Hurrah!! On Sunday we held our very first dinner party in our new home, and it was a total success and beautiful evening. Well in truth we have had a few dinners already but this time we invited those that were not actually related to us. Our good friends Adam and Cathy came for dinner. I experienced a few fears on Sunday and the days after. The first fear was that our evening would not be as good as those shared with our friends in their house and the second being how to blog about this dinner. What if this doesn’t read well and who is reading it? I think I still have a bit of that fear. Anyhow back to the reality of my Sunday cooking. I really wanted to have a nice relaxed dinner and try out a few new recipes especially with Cathy in mind as she is a coeliac. Sunday is my only day off from work and spent the day pottering around the house laying candles and setting the table and doing a few things for the dinner party ahead. I made gluten free bread in the morning to accompany the super easy and tasty starter of an Antipasti plate.
Traditional Italian meats, cheeses, pesto and marinated peppers, tomatoes and artichokes all layed out with a centred salad. I always think that it’s important to actually be able to talk and see your guests rather than being tied to the kitchen and missing out on the stories being shared by everyone so this was the perfect start to the meal. This was followed by the main course of roasted rosemary potatoes, a cabbage, cucumber and dill salad and yummy steak (also very quick to prepare). But the real achievement of the evening was the desert… Peach and blackberry macaroon tart.
Now I did not come up with this desert. It’s simply too impressive to be mine. My sister recently introduced me to a few blogs that she has been following and now I get excited every time there appears a new post on them. The latest was by Molly Wizenberg on Orangette. She shared a recipe by Heidi Swanson ( my family are obsessed with her) which was also recently shared by Smitten Kitchen. The tart is that good! I didn’t want to deviate too much from the original recipe but used what I had to hand i.e. the peaches and some almonds for the topping instead of Heidi’s suggested pistachios. Super light and just soooo tasty. The tart had not been out of the oven for long before Damian had already cut himself a piece and wandered the house, plate in one hand, fork in the other, muttering ‘oh this is so good’. I waited till the evening to find out how good but when I say there was none left after dinner, I kid you not. Each mouthful spoke of a delicious crunchy buttery crust (the edges were the best part) soft summer fruits and a warm crunchy coconut topping. Divine…So here it is the adapted macaroon tart
PEACH AND BLACKBERRY MACAROON TART : Adapted from Super Natural Everyday
For the crust:
- 170 g plain white gluten free flour blend
- 60 g unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 100 g caster sugar
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 140 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the filling:
- 140 g unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 70 g caster sugar
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 4 large egg whites
- 5 peaches, pealed, stones removed and cut into 6
- handful of blackberries (or you could use raspberries)
- sprinkling of sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round removable-bottom pan (you can actually use any shape, next time I may go for rectangular)
To make the crust, combine the flour, coconut, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir to mix. Stir in the butter, and mix until the dough no longer looks dusty and all flour is absorbed. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan: it should form a solid, flat layer. Bake for 15 minutes, or until barely golden. Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool for a few minutes. If you like a caramelised flavour like we do, leave in for a few extra minutes, but keep an eye on it.
While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. Combine the coconut, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir to mix. Add the egg whites, and mix until well combined. Don’t panic, when I saw the topping after mixing I swore there wouldn’t be enough to cover the tart but there was ample. When the crust is baked, evenly distribute the peaches and berries over it. Crumble the filling over the fruit, and push into the little gaps and press down lightly once layered. Sprinkle almonds on top now.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.