There shall be chocolate on New Year's Day.... and there was.
Yesterday, New Year’s Eve, my husband and I had what we like to call a Jewish New Year’s Eve. We stayed at home and ate Chinese food delivered to our house. Then watched a movie on tv.
That day, there were only four mallomars left in our version of the mid-western cookie tin. Which is to say, our tupperware in the kitchen cupboard. I ate my share of food sweetness for the holiday after lunch, and sometime later, Dan had his two cookies.
As you may well know, mallomars are seasonal cookies. They are only on the store shelves starting in the fall. Mallomars are never available in the summer when it is too hot and the cookies would melt.
My son grew up on mallomars. His father brought a box of them home one day. Father and son shared this cookie bond ever since, along with egg creams.
When my son became a teenager, he went on to invent what I like to think of as urban s'mores. This was accomplished by putting a mallomar directly on the floor of the microwave and giving it about 20 seconds of heat. The microwaved marshmallow seemed very similar to a marshmallow roasted over a campfire. It would rise up and break the chocolate shell on top, blending into it. The whole melted combo, cookie, marshmallow, and chocolate, transformed into the perfect urban s'more. But I digress, so back to New Year's Day and this spiced red fruit pie with chocolate crust.
Given the lack of a home made meal and a dessert by which to celebrate the holiday properly, there was a lot of cooking in the kitchen today, with something chocolate for the grand finale. I adapted a recipe published by Amy Chaplin for "Spiced red fruit tartlets with chocolate crust."
Rather than make tartlets in muffin tins, I took the lazy way out and decided to make a pie out of the recipe. However, the results were kind of soupy.
Maybe, as they say, less is more, or smaller is better, or something like that. The smaller amount of fruit in ratio to the chocolate in the muffin tin probably works better because the liquid may be absorbed into the chocolate. Also, in smaller amounts the fruit probably cooks more completely.
Best to try it next time following the original recipe. Although at the time, making a pie out of the tartlet recipe seemed like a stroke of brilliance on my part.
I did not have all of the required flours of the original recipe. So I substituted millet flour for the brown rice flour. Also one Cup of sliced almonds ground up in the Cuisinart, for the almond flour.
I used olive oil in place of coconut oil. Coconut oil seems to be a real trend these days, but I just don't believe it is as healthy as people claim. I think olive oil is much healthier, and in the tradition of olive oil cakes, I think it worked just fine.
All in all, the spiced red fruit pie was a visual treat, and made me feel happy inside just looking at it. It satisfied that urge for chocolate, and was something new and unexpected on this first day of the new year. Not a bad way to start.
As to you dear readers, in the spirit of my belated Grandpa Izzy, I wish you all a Very Happy and Healthy New Year (it was the type of thing he would always say).
Spiced red fruit tartlets with chocolate crust
Vegan, whole grain, and gluten free.
- ½ cup rolled oats (use gluten free if you are gluten intolerant)
- ½ cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tbsp brown rice flour
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 6 tbsp melted extra virgin coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups cranberries
- 1-¾ cups frozen raspberries
- 1-¾ cups frozen cherries, halved
- ¾ cup pomegranate seeds
- 2-½ tsp arrowroot powder
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- pinch ground clove
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- zest of one orange
- 6 tbsp unsweetened raspberry or cherry preserves
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ cup orange juice
Make the crust:
Add oats and coconut to a food processor and grind until fine. Transfer to a medium bowl and add cocoa, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal and salt. Stir well then drizzle in coconut oil and mix until the flour is moistened. Add maple suyrup and vanilla and stir until mixture comes together, it will be a little sticky. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 21 standard muffin pans with paper liners. Thinly press about one reounded tablespoon into each muffin cup a little under halfway up each side. Set aside.
Make the filling:
Add cranberries, raspberries, cherries, pomegranate seeds, arrowroot, spices and orange zest to a medium bowl and stir well to combine. In another small bowl combine preserves, maple and orange juice and stir until smooth. Add to cranberry mixture, stir to combine and distribute between tartlet shells. Bake for 25 minutes, remove from oven and gently press any firm cranberries down into the filling so they cook in the juices. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes more. Remove and set aside to cool for 10 minutes then carefully lift out of pan with the edges of the paper liners.