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Posts tagged as desserts

Fudgiest Brownies (Gluten-Free)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:47am

Fudgy Browndies (Gluten-Free) | Fresh TartThe beauty of Alice Medrich’s fabulously decadent cocoa brownie recipe is that flour plays such a minor role in flavor and texture, that it matters not a whit what type you use. Use wheat flour, as the recipe was originally written, and you’ll be thrilled. Or, substitute gluten-free AP flour and be equally thrilled, because by my memory, they taste exactly the same. That’s because these brownies are about good cocoa, butter, and eggs, melted and stirred and whisked in just such a way (in one bowl, no less!) to deliver a shiny, crusty top with a fudgy (not cakey) interior.Fudgiest Brownies (Gluten-Free) | Fresh TartI’ll even go so far as to say that I think you could make these grain-free, by using tapioca starch or potato starch as the flour. I haven’t done it yet, but I will, and I’ll let you know how they turn out. I suspect: mighty damn fine.

No matter how you bind them, these are brownies that beg for a glass of milk, particularly restorative after holiday shopping, gift-wrapping, or tree-trimming. Not that those things aren’t fun, it’s just that…chocolate makes them more fun.

Heh.

Recipe for Fudgiest Brownies (Gluten-Free) at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Nathan and I spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at my dad and stepmom Susanna’s home south of Bozeman, Montana. My sister Stacey and her son Cooper were there too, as well as my brother David and sister Etta, both in from NYC. We had a long, restorative weekend catching up, cooking, hiking, and relaxing. Just what the doctor ordered for all of us!Jake | Fresh TartDad picked us all up at the airport, with Jake in tow. He makes an adorable front-seat companion.Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartSo good to pull up to this view. I hadn’t been in a year and a half, too long.Against All Grain Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies | Fresh TartWe were very, very happily greeted by Against All Grain paleo chocolate chip cookies, made by Susanna and Etta. These are winners of the highest order. Make them. Gah so good.Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartI’ve never been to the house in the winter…so lovely to see the setting sun against the snow-capped Madison range. Hi Etta!Gluten-Free Waffles with Chokecherry Syrup | Fresh TartMy dad made gluten-free waffles with Pamela’s mix/recipe. Perfection. That’s chokecherry syrup, made by Susanna from chokecherries she picked this summer at the ranch. Absolutely delicious. DuJour Magazine | Fresh TartI was delighted to page through the latest issue of DuJour Magazine while I ate breakfast, sipped coffee. My sister Etta is the photo editor. Seriously, how stunning is that cover?!Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartThere was pre-feast hiking and sledding. Lovely in every way.Sun West Ranch Sledding | Fresh TartGo Susanna! Sun West Ranch Sledding | Fresh TartGo Nathan and Coop!Thanksgiving Table | Fresh TartMy sister Stacey set a gorgeous table.Turkey! | Fresh TartSusanna’s sister Margie made a perfect, deconstructed turkey, all juicy, all crispy.Thanksgiving Sides | Fresh TartThe rest of the meal: roasted squash, gluten-free and gluten-full gravies, gluten-free sausage chestnut dressing, green beans with lemon-garlic butter & walnuts, buttermilk mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Colorful, flavorful, not over-the-top rich. In my book: perfection. Charlie (the pup) agreed.Pumpkin Cheesecake | Fresh TartMargie also made my aunt Marge’s pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sauce. There was oohing, aahing, sighing, groaning, and the licking of forks and perhaps even plates.Leftovers | Fresh TartLeftovers Part I was breakfast the next day: fried stuffing topped with green beans and…a poached egg, of course. Killah.Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartSun West Ranch | Fresh TartWe attempted to offset gluttony with another good, long hike, which even included crossing a creek on a fallen log. I wish it were as hard as it looked…but it was actually pretty easy. My brother David makes it look badass, however.

The rest of the meals? I stopped taking pictures, which means I relaxed into my vacation, and that was…so unbelievably nice. Home now, which feels lovely too, jamming on Twin Cites Chef’s Table. I spent the day writing and cooking, filling my fridge with roasted beets and squash, kale chips, hard-cooked eggs, grassfed beef bone broth, jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk, and braised beef short ribs. I’m stocking up for the cold, snowy, insanely busy days ahead, days when I want to eat fresh, nutritious, delicious meals on the fly.

The view out the window at home today:Snow | Fresh TartHey winter. Hey.

Coconut Rice Pudding with Apples & Cinnamon

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 20, 2013 at 2:31pm

Coconut Rice Pudding with Apples & Cinnamon | Fresh TartI’ve been having a blast submitting comfort food recipes for Xcel Energy’s #XElab Facebook page. In typical Minnesota fashion, we’ve gone from warm to brrr in the blink of an eye and everyone is heading to the kitchen to make soups, stews, roasts, gratins, and warm desserts. In the spirit of #XElab’s goal to share easy, fun ways to save energy, I came up with this stovetop rice pudding. Given leftover rice – I saved rice from a recent Chinese restaurant takeout feast – this creamy, dreamy pudding is ready in 20 minutes. I added apples and cinnamon for maximum cozy comfort.Coconut Rice Pudding with Apples & Cinnamon | Fresh TartYou can serve the pudding warm and no one will complain, but I like it best when it’s cold. You decide. You could also add raisins, of course, a rice pudding classic. Or toasted coconut. Or toasted nuts.

xcelbuttonIf you have your own favorite comfort food recipe, make sure to click through to #XElab’s page and share it! Not only might you win a $250 gift certificate to Home Depot, but you’ll also finds lots of comfort food inspiration as well as energy efficiency tips. ‘Tis the season, friends, to cook, bake, and stay warm!

Coconut Rice Pudding with Apples & Cinnamon
Stephanie Meyer | Fresh Tart
Serves 4

Note: This dish can easily be made dairy-free. Use 2 1/2 c. of coconut milk.

1 1/2 c. cooked white rice
1 apple, peeled, cored, cut into small dice
1 c. whole milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. coconut milk (from a can, not from a carton)
1/4 c. coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cardamom
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Set pan over medium heat and stirring frequently, bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and continue simmering, and stirring frequently, until pudding is nicely thick, about 15 minutes.

Divide pudding among 4 bowls. Serve warm, or cover with plastic wrap and chill for a couple of hours until cold.

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta With Maple Syrup

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Sep 3, 2013 at 12:18pm

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple SyrupSo long Minnesota State Fair! It was a wild ride this year, loads of food fun despite soul-sucking heat followed by mercifully cool breezes…which in turn drew the largest crowds I’ve ever experienced.

Yikes!

I tend to indulge in savory foods when I’m out there, mostly in the form of pork (this year I enjoyed pig wings, porketta sausage, pork chop on a stick, and bacon) and of course, my fair favorite french fries. After the salt and sweat, dragging a cooler full of cooking demo ingredients back to my car, and sitting in a sea of traffic, I would put my feet up and cackle with delight to indulge in the cool, creamy panna cottas I alluded to in my last post. I made a big batch a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed them all fair long, threatening to end up photo-less because I seemed to find plenty of time to eat the panna cottas and no time to photograph them.Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple SyrupSometimes I ate them with fresh blueberries, which have been spectacular this season, and are a match made in heaven with a hint of cardamom warming the creaminess. Mostly I ate them plain because I wanted to marvel at the complexity of tropical coconut milk sweetened with cold-climate maple syrup. Was I over-tired with a blown out palate? Utterly. And yet even on a normal eating day, coconut milk and maple syrup are two of my favorite ingredients, each with so many layers of essence, delicious in both savory and sweet dishes. On paper they don’t belong together but trust me, it’s a beautiful pairing.Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple SyrupI should add that panna cottas are the perfect party dessert. They are as easy as a sneeze to prepare yet somehow feel fancy enough for guests, especially if you serve them from pretty demitasse cups (my favorite way; less fussy than inverting them). Keep the garnish simple for a light and refreshing effect; in this case, a scattering of fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup. Done.

If you missed last Friday’s Foodie Roundtable on Minnesota Public Radio’s Daily Circuit show, have a listen here as Andrew Zimmern, James Norton, and I were put on the spot answering host Kerri Miller’s (and the live audience’s) fair food trivia questions. Hot seats! Tough questions! But so much fun. I’ll take this opportunity to say that I would love to see more gluten-free treats at the fair. Foxy Falafel’s cheese curds with honey dipping sauce? Fair-goers would go crazy for them!Amanda Paa, Stephanie Meyer, Minnesota Wine Country

Amanda Paa, Stephanie Meyer, Minnesota Wine CountryThat said, there are plenty of naturally gluten-free goodies to be had. Bookmark for next year the fantastic write-up Amanda Paa of Healthy Life, Happy Cook blog did of our presentation pairing gluten-free fair foods to Minnesota wines at the Minnesota Wine Country exhibit. We had a blast! As did chef Scott Pampuch and I pairing and sharing grilled sausages and pickled cabbage with the crowd.

If you’re a panna cotta fiend like I am, see also:
Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Honey & Berries and Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Bacon & Blue Cheese
Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Fried Sage

Recipe for Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple Syrup at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Clafoutis

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 3, 2013 at 10:09am

ClafoutisAll-American pie is always perfect, but consider warm, fruity, French clafoutis for this 4th of July celebration. For one, clafoutis is faster to pull together. Can you mix pancake batter? In a blender? Then you can make clafoutis, which is in effect a giant crepe, scattered with fruit, and eaten hot out of the oven with whipped cream or creme fraiche or ice cream. Kids can definitely help pull this together – or make it all by themselves!Clafoutis: Cherry, Rhubarb-Raspberry, PeachI made three quick versions – peach, cherry, and rhurbarb-raspberry – to demonstrate how adaptable clafoutis can be. Plums, nectaries, blueberries – any fruit that marries well with crumbles, buckles, crisps, cobblers – can have an affair with clafoutis. If you can’t bear to serve anything but pie on the 4th, make clafoutis for breakfast. Melty creme fraiche and warm maple syrup are awesome together, for the record. Sexy even. It’s all bon.ClafoutisInspired by my friend Zoe Francois of Zoe Bakes (cornbread and peaches baked on the grill, oh my!), you could try baking clafoutis on the grill after you pull off the burgers and/or ribs. It’s hard to mess up a clafoutis which makes it experiment worthy. If you give it a try, let me know.

Happy Independence Day, Minnesota!

Recipe for Clafoutis at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 4.20.18 PMPS If you’re searching for 4th of July entertaining inspiration (or recipe ideas any day), bookmark or follow the Fortify: A Food Community Pinterest page! Formerly the Minnesota Food Bloggers, Fortify is a group of food lovers, many of whom have popular food blogs and write stunning, delicious recipes. Check out the page, I know your mouth will water. We have a Fortify: A Food Community Facebook group page too; join us!

Blogger Bake Sale, Saturday, May 4, at Kitchen in the Market!

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Apr 30, 2013 at 4:37pm


Angharad Guy

If you love eating well while doing good, get thee to Share Our Strength’s Annual Blogger Bake Sale, this coming Saturday at Midtown Global Market. You might not know it, but Minnesota has an incredibly talented, vibrant food blogger scene. We call ourselves Fortify: A Food Community, where we connect virtually and in person with the food industry and food lovers in any industry. We love to cook, and bake, and share recipes, and gather to help out where we can.

This year’s event is coordinated once again by Delightfully Midwestern blogger Lisa Nguyen Gaulke. When we chatted about the upcoming event, I mentioned it would be fun to share a recipe from last year’s sale with all of you. She said, “You have to ask Angharad for her lemon cake recipe, it was my favorite item and last year’s best seller…partially because I bought six slices myself!” And so I did ask, therefore the gorgeous recipe below for Lemon-Drenched Lemon Cake, perhaps the best cake name ever. Angharad’s blog is Eating for England and is chock full of perfect recipes, gorgeous photos, and bits and bobs of her travels home to England.


Angharad Guy

Lisa notes that the Kitchen in the Market space at Midtown Global Market is key to the success of the sale. “Bring the kids, walk around, grab lunch, then swing by the sale for dessert. Last year, there were 15 participants and we plan the same this year, with each blogger baking and donating anywhere from 2-4 different kinds of treats. There will be a variety of baked goods – cookies, granola bars, breads, gluten-free cupcakes, even honey and homemade jam!”

And when your treats are devoured: Make. This. Cake.

Recipe for Angharad Guy’s Lemon-Drenched Lemon Cake at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Froz Broz Caramel Popcorn Candied Almond Ice Cream…YES!

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:05pm

Remember Poppycock, the massively addictive caramel-glazed popcorn with almonds that has graced every dorm room on every campus ever? Well apparently I still love the stuff, because when craft ice cream whiz kids Benny Solberg and Erik Powers – aka the Froz Broz – asked me about collaborating on an ice cream flavor (whee!), what we came up with together is in a nutshell Poppycock ice cream. Hellooo brown butter, salty caramel, and glazed almonds, spun into a popcorn-infused custard base. I’m telling you, this beauty hits all the right crunchy-creamy-salty-sweet notes.

It may still be ridiculously cold outside, but it’s the perfect time for ice cream.

Benny and Erik swung by my house to demonstrate the ice cream’s various steps, chat about their business plans, and perhaps share a couple of cocktails. Have I mentioned that they are awesome? Smart and funny and talented times 1000, the fact that they’re churning the coolest ice cream flavors in town is really just a bonus. A decidedly delicious bonus! Born from their mutual passion for cooking with local ingredients, the long-time friends decided to invent adventurous ice cream flavors…a new one each week! With flavors like Sweet Pea Mint; Tomato; and Black Pepper Grape Syrup with Pita Cracker & Chevre (to name just a few), the Broz work with local farmers to incorporate peak-season ingredients. Every flavor I’ve tried – I’ll confess I’ve been lucky enough to try several – has been just beautiful to eat.

These are ice cream flavors you think and talk about afterward.

I know your next question: Where can I buy some? And the answer is: You can’t. Not quite yet. For now, they give away two pints of each weekly flavor, so definitely subscribe to their blog and leave a comment to enter their drawings. Or, hire them to make you a special small batch. And then, if you like, contribute to their equipment fund, because in their words, “Making our own base is crucial to the quality and breadth of flavors we create, we have no choice but to get the expensive pasteurization equipment required to get legal with ‘the man’.”

While you’re waiting for the Froz Broz to take over the world, churn yourself a batch of Caramel Popcorn Candied Almond and forget there’s still snow on the ground.

Happy Brown Butter Spring!

The Froz Broz recipe for Caramel Popcorn Candied Almond Ice Cream is at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Coffee Pavlovas with Almond Whipped Cream

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Feb 12, 2013 at 7:34pm

Coffee Pavlovas with Almond Whipped Cream

You don’t have to eat chocolate on Valentine’s Day. It’s true! In fact, these bittersweet Pavlova meringues might better represent your romantic status. And even if not, even if you’re blissfully, nauseatingly in love, the contrast of chewy-crisp meringue with fluffy whipped cream and crunchy, salty almonds will delight you.

For such a simple dessert, these have a lot of love going on.

If you haven’t yet given them a go, Pavlova meringues are a worthy addition to your dessert repertoire. They’re cheap, impressive, easy, beautiful, light on calories, adaptable, and…delicious! Of course they must be delicious. Fill them with whipped cream, or ice cream and chocolate sauce, or citrus curd and berries. Bake the meringue as one big torte, or make individual-sized shells. The basic egg-white-and-sugar mixture can be enhanced with various extracts or in this case, instant coffee. Consider them the pot pie of desserts, ready to be filled with whatever you have on hand.

And if you really, really need to…drizzle them with warm chocolate sauce, it’s OK. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Recipe for Coffee Pavlovas with Almond Whipped Cream at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Almond Triangle Cookies

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 19, 2012 at 6:03am

Almond Triangle Cookies

What to bake when you prefer the salty over the sweet? And you’re busy? (And you can’t eat gluten?) These easy beauties, which have become everyone’s favorite Christmas cookie, including mine.

The original recipe caught my eye a few years ago as the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s 2009 Cookie Contest Winner. If you love almonds and caramel and butter and Christmas, you’ll be as smitten by these decadent cookies as the Strib’stasting panel clearly was (their verdict: “love” and “beautiful”).

As a gift to the baker, these are bar cookies, which Minnesotans know are the most magical (and easy!) of all. Other than allowing time for the shortbread crust to chill before baking, they come together in minutes. After they cool for awhile, cut them into tidy triangles, pour yourself a glass of milk, and dig in.

Despite their simplicity, the triangles are elegant on a cookie plate AND disappear blessedly quickly. You can focus on how nutritious almonds are to lull yourself into cookie complacency, but a cookie isn’t Christmas without a hearty dose of butter and sugar, and these are no exception.

Thank goodness!

Recipe for Almond Triangles at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Outstanding in the Field 2012 at Little Foot Farm. And Coffee Custards with Honey & Cinnamon!

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 10, 2012 at 7:46am

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

Remember August? It sure was pretty…

August 9, in fact, was the Outstanding in the Field farm dinner at Little Foot Farm in Afton, Minnesota. Little Foot raises heritage breed hogs so it’s no surprise that this dinner was a celebration of pork, pork, and more pork.

Thanks to chef Mike Phillips of Three Sons Meat, Inc., it was spectacular indeed.

I had the privilege and pleasure of working at the event this year instead of just attending it. I pitched in to help host chefs Mike Phillips and Scott Pampuch make and serve about 50 million pounds of pickles and condiments to enjoy with all of those beautiful courses of pork. 

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

While the guests gathered and enjoyed cocktails in Karen Weiss and Sally Doherty’s picture-perfect farm yard…

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

…the hogs got frisky…

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm scott pampuch stephanie meyer fresh tart

…and the crew set the signature Outstanding in the Field table.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

Coppa. Glorious.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

Afternoon showers meant a bit of a rush to set the table…

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

…with pickles! Okra, beets, peppers, cukes, rhubarb, green beans, corn, chanterelles, on and on.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm ben weaver scott pampuch stephanie meyer fresh tart

It takes a village to serve charcuterie to 150 people.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm charcuterie mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

Just…wow.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm kielbasa mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

Kielbasa’s on the grill. These beauties were plated with kimchi…

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm scott pampuch mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

…as fast as pork-greased lightning by Scott and Mike.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

The one vegetarian at the dinner ate very, very well. Kimchi and pickled corn with a poached egg? Yes, please!

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm mike phillips porchetta stephanie meyer fresh tart

That’s Mike, slicing one of the three golden, crackling porchettas, plated and served with sauerkraut.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm emily anderson stephanie meyer fresh tart

Huge thanks to my left and right hand ladies Emily Anderson

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm kathy yerich niki heber stephanie meyer fresh tart

…and Kathy Yerich for working their butts off AND being a total blast. Oh how I love those gals.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm tomato salad stephanie meyer fresh tart

Stunning Laughing Loon Farm and Minnesota Peach Farm tomato salad with grilled kale was a welcome refresher after three courses of pork. Those bowls came back very empty!

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie<br />
meyer fresh tart

As the sun set…

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

…little jars of roasted fruit topped with toasted oat crumble, whipped cream, and magical sugar-glazed grapes, prepared by pastry chef Kelsey McCreight, wrapped the meal.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

Another dreamy farm dinner for the books. Huge thanks to Mike Phillips, Scott Pampuch, and the whole crew for letting me help out. The highlight of my summer, without a doubt, both the event itself and the preparation leading up to it.

See pics from:
Scouting Little Foot Farm with Mike and Scott
Pig butchering/charcuterie making in preparation for the meal
Outstanding in the Field dinner 2011 at River Bend Farm in Delano
Pork Burgers!

When I got home, and unloaded the 50 million pickle jars from my car, I found…a gigantic tub of honey! Farm dinner spoils, nice. In honor of the buckets of delicious coffee that powered the dinner prep and clean-up, I made these coffee, honey, and cinnamon custards. I will not lie…they are divine.

coffee custard stephanie meyer fresh tart

Ode to OITF Coffee Custards with Honey & Cinnamon
Based on a Martha Stewart Living recipe
Serves 4-6

soft butter
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Set out a 9×13 baking pan. Butter 4-6 oz. (or 6-4 oz.) ramekins and arrange them evenly in the 9×13 pan.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, milk, and espresso powder and heat until mixture almost simmers. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, egg, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla. Whisk a bit of the hot cream mixture into the eggs, then whisk in all of the cream mixture until well combined. Ladle into the prepared ramekins. Set the 9×13 pan on rack in preheated oven, then pour hottest tap water into the pan until it comes 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are set and jiggly, about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and water bath. Cool to room temperature and serve or chill to serve later. To serve, run a knife around the edges of the custard and then flip over onto a serving plate. Give the plate and ramekin together a bit of a shake to loosen and the custards will slide right out.

Pear Tart with Almond-Thyme Crust & Honey Whipped Cream (Gluten-Free!)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Sep 19, 2012 at 5:26am

2e4a258496897a88_peartartwhole.preview

In my world, ’tis the true season of giving right exactly now, when friends share the bounty of their gardens and the lovely jams, syrups, salsas, booze, and pickles made to stretch summer and fall into winter.

garden bounty stephanie meyer fresh tart

My own garden is planted primarily with heirloom tomatoes (thanks to the amazing Heidi Skoog, she of Serious Jam and Bastian Skoog florists), which I’ve been eating while picking, slicing for BLTs, and roasting for soup. Depending on how many I end up with over the next week or so, I may press my friend Laurie Jesch-Kulseth, who writes the food blog Relishing It, for tips on making salsa. She brought me a jar as a hostess gift awhile back and in the confusion of post-party clutter, I lost track of who it was from. A few days later, when the family popped the jar and dug in, we were all thrilled by the hit of bright summer heat in the middle of winter. In order to properly thank the cook/gift-giver, I had to ask on Twitter who had brought me such a generous homemade treat…Laurie answered that it was She, Giver of Salsa and Smiles.

If you too find yourself buried in tomatoes, be sure check out One Tomato Two Tomato blog, written by forager/pickler/canner extraordinaire Tammy Kimbler. She’s even (gorgeously, per Instagram stalking) making tomato wine! Love.

And if you find yourself with a giant box of just-picked pears, like I did courtesy of my friend Scott Pampuch, consider throwing together this tart. I’ve been meaning to adapt this crust to be gluten-free for awhile and a bounty of firm-juicy pears provided the perfect opportunity. I find that recipes that require very little wheat flour – crepes, popovers, and nut cookies/crackers/tarts – are ideal candidates for tasty gluten-free baking. This crust’s flavor and texture is derived primarily from ground almonds (and butter!) and is pressed into the pan (not rolled). Prepared with sorghum flour, the crust turned out as nutty and crisp as your favorite holiday shortbread cookies. (It goes without saying that it’s quite lovely prepared with wheat flour as well.)

pear tart almond-thyme crust honey whipped cream stephanie meyer fresh tart

Scott and his family spent a whole day picking pears courtesy of Linda Newman, in Watertown, MN, and another whole day delivering them to lucky friends. I spent very little time throwing this tart together and figure I came out quite nicely as I scarfed down a large, warm piece with honey whipped cream melting into it. (For the record, inspired by my friend Molly McNeil and her Minnesota Peach Farm pears, with input from Tim Niver of The Strip Club Meat and Fish via Twitter – as you can tell, I so love social media for ideas, recipes, and tips – I also soaked a mason jar stuffed with peeled, diced pears in gin for a few days. Pear gin! Hurray!)

Try this crust with your other favorite fresh, juicy fruits as well – think cherries, peaches, apples, plums, figs, or blueberries for year-round tartiness.

Recipe for Pear Tart with Almond-Thyme Crust & Honey Whipped Cream at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.