One of the things I love about my friend Vanessa is that she encourages me to try new things and broaden my cooking experience. This is because she has a gluten intolerance. I don’t look at this as prohibitive in the kitchen at all – we’ve had lots of great dinners together, often involving her favorite – risotto – but we’ve also had our share of experience with gluten-free homemade ravioli, chocolate cakes, and zucchini pancakes. On Monday, V invited us over for a barbecue, and I decided to bring a peach tart. Of course, I wanted her to be able to enjoy it just as much as everyone else, so I had to come with a gluten free crust to form the base of the tart.
This was actually not nearly as difficult as it sounds. I simply combined pecans, coconut, gluten free flour, melted butter, and cinnamon in my food processor and pulsed to form a soft dough. I pressed this into my tart pan and baked for about 17 minutes, and later filled with a mixture of whipped cream, cream cheese, sugar, rum, and amaretto. The tart was topped with sliced peaches and an apricot-maple-amaretto glaze.
The result? Vanessa loved it. So much that she was hoping others wouldn’t like it so that she could have leftovers. Sadly for V but good for me, it was a hit. Even her husband, who is usually weary of anything gluten free and thinks it cannot possibly good, declared it delicious and kept asking, “how did you make this… good?” He was amazed that something gluten free could be anything beyond just “edible”. The filling was delicious, and though everyone else seemed to like the crust, I think I would have preferred just a little bit sweeter; maybe just a tablespoon or two of brown sugar in the crust next time.
4 oz pecans, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour or baking mix, such as Bob’s Red Mill (see picture below)
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp brown sugar (I didn’t use this, but I think it would be a good addition)
4 tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine crust ingredients in food processor and pulse to combine into a soft dough. Press into a 10″ tart pan with removable bottom, forming the dough evenly along the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp dark rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp amaretto
3-4 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced*
juice from 1/2 of a lemon
In a cold mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until thickened and peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy, then beat in rum, vanilla, and amaretto. Fold in whipped cream. Chill until ready to assemble.
Toss peach slices with lemon juice. When ready to assemble, spread filling into tart shell, and carefully remove sides of pan. Arrange peach slices over top and brush with apricot glaze.
2 tbsp apricot jelly
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp amaretto
Combine in a small microwavable bowl and heat until thin and spreadable. Brush over fruit.