Tag Archives: Gluten Free

Berry tartlets with almond crust

Recipe and photography by Rita Anastasiou

When I was a kid and later on as a teenager, my mom was sending me during the summer, to buy tartlets from the local pastry shop. It was some of the few things she never tried to make. Cakes has always been her major! “Fruit tarts is a summer dessert!” She used to say. As a kid I’ve never understood,why summer? Is it so special?

imageYears later, I decided to make fruit tartlets and I remember my mom again…But I’m willing to make some fruit tarts in the winter,too…!!

Ingredients for the almond crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Preheat the oven at 350 F.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pat in a muffin tin.
Bake for 10 minutes,till the crust is golden brown. Set aside to cool down.

 

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For the pastry cream:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Orange zest

Beat the egg yolks well in a bowl,stir in the milk.
In a small sauce pan,mix sugar,cornstarch and salt.
Gradually stir in a small amount of mix mixture in a medium heat. Add the orange zest in the end.
Transfer the cream into a bowl and cover it with a plastic food wrap film. And let it in the fridge to cool completely.

Assemble:

Take the pie crusts,add the cream and the berries on top. I used blueberries and strawberries and I dust them with powder sugar.

 

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The orange zest really brightens up the whole dessert and is the perfect bite!
It took me back to my childhood…

I think I made my mom proud!

Book review: “Practically Raw Desserts” by Chef Amber Shea Crawley

Practically RawReview by Alison Cole, recipe © 2012 by Amber Shea Crawley with permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.

For those who love experimenting with wholesome, healthy ingredients to create plant-based versions of a large variety of traditional desserts, this is the book for you. On the heels of her first cookbook “Practically Raw” (2012), Chef Amber Shea Crawley has published its successor, “Practically Raw Desserts”, which came out last year. Amber is both a popular blogger and highly trained raw chef who presents her expert knowledge about food and raw food preparation techniques in this beautiful volume. Its colourful photographs and palatable layout serve as enough alone to entice and satisfy the reader into at least visually devouring the recipes within.

What does the term “practically raw” mean, you might ask? This is where the theme of flexibility leads as a role in the book, offering its readers a variety of substitutions and variations for every recipe. Not only are you given multiple options for ingredient substitutions, but many of the recipes also offer the choice of making the dessert “raw” or “cooked”. For those who don’t own a dehydrator or care too much about the nutritional advantages that raw food offers over a cooked dessert, this book becomes much more accessible for the average reader who wants to dabble in raw cuisine but may not be ready to take the full plunge in. Variations for lower fat, nut-free and lower-sugar versions of the recipes are also presented, truly making this a compilation that everyone can use and enjoy!

Many of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted are raw, and the ones in this book easily reinforce that claim. In utilizing key ingredients such as nuts, nut flours, maple syrup and coconut oil, to name some, no richness is absent from the cookies, cakes, puddings, ice creams, pies and more that grace the pages of Chef Amber’s tantalizing collection.

Care for a Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart with Macaroon Crust? Some of the most chewy and delicious Chocolate Chunk Cookies you’ve ever tried? A cashew-based New York Cheesecake that is more delectable than any of its dairy-based counterparts you have ever tasted? It’s all here in the book, including the creamiest ice creams I have ever made, plus the Famous Five-Minute Blondies II that stunned me with their toothsome taste, put together with just handful of simple ingredients. You’ll find it difficult to stop popping these little treasures into your mouth one after another.

This book serves as a delight to read and an innovative adventure to undertake. Under the guidance of Amber’s encouraging and inspiring voice throughout, you’ll find yourself exploring the recipes one by one to be pleasurably impressed by these raw (or practically raw) wholesome treats.