Saturday, November 26, 2011

::Puppethead:: A Tart Tribute

Radiohead. Need I say more? I think not; thousands of Radiohead fans have said plenty with their many, many covers of favorite RH songs. Not surprisingly, a Youtube search of "Radiohead cover" yields over 17,000 hits (a hearty representation versus other artists I tried out. At the very least, my search beat U2).

Lest you forget, any megaband can be made even mega-er with a simple ingredient: puppets. Like the human covers of Radiohead, many a puppet has replayed the Radiohead rhythms: a tape-'n'-paper dinosaur of sorts; a cotton ball with gnarled tar-like hands; a sad Kermit the frog; a black-'n'-white "emo" puppet who sings to a lone slice of raisin toast.

Why no official Radiohead puppets to play tributes? The most prevalent theory is that the Beck puppets' trashing of Radiohead's Dublin dressing room derailed any puppetly Radiohead plans. I settle for this explanation.

Why not celebrate the tunes of Thom Yorke with a Coco(nut)(pe)can(pump)kin Tart? Like the harmonious hymns of Radiohead, this recipe combines tasty ingredients in an orchestrated ratio. Go ahead, eat some pecans in a paean to Radiohead.

Cococankin Tart (gf & vegan)
After reading about 6 different recipes, I let them simmer and become the recipe you see here. It is a tart/pie, but I think it's best described as a shortbread/graham-cracker/cookie with pumpkin pudding on top.

Ingredients & Instructions:

Part I: The Shortbread Crust

3/4 cup teff flour + 1/4 cup sorghum flour (any flour would do, but look up ratios since some flours aren't 1-to-1 like these are for conventional flour)
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup rolled oats 
3 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup coconut oil (room temp)
1/3 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
Put the pecans, oats, and flour in a blender/food processor and pulse until well-incorporated. Then add arrowroot, guar, baking soda, and salt before pulsing some more.

Scrape/pour coconut oil and maple syrup into a mixing bowl. Stir them together a bit with a fork. Then add the mixture from the blender, combining with a fork until all evident chunks of coconut oil are broken up and mixed in. The dough should be sticky and keep its form.

Push the dough into a 9" diameter pie pan using your hands. Cook for approx. 22 minutes. At that point, if not before, check to see how the edge of the crust is doing. As soon as it begins to turn brown, turn off the oven but let the pie shell sit in there while you make the pumpkinny insides. Sitting in the warm oven helps the crust dry out. (This way the filling sitting in the pie shell overnight did not saturate and soggify the crust!)

Part 2: The Insides Edition

4 cups canned pumpkin (aka 2 run-of-the-mill 15 oz. cans. If you only have 1 can, you can do a half-recipe, since only half of the pumpkin pudding goes in the crust--about half is extra yumminess.) 
1 teaspoon guar gum
1.5 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 cup coconut milk (I used light, canned variety)
2/3 cup maple syrup
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon molasses (I used blackstrap) 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon ground, dried ginger)

Continually whisk all the filling ingredients--except put aside 2 cups of pumpkin--in a saucepan over high heat (about 75% heat capacity) until it starts bubbling (about 3 min). Then turn down to medium heat (50% capacity) as you continue to whisk for about 5 minutes. Finally whisk another 3 minutes at low (25%) heat before turning off the heat and taking the saucepan off the burner.

Now add the 2 cups of pumpkin you set aside and whisk in. Let sit 10 minutes.

Take out the pie crust which should be fairly dry now, even in the center. Let both the crust and filling sit separately for an hour. Then 'tis time to pour the filling into the crust. The tart should now be cool enough to shuttle into the fridge overnight to let it set (highly recommended to let it sleep overnight! A well-rested pie is a happy pie). Top with toasted coconut, pecans, some extra crust crumble, dried cranberries . . . whatever your puppetheart desires.

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