December 19, 2011

Christmas Baking - Honey Butter Tarts

For me, Christmas wouldn't be complete without an array the baking.  In the past, my mother would prepare trays and trays of delicious treats weeks before Christmas and freeze them until just the right time.  It was amazing how much baking she would do.  One of my favourites were the classic butter tart.  I have to say that the combination of flaky, buttery shell and sweet and yummy filling has left great memories for me.  I needed to work on adapting this classic to make it gluten-free. I knew that nothing could replace the flaky tart shell.  I wanted a gluten-free shell that was so delicious that no one would care that it wasn't the same as the traditional shell.  When Michael tried one, he immediately said that it reminded him of something his mom made in the past - how perfect that this new gluten- free treat tasted like something his mom had made for him.

Honey Butter Tarts
*makes about 36 mini tarts
1/4 cup organic unsalted butter
1/4 cup unpasteurized honey
1/4 cup coconut milk (or organic heavy cream)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten lightly
½ cup raisins (for later)
In a small pot melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add honey, coconut milk and vanilla.  Whisk together and continue to heat until the ingredients are combined. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool until almost room temperature. Whisk in beaten eggs slowly.
Tart Shells (make while the filling is cooling)
Preheat oven to 350’F.  Line a mini-cupcake pan with mini paper-liners and spray lightly with grapeseed or almond oil.

1/2 cup flaked unsweetened organic coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecan pieces
1/4 cup almond flour

1/8 cup melted butter

Place all of the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is fairly fine. Add in the butter and pulse several times in short bursts until the crumbs are moist.

Place a teaspoon of the crumbs in each mini-cup. Using your fingers (or a small spoon) gently press the crumbs across the bottom and up the sides- about 2/3 of the way up.  Bake at 350’F for about 7 minutes.
Place a few raisins in the bottom of each pecan tart shell. Pour butter mixture to top of paper liner (see picture below). Bake for 15 minutes or until filling is bubbling. Allow to cool until they are room temperature.  Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

*Note – The mixture may stick to regular paper liners – placing the tarts in the freezer and then removing the paper once frozen is a suggestion that helps with this. If you can find the Paper Chef mini parchment paper liners they work really well and should not stick at all. 

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