Tag Archives: wheat-free pastry

Cabbage and blue cheese mini quiches and human straitjackets

choutarte

Unsurprisingly, Hugo’s annual visit to the vet is not something I particularly look forward to. I wouldn’t wish to shame my faithful friend (especially in view of our slightly volatile working relationship), but I suspect the vet might share my feelings. In a nutshell (nut being the operative word), during his last visit, he took out a cat, threw himself at a plasterboard wall leaving a significant hole and broke a table leg. He also refused to lie on the floor, preferring instead to avail himself of the chairs. I can’t even blame his appalling behaviour on white coat hypertension – the vet is always rewarded with huge, slobbery kisses for her courageous attempts to calm and vaccinate him (from Hugo, not me). I think it’s a simple case of overexcitement at the idea of being in an enclosed space with so much potential chase fodder. This time, as it was impossible to hold him on his lead (his brute force would be a match for a prize bull), bad mother and even worse pet owner that I am, I resorted to using Léo as a human straitjacket. It wasn’t ideal (I had to haul them both out from under the reception desk), but at least there was no structural damage to the surgery, which can only be a good thing. I do realise that I’m setting the bar pretty low in terms of canine obedience, but everyone has to start somewhere. In our case that appears to be rock bottom.

hugoleoveto

White cabbage and blue cheese complement each other beautifully. Cabbage has the highest amount of some of the most powerful antioxidants found in cruciferous vegetables, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes. It is rich in vitamin K, which is important for bone metabolism and for preventing neuronal damage in the brain. Cabbage is also an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C and the B vitamins and also provides iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

Pastry:

100g spelt flour

80g buckwheat flour

60g butter

30g virgin coconut oil

Roughly 6 tablespoons of cold water

Filling:

250g washed and shredded white cabbage

1 chicken or vegetable stock cube

2 shallots, sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 egg

150 ml double cream

100mg blue cheese (I used Roquefort), crumbled

To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter and coconut oil into small cubes. Add to the flours in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tin or tins. As this pastry contains buckwheat flour, which contains no gluten, it will be quite fragile. You’ll find that you have to treat it delicately and possibly fill in the cracks with remaining bits of pastry by pressing gently. I use individual tart tins. Precook the pastry for 12 minutes.

For the filling, cook the shredded cabbage for about 15 minutes in boiling water, to which you have added the stock cube. Once cooked, drain well and set aside. Break the egg into a small bowl and add the cream and seasoning (salt, pepper, paprika). Beat well to form a homogenous mixture. Assemble the tarts by filling about ¾ full with cabbage, covering with crumbled blue cheese and then pouring the egg/cream mixture over the top. Cook at 180°C for 18 minutes.

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Raspberry and apple tart with almond topping and crabby electronics

raspberryappletart

I’ve had a very busy week accomplishing lots of useful things: I grilled two computers (one was struck by lightning, which wasn’t really my fault; the other was struck by impatience, which was.) My credit card was chewed up because I think I’m capable of talking and typing my PIN number simultaneously. A non-identified metal object fell off the bottom of the car and I burned out the motor of the Kitchenaid (which is quite a feat as they’re meant to be indestructible.) I am typing this very cautiously on my ipad, fully expecting it to spontaneously combust at any minute. If I don’t post for a while you’ll know why 😉

I did however manage to make these tarts without exploding the oven, so that was really quite encouraging. 🙂

Ingredients for pastry (serves 6-8):

150g buckwheat flour

70g spelt flour

50g butter

50g virgin coconut oil

Roughly 6 tablespoons of cold water

Ingredients for filling:

2 apples, peeled and sliced

60g raspberries

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients for topping:

60g powdered almonds

30g virgin coconut oil

15g cane sugar

10g almond flakes

To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter and coconut oil into small cubes. Add to the flour in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tins. Precook the pastry for 12 minutes.

Poach the apples and raspberries in a little water, adding the cinnamon to the fruit. Prepare the topping by rubbing the coconut oil into the powdered almonds, before adding the sugar. Assemble the tarts once the pastry is pre-cooked by filling each pastry case with the poached fruit and then covering with crumble topping and almond flakes. Put back in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the topping is beginning to brown.

Chocolate and pear tarts, compulsive behaviour and chainsaws

pearandchocolatetart

This will be the last pear/chocolate recipe for a while, I promise. I appear (!) to have become slightly obsessed with this heavenly combination, but that’s still no excuse for being a bore. Talking of bores, I’ve been having wild cow-related issues this week. We’ve had a lot of very strong gales which, if you live here, translates into the need to travel everywhere with a chainsaw (pine trees are quite vulnerable and fall easily in high winds). Personally, I never go anywhere without mine – you just never know when it’s going to come in handy. Which brings me back to wild cows; I have spotted several within uncomfortably close range recently. When I reported my ‘sightings’ to the local Mairie, the information was met with a definite ‘course you did, dearie’ sort of look, which I thought was a bit audacious, especially in view of the contents of my car boot 😉

The pastry for this tart is wheat-free, but not entirely gluten-free, spelt containing a small amount.

Ingredients for pastry (serves 6-8):

150g buckwheat flour

70g spelt flour

50g butter

50g virgin coconut oil

Roughly 6 tablespoons of cold water

Ingredients for filling:

40g dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa)

1 tablespoon rum

15ml cream

1 large pear

3 tablespoons watermelon, pear, apple or ginger jam

To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter and coconut oil into small cubes. Add to the flour in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tins. Precook the pastry for 12 minutes.

Melt the chocolate with the rum. Once melted, add the cream and mix to form a smooth sauce. Line the base of each tart with the chocolate. Peel the pear and cut into thin slices. Cover the chocolate base with the pears, overlapping them to cover well. Cover the top with a thin layer of jam and then cook for about 15 minutes. Delicious hot or cold.