As the big Thanksgiving meal quickly approaches, I decided last minute to add a gluten free dessert to the mix. I originally wanted to make a traditional apple pie, but after research and getting input from family members, my plans changed to a classic apple French tart. Today, as practice before the main event, I tested out my crust method by making a mini strawberry tart for teatime.

   Using the ingredients available in my house (mainly because a trip to the grocery store just before Thanksgiving was less than appealing) and with the help of my culinary genius of a father, I managed to create an amazing berry tart out of kitchen scraps.

What you will need:

  • 2 cups of whatever gluten free flours you can get your hands on (I used ½ cup of King Arthur’s GF All Purpose Flour, 1 cup Pamela’s Pancake mix, ½ tapioca flour)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of agave syrup
  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cold, cubed
  • A large pinch of salt
  • ½ cup of cold water
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Fruit of choice, neatly sliced
  • ¼ cup of applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Leftover jam, citrus
  • Parchment paper

      Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a large, glass mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, and cubed cold butter. Using your hands, quickly mix together until the cubes of butter integrate into the flour and become small, flaky pieces. Make sure to act fast to stop the butter from melting due to the heat of your hands.

Then, in a separate bowl, beat the egg and add the vinegar and agave syrup. Add this eggy mix to the glass bowl and using a fork combine with the buttery flour. As the mixture begins to come together, drizzle the cold water into the bowl while still stirring in small intervals (an extra pair of hands might be useful at this point). Do not add the entire ¼ cup of water if the mixture seems to be sticky enough after one or two intervals.

Now, cut a large piece of parchment paper and place it flat on the countertop. Scoop out your dough mixture onto the parchment paper and using the container that you want to bake in, spread the dough into the correct size and shape. The thickness should be ¼ inch or so when in the final shape. Fold over the parchment paper that hangs off the side and using cling film (saran wrap), wrap up the shaped dough completely, and place in your fridge for 2 or more hours.

If you are really antsy to make your tart, you can stick your dough into the freezer while you cut up the desired fruit into slices. The dough just needs to contain chilled butter before going into the oven to bake.

Once completely set and cold, unwrap the plastic from the dough, leaving the parchment paper and place it into your pan. Make sure you smooth out any cracks that form and keep a small lip on all sides to keep the fruit center from sliding around. Bake just the dough in the pan for about 5 minutes, then pull out and quickly smooth a thin layer of applesauce on the crust. Then, in a nice design, lay the sliced fruit in a circular pattern. Stick it back in the oven for 20 minutes, rotating the tart half way through the baking process.

After 20 minutes, pull out the tart and spread a tiny amount of citrus jam on the fruit and lightly sprinkle the sugar on top of that. Place back in the oven again for another 10-15 minutes. You need to keep an eye on the tart at this point because you do not want the fruit to blacken. A little darkening on the tips of the slices is okay, but anything more is beginning to burn.

When the time is up, take it out and spread a small amount of agave syrup over the fruit for a nice glazing effect. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

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