You'd be pretty naive if you did. Jus' sayin'.
But I have good sound reasons for my actions. Promise.
We were entertaining my family for dinner to celebrate the birthdays of my two nephews. They are young adults whose schedules prevent us from seeing them too often. But we managed to find a day in between their birthdays, which are a month apart, to have them over, cook a meal and shower them with . . . okay, gift cards. Yep, how creative is that. But in our defense, they are young men and trying to figure out what gift to buy them is damn near impossible.
Coming up with an idea for dessert, however, proved pretty easy. I knew that the younger of the two nephews also has been trying to steer away from sugar in his diet. I had baked a low GI lemon cheesecake a couple weeks before and thought about doing another cheesecake. The lemon cheesecake--I love anything lemony--was topped with homemade blueberry sauce. And it was a big hit at Easter dinner. But the crust, ohhhh the crust. The crust on that cheesecake was unbelievably yummy. Roasted, salted almonds ground up into a coarse meal, combined with oat flour and butter and just a touch of Stevia Blend to give it some sweetness. By the time the cheesecake was cooked through, that crust was a deep dark toasty color and was soooo much better than your run of the mill graham cracker crust. The crust was truly the star of the cheesecake.
So I started to think about what else I could do with the crust and came up with this fruit tart idea that was incredibly simple to make and absolutely delicious. Berries are high in fiber so they're a good fruit for diabetics. Also, the use of a little Stevia Blend gives the base of this tart the little bit of sweetness I'm looking for without jacking up my glucose level. And the fact that I use oat flour instead of wheat flour in the crust also ensures that my sugar doesn't get a big spike.
First, the crust . . .
1 1/4 cups roasted, salted almonds
1/2 cup oat flour
4 tablespoons of cold butter cut into cubes
1-2 tablespoons Stevia blend, depending on how sweet you want the crust
1 egg yolk
Throw the almonds into a food processor and pulse until ground into a coarse meal. Add the flour and Stevia Blend and pulse again. Add the cold butter and pulse until it's a coarse meal. Then add the egg yolk and run the food processor until it starts to come together like a dough. You don't have to wait until it's one big ball. You can stop when it starts clumping all around. Then you know it's moist throughout and you can work with it.
Dump it onto a lightly greased tart dish (I use a quiche dish with fluted sides) and start pressing it down on the bottom and up the sides. This is enough crust to cover the bottom of an 8 inch quiche or tart dish and go up the sides of it. It can also easily cover the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.
Since the ingredients of the tart are not baked you need to bake the crust. If you were using this crust for a cheesecake, you wouldn't need to par-bake the crust at all. I set the oven at 350F and baked the crust for 45-50 minutes. When the top edges get brown, cover them with foil for the last few minutes of baking while the bottom gets brown. You can do this by ripping off a couple long strips of foil and folding them down around the top edges of the pan. Believe me, the browner this crust gets, the yummier it is and the more it will melt in your mouth. So be patient! It takes awhile for the brownness to happen.
And now for the simplest and most delectable dessert ever . . .
Berry Fraiche Fruit Tart - Low GI and Gluten-Free!!
8 oz of creme fraiche
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Stevia blend
1/4 cup chocolate chips or other dark chocolate bits
First, make sure the crust is completely cooled!! Can't stress that enough. You don't want a warm crust to melt your creme fraiche.
Blend together with a spoon the creme fraiche, vanilla and Stevia blend until well blended. Pour the mix into the prepared crust and spread it around evenly. Put the tart with the creme fraiche back in the refrigerator for an hour. Or you can do what I did and put it in a subzero freezer for 10 minutes until it sets.
Take your cleaned berry assortment and arrange them decoratively and densely on the top of the creme fraiche. I sliced the strawberries but left the blueberries and raspberries whole. You could stop right here and this tart would be fabulous. It doesn't absolutely need the chocolate on top. And it would be slightly lower in sugar without it, depending on how dark your chocolate is. But I've been known to take things too far, and this tart is no exception. So, on with the chocolate topping!!
Put chocolate bits in a Pyrex measuring cup and zap them in the microwave for a minute. Stir to make sure they are melted. If not, zap them for 10 second intervals just until melted. Then transfer with a spatula into a plastic zip lock bag. Cut a small tip off of one corner and squeeze chocolate onto the top of the tart.
If you're not serving it right away, refrigerate it. Once the chocolate turns hard again, you can cover it with plastic wrap.
This tart was gone by the time the family left my house. That never happens! I'm always left with some dessert. Note to self: make 2 next time!
I'm springing into these parties: