Yuzu & black sesame = made for each other

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Hi friends,

It’s so hard to be upbeat about dessert and life when my beautiful state is on fire, out of power, and struggling so hard. I’m going to try my best to keep it positive in my little corner of the internet, if only to give us something pretty to look at in the midst of all this.

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Today, I have a yuzu and black sesame panna cotta tart for you – I made it over the weekend and it was much loved by all! I’m pretty obsessed with everything black sesame at the moment so rest assured you’ll be seeing more of it here in future posts.

Also, I needed to use (yuz-u… ha see what I did there) up the last of my yuzu juice so this was a great way to do so.

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This was (emphasis on was – it’s long gone, and not only because I’m late in posting, ha!) a great combination of tart, nutty, and creamy all at the same time. The citrusy tartness of the yuzu pairs so well with black sesame – they’re made for each other.

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As per usual – great for breakfast, dessert, snacks: all of the above.

A couple shots of Fort Funston since I headed out that way this weekend and it was as beautiful as always.

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Short and sweet today: love your peeps. Make them tart!

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Yuzu and Black Sesame Panna Cotta

Gluten free, dairy free & refined sugar free! A nice balance of tartness and creaminess and nuttiness. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. A Wait are Those Cookies original.

For the crust:

1/4 c black sesame seeds
1.5 c almond flour
1/3c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, toast black sesame seeds, shaking the pan occasionally, until you hear the first one pop. Remove from heat. Using a mortar & pestle, grind up the seeds until they’re a gritty, flour-like consistency. You’ll probably have a few larger pieces in there, which is totally fine.

In a large bowl, stir together sesame seeds, almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and 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.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp vanilla
Scant 1/4 cup maple
1/4 c yuzu juice
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c water, cold

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

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add maple and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Stir in yuzu juice and vanilla. Remove from heat, and 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 sliced citrus, figs, etc.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast or snacks the next day.

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Figgin’ delicious

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Hi friends!

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I’ve had a wonderful week – my birthday was last Monday, so C planned a whole surprise trip to Monterey! So so so lovely and relaxing.

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I didn’t bake anything for my birthday this year but I did get to spend quality time with the fave human, enjoy myself at the spa and on the beach and play board games + read my book, so I consider this a winning situation. Ofc we also went to the aquarium! How could you not. Plushies were acquired, ha! He got a kraken and I now have Norma the Narwhal keeping me company.

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Vati’s birthday was yesterday! This is the week of all the birthdays. Ergo, there is dessert! He doesn’t know about this one yet as I’m writing this, sneaky sneaky. I’ll be bringing it over in a few hours and scheduling this post to drop after I arrive. Ha!

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This tart is inspired by horchata! I love horchata with a fierce passion, though I very rarely drink it because it’s usually so sweet. I took the cinnamon-vanilla idea and threw it in with some coconut milk, tucked inside a spicy chocolate shell. I have to say (based on the few taste tests I had while putting this together) that this is a winning combination. Vati looooves all things spicy so I think it’s definitely his jam.

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I love what happened with the surface of the panna cotta too – not sure actually what happened there but my guess is that once it was mostly set, I shut the fridge door slightly harder than I meant to and jostled it. Regardless, it’s a super cool effect so I might try to replicate at some point.

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Alsooooo it’s FIG SEASON. I have stopped by the market repeatedly to pick up figs the last several weeks – can’t stop, won’t stop. Fig season isn’t that long so I have to get after it while I can! I LOVE figs. Especially these – they’re called Panachée or tiger stripe figs, and they have gorgeous magenta insides. Eat out of hand or top a tart with them – can’t go wrong either way!

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Happy weekend!! I hope you’re out enjoying the beautiful weather.

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Cinnamon Coconut Panna Cotta on a Mexican Chocolate Crust

Inspired by horchata! Cinnamony, vanillay goodness with in a spicy chocolate crust. Grain & gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart.

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For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and 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 pie plate 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.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 c cold water
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt

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

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, cinnamon, maple, and salt, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

Behind the scenes…

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Yuzu da bomb (see what I did there?!)

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Hi friends!

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Hey, we made it through Monday! Not sure about you, but I’ve been counting the hours till I could get back in bed, starting when I got out of bed this morning. Lucky for me, that time is nearly upon me.

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At least I got to wake up to some rain this morning! SF got a bit of heavy drizzle / real rain, and it smelled soooo good. More of that please! I might be in the minority there but I love the rain, unashamedly.

I had a really delightful day yesterday being super productive with all my usual weekly cleaning / laundry / market shopping / exercise / etc but also made some nice me-time for myself: brunch (pictured below), a long walk, my book, and a sun puddle. Fave human dropped by in the evening to share yuzu tart with me, so all in all a really solid day.

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I have yuzu tart for you today! Yuzu is a citrus fruit commonly found in Japanese and Korean cooking – I happen to live right across from Japantown, which makes sourcing yuzu juice exceptionally easy. Happy days! I love yuzu. Well actually, it would be factually more accurate to say that I love all things citrus, but yuzu is fun because it reminds me quite a bit of key lime. I hardly ever (maybe never?!) do anything with key limes since it seems like they’re hard to find out here, but yuzu makes an arguably better substitute.

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The cream-based filling of this tart is silky smooth – it’s light, but satisfying. The citrus keeps it from feeling overwhelming or heavy, and it plays extraordinarily well with the salty almond crust.

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I had some leftover filling that I tossed into tiny ramekins, and then couldn’t resist decorating. Of course. You’re shocked, I know.

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I’ve never made a tart with a boiled cream filling – the texture is much softer than a panna cotta, and so easy! ALSO, there aren’t any eggs in it, so if you’re baking for any allergies, it’s ideal. I am definitely adding this to the rotation. Simply boil cream, let cool, and pour into the crust: it sets in about 2 hours in the fridge (though I’d say chill it at least 4 before serving). I will say that because it’s a softer tart, it doesn’t slice as cleanly, so if presentation is your ultimate endgame, you might want to go the panna cotta route.

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Either way, it’s delicious and I’m so glad that a) I made it and b) that I have leftover yuzu juice. Stay tuned! More yuzu shenanigans are coming your way.

Have a great week!

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Yuzu Cream Tart on a Salted Almond Crust

Creamy, citrusy & fresh – the best of all worlds. Yuzu reminds me of key lime, so the creamy filling of the tart plays really well against the salty-ish almond crust. Gluten, grain and refined sugar free. Could be dairy free – just use coconut cream (minus the water) instead of heavy cream. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. Tart filling & method inspired by / modified from Half Baked Harvest, here! Crust is a Wait are Those Cookies original.

For the crust

1.75c almond flour
1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp baking powder
Scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. You’ll be able to press the dough 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.

For the filling

3.5 c heavy cream
1/4 c raw honey
Zest of 2 limes (or fresh yuzu, if you can find it)
1/3 c yuzu juice
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Combine heavy cream, honey, and lime zest in a large pot (cream tends to boil over, so use something bigger than you high is necessary!) Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then remove from the heat. Whisk in the yuzu juice, vanilla, and salt. Let cool for at least 10 minutes (mine probably cooled for more like 20 min), then carefully pour the cream into the baked tart shell. Let set in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving.

Keep leftovers covered in the fridge!

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Seismically unsound tamarind things

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Hi friends!

A new to me ingredient today (at least for baking; I’ve definitely eaten it many times) – tamarind! I learned some new cool things about it this week too, since of course I had to research it.

Behold: my seismically unsound dessert! Let’s get crackin.

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Tamarind is part of the legume family, making it a cousin to peanuts. It’s high in essential nutrients (potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc) and is anti-inflammatory & full of antioxidants! There are a ton of other health benefits, if you feel like looking them up. Pretty rad, for funny looking little fruit pods.

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This tart is delicious! Definitely for those who like their desserts on the sour/tart side – tamarind itself is very sour-sweet, and of course lemon with it makes it perfect for those who like that sort of thing… obviously, we both do! This barely made it to the leftover stage – I think there is one piece left, and I suspect it may be gone by midnight. It made for a great pre & post climbing snack, and was fabulous with vanilla ice cream for dessert with a board game.

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Because tamarind looks much like molasses, you don’t get as pretty of a color as one would hope for a lemon tart – don’t be fooled if you see tarts that are bright yellow claiming to be lemon-tamarind – they lie! I thought for a minute I might have a nice pale yellow tart, until I opened my jar of tamarind & remembered – nope!

Tamarind makes things a nice custardy mellow dark tan/brown. Undeniably delicious, but also why I buried it under a pile of bright raspberries, hahaa. I will say though, raspberries + tamarind + lemon is a totally winning combination.

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Happy weekend! I hope you’re out enjoying some beautiful weather.

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Lemon, Tamarind & Ginger Tart

Bright & slightly sour, for those who like their desserts on the tart side! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. Gluten free & refined sugar free. Can easily be dairy free – use coconut milk instead of cream! The crust can easily be grain free as well – just omit the cornmeal & add an equal amount of almond flour.

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For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c cornmeal
1 tsp ground ginger
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, ginger, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and 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. Reduce oven temp to 325.

For the filling:

1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 scant tbsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 c heavy cream

Place lemon juice, tamarind, vanilla, eggs, sugar and cream in a bowl and whisk until combined. Stand for 5 minutes.

Add tamarind filling to the crust. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling has just set. Allow to cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold.

Top with sliced lemons, raspberries, coconut, and whatever else takes your fancy. Keeps well in the fridge overnight; can be made a day ahead as well & stored in the fridge. Excellent with vanilla ice cream!

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This way to the Emerald City

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Hello and happy weekend!

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We’ve been having the stormiest weather over here this week and I LOVE it – rain is my favorite!

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Besides which, it’s made everything so GREEN! The hills are absolutely gorgeous.

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C and I went for a saunter up Twin Peaks today and everything was so green and glorious – not to mention the crystal clear air!

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Apparently the theme of today’s post is green…

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This tart is straight up amazing! It’s all kinds of earthy, minty flavor wrapped up in a polenta and almond crust. Matcha and mint are such an easy sell for me, and besides, vanilla bean just makes everything better, instantaneously.

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C and I universally agreed this is one of our top favorites – that’s saying something, since we like most things! He especially loved it – I’m betting it won’t last through the night ;) This is going on the must-repeat list, and SOON.

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It’s light and fresh – we ate it both for dessert with some ice cream (awesome, obviously) but it was equally good alongside a midday meal today (I’d call it breakfast since it was our first meal of the day but we didn’t eat till 1:30 so that seems a bit of a misnomer…)

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Happy three day weekend!

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Matcha Mint & Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta Tart

Full of green tea, minty goodness. This tart is only lightly sweet, earthy from the tea and refreshing from the mint. Vanilla bean just makes everything better. Cornmeal & almond flour round out the crust, making this gluten free, refined sugar free & dairy free. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. A Wait are Those Cookies original.

For the crust:

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

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and 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.

With a pastry brush or a spoon, coat the bottom the crust with an even layer of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 10 minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup full-fat coconut milk, divided
1.5 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1.5 tbsp matcha powder
melted coconut butter or more melted chocolate, for drizzling (just a few tbsp needed – use more for serving if desired)

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

Pour the remaining 1.5 cups of coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, mint extract, maple, salt, and matcha powder into it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat (blend if necessary with an immersion blender if you have a few matcha blobs). Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Drop melted chocolate or coconut butter onto the surface of the tart and swirl with a knife or a toothpick. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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Nature’s ombré: blood oranges!

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Hello!

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Fun fact of the day – did you know that ricotta is actually *technically* not a cheese? It’s considered a dairy product since it’s made from a dairy by-product, whey. The name comes from the Latin recocta, or ‘twice cooked’. Fascinating! I love things like this.

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Anyway! I’ve got ricotta on the brain since I made this tart for the weekend.

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Blood oranges are very much in season right now, which is making me very happy – I LOVE their color (and flavor!) They pair so well with vanilla bean, it’s almost criminal.

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This tart is lightly sweet, as is everything I make – but packs a powerful orange punch. As a child, I really didn’t like the orange and chocolate combination – what was I thinking?! Thankfully, I aged into more accepting tastebuds, and am happily part of the citrus+chocolate tribe these days.

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Perfect for breakfast or dessert – as usual, we ate it both ways. Last weekend, we did a 9 mile hike from Taraval to Lands’ End & back; this weekend was a lighter 5.5 mile up to Twin Peaks and back. I don’t have any photos from today’s; it was hazy and I wasn’t feeling super motivated – so here is one from last weekend! It was a gorgeous day, and those 9 miles flew by.

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I’ll be back in mid-Feb with some new posts – C and I are going skiing this week (wooo!!!) and after that I’m taking a bit of time off for some r&r with my mama in a nice, tropical location (which hopefully will allow some of annoying & uncomfortable AF autoimmune symptoms to calm down. Ideally, I’ll just spend a ton of time in the water…)

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Happy weekend!

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Ricotta, Vanilla Bean and Blood Orange Tart on a Chocolate Polenta Crust

Lightly sweet but with plenty of orange flavor – for those who love the orange and chocolate combination! Perfect for dessert with a blob of ice cream, or for breakfast. Gluten free and refined sugar free. Yield: 1 9″ tart. A Wait are Those Cookies original! Adapted from my other ricotta tart, here.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 c unsweetened cacao powder
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cornmeal, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and 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 or pie plate 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.

For the filling:

1.5 c (15 oz) full fat ricotta
1/2 c full fat coconut milk
scant 1/4 c maple syrup
2 egg yolks
1 egg
zest of 2 blood oranges
Juice of 1 blood orange
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste

This is as easy as it gets: toss ricotta into a large bowl, and stir in the rest of the ingredients: coconut milk, maple, egg yolks + egg, orange zest + juice, and vanilla paste, mixing well to prevent any lumps (heaven forbid).

Tart Assembly:
Pour the ricotta filling into the baked and cooled tart shell. Place in the oven at 350 and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until filling is set. Let cool completely before serving.
Top with sliced blood oranges and shredded coconut if desired! Keep refrigerated until serving. Keeps well overnight in the fridge, covered loosely in plastic wrap – arguably it’s almost better the next day!

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Tis the season for festive desserts

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Happy December!

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Time for the full-tilt holiday jungle madness to start. I do love this time of year though, even if it means that going to the store becomes an exercise in all kinds of patience. It’s so pretty though, with the cold weather, trees and lights everywhere, and the RAIN! We’ve been getting so much, and I just love it. Even the streetlights reflecting in the wet pavement look festive. Besides that, it’s the season for festive desserts and pretty baked goods! (not that I really need an excuse, but whatever)

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I just put up my tree! I am one of those “nothing Christmas-y before the first of December” people, but here we are – I happened to have time after seeing fave human yday to go grab a tiny tree, and it is currently brightening my living room.

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So! This tart!

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It immediately became a huge fave of C’s and mine; it is tart, but just lightly sweet enough – we both love cornmeal anyway so that part is an easy sell. For the filling, thinly sliced apples are layered over chunky cranberry compote and then everything is submerged in a really simple coconut custard before baking. It sounds complicated, but I promise it isn’t! As with almost everything I make, it is great for dessert with ice cream, and equally great for breakfast.

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As per usual, C and I ate this as part of a very late brunch after hitting the gym for several hours – I was SO ready for all kinds of food at that point (and shaky! We’ve gotten back into climbing, and though my muscle memory is pretty good, my forearms and fingers are going through some serious reconditioning!)

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Happy holiday season! Do yourself a favor and whip up a quick cranberry tart: your tastebuds and your loved ones will thank you :)

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Apple Cranberry Custard Tart on a Cornmeal Coconut Crust

Tart, lightly sweet, and perfect for the holiday season. Thinly sliced apples are layered on cranberry compote, and a simple coconut custard is poured over the whole thing before baking. Gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves somewhere around 6. A Wait are Those Cookies original.

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and 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 tart pan 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. Increase oven temp to 375.

For the filling:
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 tbsp maple syrup
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 eggs
1 teaspoon tapioca starch
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
2 medium apples, peeled (optional), cored and thinly sliced*

* I used granny smith; pink lady or gala would be nice here too

Combine the cranberries, maple, lemon zest, and nutmeg in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until cranberries pop and sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract and 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together the eggs, tapioca starch, coconut milk, and 1 tsp vanilla.

Spread the cranberry compote over the bottom of the tart crust. Arrange the apple slices over the top, and pour custard over everything. Sprinkle with a bit of coconut sugar if desired, but totally optional.

Bake at 375 for 30 to 35 minutes until custard sets and apples brown. Let the tart cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from the ring and cutting into it. Refrigerate if not serving immediately; keeps well in the fridge overnight.

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