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup cream
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar (or more maple syrup)
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. salt
- For serving:
- ½ cup Greek yogurt sweetened with 1-2 tsp. sugar
- Candied Pecans
- For crust: Place the flours, sugar, orange zest, cardamom and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Scatter the cold butter over the dry ingredients. Pulse on and off until the dough is crumbly, with some smaller and larger pieces of butter.
- Mix the egg yolk with 2 Tbsp. of water and with the motor running, drizzle through the feed hold. Add more water, if needed, and continue pulsing until the dough starts to come together into a ball. (The sound will change to a kind of grinding sound and then you'll know it's time to stop.)
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form into a ball, wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for about 2 hours or overnight.
- For crust, filling and serving: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Press the chilled dough onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9" tart pan with removable bottom. (I used a 9" cake pan.)
- Whisk the cornstarch with the salt. Add the eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, cream and milk. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes and lower heat to 350 degrees F. for an additional 25 minutes. The custard should be set and the crust will be lightly golden.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing. Can be served chilled or at room temperature.
- Top with sweetened Greek yogurt and candied pecans.
- Makes one 9" tart, 8-10 slices
For non-GF, substitute all-purpose flour for the GF flours