The Sunday Recipe: Apple and Cheddar Cookie Tart

Apple and Cheese Cookie Tart

I loved the cookie recipe last week so much that I decided to use it as the basis for a tart. This one is best served cold. I think next time I’d leave the cheese off and just serve with a wedge of cheddar. I think a metal tin is better as well, the bottom was a bit soggy in the glass spring form pan.

Ingredients for Crust

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour

Ingredients for Filling

  • 5 medium granny smith or other tart baking apple
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese.
  2. Add vanilla and egg yolk, blend.
  3. Measure flours and combine before adding to mixer.
  4. Mix until combined and chill dough for a couple hours.
  5. In the meantime, peel and grate the apples
  6. Mix maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg, and butter.
  7. Bring filling ingredients to a gentle boil.
  8. Turn down to simmer and stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
  9. Stir in the tapioca paste and continue stirring for about half a minute, until thickened.
  10. Set aside to cool.
  11. When the dough is well chilled, preheat oven to 350.
  12. Press the dough into a tart pan or roll out on a jelly roll pan, leaving a bit of a built up edge.
  13. Spread the filling out on the dough.
  14. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until edges are well browned.
  15. If you want to do what I did, grate a couple ounces of very sharp cheddar over the tart while still hot. (I will be just serving it on the side next time.)
  16. Chill thoroughly before serving.

The Sunday Recipe: Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies – gluten free

My grandmother’s original recipe used strawberry jam and was called a strawberry cream cookie. I wanted to make this gluten free and chose the nutty flours to complement a darker filling, like lekvar or mincemeat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • Powdered sugar
  • Jam of your choice

Directions

  1. Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese.
  2. Add vanilla and egg yolk, blend.
  3. Measure flours and combine before adding to mixer.
  4. Mix until combined and chill dough for a couple hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Shape into 1-inch balls.
  7. Using something rounded on the end, like a measuring spoon, dip in powdered sugar and then press into dough to create a well.
  8. Fill with jam.
  9. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 10 to 12 minutes.
  10. This recipe yields about 5 dozen cookies.

The Sunday Recipe: Gingerbread with Applesauce

Gingerbread Cake with Applesauce

Comfort food at its finest, but without the wheat.  Plus, there’s a bumper crop of apples coming on so I wanted to make something that would go well with that. My daughter helped me and we could not resist trying this cake nearly as soon as it came out of the oven. It is rich and heavenly.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves
  • ½ cup hot water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and line an 8 x 8 baking tin with parchment paper.
  3. Cream softened butter and maple syrup together.
  4. Add in the molasses.
  5. Beat in the egg.
  6. Add the vanilla.
  7. Combine the dry ingredients and sift into the wet.
  8. Stir in the hot water.
  9. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
  10. Serve warm or cold.
  11. Applesauce is an excellent accompaniment, you can find my recipe at https://melorajohnson.wordpress.com/2020/07/26/the-sunday-recipe-vanilla-applesauce/  

The Sunday Recipe: Elderberry Pancake Syrup

Elderberry Pancake Syrup

We have elderberries growing wild around our yard in Upstate New York, mostly planted by birds. I’ve made elderberry jelly over the years many times, and the flavor is dark, rich, and unique. I just love it, but I’m trying to stay away from the sugar. I had the thought to make an elderberry syrup, based on the elderberry jelly recipe, but with maple syrup and minus the pectin. It turned out to be maple syrup with a strong side note of elderberry. I think if I’d used regular sugar it would have tasted more strongly of the elderberry fruit. I’ll probably try something a little different next time but I definitely won’t be throwing this away. We had it on some mascarpone cheese mousse and it was delicious.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup elderberry juice (from about 8 ounces elderberries)
  • 8 ounces maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Stem and rinse the elderberries.
  2. Place in a pot and crush.
  3. Bring to a low boil and turn down to simmer for 15 minutes to release the juice.
  4. Strain.
  5. Measure ½ cup juice into a clean pot with the maple syrup, lemon juice, and butter.
  6. Bring to a boil then turn down to a low boil and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Use on pancakes, ice cream, or whatever you like a syrup on.

The Sunday Recipe: Speedy Tiramisu Mousse

Speedy Tiramisu Mousse

This was adapted from an old South Beach recipe, but I don’t like to use artificial sweeteners much and I ramped up the espresso powder, as well as adding some almond extract for that liqueur flavoring. It makes a great, high protein dessert to follow a salad or other summer meal. The ricotta does give it a slightly grainy texture but it is not off putting, in my opinion.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso or coffee powder (decaf works fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (Ghiradelli is my favorite brand.)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta (full fat preferred)
  • Mini chocolate chips to top (optional)

Directions

  1. Measure the espresso powder into a small dish.
  2. Add the extracts and stir to dissolve.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup, stir again.
  4. Add the powder/extract/syrup combo to the ricotta and mix thoroughly.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.

The Sunday Recipe: Peach and Almond Tart

Our local farm store got some lovely organic peaches in this week so I decided to do an almond crust tart with a peach filling. I chose a half dozen peaches and tried blanching them to make peeling easier. Unfortunately, they weren’t really ripe so that didn’t help.  I was also running out of almond flour but found some blanched slivered almonds in the fridge to process and make up the difference. #glutenfree #refinedsugarfree

Peach and Almond Tart

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (About 160 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Filling

  • 3 cups, peeled and pitted, diced peaches (about 6 medium)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a non-stick tart pan OR prepare an 8 by 8 pan with cooking spray, butter, or oil, and line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the crust ingredients and press into the prepared pan with your fingers, using the edge of your hand or a finger to press the crust up the side.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. While the crust is baking, melt the butter with the maple syrup in the microwave on half power until butter is completely melted, about 1 ½ minutes.
  5. Pour over the peach slices and stir.
  6. Add the vanilla.
  7. Stir in the tapioca starch.
  8. Remove the crust from the oven when lightly browned and puffed, and pour in peach filling.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool and set up, at least an hour.
  11. May be served warm or cold. A dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream never hurts.
  12. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Cheesy Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Cheesy Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup diced onion 
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped up
  • 4 to 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ounces cream cheese 
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon sea Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

Directions

  1. In a heavy pot over medium heat, add olive oil and butter then wait for butter to melt.
  2. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Saute for five minutes.  
  3. Add cauliflower.
  4. Season with salt, and pepper.
  5. Stir and cook 5 minutes.
  6. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower to simmer and cook, covered, 15 minutes.
  8. Blend with an immersion blender. (If using a regular blender, cover with a towel instead of the regular lid.)
  9. Add cheeses to puree in pot and allow to melt.
  10. Bring to preferred temp over low heat.
  11. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Red Currant Muffins

I grew up with currant jelly but the currant bushes on the family farm have long since died or disappeared. My husband started some new ones a few years ago and we’ve had a couple decent little hauls from them now. He froze the cranberries but I pulled some out to use in these muffins. I measured them frozen then put them on a pan, on a paper towel, to defrost for an hour or so before I made the muffins.

Maple and vanilla come through with a hint of lemon. The currants are tart and bright, though less tart than cranberries, and they are offset by how sweet the muffin is. The only real downside for me is the seeds. They are solid but chewable and a bit bigger than caraway seeds in rye bread. If you don’t mind seeds, these muffins are great. If you do mind the seeds, give these a pass.

Red Currant Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 9 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups rice flour 
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups red currants

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Prepare your baking tins – this makes about 16 medium muffins. (I used 2 – 6 count muffin tins and 2 tiny loaf pans.)
  3. Whisk the eggs.
  4. Whisk in the maple syrup and olive oil.
  5. Add the melted butter while stirring so you don’t get scrambled eggs.
  6. Add the extracts.
  7. Stir in the sour cream.
  8. Mix the dry ingredients and mix in.
  9. Stir in the currants.
  10. Divide among the baking tins.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Allow to rest for ten before loosening with a thin knife.
  13. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Cream of Asparagus Soup

I know, I know, it’s past time to let the asparagus go, but it looked pretty good, my daughter loves it, AND I was trying to come up with smooth recipes for her because she just got braces. I’d also seen a cream of asparagus recipe somewhere recently and here we are.

After looking at several recipes online, I combined a few according to our tastes to get this one. It was simple and hit the spot for us. In fact, I think I’ll be using this method to make creamed soups with some other vegetables soon.

I often don’t have chicken broth on hand, but I keep a broth base powder in the cupboard that is low sodium and used that in preparing this recipe. It tasted just fine.

I think this would be interesting to try keeping dairy free by using olive oil and coconut milk. I imagine it would work fine.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Break the woody part off the end of the asparagus stalks.
  2. Chop into ½ inch pieces.
  3. Rinse and drain.
  4. In a heavy pot over medium heat, melt butter.
  5. Add onion and cook until translucent.
  6. Add asparagus.
  7. Season with garlic, salt, and pepper.
  8. Cook 5 minutes.
  9. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  10. Lower to simmer and cook, covered, 15 minutes.
  11. Blend with an immersion blender. (If using a regular blender, cover with a towel instead of the regular lid.)
  12. Add cream to puree in pot and bring to preferred temp over low heat.
  13. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

I wanted to offer a recipe that used fruit at its peak right now. Unfortunately, the bag I got at the store was so “at its peak” that there were mushed cherries in the center and it was leaking juice by the time I got it home. I picked through them, cleaned the cherries with vinegar water, and there was more than enough to make the clafoutis.

Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and sliced in half
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup almond flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Clean, pit, and slice cherries in half.
  3. Place butter in a glass dish and microwave to melt then spread.
  4. Pour the cherries into the buttered pie plate and spread out.
  5. Whisk or blend the remaining ingredients until smooth.
  6. Pour over cherries.
  7. Back at 375 for 40 minutes.
  8. Cool and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Enjoy!

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