Monday, October 17, 2011

Easy Italian plum tart

Italian plums are less common in US than in Europe. However, they make for a great, simple,  juicy tart in the fall. Using store-bought pie crust, this tart takes about 10 min to make (+ 30 min baking). Delicious!
Plum tart:
  • 9 1/2 inch tart pan (best with removable bottom)
  • store-bought (or home-made) bake-ready pie crust
  • 1 pound Italian plums, washed, stone removed, quartered
  • 3-4 tablespoon of ground hazelnuts or almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml millk
  • 1/4 cup fine sugar
  • 1/2 ts vanilla extract
Preheat the oven for 375 F degrees. Lay the tart pan with a layer of pie crust and press it into the corners and rim of the tart pan. Cut off excess dough. Sprinkle the base slightly with ground hazelnuts or almond meal. Cover it with quartered plums. Sprinkle a 1 TB of sugar over the plums. Mix the eggs with the milk, the sugar and vanilla. Pour the mix over the plum tart and bake for 30 minutes. Let it set for about 30 min for the custard to set and firm before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fig pizza

Fresh California mission figs have not much of a shelf life to speak of. I was in a hurry to try out what I actually bought them for: fig pizza. The real deal  of this pizza is with pizza dough made from scratch, proscuitto, gorgonzola, walnuts, sliced figs, baked and then topped with arugula salad with a balsamic reduction drizzle. Since I had made an apple tart from scratch I was in no mood for all the fuzz. So, shortcut to the rescue. I used a frozen small Trader Joes pizza, removed much of the toppings, and added gorgonzola and goat cheese crumbles instead and topped it with fresh figs before baking. 15 min later, warm, baked and smelling heavenly I added thinly sliced radicchio, pecans and balsamic vinaigrette. Elegance with a shortcut.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Apple Olive Oil Cake

It is apple picking time again! Maybe not today since it rains, so it is more apple cake baking time. This is one of my favorite apple cake recipe from La tartine gourmande. It is not only elegant and tasty, but also glutenfree.

Apple Olive Oil Cake a la Tartine Gourmande (makes 2 small cakes or 1 large):

  • 1/2 TB butter
  • 5 smaller apples, peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup blond organic cane sugar + 1 TB for the apples
  • 1/2 TB vanilla extract
  • 1 ts finely chopped lemon thyme
  • 4 organic free-range eggs
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 100 g millet flour & 100g brown rice flours*
  • 65 g almond meal*
  • 40 g quinoa flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

    *Or 200 g (gluten-free) all-purpose flour replacing all the other flours and almond meal combined

In a sautee pan, heat 1/2 TB butter over medium heat. When warm, add the diced apples with 1 Tb cane sugar, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the apples are softer. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray 2 smaller or 1 larger (i.e.10-inch) mold with baking spray (with butter and flour) and set aside.

In a bowl, combine the flours and baking powder and lemon thyme. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and a pinch of salt and the vanilla extract. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the wet mixture to the flours. Fold the apples in the cake batter. Transfer the batter to the molds and bake the cake for 40 minutes for a very small mold and 50 min for a small, but higher mold, or until a sharp knife inserted in the middle comes out dry. Let the cakes cool for 5 minutes before unmolding.