Thursday, 19 June 2014

Rocket & Roses Creamy Tomato & Thyme Tart with Almond/Black Pepper Crust (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket  Roses Kitchen Play List:

The Kinks ~ Sunny Afternoon
Tina Dico ~ Haunted
The Cranberries ~ Sunday
Foo Fighters ~ Statues
The Gossip ~ For Keeps
Lady Antebellum ~ Singing Me Home
Joan Jett ~ You Drive Me Wild 
Jack Johnson ~ Cookie Jar
Natalie Imbruglia ~ Perfectly
Chely Wright ~ Not As In Love
Queen ~ I'm Going Slightly Mad
Muse ~ Time Is Running Out
Clean And Mean Radio ~ I Don't Care, I Love it
Blackberry Smoke ~ Ain't Much Left Of Me

Today I made my first gluten-free pastry/crust. I've made many other offerings from other peoples kitchens but today I wanted to have a go at creating my own. And you know what? I am quite pleased with it even if I do say so myself. I wanted a crust that held together and had a great texture and taste. I didn't want it to be just the case the filling sat in. I already knew what kind of filling I was shooting for as I've been scribbling and re-scribbling about it for a couple of weeks. I'd picked up some beautiful little orange plum cherry tomatoes on Tuesday and knew I wanted them to be the star. And so I found myself stood at my kitchen counter with this little bag of tomatoes...and I got creative. lol. 

The crust came together quite easily as I am now used to the gluten-free making process. So much so when I made wheat flatbreads for Ann at the weekend, the gloopy sticky gluteness of the dough freaked me out. lol. I wanted the crust to have a richness that I've found only comes with adding ground nuts so I chose almonds and that was my real starting point. I didn't want the sweetness of cashews as I knew I would be using coconut oil and that would be all the sweetness I wanted. Once all the ingredients were in the bowl and I was mixing/kneading by hand it came together quite quickly. And pressing the dough out into my pie dish wasn't difficult although I was a little concerned at how dry it felt. But I really didn't need to worry as it pressed out well, baked well and cut well. You could even hold your slice of tart in your hand to eat it if desired. held together that well. The baked crust had all the elements that I wanted. Rich without feeling heavy on the tum, it held together and had a great flavour which complemented the filling well. Phew! First attempt...a success! Can I breathe now? 

I wanted my filling to have a creaminess but I didn't want to use tofu today. I wanted that to come from a beany mix. I had a bag of small shallots so I put them to good use along with a clove of garlic and sauteed them until just soft and finished them off with a little steam from some veggie stock. I blitzed the chosen beans down in a processor and then added hot stock and blended until the beans were fluffed and..yep..creamy! lol. I folded the shallot mix into the beans and then spread it out over the crust. The texture of the shallots in amongst the bean mix worked well. Next up was the tomatoes and fresh thyme. 

The completed tart was delicious. I loved the rich crust with the creamy filling and enjoyed the burst of sweetness from the tomatoes in every bite. That combined with the fresh thyme which rounded out the flavours...tart heaven! OK so I wouldn't eat this every day but it would definitely be one of my High Days and Holidays dishes. A treat indeed...

Rocket & Roses Creamy Tomato & Thyme Tart with Almond Black Pepper Crust (vegan & gluten-free)

R&R Tomato & Thyme Tart with Almond/Black Pepper Crust    Makes 1 10" tart
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

For the crust: 

3/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tbsp physillum husk
1 tbsp chia seeds 
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
very generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted 
3-4 tbsp very cold water

For the filling: 

1st layer
1 14oz tin of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 
4 tbsp hot veggie stock
1 tsp coconut oil - optional
10 small shallots, peeled and finely sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled finely sliced
freshly grated black pepper
sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves

2nd layer
12 orange plum cherry tomatoes, halved
handful of fresh thyme leaves 

Pre-heat the oven to 350'F/180'C/GM 4. Lightly grease a 9-10" pie dish with a little coconut oil. Set to one side. 

In a large bowl combine the dry crust ingredients and mix well. Pour the melted coconut oil into the centre and work through the dry mix until a crumbly texture is achieved. Add in the cold water and using your hands bring the mix together until it hold a solid shape. It will still be slightly crumbly around the edges. Place the crust into the pie dish and slowly press the dough out evenly across the dish and up the sides. When it is an even layer go around the top edge and press into a firm line. Place in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes. It won't go golden brown but you will smell that it's ready. (I hope? lol) Set to one side to cool.

In a skillet heat the oil and gently saute the shallots and garlic until soft. Towards the end spoon a tbsp of the hot stock into the shallots and cover and let them steam in the stock for a minute. Remove from the heat and set to one side.  

In a small processor or blender blend the beans down and add the remaining stock towards the end to make a creamy texture. Stir into the shallot mix and stir well the evenly distribute. Spread the shallot/bean mix over the base of the crust and then add more in layers and smooth over after the last dollop. Sprinkle the fresh thyme leaves over the mix and grate a little freshly cracked black pepper over the top. 

The freshly baked tart
Take the halved tomatoes and place them around the top of the tart in whatever design you fancy. Press them down slightly into the shallot/bean mix. Sprinkle over the remaining fresh thyme leaves. Place in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes...depending on how cooked you like your tomatoes. At the end of the baking time remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting into the tart for serving. 

Proof that the crust cuts well and holds its happy! lol


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Thursday is a good one...


NB: This is my creation. I am very happy for you to use it and share it. I simply ask that you give credit where it's due as I always try to..Many thank. Namaste ~R~