As much as I've been enjoying this summer of sunning on the deck, reading books, practicing my French for upcoming travels, running, and even trying to work a bit every day, it's been difficult to get myself back into summer form. Despite the fact that there regularly seems to be a family or friend event that includes great food (at which I would never say, "No thanks, I'm on a diet," simply due to willpower, or lack thereof), I'm starting to get a creeping feeling that trimming down is getting increasingly harder as I ripen on the tree of life. Either that or my daily runs simply don't compensate for sitting on my ass with a book the rest of the day, compared to standing and moving pretty much all the time when I teach.
Whatever the case may be, I've always been a person that needs to put myself in situations where the bad options don't exist. Because when they do - and as they will when I spend nearly the next month in Europe - I'm going to opt for them. I am human. So, I decided to bring this Greek Yogurt Tart to a BBQ yesterday hoping it wouldn't disappoint those looking for some gooey cherry pie or something.
I really liked the ways this tart came out, but I love mildly sweet desserts. It is reminiscent of cheesecake in its texture and tang, but not nearly as rich. You could even do a graham cracker crust if you truly wanted to imitate a cheesecake, but I love almonds and this crust is also gluten free. Also, like a cheesecake you could flavor the custard filling with whatever flavor you wanted (consider what fruit you like best with your yogurt). Either add chunks of fruit right into the custard, or swirl in a good fruit compote/curd. In fact, if you wanted to use this as a brunch/breakfast recipe, an oatmeal crust would be perfect. So, it's certainly adaptable to your likes and needs.
Ingredients (makes an 8-9" tart):
Thanks to Call Me PMC & A Baking Girl for the recipe inspiration.
- 1.5 cups almond flour/meal
- 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
- 1 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 cups fat free greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 2 pinches of salt
- Cut fruit and honey for toppings
To make the crust: Pre-heat the oven to 350. With a fork, stir together the almond flour, vegetable oil, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. The texture should be like coarse sand.
Pour the crust into an 8 or 9" pan (springform is ideal), and press evenly across the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
For the custard filling: In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin in 1/4 cup of water. Allow to sit for a few minutes while it fully dissolves. With a blender or food processor, incorporate the eggs, sugar, yogurt, a pinch of salt, and the flavored extracts. Place the bowl of dissolved gelatin in the microwave for 15 seconds, then add it to the filling while stirring quickly.
Fill the tart crust with the custard filling (the crust does not need to be fully cooled). Tap the pan on a flat surface to try and remove as many bubbles as possible.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until edges are golden. Allow to cool for 5 additional minutes in the oven with the door open, and then cool fully at room temperature before refrigerating (ideally overnight). If using a springform pan, only remove just prior to eating. Top with berries and honey to serve.