5.08.2020

Gluten Free Apple Custard Tart and Spring Blossoms






Like many of you, I cook, eat at home at least 3 times a day and go out for a long walk everyday now.   I did bake before but nothing like I do now.  I'm learning so much about baking and invested in some tools like torches and cooking scale to take my baking to the next level. Speaking of a scale... I should've bought it a long time ago!  I have been baking cakes, cookies, tarts, bread, donuts, etc... Some of those things I made, I will post here. 

Since I've found out that cooking/photographing/editing/writing for a post isn't working so well with me homeschooling the kids, I decided to incorporate my working process into a part of "homeschooling" experience for the kids.  My daughter bakes to learn math and photograph for art.  My son is leaning to film while I cook now.  The kids seems to enjoy this type of homeschooling.  I'm not sure how effective it is academically, but it sure is a creative way to learn.

Going for a walk during this time is really a blessing.  I don't think I've noticed so many trees and flowers in my neighborhood before.  There are so many apple, pear and cherry trees and they are all in full bloom and look amazing.  We have a pear and huge apple trees in our backyard and they were in full bloom last week. 

 I also always wanted to make this apple tart with sliced apple pedals and the gorgeous flowers finally gave me an inspiration to try making it.  The pedals look complicated to arrange but actually it was not. I used 2 medium size apples, removed the core first and sliced them about 3mm/0.11inch thin. Then I added some maple syrup, lemon juice, butter, apple slices in a bowl with a cover and microwaved it for about 3 minutes.  It might take longer, but you just have to make sure that they are soft enough to curl.  

For the custard, I mixed milk, sugar, corn starch, vanilla extract and eggs in a bowl.  Mix it well and cook it in a sauce pan until it became thick.  

For the crust, I used almond flour, coconut oil, butter, sugar, and egg.  I blended them in the food processor until it combined and chill it in the refrigerator at least for an hour before I rolled it out and baked.  

Tart can be a time consuming dessert to make but it is worth the effort.  I had my daughter helping me with making rose pedals and she was very happy with the result and proud as I was! 

We had made a few more things together that I want to share here in the near future.  I'm also planning on making a quick video to post here with my son's help, which probably will take sometime for us to learn how to do.  If you have any tips about filming while cooking, please let me know if the comments! I very much appreciate it! 










Recipe
(8"x8" pan / about 9 servings / cooking time 60 minutes)


Ingredients:

Crust
1/2 stick of butter cold and cut in small chunks
3 tablespoons of coconut oil cold
1 cup of almond meal
1 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup cane sugar
a pinch of salt
1 lemon, zested
1 egg
2-3 tablespoons ice water (to adjust)

Custard
1 cup of milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of sugar
2 table spoon of corn starch
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Apple Topping
2 medium apples sliced (I used honey crisp)
1/4 cup of maple syrup or cane sugar
a tablespoon of butter
a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
a teaspoon of cinnamon



Directions:

For crust, Combine all the ingredients together and blend them in the food processor until it forms a ball.  If it's too dry, adjust the texture by adding ice water.  Take the dough out, roll it out flat. Wrap it with a film and rest it in the refrigerator for about an hour.  

 For custard, mix eggs in a pan, then add milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn starch, vanilla extract, salt. Blend the mixture well together.  Put the pan on the stove at medium low heat, stir the mixture for about 3-5 minutes until it becomes thick.  Let the custard cool in a bowl.

Preheat the oven at 350ºF/180ºC

For apple pedal, take cores out of 2 apples and cut them each in half.  Make sure that the skins stay on. Slice half the apple into 3mm/0.11 inch thick.  Combine apple slices in a bowl with maple, syrup, butter, lemon juice cinnamon powder.  Cover it with a plastic wrap or lid and microwave for 3.  Check the apple slices to see if they are soft enough to bend. Be careful not to cook them too soft otherwise they will break. Cook more if they are too hard to bend.

Take the crust out of the refrigerator, and roll it out.  Grease the pie mold with spray oil.  This dough is crumply, so put the dough on top of the film, rolled it out big enough to cover the surface of the pie mold, then put the mold upside down onto the flattened dough.  Carefully lift up the film under the dough onto the mold and turn them around.  Form the crust dough to fit in the mold and pinch the top  with fingers. Pinch dough with index finger and thumb and push in between the fingers with the other thumbs to make the triangle shapes around the top.  Poke small hold with a folk at the bottom.

Bake it for 20-30 minutes in the oven.  

Pour the custard in a baked crust.  Take a couple of apple slices and wrap them together with the skin side up (like slices hugging each other) and put them on top of the custard.  Take a few more slices and wrap/hug the slices around to make a rose shape.  Repeat until the top is filled with rose flowers. Refrigerate before serving. 










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