Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Instant Yogurt Peach Tart

I have to keep using up my yogurt so here I tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to make quick tarts. I wanted to see if I could use graham crumbs for a crust so I mixed some crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter and pressed it into muffin tins. It's winter so I put the pan out on the back deck to firm up.  Then I took 1/2 cup of my homemade yogurt which is a bit runny and added a few drops of vanilla and 2 tsp of sugar. Next is a little molecular gastronomy.

Xanthan gum is a food additive that makes liquids more viscous. It is derived from the cell wall of xanthan bacterium if I understand correctly. It has a slimy texture on it's own so pre-geled corn starch is added to give it visual texture and smooth mouth feel. Xanthan gum is available at two of the four supermarkets in my small town so it should be easy to find. Pre gelled or pre cooked corn starch may be harder to find but it is easily available online. Health food stores often stock these ingredients as they are used to make many substitute ingredients for people with allergies and they are natural products. 

I sifted together 3/8 tsp xanthan gum and 1 tsp instant corn starch hoping to cut down on the lumping. I sprinkled it over the yogurt and stirred it in.  It helped, there were a fewer lumps but for presentation I'd use an immersion blender to smooth it out.  It was a nice pudding consistency so I brought my shells in and half filled each tart.  Then I took some leftover canned peach pie filling and filled the tarts. Let them set for a few minutes and try to get them out of the pan. Not so easy. 

I could have used more butter and gotten a better result but there is too much crust to filling so the crust predominates. Graham crumb tarts are not a good idea.  They aren't terrible, but pastry would be much nicer.  As for the yogurt, it was just like instant pudding but it was fresh homemade yogurt so it tasted great. The peach pie filling came from a can and tasted like it. The yogurt was the star for sure. It was wonderful and I"ll just have to use it in a better way to really show it off.

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