Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Apple Tart

Apple Tart with Salted Caramel by Amy Roth Photo

I’m not sure what came over me last weekend, but the idea of a salted caramel apple tart just worked its way into my imagination and wouldn’t let go. It was entirely too specific to be denied — an apple tart would’ve been fine, even an apple crisp, but this HAD to have salted caramel, and had to be gluten-free. So I got to work.

While this tart is easy enough for even novice bakers to make, it has a few parts to it which add up in terms of actual cooking plus resting time. If you’d rather not do it in one pass, you could easily start a day or two early by prepping the crust and the caramel and refrigerating them until you’re ready to proceed.

Gluten-Free Tart Crust

I wanted to use almond flour for the crust because I thought the flavor would complement the apples and caramel nicely, so I searched for a recipe that guaranteed something more flaky than dense and chewy, which can sometimes be a problem with almond flour. Turns out that meant adding some tapioca starch, but not enough to overwhelm the nutty flavor of the almonds. The recipe I chose from Cassidy’s Craveable Creations worked out great. There’s no need to parbake — just follow her instructions to prep and rest the dough, then go from there. (You’ll need to purchase finely ground almond flour rather than almond meal for this, which isn’t always easy to find locally. Bob’s Red Mill is delicious, but too coarse for a lot of the recipes I make, so I order flour online in five pound bags and store it in the freezer for maximum freshness. I’ve put together a shopping guide at the end of this post so you can find any specialty items I mention.)

Salted Caramel

Salted caramel is a snap to make, and it’s a great way to use any leftover heavy cream you may have hanging around. The nice thing about this recipe is that it makes more than you’ll need for the tart, so you have an excuse to warm the caramel for an ice cream topping, eat it with apple slices, or just sample it liberally from the jar. Most recipes are pretty similar and don’t call for vanilla, but I have a ridiculous amount of vanilla bean pods in the cupboard, so I simmered one with the cream, and it really added a nice depth to the final product. (If you ever need vanilla beans — especially in bulk — but can’t bring yourself to purchase them at the extortionate prices charged by grocery stores, do what I do and order from ebay. Seriously.)

This tart can really use a generous application of salted caramel (and it’s great drizzled over the individual slices), so don’t be shy when you’re building it. The apples aren’t tossed with sugar before assembly, so if you prefer a sweeter tart, be generous.

Vanilla bean pods by Amy Roth Photo

Apples and Assembly

To make the tart a bit prettier than I normally would, I left the apple skins on and cut them into thin slices before arranging them in the pan in half-apple groupings. Instead of trying my patience with a knife, I set my mandoline to cut 1/8″ slices, which ensured even slices and sped up the process considerably. But even with the mandoline, it took a little while to slice five apples, so I dipped the fresh slices into a mixture of citric acid and water to keep them from browning. You could use plenty of lemon juice in the water instead of the citric acid powder, but I’ve never had much luck with it. Neither one is strictly necessary since browning won’t harm the flavor, but it makes for a nice presentation.

My 9″ tart pan was perfect for this application, but you can use a pie plate if you prefer. Just don’t use deep dish unless you increase all ingredients. Even so, the apples may look a bit meager in there after baking.

The only difficulty with assembly was taking pictures between each step, but when the photographic muse calls, one must listen! In fact, I created a little animation of the process, if you’d like to take a look:

Gluten-free apple tart with salted caramel by Amy Roth Photo

While making a pretty tart takes a little more effort than my go-to apple crisp, the extra time spent in the kitchen is certainly worth it! Nothing says fall like a delicious apple dessert.

Slices of Salted Caramel Apple Tart

Shopping Guide (Amazon products are affiliate links)

Apple Tart with Salted Caramel by Amy Roth Photo
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Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Apple Tart

An apple tart with soul – salted caramel adds depth and the nutty almond crust plays beautifully with the other flavors in this perfect fall dessert.

Course: Dessert
Ingredients
Salted Caramel
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Apple Tart
  • 4-5 baking apples (like Cortland or Granny Smith)
  • citric acid
  • water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar optional, for sprinkling
Instructions
Almond Flour Crust
  1. Follow instructions at the blog post listed in Recipe Notes (below) for tart preparation. After chilling dough in refrigerator, roll out between two sheets of parchment paper, remove one piece of paper and turn dough over and into a 9" tart pan with removable bottom. Remove top sheet of parchment and press dough into the pan. Trim excess dough either with a knife or by pressing dough against the edge of the pan. Refrigerate until you're ready to assemble the tart.

Salted Caramel
  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine granulated sugar and water over medium heat and cook, without stirring, until a deep amber color. 

  2. While syrup is cooking, simmer heavy cream and vanilla bean in a small pot. Remove vanilla bean just before proceeding with the next step.

  3. Once sugar reaches the proper color, whisk in heavy cream, taking care as you do because it will foam up. Continue whisking over low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth.

  4. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in butter and salt. Allow to cool before proceeding with apple tart assembly.

  5. Mix a small bowl of water and citric acid according to instructions on the package and set next to your work station.

Apple Tart
  1. Cut apples in half lengthwise and core. To slice, turn an apple half on its side so the apple is taller than it is wide, with the cut half is facing away from you. With a mandoline set to 1/8", slice the apples as far down as you can go without endangering your fingers.

  2. Stack the apple slices in order so they re-form the apple half. Dip in citric acid & water and set aside on a plate or cutting board. Repeat with remaining apples.

  3. To assemble, remove prepared tart shell from the refrigerator and add 3-4 large spoonfuls of salted caramel to the base of the tart. Spread with a butter knife or small offset spatula. 

  4. Arrange sliced apple halves decoratively into tart shell. See video for how I did it, or just wing it. Fill in any open spaces with smaller groupings of apple slices.

  5. Brush apples with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if using.

  6. Place tart shell on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for approximately 60-75 minutes (possibly more), or until a skewer inserts easily into the thickest apple sections with little resistance. If tart dough starts to brown too much, wrap the edges in foil.

  7. Cool in tart pan to room temperature before serving. Drizzle with salted caramel sauce for a decadent presentation.

Recipe Notes

Use your favorite tart dough recipe or follow instructions for the one I used at Cassidy's Creaveable Creations

Gingered Pomelo Sorbet

Pomelo Sorbet with Ginger

Do you do pomelo? The first time I had one, I had no idea about the pith situation, nor the thick skin on the segments and had a time with it. I’d heard they were delicious, saw one at a market, and picked it up for lunch thinking it’d be a nutritious option and I’d get to try something new to boot. Hah! Back in my office, I went to work peeling it with the steak knife I had in my drawer. And I kept working. And peeling, and working, and peeling. Until finally — no lie, about 10 minutes later — I got to the good stuff! I never made the mistake of tackling one outside of my own kitchen again, and have gotten more adept at it over time, but still don’t have them as often as I should.

Then a month or so ago, Darcie mentioned that she wanted to do a tutorial on prepping pomelo (which, by the way, is a terrific guide). I casually mentioned that maybe we should do a sorbet with the sections, and the next thing I knew, she’d come up with an amazing recipe. Let me tell you, it pays to be friends with a recipe developer!

Gingered Pomelo Sorbet

It was an overcast day, so we decided to use natural light to give the photos a soft feel. I really enjoyed taking a break from my strobes, which I’ve come to rely on even when going for a daylight look; it was nice to get back to my magic window and take a WYSIWYG approach to lighting. The props and backgrounds came together easily as well once we saw the prepared sorbet. The blue tile offers a nice complement to the edging-toward-coral sorbet, and the diamond pattern on the light gray bowl relates to the starburst pattern on the vintage Ovenex loaf pan. I’d say it was a success all around, and look forward to making this again now that I have the secret formula for getting to the meat of the pomelo in record time!

Be sure to visit Darcie’s site for the sorbet recipe — it’s a real winner.

Gingered Pomelo Sorbet Scoop

Pavlova Wreath with Berries

Like clouds in edible form, pavlovas are delicate and ethereal, and can really rain on your parade if the circumstances allow. It’s a meringue allowed to form the backbone of a dessert, so you’ll want to treat it with care because it’ll respond in kind. Warm the eggs before beginning your recipe. Make sure the whites, mixing bowl and beaters are completely free of any oil/yolk. Start whipping the egg whites slowly, then gradually faster until stiff peaks form. And follow the directions for baking in the recipe. It can be a delicate balance, making sure it’s cooked through and dried without browning, but you’ll be rewarded with a scrumptious and impressive-looking dessert, which you then pile high with whipped cream, berries and jam. It’s beyond delicious, and my favorite of our Sweets Week desserts by far. Please visit Darcie’s blog for more about this dessert.

So this is it for the Advent Calendar — I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts Darcie and I have shared this month! We’ll be taking off for the holidays now, but plan to be back in the new year with more posts, probably of the healthy/nourishing variety. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Season’s Greetings, and Happy New Year! Catch you in 2017.

Pavlova Wreath Close-Up | Amy Roth Photo

For a roundup of all of our Advent Calendar posts for the year, click here.
Darcie can be found at her website, Gourmet Creative and on Instagram at @darcie_hunter.
Find me on Instagram at @amyrothphoto, Pinterest at @amyrothphoto and my portfolio at (you guessed it) Amy Roth Photo.

Pavlova Wreath with Berries

Allergy Egg, Milk
Meal type Dessert
This Pavlova Wreath with Berries is gorgeous and wintery with fresh flavors you can't get enough of.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint whipping cream (chilled)
  • powdered sugar (for dusting)

Pavlova

  • 4 extra-large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (white wine or distilled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Berries

  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup Bonne Maman Four Fruits Preserves

Note

Pavlova base adapted from Ina Garten's recipe.

Directions

Pavlova
Preheat oven to 180°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, gradually add the sugar and beat until shiny, stiff peaks form. Sift the cornstarch over the egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla and gently fold together with a spatula.
Spoon large dollops of the meringue in a circle on the parchment paper. Using a spoon, spread slightly, forming a wreath shape with a shallow trough. Bake for approximately 1 hour. The merengue should remain very light in color. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven. The end result should be crisp and dry on the outside.
Berries
In a microwave safe bowl, heat the fruit preserves for about 30 seconds, until slightly thinned. Add half of the blackberries, crush with a fork and stir until combined.
When the base has cooled and you are ready to serve the dessert, whip the chilled cream.
To assemble the pavlova, place the base on a serving platter. Spread the whipped cream over the base. Top with the remaining berries, then drizzle with the fruit preserve sauce. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Espresso Mascarpone Semifreddo

Rather than a little snack, Darcie and I have decided to up the ante a little and give you a real dessert today. This is taken directly from my recipe for roasted pears with espresso mascarpone cream; I had leftover cream, froze it, and realized it made an incredible semifreddo. Topping it with chocolate sauce from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon just makes good sense.

Semifreddo 2 | Amy Roth Photo

For a roundup of all of our Advent Calendar posts for the year, click here.
Darcie can be found at her website, Gourmet Creative and on Instagram at @darcie_hunter.
Find me on Instagram at @amyrothphoto, Pinterest at @amyrothphoto and my portfolio at (you guessed it) Amy Roth Photo.

Espresso Mascarpone Semifreddo

Allergy Milk
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Dessert
Misc Serve Cold
Espresso Mascarpone Semifreddo — what a luscious way to end any meal!

Ingredients

  • 8oz heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 8oz mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup sugar (increase to 1/3 cup if you'd like it sweeter)
  • 2 tablespoons espresso (chilled; increase to 3 tablespoons for more coffee flavor)

Note

This is pulled directly from my older recipe for Roasted Pears with Espresso Mascarpone Cream. Topping it with chocolate sauce from Thomas Keller's Bouchon just makes good sense.

Directions

Pour whipping cream into a small bowl. Slice vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into the cream, stirring to evenly distribute. Add bean to cream. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour, along with the bowl and beater of an electric stand mixer.
Pour cream through a fine mesh strainer into the chilled mixing bowl. Add mascarpone and espresso, and beat on medium speed until ingredients are just combined. Increase speed to medium-high and with mixer running, sprinkle in sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and pour whipped cream into it, leveling it with a flexible spatula. Fold edges of plastic wrap up and over the cream and place the pan in the freezer for a few hours until frozen through.
Remove pan from freezer 30 minutes before serving. Cut into slices and top with chocolate sauce.

Sufganiyot

Hanukkah gets short shrift around here, even though we always got Ru and Otis in on the act in years past (much to their chagrin). Gil really only observes the high holidays, and our nieces live in the midwest, so Christmas is more of a thing with the NJ Roths. But since it’s the holiday of fried food — something I can definitely get behind with my own roots — we’d be remiss not to devote one day during Sweets Week to something appropriate for the season.

While latkes are understandably popular snacks associated with Hanukkah, sufganiyot captured my heart some time ago, as any jelly donut will. Darcie found a terrific recipe at Bon Appetit/Epicurious that turned out delicious, not-too-sweet sweets, just perfect to share with you today.

Bacon Pralines

I know, I know. It’s gimmicky. Been done to death. Horribly unhealthy, etc. And I’m really not one to indiscriminately add bacon to things — especially sweets — but it’s something I always suspected might be worth the indulgence, so I’m not sorry for this praline adulteration. Not one bit.

I used my dad’s recipe for pralines and simply swapped out a portion of the pecans for an equal amount of chopped, cooked bacon. The results were pretty much what you’d expect. But if you’re a purist, you can’t go wrong with the original recipe. Just serve a little bacon on the side.

Find Darcie’s post here, and let us know what you think if you decide to try these!

For a roundup of all of our Advent Calendar posts for the year, click here.
Darcie can be found at her website, Gourmet Creative and on Instagram at @darcie_hunter.
Find me on Instagram at @amyrothphoto, Pinterest at @amyrothphoto and my portfolio at (you guessed it) Amy Roth Photo.

Bacon Pralines

Allergy Milk, Tree Nuts
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly
If you're looking for a dessert that's a little bit different, these bacon pralines will fit the bill. Deliciously.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 16 Large marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cup pecan halves (toasted)
  • 1/2 cup cooked bacon (finely chopped)

Note

If you'd prefer a regular praline to one loaded with bacon, simply remove the bacon and add another 1/2 cup of toasted pecan halves to the recipe, then sprinkle pralines with Maldon or other finishing salt just after you've spooned them onto the surface to cool.

Directions

Prepare your surface by covering a heat-safe area of your counter or a table with freezer paper. Spray paper well with cooking spray.
Cook sugar, butter, marshmallows, and milk over medium heat, stirring constantly until all ingredients are melted, then add pecans and bacon. Cook, stirring constantly, to soft ball stage, 240° F. Remove pot from burner, add vanilla extract and beat mixture vigorously with a spoon until it begins to thicken. This will ensure the pralines don't spread too much.
Drop mixture by tablespoon or two onto greased freezer paper. Cool to room temperature before serving.

 

At Least Thanksgiving Dessert is Set

Thanksgiving is coming! Yikes! I’ve been bookmarking recipes on my “Thanksgiving” Pinterest page for a few weeks, but somehow lost track of time and now it feels like:

I’LLNEVERGETEVERYTHINGDONEOMGRUNAWAYRUNAWAYRUNAWAY!

Deep breaths…

I’ve never been one for making a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, I was planning to serve my Short Rib Ragu as the main this year, but my father-in-law ordered a turkey for us instead, so we’re going with a tried-and-true menu! We’ll pick up the bird Wednesday, which means no dry brining for us, but I’ve found a few traditional recipes that should do the trick, either alone or in combination. The bird will be 18 POUNDS for only five of us and I really don’t know if my refrigerator can accommodate such a large bird, but at least we’ll have plenty of gumbo over the weekend, if anyone wants to join us.

Seriously. Please join us.

So as far as I can tell, we’ll have a fairly traditional Thanksgiving, with:

Nibbles

  • Cheeses, olives and Prosecco
  • Endive with figs, blue cheese, chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey and balsamic vinegar

Main Course

  • Turkey – I’m leaning toward this simple recipe, though Peking-style sounds amazing, and I wonder if breaking apart the bird before roasting would be the better course of action. I can break a raw chicken into parts without mangling it most days, but fear this beast will be too much for me to handle.

Sides

  • Purple potatoes, either salt roasted whole or prepared this way
  • Kale salad, which I’ll try to replicate from a salad I threw together a couple of Thanksgivings ago. I really should start writing things down!
  • Alton Brown’s cornbread
  • Green beans, maybe? I’m leaning toward the version on this Pinterest board with lemon and capers. What do you think?

Dessert

  • Apple Pie from Auntie El’s in Sloatsburg, NY (There’s no website, sorry.)
  • Sweet Potato Chiffon Puddings (picture above, recipe below)

While the menu doesn’t sound inspired, exactly, it will be the type of cooking I enjoy doing — simple home cooking that relies on fresh, whole ingredients. I’d love to throw in some of the traditional Cajun foods I grew up with (like my grandpa’s Oyster Dressing or Uncle Phil’s Cornbread Dressing), but I’d be the only one to eat them. And sentimentality aside, that’s a lot of work and expense for an already-busy holiday. Also, I can usually count on my dad to make oyster dressing at Christmas, so it isn’t that long of a wait.

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Are you spending it with family, taking in strays or maybe escaping completely and going on vacation (preferably someplace warm)?

Sweet Potato Chiffon Puddings

Allergy Egg, Milk
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable
These gluten-free Sweet Potato Chiffon Puddings have an airy texture, spicy orange flavor and can be made ahead in individual servings, so they're perfect for a dinner party or Thanksgiving gathering.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1lb roasted sweet potato (peeled)
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 Large egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 Large egg whites (room temperature)
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Note

If you'd like to make your own pumpkin pie spice, I highly recommend this recipe at My Baking Addiction.

I'm thinking a thin layer of caramel, dulce de leche or cajeta would be a delicious addition between the sweet potato and whipped cream layers.

I adapted this recipe from my favorite Sweet Potato Pie and this recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie at Chow.

Directions

Pour orange juice and Grand Marnier into a small measuring cup and sprinkle gelatin evenly over the surface. Set aside for later.
In a food processor, add sweet potato, milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, pie spice and salt, and pulse until smooth. Pour into a medium saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove pan from heat, add orange-gelatin mixture and orange zest and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
Pour egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and add cream of tartar. Whisk on high speed until whites start to form medium peaks, about one minute. Add sugar a little at a time and whisk until stiff peaks form, about another minute and a half.
Using a rubber spatula, fold half the egg whites into the cooled sweet potato mixture until no streaks are visible, then repeat with the remaining egg whites.
Either spoon the pudding into individual serving cups and chill or cover bowl and refrigerate pudding until ready to serve.
Just before serving, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Top puddings with the cream and sprinkle with ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg or crumbled gingersnaps, if desired.

Pop-Tarts for All You Adults Out There

Concord Grapes | Minimally Invasive

There’s something about Concord grapes that makes my toes curl. Until a few years ago, my only experience with them was in the form of Welch’s Grape Jelly, and I’ll admit that whenever I pop a Concord grape into my mouth, memories of Welch’s spread on buttered, crustless bread (thank you, Maw-Maw) come flooding back. I tried my hand at a grape focaccia a couple of times with decent results, but I wanted to focus on something more obviously dessert-y this time and ended up with hand pies and a LOT of leftover jam.

I won’t lie — making grape jam from scratch is a big pain in the ass because you have to pop the grapes from their skins, cook the pulp, then remove the seeds, but it’s worth the trouble (and the purple-stained fingers if you forget to wear gloves). Sweet, tangy and dusky all at once, it bears little resemblance to industrialized jelly and is just the thing to set off a flaky, buttery crust. Get the jam recipe at Apt. 2B Baking Co.

Fraisage | Minimally Invasive

I read about the promise of a flaky, buttery and gluten-free pie crust at the new-to-me blog The Bojon Gourmet and couldn’t wait to get started. It uses a manageable blend of gluten-free flours, lots of butter, and the fraisage method of bringing the dough together to produce an extra-flaky crust. It’s pretty easy, too — you simply scrape your hand across a small portion of the dough on the board, then use a bench scraper to lift it into a bowl. Sure, your hands get a little messy, but when you’re making pie crust, you’re already committed to dough-covered hands, so what’s a slightly bigger mess? I didn’t try the crust without the fraisage method, so I can’t say how the two compare, but this was terrifically flaky, so there’s that. Read all about it at The Bojon Gourmet.

Gluten-Free Pie Crust | Minimally Invasive

FRAISAGE!

Hand Pie Assembly | Minimally Invasive

After it chilled in the refrigerator for a while, I rolled out the dough on a well-floured board with my well-floured hands and rolling pin and got to work crafting hand pies! I made mine about 3 1/2″ x 5″ and found them a little large to eat in one sitting. I’ll go smaller next time so I won’t have to wait for Gil to get home to share. A dollop of jam, some egg wash along the edges to seal the top and bottom layers, a quick crimp with a fork, and the pies were nearly ready to bake.

Concord Grape Hand Pies | Minimally Invasive

With the extra bits of dough, I made one goofy-looking sample pie (in the upper-right corner of the photo above) and some little dough balls which became a decorative cluster of grapes on the top of each pie (if you squint and use your imagination). That step wasn’t necessary at all, but if you’re making hand pies with multiple fillings, this would be a great way to differentiate the pies. After they were all sealed and decorated, I gave them one more quick brush with the egg wash before baking at 400°F for about 30 minutes. I didn’t want any extra sweetness, but if you do, you can sprinkle the tops of the pies with sugar before baking.

Baked Hand Pies | Minimally Invasive

Fresh from the oven.

Grape Hand Pie | Minimally Invasive

And that first bite…mmmm… They were tender, flaky and ever so slightly crunchy on the edges, with a hit of grape jelly that reminded me of a grown-up version of Pop Tarts in the very best way. It’s a bit of an undertaking, but we happily ate these for several days before vowing to lay off desserts for a while. It’s the natural order of things — indulge, repent, repeat.

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Amy Roth Photo

I also wanted to share my new portfolio/shop site at Amy Roth Photo with you! Until now, I’ve had a couple of portfolios in different places plus a shop on Etsy, but it all got to be too fractured for my taste, so I drank the Squarespace Kool-Aid this week and set up a new site where all of the disparate elements are integrated! I couldn’t be happier with the Squarespace experience, and managed to set this up in only one day, which, if you’ve ever set up a new website, you’ll recognize as practically unheard-of.

So now the PORTFOLIO and SHOP links at the top of Minimally Invasive point to Amy Roth Photo. Check it out and let me know what you think! I still have a little tweaking to do here and there, but it’s already miles better than what I had previously.

The shop has listings of food, nature, travel and pet photo prints, which I can now offer at different sizes. There’s also a growing digital download section, currently with nature-inspired background textures to use in your digital designs, but soon will have patterns to use in crafting, design or for printing, and holiday card designs that you can print yourself.

To celebrate the launch, I’m offering 20% off all shop orders over $20 (in other words, a sale on prints) through Sunday evening! Just use the code 20OFF at checkout.

Cup4Cup Week: The Cake

After the biscuit victory, I was hooked — is there anything this flour can’t do? The next test was a little unfair, simply because the cake recipe I chose uses a lot of butter and juicy nectarines and it’d be tough for any gluten-free flour not to shine under those conditions. Still, summer’s ending and I hadn’t made my favorite cake of the season yet — the Nectarine Golden Cake.

Gluten-free cake with Cup4Cup flour

The cake didn’t rise quite as high as cakes made with regular AP flour, but the flavor and texture were indistinguishable. Big win!

recipe after the jump

Continue reading “Cup4Cup Week: The Cake”

From the Market: Stone Fruit Edition

Stone Fruit Edition

“You’re gonna get the shits.”

It was the late 70s and I was maybe 10 years old — 10 being my default age for somewhat indistinct childhood memories — and the wind was whipping my hair into a rat’s nest. It was summer and I was riding in the back of a pickup truck with a group of kids, heading back to our meeting place after an afternoon of picking peaches. Oh, there was an adult riding with us who was there in a supervisory capacity, because there has to be ONE responsible grown-up around when you’re transporting a bunch of kids IN THE BACK OF A PICKUP TRUCK. No, we weren’t day laborers or or migrant peach-pickers, but a group of Mennonites gathered for a weekend pig roast in Mississippi to celebrate the dedication of a new church building. I suppose the adults wanted to get us out of the way and thought we’d burn off some energy gathering fruit.

I don’t remember the activity of picking itself, but the trip home is firmly planted in my memory. As I rode IN THE BACK OF THE PICKUP TRUCK, feeling the exhilaration of flying down the road while smiling with my mouth closed to prevent accidental bug ingestion, I saw those sacks of peaches before me and was overcome with a powerful peach-lust, the likes of which I’d never felt before. The scent was overwhelming, the skins so soft! I almost could imagine how Roberto Benigni felt about those pumpkins in Night on Earth! So I did what any kid would do; I devoured many peaches and started a full-scale peach-eating frenzy among my compatriots, complete with pit-spitting from the truck. I can only imagine the extent of the chromosomal damage done by eating so many unwashed fruits sprayed with who-knows-what insecticide was popular back then. After seeing me pluck one peach after another from the sack, the lone adult interjected that I miiiight possibly be concerned about my bowels later on if I continued (not a word about chromosomal damage, though). Lucky for me, there was no grand shitting incident then or later at the pig roast, but that experience did inaugurate my life-long love of peaches and, by extension, all stone fruits.

So when I saw the bounty of organic stone fruits at the Orchards of Concklin booth at the Ringwood Farmers’ Market, I got a little giddy. But my eyes are bigger than my stomach, and I came home with far too many fruits to eat on their own before they spoiled. Good thing there’s no shortage of recipes for such a problem at this time of year. I remembered saving this grilled kale salad from Bon Appetit to one of my Pinterest boards, and it turned out to be a perfect lunch. Grilling kale is nothing new, but the tartsweet plums, the creamy goat’s milk ricotta from Edgwick Farm, and honeyed balsamic vinaigrette shone against the background of smoky kale and set this apart from a standard salad preparation.

gluten-free

While I was grilling the kale, I cut the rest of the fruit in half, oiled it lightly, then tossed it on the grate to cook so it would last through the week. It made a great, simple dessert right away — an assortment of grilled fruit with more of that luscious goat’s milk ricotta drizzled with a little aged balsamic vinegar (the sweet stuff, not the grocery-store variety), fresh thyme and truffle honey.

gluten-free

Need. More. Of. This. Better add it to the list for this weekend.

gluten-free

With the rest of the grilled fruit, I made a mixed-fruit butter. The skins slipped off after grilling, so I threw the fruit halves in a saucepan with a little sugar and a splash of brandy, then cooked them down till the sauce was thick. To get it velvety smooth, I puréed it in my food processor for a bit. I’m not too proud to admit it’s pretty satisfying just spooned from the jar, but if you make this, save a little, because it’s stellar with pork chops. And eat to your heart’s content — I’m sure you won’t have any, er, troubles.