Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Switching to a Vegan and Gluten Free Diet

It has been so long since I posted anything here. Life has been taking many different turns and I had to spend a lot of time and energy on other things to keep the wheels moving.

I am back now and I do hope to post very often even if it's a just a short post with a picture and the list of ingredients. I have been doing some research on the skin condition I have (Rosacea) and have decided to follow a vegan and gluten free diet to see if that would help with Rosacea. I intend to capture my experiences and learnings in this blog as I switch to this new lifestyle.

Rustic Pear Tart with Cinnamon and Candied Ginger

The word 'Rustic' evokes a feeling of spontaneity and simplicity in my mind. I am a perfectionist and would keep repeating things until I think that it's perfect. But of late, I have come to appreciate this term Rustic as it gives me the freedom to be just creative without worrying about perfection. My daughter told me once while we were doing some art project that 'There is no mistake in art'. I believe she had heard it from her teacher. Wouldn't we agree?  

Rustic Tarts give you that freedom to have a crust that does not have to look perfect around the edges.
I like Pear for its slight crunch and sweetness. This tart is very easy to make and a great way to have your kids eat a lot of fruit.I followed the crust recipe from NPR's Splendid Table with some modifications. This crust is flaky and buttery but does not need a whole lot of butter.


2 medium sized Pears - thinly sliced lengthwise  - you can also use canned pear slices
2 tbs Candied Ginger cut into small pieces
2 tbs Brown Sugar
1tsp All purpose flour
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Sea salt

Crust : Makes one 9 or 10 inch crust
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking powder 
4 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch bits
3 tbs regular or reduced-fat sour cream


1. PreHeat Oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Filling - Toss the pear slices with all the other ingredients in a bowl.

3. Crust -  In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder, and process to mix. Add the butter, and process until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Put the work bowl in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.
Add the sour cream to the flour mixture and process until the dough comes together in the bowl. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it several times on a lightly floured surface. Form it into a 1-inch-thick disc, wrap it in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.


Line a work surface with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, generously dust with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Dust the top with flour and roll into a rustic 12-inch circle, adding more flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Transfer the crust to a baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat in place.
Lay the pear slices in decorative, overlapping circles on top of the crust, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Spoon any remaining pear juice over the slices. Pick up the edges of the crust using a spatula and fold over the pears. The crust will not meet in the center.

Bake the tart until lightly browned and bubbling, about 40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.