FFWD – Orange-Almond Tart

Just a quick post today, as it’s been a busy week.

Gluten-free baking can be a little tricky, especially when converting standard flour recipes. In converting the recipe for the sweet tart dough for the Orange-Almond Tart, I chose to use an all purpose mix made of white rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour. It’s one that they sell at my local food co-operative and I’ve had really good results with it. In this recipe, though, the dough was ultimately too crumbly, with a slightly sandy taste that detracted a little from the shortbread flavour the dough is meant to have. Next time I try this, I’ll use a different combination of flours – one that doesn’t rely so heavily on white rice flour. (For the record, I’ve made this sweet tart dough recipe as written, with conventional flour, and it turned out beautifully. The problem was my choice of flours, not a fault in the recipe. I think I should have used a touch more xantham gum, too.)

My intention was to make a tangerine version of this tart, but sectioning the tangerines did not go well. The fruit was quite soft and my knife was not quite sharp enough. In the end, I sectioned some nice, firm oranges instead, which worked out quite well.

The almond cream turned out beautifully and the same gluten-free flour mix that failed in the pastry worked really well for the filling.

The finished product was tasty, if crumbly and with a few inexplicably over-browned oranges. The oranges also were a little swallowed by the almond cream, I think because my pan was smaller than called for. I’ll make this again, once I’ve sorted out a gluten-free version of the tart dough that works well. I hope that the next time I make this, too, that the finished product looks a little prettier. Check out the other French Friday participants if you want to see more attractive versions!

UPDATE – February 18/11 – I sent a big slice home with my parents, the day after I made it. I apologized in advance because I didn’t think they’d like my version of the crust much. Turns out, though, that they loved it. My mother phoned back to tell me so. I tried another piece and was really pleased. Refrigerated overnight, the crust had improved immensely. It was no longer crumbly and was very flavourful. The filling was still just as good as it had been the first day. When I make this again, I’ll make it ahead.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Orange-Almond Tart

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14 thoughts on “FFWD – Orange-Almond Tart

  1. I am so impressed that you tried to do this gluten free. I barely made it through the normal one after a very long week-thankfully I caught a break and it was easy. I personally think your tart looks lovely and rustic. I truly just pictured a glass of port sitting beside it ….and did I mention a fireplace somewhere 🙂 Enjoy !!

  2. @Lola – sometimes it feels that way! Often, I rely on others’ successes, though. Bloggers like Gluten-Free Girl, Cannelle et Vanille and Tartelette have great recipes, which are also guideposts for my own experimentation.
    @Tricia – Thanks very much – it tastes pretty good, as well (saving for the problems I mention in the post). A glass of port and a fireplace would be welcome this rainy Vancouver weekend.
    @Trevor – actually, it didn’t make it a longer process, but it was a little fussier getting the dough to hold together. Altogether, it is a fussy recipe, but one I think I’d like a lot with a better crust. I think I want to try (instead of the white rice flour) a mixture of brown rice and sweet rice flours, perhaps with a little buckwheat next time.
    @KB – the oranges weren’t blood oranges, but they were really vibrant! Much more so than the tangerines I’d intended to use.

  3. I am just thankful we don’t have gluten-free issues here, but I must say I am impressed that you experiment and things actually turn out so well all things considered. I imagine baking can be quite tricky because there is so much science involved in getting a great finished product. But yours actually looks great and I’ll bet it tasted pretty good too.

  4. Gluten free baking can definitely be hit or miss – but it’s great that you keep trying out new recipes & experimentations. Hey – even when I follow the recipe I know that I am not always going to love how I made it!!!

  5. I applaud you for converting this recipe to gluten-free. Interesting that the gluten-free mix worked better for the pastry cream than the tart dough. I bet the fresh tangerine slices really added a nice flavor to the almond pastry cream.

  6. Teresa, I’m glad I discovered your blog through FFwD. I stopped by today to award you the Stylish Blogger Award to let you know how much I enjoy it. I know others have done the same, but I still wanted to share my appreciation of what you’re doing. Reading your blog brightens my day. Happy Cooking! Betsy

  7. @Cakelaw – it’s true, I find I have to keep a little record of *exactly* what I’ve used each time, because using different brands can be as tricky as mixing different flours.
    @Krissy – I wasn’t thrilled with it the day I baked it, but the crust improved remarkably after being refrigerated overnight. In the end, I really liked it.
    @Kathy – I love Tartelette’s blog! Her photographs, stories and recipes are wonderful!
    Thanks, Cher and Becky!
    @Elaine – I’ve found that particular flour mix is really good for mixtures, roux and doughs. It just didn’t work out as well (at first) for this crust. Even though I ended up liking the crust, I think I’ll try a different mixture next time.
    @Betsy – Thank you so much! It really means a lot to me that you gave me the award. I love reading your blog, too. I’ve learned so much from FFwD’s members and really enjoy getting insights into everyone’s ideas and lives. I’m glad that some of you feel the same way.

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