So with Thanksgiving coming, I wanted to make a paleo-friendly dessert--and one that didn't involve pumpkin (my daughter hates pumpkin pie--gasp!! I know, eh?). The challenge was on to make something....different....something that I hadn't seen done to death yet in the paleo-sphere. I also have had this deep desire lately to make some food with real Canadian content. But how does one define Canadian cuisine? Yea, I couldn't define it clearly, either. It has a lot of British influence, and French influences, but it's also multicultural. Poutine and butter tarts. Those are our claims to fame.
But I swear to you, that's not all that is quintessential Canadian.
I was at a local farmers market a week or so ago, and this wasn't an ordinary market; these foods were all frozen and packaged. No, not the evil "packaging" that we eschew. Frozen fruits and veggies and stuff like that. So I picked up real boysenberries. Who knew they were a real berry and not some flavour blend you can buy at M&M meats? And I bought black currants, and sour cherries, and service berries. Yes, service berries. AKA Saskatoon berries. AKA June-berries. I really wanted to cook something really interesting with them.
So my original idea was a french tart, but then I wanted to make a lemon curd tart, but wasn't sure if the berries would be too much to add on top of that. In the end, I made something in between the two.
I was looking at recipes that all seemed to use almond flour for the pastry. I love almond flour, but its pretty expensive stuff. So I wondered what would happen if I blended in coconut flour, and then tapioca flour. The coconut flour would dry it out. The tapioca would make it more flexible. And a drop of honey would make it sweet. This is how it all ended up...
Don't let the amount of ingredients scare you. Its not so hard. Trust me; if I can do this off the top of my head, you can do this, too.
This actually took 2 tries to get it right; turns out Saskatoon berries don't have much flavour at all, so I needed to add another fruit to make them taste... more interesting. So try this with whatever fruit you have on hand. I highly recommend pure sour cherries. Because I love, love, love them. Unfortunately, this recipe tastes like spring to me, not fall. But hey, not everyone divides their desserts into seasons like I do....
For the Berries:
- 1 1/2 c berries (I used 1 c sour cherries and 1/2 c Saskatoon berries)
- 1/2 c water
- 1/4 c honey
- 1 Tbs tapioca starch
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
For the Cookie Crust:
- 3/4 c almond meal
- 1/3 c coconut flour
- 1/3 c tapioca starch
- 1/4 c butter, at room temperature
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
For the Custard:
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 T coconut sugar, raw cane sugar, or honey
1/41/2 c lemon juice
- 1/3 c butter, melted
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 1 pkt unflavoured gelatin
Start with your berries; bring berries/cherries and water to a boil and simmer for several minutes. Once tender, stir in honey, then mix lemon juice and tapioca together to dissolve and stir into berries to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside. Not so bad yet, huh?
Ok, onto the crust. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together, form into a ball, then place ball in a 9" pie plate and press dough down, flattening all over pie plate and up sides of plate. Bake crust for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set on cooling rack. Still not bad, huh?
Now for the custard. Ever use a double-boiler? I find it works best for custards. If you don't have one, set a metal pan in a larger pot. Dissolve the gelatin in 2 Tbs cold water and set aside. Mix your egg yolks, coconut milk, sweetener, lemon juice and melted butter in the pot, and heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and thoroughly whisk in the gelatin, making sure to break up all the lumps. Pour your custard over the cookie crust gently, and then stick it in the fridge for about an hour.
The gelatin should be halfway set at this point. Drop berry mixture into custard by the spoonful. Return it to the fridge until its completely set; about another hour.