When I first had to adopt a strict gluten-free diet I was very, very angry. I didn’t have a choice, because I had become so sick, but I was not at all happy about it. For one thing, I pride myself on eating everything. I love food! I love ALL food! I did not relish the idea of having to be the annoying picky eater. For another thing, baking (with good old gluten filled wheat flour) was my super power. I was really good at it and I did it all the time. It was so just so unfair.
My anger did not go away until I had started to figure out how to bake using gluten-free flours, which took me about 3 years. I do not feel angry about my diet anymore. I like many of my gluten-free baked goods as much or more than the baked goods that I used to make. There are some things that I still miss and have not found a gluten-free substitute for (doughy pocket like pierogy, ravioli and dumplings for example) but all in all I’m much happier and healthier.
I made this tart for the first time a few years back and it was a landmark for me. It was the first time that I successfully baked a gluten-free desert without following a strict recipe. I made a tart crust from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts and filled it with some home-made plum and grand marnier jam topped with an almond flavoured custard. I made it again recently because I am still enjoying the leftover plum marmalade from our wedding. The crust and the custard are both very sweet, so I only make this dish with not too sweet marmalade made with Seville oranges or tart plum or cherry jam. This tart kind of reminds me of claflouti, but it also reminds me of those chinese egg custard tarts. It keeps really well.
GLUTEN-FREE TART CRUST
- 1 cup brown rice mix (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (no you can’t skip this)
- 5 Tablespoons cold butter
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Butter a 9 inch pie or tart pan and dust it with some of the rice flour.
- In a medium bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.
- Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to combine the butter and the flour until it is crumbly
- Add the almond extract and mix well
- Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan
- Bake in the center of the oven until golden (about 18 minutes)
RICE FLOUR MIX
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 2/3 cups potato starch (NOT POTATO FLOUR)
- 1/3 cup Tapioca flour
ERIN’S MARMALADE AND SWEET ALMOND CUSTARD TART
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup whole milk
- a tiny splash of almond extract
- 1 pre-baked gluten-free tart crust (recipe above)
- Tart plum or cherry jam or Seville Orange or lemon marmalade. OR make a quick jam from fresh plums, a bit of sugar and grand marnier
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the almond meal, sugar, eggs, milk and almond extract together until they are totally combined.
- Fill the tart crust half way with jam or marmalade
- Top the tart with the custard and bake for about 40 minutes or until the custard is set and golden.