Gluten-Free Orange Ricotta Matcha Tart

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I have been on a bit of tea kick recently. I wanted to make some deep-dish strawberry pies with freeze-dried strawberries in the crust to give it more flavor and a pink color. I also decided to put a little strawberry on top for decoration. I was thinking of getting some all-natural food coloring, when I realized that was silly because matcha is naturally green. So I got some matcha for the stem work, but my mind was racing with other ways to incorporate it.

I had nearly a whole batch of matcha pie dough left, what to do? I became inspired by a tea bag I have at home. It is an orange matcha flavor. It is delicious. I had one before with lemon and matcha, which was really good, but I was intrigued more by the orange. I use lemon a lot, so I wanted to give orange a try. Feel free, though, to make this tart with lemon curd, rather than orange.

I’ve used this ricotta filling on a few tarts too, and it is very nice. I loved this tart. It had a subtle combination of flavors  that worked well. I didn’t have too much matcha in the crust, so it did not taste earthy to me. The orange was present, but not in your face or overwhelming. It is not too sweet, which I really enjoyed. Something I’ve learned with watching so many baking shows, is desserts need balance and you don’t want one-note of just pure sweetness. Make it a little more complex.

I really enjoyed this tart. I would love to try it again with lemon. And it makes me want to go drink a cup of that orange matcha tea, right now!

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Gluten-Free Matcha Swirl Sugar Cookies

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I am a lot like my momma (who is awesome and whom I love dearly). Growing up I mimicked her often. I was totally a picky eater like her. And I loved tea. I still love tea and I thank my momma for this.

About 10 years I was doing A LOT (as in hours a day) of food research, when I stumbled about matcha. Powdered green tea, with a dense amount of nutrients and goodness. Of course I live in the Midwest in a lovely Indiana town (and I mean that in all sincerity, I have tried to leave and always end up back here. But the older I get, the more my appreciate grows) and I couldn’t find any. Shoot when I started my market 5 years ago, I did a lot of explaining on what gluten-free meant. Now I hardly have anyone ask me what gluten-free is. I also couldn’t find a lot of flours or sugars that I needed. Recently it has gotten better. Still have to order cassava flour. Finally found a place with arrowroot. And one place with cacao butter. And maple sugar, although I bought all that, so now I ordered more online again. Now 10 years later I can find matcha powder.

So for a decade I have been eager. Eager to bake and experiment with matcha powder. To drink it (have you had a latte made with matcha? Waiting on my favorite coffee shop Java Haute to catch on to the matcha thing). And to bake with! Earlier this year I posted a recipe for a matcha ricotta tart, which I will actually be revisiting this week. I made some strawberry pies and needed a green crust for some stems and thought matcha would be a great natural way to obtain the color I needed. I drank some matcha I had the other day, which is paired with orange. It is lovely, I have had one with lemon as well, but I use orange less so I was more intrigued with that flavor combo. What if I made a matcha tart with an orange curd bottom. And then an orange ricotta filling? It got me exceedingly excited. Last winter, for Java I had made an orange ricotta pie which I absolutely loved. It had very subtle flavors and was not that sweet. So be prepared next week for that recipe.

Since I had matcha on hand, I thought I would tweak a recipe I saw for matcha swirled sugar cookies. I was geeked to say the least that I got a swirl. And the swirl kept through baking. I think if I made these again, I would dip them in white chocolate. I have found with matcha, it is about having the perfect amount. Too much can get a little bitter and not so good. Actually, thinking just now as I type, I would add some lemon zest to the regular sugar cookie dough and dip it all in white chocolate. Black sesame could be an interesting combo with the matcha too. It is on my list of things to try and I have seen it numerous times paired with matcha. Again, I do not live in a food-forward city, so first I have to find it. Some day………

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Matcha Ricotta Tart with Pistachio Rose Toffee

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What?! This is my third post in week! That hasn’t happened in a while. And I have finally made some progress on all the recipes I’ve had stocked up. Which means I get to make new ones! That excites me. Got to brainstorm summer flavors. Cherries. Berries. Really want to get some passion fruit and do some cool stuff. Loaves. Cheesecake. Tarts maybe, who knows where I’ll be taken.

As you will recall, Tuesday I posted a recipe for Pistachio Rose Toffee <—–click for the recipe, which came about because of this tart. I had it on my agenda to make a purple crust using freeze-dried blueberries, but that wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to make more colors of crust. I had found some reasonably priced matcha powder and had been waiting on the perfect moment to use it. This was my moment. A lovely green crust.

I expressed Tuesday my concern for what flavors to pair with the tea. I ended up using a ricotta filling that I had made with a delicious blackberry tart <——–click for recipe. And the toffee got added for more depth of flavor and texture and color.

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