Citrus Sunshine

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Hello, I am a healthified creamsicle! Anyone else eat those when you were small? I looooved a good 50/50 bar – my gram used to buy them for me, so I always associate the orange-vanilla flavor combo with her (along with apricot jam, chunky chocolate chip oat walnut cookies, tapioca, cream soda, toast crusts + coffee & all the good things in life.)

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This tart is everything sunny and springy and delicious, without compromising on the good-for-you stuff. It’s dairy free, gluten free & refined sugar free – can easily be grain free too. C and I love all things citrus, and poppyseed, so this is a winning combo in our book. There’s a little layer of dark chocolate in there too, since orange and chocolate are best friends – and who am I to split them up?

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I love olive oil in desserts too – that slightly earthy, savory note really sets things apart. The crust is a little crumbly but nothing you can’t handle – highly recommend a bit of ice cream on the top to melt over the crumbs so you can scoop them up.

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I needed a little baking therapy this weekend – Two Sentinels (the high sierra camp that I am a director for & attended since I was small) was told this weekend that we can’t operate this summer. Not unexpected, but so heartbreaking regardless. We’ll be using the summer to do some much-needed site maintenance upgrades & capital projects, but there will be a bit of a camp-shaped hole in my heart until the campers are there again. Not to mention having to relay that news to all of our campers, parents and staff this weekend… I very much needed baking and some long solitary walks. Luckily, I had both – I took a long walk yday by myself, and C and I did one of our usual loops today. Of course, there was tart to greet us at the end.

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Not to mention – zesting an orange is one way of immediately lifting my spirits – try it; I guarantee it will make you feel better.

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Here’s hoping you and yours are well, and safe. I highly recommend bringing a little orangy sunshine into your kitchen this week! Happy baking, from my kitchen to yours :)

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Orange & Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with an Olive Oil Poppyseed Crust

Gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free! Citrusy and sunny, kind of like a good-for-you creamsicle thing. Savory notes from the olive oil and a little bit of chocolate because orange and chocolate are best friends. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. A Wait are Those Cookies original.

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2c cornmeal*
3 tbsp poppyseeds
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/3 c dark chocolate chips

*swap for more almond flour if you’d like to keep it grain free

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, poppyseeds, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, almond extract, maple, olive oil & melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. Spread the melted chocolate over the interior of the crust, and let cool until set. You can also pop the whole thing in the fridge to help it set faster, if needed.

For the Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
zest one large orange*
1/4c freshly juiced orange juice, cold
2 tbsp maple
pinch of sea salt
orange slices, for garnish

*I used cara cara and navel oranges; but really anything is good here

Zest and juice an orange, and reserve 1/4 c of the juice. Strain it to remove any pulp, then stick it in the fridge.

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and add the orange zest, maple and sea salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cold orange juice. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Strain the coconut milk to remove the orange zest. Whisk in vanilla, and bring the milk back up to a simmer. Whisk in the gelatin mixture. Stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Top with whatever pretty things your heart desires! I used thinly sliced cara cara oranges. Serve cold out of the fridge. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge as well.

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2 Replies to “Citrus Sunshine”

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