I first read about the Gluten Fee Ratio Rally on Jenn Cuisine, and found it just amazing how different ingredients are combined with respect to each other and how it was all about ‘ratios’ and their importance to recreate a gluten-free version of some of the popular baked goodies.
In August 2012, when I hosted the DMBLGiT, Jenn was very kind and accepted to be on the panel of judges. It was during then that I discussed with her my interest of joining the ratio rally.
The Gluten Free Ratio Rally is a monthly blogging event started by Shauna Ahern of Gluten Free Girl. The participants take up a new challenge each month with the purpose to determine what ratio of ingredients (used) work best to create delicious the gluten-free goodies.
The challenge for September was ‘tarts’ and hosted by Charissa of Zesty Bakery. As, Wandering Ladle is gluten-free and dairy free and more often than not – vegan, I went with something very simple like a fruit tart, yet very different from the ones with beautiful sugar glazed berries.
My theme for Vegan Month Of Food for this week is Chocolate and I wanted to incorporate chocolate in the recipe for the tart, as well. ( Day 1 : Mexican Chocolate Cake with Almonds (vegan, gluten-free and soy-free) and Day 2 : Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts (vegan, gluten-free and soy-free))
I tried out quite a few (4 different recipes for an exact count for the crust) which did not turn out as well I thought they would. All of the four had similar ingredients in different ratios and my adaptation was just wasn’t working. However, the fifth recipe I looked up had very different ingredients and my adaptation worked, in fact it turned out pretty neat!
My ratios are for a single pie crust and I am yet to try out the ratio for the double.
Apart from the ingredients I used, the key to a nice crispy crust, I realized, is using “ice cold water”. What I did may sound crazy but it worked – I added a couple three ice cubes in a cup full of cold water and placed it in the refrigerator before I even got around to start working with the ingredients. This was my way of confirming the water was really cold by the time I needed it for the dough.
Also, I do not currently own a standing mixer so I use a good (strength) spatula and a large bowl for all the mixing. Another note here, I used my fingers to press the dough against the tart molds. It’s because I found that easier and less messy.
For the filling, I used a mixture of apple sauce and fresh banana. Blending it together with a hint of freshly ground cardamom just seemed fun. For the topping it was just banana slices and for color – fresh pomegranate. How simple and easy is that for a filling and topping! (I made this tart with our little girl in mind, because she loves bananas.)
Single Crust Shell-
- (An adaptation from Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book by Jennifer Katzinger)
- 1 ½ cups brown rice flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons coconut oil, extra virgin
- 3 tablespoon organic raw agave nectar
- 1 to 2 tablespoon ice-cold water
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 ½ cup organic gluten-free apple sauce
- 1 ½ cup banana, peeled and mashed
- 1 teaspoon cardamom, freshly ground
- 2 bananas, sliced thin
- 2 teaspoon juice of freshly squeezed lemon
- 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Prepare mini tart molds ( 4.5inch rounds, set of 6) using olive oil cooking spray.
- Combine the brown rice flour, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In another bowl, soften coconut oil by gently mixing with a good spatula. The heat from the mixing will soften it completely. Once the oil is soft, gently add flour mixture slowly and mix, until incorporated.
- Add the agave nectar and water and mix well ( I use my hand with gloves on to mix) until a soft dough forms. This takes anywhere from 5-8 minutes. If the dough is dry , then add water by teaspoons slowly and mix until the dough is smooth.
- Dust work surface with brown rice flour. Roll the dough into little balls. Press the ball of dough into the tart molds, and using your fingers press the dough evenly throughout the mold. Using a fork press the center and sides, to make sure the dough does not have bumps while baking.
- Bake the tarts for 20-25 minutes. Check the tart halfway through baking; if its browning too quickly, cover with foil until done.
- When the tart shells get done, allow to cool completely to room temperature. Add lemon juice to sliced bananas to prevent from blackening and set aside. Blend together apple sauce, mashed bananas and cardamom, till smooth. Slowly, pour the fruit mixture into the tart shells. Cover each filled shell with banana slices and top with pomegranate seeds. Serve chilled and enjoy!
- The tart shells could be made ahead of time and stay good for up to 4 days when refrigerated. Make sure to add the filling and fruits just before serving.