Things are looking up!
On Sunday, following a few days of re-adjustment once all my kitchen equipment and baking boxes had found new homes, I started to feel more at ease. I began to look forward to baking again and I moreover I needed to cook up some snacks to keep me going throughout the coming week.
So, I had to go for it. An afternoon of baking in a new environment and with a new perspective… and it felt good. I’d even go so far as to say it was a resounding success!
First up I tried a ‘safe’ recipe with few ingredients and minimal mess to test the waters… more on that in a later post (clue- it contained ginger!)
Second up, these apple and raspberry coconut tarts… indeed they are as good as they sound. Since I was feeling adventurous and surprisingly confident by that point I decided to go all out and put together a crazy gluten free pastry base to boot. Feel free to use your own ‘tried and tested’ pastry recipe if you prefer (GF or not), but I felt this version turned out surprising well- see additional notes below. The ingredients and method might appear long winded- but please do not let this put you off, each step is pretty simple and there is really not too much to it. It will be worth it!
Do I really need say any more or does this picture speak for itself….mmmmm, crisp coconut flakes, sweet moist coconut buttery apple topping and drippy raspberry centres all wrapped up in a crisp pastry shell.
Recipe: Apple and raspberry coconut tarts
Makes 12 tarts
- 130g GF flour mix
- 30g ground almonds
- ¼ tsp xantham gum
- 80g coconut butter
- 40g banana puree (approx. ½ mashed banana)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1tsp sugar free raspberry jam per tart case
- 1 apple grated
- 1tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbs agave
- 50g coconut butter (partially melted)
- 40g unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 1/3 tsp stevia (or to taste)
- 1tbs ground flax plus 2 tbs hot water
- Approx. ½ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
Prepare GF pastry base (as above or use own recipe) but combining all ingredients together and forming a ball of dough. Cover in cling film and let rest whilst you prep the remaining ingredients.
Mix the grated apple with the lemon juice and set aside. Mix the partially melted coconut butter with the agave, stevia and desiccated coconut then add the apple mixture.
Either roll the pastry and use a cutter to cut circles to lay in each tart case, or if the pastry is a little too crumbly (as in this case) put of sections of dough and press into each tart case with fingers tips ensuring the pastry is not too thick. Note- it is impotant that the pastry is pretty thin as otherwise it will dominate the tart and be too tough.
Mix the ground flax with hot water and allow to sit for a few minutes until gloopy.
Fill each tart with a tsp of jam and then top this with a ‘disc’ of apple/coconut mixture- I pulled off a piece the size of a walnut and then flattened this in my hands.
Lastly, using a pastry brush, cover the top surface of the tart with the flax mixture and sprinkle over a generous layer of desiccated coconut so that it sticks to the wet flax.
Bake at 180C for approx. 15 minutes until the top begins to turn golden.
First- add 1 tsp of jam per tart
Second- lay the apple/coconut 'pattie' over the jam
(note I ran short of topping hence the lonely jam tart!)
before adding the coconut sprinkles over the top.
Note: My pastry base was completely experimental, but I felt it worked quite well with a subtle sweetness of banana and coconut. I haven’t created a GF pastry before so have little experience to go on. It wasn’t at all flaking but neither was it too tough the next day (however it got tougher in the following couple of days so maybe still needs torefinement!) It had the characteristic of a more robust pastry shell with a substantial ‘bite’ as opposed to melt-in-your-mouth, so make sure you keep the pastry case very thin. I quite liked the robustness it gave it but I understand some people may prefer a more delicate flakier pastry. Any neutral pastry base would work well here so feel free to mix it up a bit and use your own pastry recipe.
For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.