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Mulberry tart


mulberry tree! This recipe tastes like childhood. It brings back the days of coming home when the sun went down and playing across every back yard on the block. It tastes like sitting on my dad’s shoulders and grabbing berries from trees as we walked to and from the ice cream shop or a movie. There were a couple of mulberry trees that every summer would be heavy from juicy, sweet berries. It was my favorite part of the walk. My hands would be stained purple from berries when they burst. My shoes would have gooey purple messes on the bottoms. It was summer. At it tasted good.

Imagine how excited I was to discover that there is a mulberry tree in my backyard. Right there, shading my tomato plants. A tree heavy with the flavor of childhood summers.


I couldn’t pass it up. Plus, I recieved a tart pan (along with a dutch oven & a gym membership) from Blondie for my birthday. It was fate.

Now, mulberries have a tart & sour flavor if they are not yet ripe, and even at their juicy best, they are not as sweet as a black berry. But they are darn tasty. If you don’t have access to a mulberry tree in your back yard, front yard or down the street, you can always use raspberries, blackberries or strawberries.

Mulberry tart

The tart recipe has been de-glutened from a recipe and technique shared by David Lebovitz. Visit his site for more in-depth directions and photos of the process. There are no gums, just some flax, and you can use my substitution chart if you are working by weight and want to swap out some flours.

Vanilla Bean Tart with Mulberries
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Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 8-10
Thanks to an incredible method shared by David Lebovitz, the tart has an incredibly tender, melt-in-your-mouth crust

For the crust

  • 6 tablespoons (3oz/90 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 10 g ground flax seeds
  • 50 g sorghum flour
  • 30 grams brown rice flour
  • 30 grams white rice flour
  • 30 grams tapioca starch

For the pastry cream

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 pint fresh berries, picked over with stems removed
  1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 410º. In a medium-sized ovenproof bowl, add the butter, oil, water, sugar, vanilla and salt. Place the bowl in your hot oven for 15 minutes. The butter should be bubbling and the mixture should be slightly brown around the edges. While it is baking, whisk together your flours. Carefully remove the bowl from the oven. (Don’t be like me and forget a pot holder, it will be HOT!) and dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Put the dough in a 9in tart pan, and when it is cool enough to touch, press it into the tart pan with your hands, pinching dough up the edges. Prick the bottom with a fork and then bake for about 15 mins. The crust should be a light golden brown.
  2. For the pastry cream: While the crust is cooling whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of the milk. Blend yolks into the mixture, stirring until smooth. Prepare an ice bath (a very large bowl filled with ice & water – it should be a bowl that the sauce pan you are using does not quite fit in). Combine remaining milk (1 1/2 cups), salt and sugar (1/2 cup) in a medium sized sauce pan (non-reactive is ideal). Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Temper the egg mixture with about 1/3 of the hot milk (you have to whisk constantly – you do not want to cook the eggs unevenly) Add egg mixture to remaining milk mixture and return the pan to the heat. Continue to cook over medium heat, vigorously stirring with a whisk until the mixture boils and a trail forms after the whisk, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer pan to the ice bath and stir occasionally until the pastry cream is cool.
  3. Assemble the tart: Pour pastry cream (or vanilla pudding) into the crust and top with your fresh berries and enjoy the taste of summer.

If making pastry cream is too fussy, you could try a vanilla pudding.

If you wish to see the original crust recipe, visit David Lebovitz’s site.

Want to make the crust by volume? Use 1 slightly rounded cup of gluten free all purpose flour (I like Jules’ Nearly Normal Flour), if you use a flour without xantham gum or flax, add 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum.

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Sweet Pepper Pesto Grilled Chees

Sweet Pepper Pesto

Sweet Pepper Pesto Grilled CheesAfter the Gluten Free Expo, I went straight to Whole Foods and bought a loaf of Rudi’s Gluten Free Multigrain Bread. I really hate gluten free bread. And I mean, I really hate it. I refuse to eat sandwiches any more because of my intense dislike of it. I don’t even like the popcorn bread that my dad makes that every one raves about. Maybe it is all in my head, but I digress. I had a grilled cheese sample at the expo and I was sold.

There is this great little restaurant in town that makes an awesome grilled swiss with pesto sandwich that I remember from my glutinous days. It was simply delicious. I wanted to recreate that experience tonight. But, the basil plants that I have are not doing so well because it is too wet and I was out of roasted red peppers. So, a pesto recipe was born.

I then used it to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I have to say, this might be my favorite discovery from the Expo.

Sweet Pepper Pesto Grilled Cheese
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Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 2
Sweet peppers, sweet onion and italian herbs make this fresh pesto delectable.
  • 4 small sweet peppers or 1 large
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil or 10-12 leaves fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 slices Rudi’s Gluten Free Multi-grain bread
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 Tablespoons soft butter
  1. Chop onion into quarters. Peel garlic. Remove stem ends and seeds from peppers. Combine in food processor or manual chopper along with herbs. Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped. Add olive oil and pulse until desired consistency is reached. I like mine chunky, but some people prefer theirs to have a finer dice.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and butter one side of each slice of bread. Put 2 slices butter side down in the heated skillet and sprinkle on enough cheese to cover the slice (I used about 1/8 cup per slice). Spread pesto on top of cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with the second slice of bread, butter side up. Place a heavy frying pan on top and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove frying pan, flip sandwiches and put the frying pan back on top. After about 4 more minutes, the bread should be golden and toasted. The cheese should be melty and gooey. Remove from skillet, cut in half on the diagonal and enjoy.
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