People often avoid various foods for any number of reasons. For example, my kid sister sat at the dinner table tonight, very carefully corralling the rather chunkily cut mushrooms to the side of her dish in anticipation of relocating them to another dish where they might be more happily welcomed.
Personally, I used to loathe the smell of celery so much that I would leave the room if I suspected it had been in the vicinity (thankfully, celery and I have now reconciled our differences and manage to coexist fairly well these days).
However, people with coeliac disease have no choice but to avoid consuming any products with gluten in them at all, which means that they have a very difficult time with cooking and eating as every label must be scrutinized. And unfortunately, majority of the gluten-free desserts that I’ve seen tend to be limited to meringues, flourless orange and almond cakes or flourless chocolate cakes.
Since coeliac disease is incurable, the idea of being limited to three desserts for a lifetime does make the sweet tooth weep. Just a little.
When I was contacted by the reps for Vitarium, who asked me whether I would be interested in trialling their product and perhaps coming up with a recipe, I jumped at the chance. Having watched a friend who suffers from coeliac disease struggle with her shopping and eating, I thought that I might as well try the product and see whether it would be one I could recommend to her.
I wasn’t quite daring enough to use a gluten-free flour to make something that requires gluten for texture, but I thought it would work quite well on a buttery, short pastry…somewhere where the development of gluten is usually kept to a minimum.
I decided to go with a tarte tatin as other than the pastry, it is relatively easy to ensure that the other ingredients and components of this dish are gluten free and coeliac friendly. Gluten free flour isn’t a necessity, but after trying it out, I can honestly say that it performed perfectly and made the most beautiful, tender, melt-in-the-mouth pastry you can ask for!
Tarte tatin with sour cream shortcrust pastry
250g plain / all-purpose flour
200g unsalted butter, diced & cold
150g full fat sour cream
Tarte Tatin ingredients
6-10 apples (depending on the size of your pan, and golden delicious apples work well here)
150g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split in half
1 sheet sour cream short crust pastry, rolled 3-4mm thick
22 – 25cm oven-proof frying pan
TO MAKE THE PASTRY:
1. Place the flour into a food processor with the butter and pulse till the mixture begins to form lumps.
2. Add the sour cream and pulse till the mixture comes together (this is a very buttery, extremely difficult to handle pastry. Try to avoid handling it with bare hands as much as possible).
3. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the pastry out of the food processor and onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Lay another sheet of baking paper on top of it, then slowly and carefully roll out to approx 3-4mm thick. Place in the fridge to chill and rest till needed.
TO MAKE THE TARTE TATIN:
1. Peel the apples, then cut into quarters and remove the core. If you feel it’s necessary, you can toss them with lemon juice at this stage to stop them browning…but bear in mind that this is a dish where the apples are cooked in brown caramel. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Scrape out the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to a heavy, oven-proof frying pan along with the butter and sugar, and cook till it becomes a lovely amber caramel.
3. Once the caramel is bubbling and light brown, remove immediately from heat and carefully arrange the apples over the top, core sides down. You want to make sure that the first layer is rather neat and tidy, as this will be the face that is on display. The second layer can be as haphazard as you wish!
4. Grab a plate which is slightly larger than your frying pan and use it as a guide to cut a rough circle from the chilled pastry, then place on top of the apples and tuck the edges around inside so they surround the apples. Cut a few steam vents into the pastry, then place into the oven and bake till the pastry is completely cooked and you can see the caramel bubbling up the sides.
Rest the baked tarte tatin in the pan for about 15-20 minutes, before CAREFULLY inverting onto a plate (taking care not to drop any of the boiling hot caramel on yourself!). Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche…or sour cream…or lightly whipped double cream…or natural yoghurt…or vanilla ice cream. Your choice
Vitarium are running a gluten-free bakeoff until August 8th, so check this link if you’d like to enter Vitarium are also offering to let 5 Kitchen Wench readers try their products, so if you live in Australia and would like to give their products a try for free then please leave a comment. 5 readers will be drawn by Sunday 18th July so you have plenty of time!