I totally get why people aren't into baking. I'm sure for some it seems too detailed, time-intensive, maybe even technical. Especially when it comes to gluten-free, it gets dicey and sometimes expensive, with the addition of 2-3 flours for every dough. But for me, baking has always been how-do-I-say…healing? There is nothing in the world like the feeling of finishing a tart or pie, with all the steps, techniques, chilling, pulsing, rolling, etc. It can cure any bad mood. The fact that it takes time is what I love about it most. Baking makes you work for it, and I've always loved that kind of attitude.
This Summer has kept me so baking-busy that I've been just trying to see how much I can bang out on any given weekend. (Yes, Summer baking. Where the true bakers lie.) Sometimes though, the best days are when you spend the whole afternoon making one…single…dessert. Even if maybe baking isn't your thing, I suggest you use it as a tool -- if only to cure a little depression and/or eat something sweet. There's something about it that really fills you up when nothing else can.
FIG AND HAZELNUT CREME TART WITH BUCKWHEAT CRUST (gluten-free) SERVES 6
FILLING (Adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons), soft
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cognac
- 8 oz figs, thinly sliced
- 2 plums, thinly sliced
- Handful of red currants
- Raw sugar, to top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse together sugar and hazelnuts until the size of hazelnut meal. Add the next four ingredients and pulse until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
BUCKWHEAT ALMOND CRUST (adapted from The Bojon Gourmet)
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
- 1/2 tsp. xanthum gum
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 6T butter, chilled + cubed
- 6 tablespoons ice water
Add the first six ingredients to a food processor. Pulse your dough until butter is about pea-sized and crumbly. Then add one tablespoon of water at a time until dough forms and begins to come away from the edge. Fraisage your dough (shown here, starts at 2:00), meaning use the heel of your hand to smear dough, a little at a time, across the counter. This helps to add long strands of butter into your dough for better texture.
Pat your dough together into a 6'' disk, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. Once chilled, roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap. Roll out a few inches wider than your intended tart dish (I used an 8 inch).
Place your greased tart pan nearby, remove one side of plastic wrap and carefully (using two hands) flip dough over into your pie dish. Remove last sheet of syran wrap and carefully fit and press dough into your tart pan evenly.
Gluten-free dough can be dicey, but remain calm! If any piece rips of gets torn, carefully pinch it together again. Remove the excess tart dough (save for a mini tart) and parbake for 10 minutes.
Once tart crust is parbaked, reduce oven heat to 325 degrees. Pour in filling making sure to spread evenly before topping with figs, plum and red currant. Arrange in a pleasing fashion and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 1 hour, then cool for 25 minutes before serving.
(For those asking, you can purchase this tart pan HERE)