I have recently started introducing gluten-free dishes to my family, not because it’s medically indicated (for that, I am thankful), but because I think going gluten-free – even occasionally – has its benefits.
This interest in gluten-free diet was spurred on by my younger brother who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder) at a young age. At that time, “gluten-free” was a phrase that’s not yet widely known by the public and the medical field. However, many studies, including ones that were conducted by Autism Research Institute and by Dr. Paul Whiteley of ESPA Research, suggest that dietary intervention may have positive effects on those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Very interesting!
While a change in diet for my brother may not have been the answer to all his problems, it seemingly helped improve his mood and relieve his eczema. So, I thought that there’s really no harm in incorporating gluten-free foods to my kids’ diet. And anyway, I am very much drawn to using different kinds of flours for baking and learning (by taste) the texture and depth of flavour each of them imparts.
This savoury tart uses a crust made with brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat flours (note that buckwheat is actually wheat-free!). Yes it’s true, flours other than wheat takes a bit of getting used to, taste-wise and technique-wise. Granted, gluten-free baking lacks the the flakiness and tenderness of wheat-based goodies, but it more than makes up for it in its complex earthiness and richness (especially in nutrients).
The recipe for the tart shell was taken from Béatrice Peltre’s La Tartine Gourmande cookbook.
As for the filling, I was jonesing for something hearty, so I thought, “mushrooms!” right away. The mixed mushrooms (white, cremini, shiitake, oyster, chanterelle) were simply paired with two different kinds of artisanal soft cheeses from Quebec, Canada: La Sauvagine by de Portneuf and Le Riopelle de l’Isle by Fromagerie Ile-aux-Grues. Both are just like Brie, so they can easily be substituted. Just mushrooms, cheese, and the savoury tart shell, et voilà, a gluten-free lunch!
- ~~For the tart crust~~
- ½ cup (90 g) brown rice flour
- ⅓ cup (50 g) buckwheat flour
- ⅓ cup (40 g) quinoa flour
- 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- ~~For the filling~~
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 2 cups mixed mushrooms (white, cremini, chanterelle, oyster, shiitake), sliced
- splash of white wine, stock, or water (optional)
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 cup (225 g) soft, creamy cheese (Brie, Riopelle, etc.)
- herbs or micro greens for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, xanthan gum, and sea salt.
- Add the butter and beat on medium speed until crumbles forms.
- Add egg and continue to beat until incorporated.
- Gradually add the water while beating until the dough detaches from the bowl and forms a ball. Scrapes down the sides, if needed.
- If using tartlet moulds, divide the dough accordingly (one for each tartlet) and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour up to 24 hours before using. When ready to use, take out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before using.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured (use gluten-free flour) surface and roll to the size of the tartlet pans, but about 1 or 1-1/2 inch larger.
- Using your rolling pin, or gently with your hand, transfer the dough to the mould or pan.
- Pat dough in place, trim the overhang, prick the base with a fork, and blind bake crust in a preheated 350F oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, sauté your shallots in extra virgin olive oil, until the juices are released, about 1 minute.
- Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes, or just until tender. You can add a splash of white wine, stock, or water if you feel that the pan is too dry. Let cool.
- When tart crust and filling are no longer hot, assemble them by dividing the filling amongst the moulds and topping with the cheese(s) of your choice.
- Place tarts on a baking sheet and bake in a 350F oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with herbs or micro greens.
- Serve immediately.