desserts

Apple Pear Cinnamon Spice Almond Cake

    A delicious slice of Apple Pear Cinnamon Spice Almond Cake

 

A delicious slice of Apple Pear Cinnamon Spice Almond Cake

I love looking at old cookbooks and food magazines. In one of my Scandinavian cookbooks a recipe appeared for an apple almond cake. It looked good, but it seemed as if it lacked a certain spark. There were no spices or other flavors other than the almonds and apples. I decided to spice up this recipe and give it a try! 

It just happened that my mom gave me some small apples and pears from their orchard, so I quickly peeled those and put them in some water and honey to poach with some cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and honey. This sure made the house smell heavenly! Yum! 

    The Apple Pear Cinnamon Almond Cake right out of the oven! Yum!  

 

The Apple Pear Cinnamon Almond Cake right out of the oven! Yum! 

 

It turns out that my changes to this recipe were spot on, and I love the almond flavor along with the soft apples, pears and spices. It is delightfully gluten free just as it is and so yummy! My son and I both enjoyed a slice after he came home from school yesterday. 

I hope that you enjoy making this lovely fall dessert for the ones that you love. I imagine that this dessert may be made dairy free by using a vegan margarine instead of the butter (just watch to make sure there isn't a high water content in the margarine) or some coconut oil. 

Apple Pear Cinnamon Spice Almond Cake: 

Serves 6-8

9 inch ceramic or glass  pie plate

Poached apples & pears: 

2 cups water

3 cinnamon sticks

5 whole cloves

1/4 orange

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup honey

4 small apples, peeled, cut in half and cored

3-4 small pears, peeled, cut in half and cored

Note:  You may have extra poached fruit leftover, you can save it & eat it for a yummy snack! 

1. Place water, honey, lemon juice, juice of the 1/4 orange and the actual 1/4 orange, apples, pears, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Then, simmer on medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes, until the pears and apples are tender. Set aside to cool. 

Batter for Top of Cake: 

1/2 cup softened butter

2/3 cup sugar

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup almond flour

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

 

3 egg whites

pinch salt

 

1. Grease a 9 inch ceramic or glass pie plate with softened butter. Heat the oven to 350F.

2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter until soft and light. Slowly add in sugar and beat to combine. Add in egg yolks one at a time and mix well. Mix in the almond flour, lemon juice and spices. Set aside. 

3. In a separate bowl, place the egg whites and pinch of salt. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. 

4. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons of the egg white mixture into the butter-almond mixture. Then, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites. 

5. Place the pear and apple halves in the bottom of the pie plate. Place them core-side down. Then, using a rubber spatula, spread the almond mixture on top of the fruit. 

6. Place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool before serving. 

If you love fall desserts, pass this on to an apple-pear loving friend! 

Trista

 

 

Rhubarb Custard Crisps

Rhubarb Custard Crisps

Ah! Spring is almost here! I can see my yard and garden waking up and signs of green everywhere. Spring always reminds me of the first fresh stalks of rhubarb. When I was a little girl I totally remember sitting right be a rhubarb plant in my family's garden and eating the stalks raw. I still love really sour things! Now I don't really care for eating raw rhubarb but I still love rhubarb desserts. 

This recipe is based on a rhubarb custard pie recipe that has been in my family for a long time. Also, when my mom, sister-in-law and I ran "Farmer's Tea" a baking stand at the local farmer's market we used to sell a lot of this pie! I decided to make this recipe into a crisp and also use maple syrup and coconut sugar to eliminate the need for refined sugars in this recipe. I love this dessert! I can still taste the goodness of the rhubarb! Yum! 

You may want to add a bit more maple syrup than I did, but I like tart desserts. :) I hope that you enjoy this little taste of spring! 

Rhubarb Custard Crisps: 

Makes 4 small desserts in ramekins

Filling: 

1/4 cup maple syrup (or to taste) 

1/8 cup gluten free flour mix

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups rhubarb, chopped (you can either use fresh or frozen rhubarb that has been thawed) 

1 egg

1. Heat the oven to 375F. 

2. Grease 4 ceramic ramekins with coconut oil or olive oil spray. 

3. Mix together the maple syrup, gluten free flour mix, cinnamon and rhubarb in a medium bowl. Let the mixture sit in the bowl, stirring once or twice, for 15 minutes. Beat the egg with a fork, then mix into the rhubarb mixture. 

4. Divide the rhubarb mixture between the four ramekins. Top with streusel and bake for about 20 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and the topping is browned. If you use fresh rhubarb the baking time may be longer. I happened to have a lot of leftover frozen rhubarb still left in my freezer. 

Streusel Topping: 

1/8 cup gluten free flour

1/8 cup gluten free oats

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1. Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Use your fingers to rub the coconut oil into the dry ingredients until well combined. 

If you love great recipes, check out my cookbook for gluten free/dairy free brunch recipes on amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/Recipes-Cheery-Life-Trista-Ainsworth/dp/1367622603/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487787318&sr=8-1&keywords=recipes+for+a+cheery+life

Honey Cinnamon Apple Butter Crumble Topped Mini Tarts

Honey Cinnamon Apple Butter Crumble Topped Mini Tarts

The first apples have appeared and I am so in love! As luck would have it, my parents had the foresight to plant an amazing fruit orchard near their home in Redland, Oregon many years ago. Now, it is a mature orchard which yields a lot of apples, pears and plums every year. I feel so fortunate to share in the bounty. 

Every year in July or August the Transparent apple tree is the first to produce ripe apples. These apples are fairly tart and make great applesauce. They are very small, bright yellow apples that need to be cooked quickly. They are good to eat as well, but a bit too tart for most- except for me! I love tart apples, lemons, anything with a tart-kick! 

These tarts are so cute, so pretty and also so delicious!!! I invite you to discover how amazing these tarts are by trying this recipe for yourself. 

You may also just make the apple butter for spreading on muffins & more, or make the crumble for topping your fruit in the morning. All three parts of this recipe may be used for other purposes, but all in all, it is simply delicious! 

Enjoy!! These are made with honey and coconut sugar. There is only a tiny bit of organic granulated sugar in the tart dough. 

Honey Cinnamon Apple Butter Crumble Topped Mini Tarts: 

Recipe makes 12 mini tarts

Apple Butter: 

4 cups applesauce- unsweetened (tart/homemade/organic is best)

1/2 cup raw honey

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients and cook and stir over low heat until thoroughly combined. You may add more honey if desired. I cooked this mixture for a little over an hour to really cook it down. It will be thick enough on its own to be the tart filling. 

Tart Dough: 

1 1/4 cups brown rice flour blend (see recipe below) or use a gluten free flour blend (I like Bob's Red Mill or Namaste all purpose gf flour mix) 

1 tablespoon organic sugar

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons coconut oil (heaping tablespoons) 

1 large egg

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Ice water

Mix together the brown rice flour blend (or use a packaged gluten free flour mix), 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum and salt in the bowl of a large food processor. Add in the 6 tablespoons coconut oil and process until the mixture is a coarse meal. 

In a separate bowl with a small wire whisk or fork, whisk together the egg and lemon juice. 

Slowly pour the egg-lemon juice mixture into the food processor and pulse. Add small amounts of ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is moist and clumps together. 

Gather the dough into a ball and flatten out into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Then, roll out between plastic wrap or parchment paper. Cut out circles with a 3" or so circle cutter and place in a tart pan. Push down each circle to form a tart shell with your fingers. You will have 12 tart shells. Put the tart shells into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes before baking. 

Brown Rice Flour Blend: 

6 cups brown rice flour

2 cups arrowroot starch (or potato flour) 

1 cup tapioca flour

Mix together in a bowl with a wire whisk. You will have extra for another baking project later. 

 

Crumble Topping: 

1/2 cup gluten free flour mix

1/2 cup gluten free oats

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Mix together this mixture in a bowl. Store in the refrigerator until needed for topping the tarts. You will have a little extra left for topping your yogurt or fruit. 

 

Tart Assembly: 

Heat the oven to 350F. 

1. Fill each tart shell with 2-3 tablespoons of the apple butter- fill them well. 

2. Sprinkle the crumble topping on top of each tart. 

3. Bake the tarts for 15-20 minutes or until the tarts and crumble topping is golden brown. 

Let cool slightly and enjoy! These make a delicious accompaniment to tea! 

 

 

 

Triple Berry Cobbler with Scone Topping

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Triple Berry Cobbler

Summer berry season is my very favorite season of all here in Oregon! I am a crazy berry picker. If you left me to my own devices I would spend day and night picking berries. I get in a "zone" and just keep picking! It all started when I was a toddler, in a backpack on my Dad's back when we were camping up at Olallie Lake one year. I kept tugging on his hair so that I could get down and pick "bays!" "bays" as I called the berries! I would be so obsessed with berry picking from then on. As I got older each year as we would take our yearly camping trip there I would make sure to pick lots of berries and save a certain amount for huckleberry pancakes- the ultimate treat of the summer. 

 I now have a lot of berries in my freezer from my berry picking escapades this summer waiting to turn into delicious concoctions like this berry cobber that I made for the 4th of July celebration! Yay! 

This cobber can be decorated in any way, for any holiday and is so delicious! I love how the honey in the filling brings out the best flavor in the berries and the soft scone topping with the slight crunch from the polenta finishes off the dessert just right. 

 

Triple Berry Cobbler with Scone Topping

Filling: 

6 cups frozen berries (I used 2 cups raspberries, 2 cups strawberries and 2 cups blackberries)

1/2 cup honey

3 tablespoons tapioca flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all of the the above ingredients in a large bowl. Then, transfer to a 10" ceramic pie pan. 

 

Scone Topping:

1/2 cup polenta (cornmeal) 

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix (I like Namaste brand often sold at Costco) 

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup organic sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 cup full fat coconut milk

+ extra sugar for sprinkling on top.

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. 

2. Add in the coconut oil at room temperature in small chunks. Mix together with your fingers to work in the lumps of coconut oil. Some lumps will remain. 

3. Stir in the the coconut milk to form a dough. 

4. Sprinkle a rolling surface with tapioca flour or gluten free flour mix. Roll the dough into a ball. Roll it out into a circle with a rolling pin. 

5. Carefully place the circle on top of the berry mixture in the pie pan. You may use cookie cutters to cut holes in the dough in a decorative pattern. Brush the top of the cobbler with some water and sprinkle some organic sugar on top. 

6. Bake the cobber at 350F for about 35-40 minutes or until the berry mixture is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. 

Let cool a bit and enjoy!