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The Best Autumn Desserts

By on October 14, 2015
Best Autumn Desserts

Try Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin, Teff Crusted Ice Cream Over Grilled Peaches with Lavender Chamomile Syrup, Blueberry Goat Cheese Tart or warm up with a Cinnamon and Anise, Apple Cider Sipper.

Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin GLUTEN-FREE

The Tatin sisters made the Tarte Tatin famous in France in the early 1900s. A traditional Tatin is a caramelized apple tart that has the pastry baked on top and is flipped for serving. Here is a healthier version (but it is also nice à la mode!).  Serves 8

1/3 cup (75 mL) sorghum flour 
1/3 cup (75 mL) oat flour 
1/2 cup (125 mL) tapioca starch, with extra for dusting 
1 Tbsp (15 mL) psyllium husks 
2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic cane sugar 
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt 
1/4 cup (60 mL) cold unsalted butter 
5–6 Tbsp (75–90 mL) cold water 

1/2 cup (125 mL) Sucanat or lightly packed brown sugar 
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened apple juice 
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter 
5 small apples (Cripps Pink or Gala), peeled, cored and quartered 
2 Tbsp (30 mL) coarsely chopped, toasted pecans (optional)

Cut a piece of parchment paper approximately 12 × 12 inches (30 × 30 cm) and dust it with flour. 

Make the Dough
For the dough, place the sorghum and oat flours, tapioca starch, psyllium, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Cut the butter into pea-sized pieces with a pastry cutter or pinch it with your fingers. Gently stir in the cold water, a little at a time, until the dough comes together and can be easily formed into a disk. Roll the pastry out onto the parchment to a circle of about 11 inches (28 cm) in diameter. Place a 10-inch (25 cm) ovenproof skillet on the dough and cut around it. Transfer the parchment and dough to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Prepare the Topping
For the apples, place the sugar and juice in the skillet you used to measure out the dough circle over low heat. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Be careful not to splash the hot sugar. Stir in the butter and simmer for another 2 minutes. 

Place the apple quarters snugly in the skillet in a concentric circle, slightly overlapping each other, and simmer on low heat for 9 to 10 minutes. Invert the parchment paper to place the pastry over the apples. Make three small incisions for the steam to escape. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the crust edges are slightly golden and juice is bubbling out from the edges. Remove from the oven to cool in the skillet for 20 minutes before turning out onto a plate and sprinkling with pecans (if using). Serve with ice cream, if desired.

From “Sweet Goodness” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.
Copyright © Carolyn Hemming and Patricia Green, 2015. Reprinted 
by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. 
Photography credit: Ryan Szulc.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 11.35.02 AM

Teff-Crusted Ice Cream over Grilled Peaches and Lavender Chamomile Syrup GLUTEN-FREE  Serves 6

Looking for something elegant and out of the ordinary that will leave your taste buds singing an operatic score? Teff! The fusion of flavours in grilled peaches drizzled with warm lavender chamomile syrup and topped with ice cream encrusted with the slight crunch of sweetened, toasted teff will be a pleasant surprise.  

Ice Cream Balls
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
3 Tbsp (45 mL) lightly packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp (45 mL) teff grains
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground cardamom
pinch salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) vanilla ice cream

3 chamomile tea bags
1/4 tsp (1 mL) food-grade lavender buds
1/4 cup (60 mL) liquid honey

3 firm to ripe peaches, halved and pitted.

Cut a large piece of parchment and set it aside. For the ice cream balls, melt the butter with the brown sugar in a small saucepan. Add the teff, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Stir until mixed. Pour out evenly onto the parchment. Allow to cool, then transfer to a small bowl.

For the syrup, place the tea bags and lavender in a small saucepan with 1 cup (250 mL) of water. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid, removing the lavender buds and tea bags. Return the liquid to the saucepan and stir in the honey. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced by half and has thickened to a syrupy texture. Remove from the heat.

Stir the teff to separate it into smaller pieces. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of vanilla ice cream into the mixture until fully coated. Place on a freezer-friendly plate or tray and freeze, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat a barbecue to medium heat, approximately 400°F (200°C). Once the grill is hot, lightly oil it and place the peach halves on it flat side down for 3 minutes. Turn the peaches over and grill the other side for 3 minutes, or until the peaches are warm and tender-firm.

Assemble the dessert by placing a peach half on each plate. Drizzle each with about 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of syrup and top with an ice cream ball. Serve immediately. 

From “Sweet Goodness” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.
Copyright © Carolyn Hemming and Patricia Green, 2015. Reprinted 
by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. 
Photography credit: Ryan Szulc.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 11.35.32 AM

Blueberry, Goat Cheese Tart    GLUTEN-FREE    Serves 12
Creamy goat cheese and blueberries are a heavenly match. Teff makes a beautiful, nutty crust that is a perfect base for this flavourful tart.

3/4 cup (175 mL) almond flour 
1/2 cup (125 mL) teff flour 
1/2 tsp (2 mL) psyllium husks 
1/3 cup (75 mL) lightly packed 
brown sugar 
3 Tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter, melted 
1 large egg white, lightly beaten 

4 oz (125 g) soft, unripened goat cheese 
3/4 cup (75 mL) 2% plain Greek 
3 Tbsp (45 mL) liquid honey 
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract 

3 Tbsp (45 mL) liquid honey 
2 1/2 tsp (12 mL) cornstarch 
1 3/4 cups (425 mL) frozen wild blueberries, thawed

For the crust, whisk together the almond and teff flours and psyllium. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the sugar and then work in the butter, using clean hands for this stage if necessary. Stir in the egg white until fully combined. Press into the prepared tart pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

For the filling, place the goat cheese, yogurt, honey and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Use a handheld or stand mixer to mix everything fully. Spread the filling evenly over the cooled crust. Cool in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.

For the sauce, whisk the honey and cornstarch in a medium saucepan with ₁/₃ cup (75 mL) of water. Add the thawed blueberries. Warm the berry mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the sauce has come to a boil. Let it boil for 1 minute, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. 

Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, then spread it evenly over the goat cheese filling, 
distributing the berries equally across the top. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan and cutting into 12 slices.

From “Sweet Goodness” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.
Copyright © Carolyn Hemming and Patricia Green, 2015. Reprinted 
by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. 
Photography credit: Ryan Szulc.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 11.35.49 AM

Cinnamon and Anise, Apple Cider Sippers

Warm apple cider, a Canadian fall favourite is most delightfully served in a Gala apple. Serves 6

3 apples
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cups apple cider, either homemade or store-bought
Cinnamon sticks and star anise for garnish

1. Wash and dry apples. Cut tops off. Then, with a paring knife lightly outline a 1/4” “rim” for each apple cup. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the center of your apple for the “cup”. If your apple doesn’t sit exactly level, take your paring knife and just slice off a few millimeters to even off the bottom.  Take care not to let your knife cut through the bottom or sides of the apple when hollowing it out, or the cider will leak out!

2. Once the apples are hollowed, brush a little lemon juice over the inside of the apples to prevent browning.  

3. Fill with your favorite home-made or store bought apple cider. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and an anise star and serve!

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