Friday, January 16, 2015

Cherry cream cheese tart

Yes, there is a layer of cream cheese under those cherries.

Most of my ideas start out while I'm laying in bed just after waking up in the morning, in that groggy twilight sleep. This time, the can of cherry pie filling popped into my head. I'd bought for some random reason several months ago, as cherry pie filling is not normally something I keep on hand. But it was there, in the pantry, calling out my name. Cream cheese then popped into my head, and started dancing with the pie filling. At that point, it was time to get out of bed before things got out of hand.

I started with my cinnamon roll dough. Then I layered on cream cheese and topped with pie filling. It was actually pretty easy. Looks like I spent more time on it than I actually did. For the record, there is none left.

Cherry Cream Cheese Tart

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then gather ingredients.

Dough Ingredients:
2/3 c. milk
1 t. sugar
1 pkg fast-rising yeast

1 egg
1/4 c. oil (this time I used melted coconut oil)
1 t. vanilla

1 3/4 c. gluten free flour
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened in the microwave until spreadable. Tip: use the defrost setting
1 can of cherry pie filling (CHECK to make sure it's GF!)

1/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon

For the dough:
Mix the sugar into the milk. Warm it to 100-110 degrees. I use a thermometer because I have not yet mastered the art of being able to tell otherwise. You can get candy thermometers for a couple of bucks. Mix in the yeast and set it in a warm place to proof. Meanwhile, grab two bowls: 1 small, 1 big.

Large bowl: Beat the egg. Add the oil and vanilla and mix well.
Small bowl: Mix the flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.

After you have done this, check the yeast. It should have bubbled up and will smell yeasty. If not, throw it out and try again.

Pour the yeasty mixture into the large bowl with the egg, oil, and vanilla. Mix well to get any lumps from the yeast out. A couple small ones are ok. Add in the flour mixture from the small bowl and combine well to form the dough. The dough will be very soft. It's okay. Don't panic.

Dump the dough straight onto a greased cookie sheet. Spread the dough into an oval/ rectangular shape using the back of a wet spoon. (Warm water works best.) Work slowly. If it sticks, dip the spoon back into the water and keep going. Adding more flour will result in a dry, tough dough, so resist the urge!

Spread on a layer of cream cheese, leaving a bit of space around the edges to fold up. Do the same with the pie filling. Err on the side of overfilling, and make sure the edges get enough-- nobody likes dry filling-less edges.

Once the fillings are spread, bring the dough up over the sides to form a bowl-like structure. Sprinkle the edges of the dough with cinnamon/sugar. Bake until the crust is done; about 10 minutes or so.

After removing it from the oven, let it sit for a minute to cool and allow the fillings to set up a bit. Slice with a pizza cutter and enjoy with coffee. Go back for seconds. Resist going back for thirds, and instead grab a fork "just for another quick bite."

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