Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gluten Free Treats

Since I've gone gluten- and dairy-free I've had to cut out a lot of the desserts I love, but there's enough I can have that I don't feel deprived. These are desserts I would seek out even without the dietary restrictions.

I just discovered Haagen Dazs Coconut sorbet. This stuff is amazing! Creamy without any dairy, just the pure full-flavor of biting into a fresh coconut. This would be great with some grilled pineapple, or chocolate. Wow!

Another favorite are the sorbets and fruit bars from Palapa Azul. I especially love the Watermelon fruit bars and the Mango Chile. Unfortunately Whole Foods only carries a couple flavors.

Larabar makes the only gluten and dairy-free bar that I'm aware of and luckily they are super delicious. Not technically a dessert, but good enough to be one. My favorite flavor is Key Lime, which is suprisingly hard to find in the store. Runners-up would be Ginger Snap and Lemon.

If I'm up for actually baking something, this Almond Coconut Fruit Tart from Martha Stewart Living is absolutely fabulous. This was in her Passover issue and honestly you cannot tell that there is no flour or dairy. The almond and coconut mixed with fresh fruit is absolutely divine.

Almond Coconut Tart

Serves 8
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tablespoons almond paste
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup soy cream cheese, preferably Tofutti
5 tablespoons apricot jam
4 cups assorted berries
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch fluted tart pan with cooking spray. Combine remaining ingredients. Press into bottom and up sides of pan.
Make the filling: Scrape vanilla seeds into a small saucepan, and add pod. Stir in soy milk and 2 tablespoons sugar, and bring to a boil. Whisk yolks, arrowroot or cornstarch, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl. Add hot soy milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking until combined. Return to pan, and whisk over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Discard vanilla pod.
Beat milk mixture and almond paste with a mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes. Beat in almond flour and cream cheese. Spread into tart crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Cover edges with parchment, then foil. Bake until set, 15 to 25 minutes more. Let cool completely in pan on a rack. Unmold. Spread jam evenly over the tart. Arrange berries on top.

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