Today my friends hosted an easter potluck complete with tasty treats and mimosas made with fresh squeezed orange juice. I hope you all had a relaxing day as well!
I quickly wanted to share my potluck treats with you. First, I made a simple pasta salad. This dish is delicious and really easy. If you are ever hard pressed on time, just whip up a pasta salad. If you can boil water and open cans, you can make this dish.
I like to find novelty pasta shapes for holidays, and my quick trip to World Market did not let me down. Look how cute these shapes are!
I opted to add in olives, chick peas, and banana pepper rings. I seasoned the dish with the Italian salad dressing spice from Penzey’s Spices and finished it off with fat free wishbone italian dressing. I can’t help it. It’s my favorite pasta salad dressing even though I know it isn’t the most healthy or natural option.
Now onto the ‘star of the day.’ I’ve been browsing the Earth Balance recipes more and more lately. They all look so good! I opted to give the Vegan Pear Frangipane Tart a try. If you ever find yourself with more than a few pears lying around, don’t hesitate to make this dish! I went with the original recipe for the most part. However, rather than fresh ground slivered almonds, I used almond meal. I also ended up using three pears, not four.
The crust is a basic almond meal crust, which I think it a pretty good ‘standard’ crust to use. It actually does a fair job of holding up and doesn’t get too crumbly.
The frangipane is a mix of butter, almond meal, sugar, salt, spices, almond milk, and extracts. It looks really thick, but it honestly came out tasting okay. I think the next time I might use more milk and less almond meal. I peeled and sliced three pears and placed them in rounds on the frangipane. You want to be sure they are at least 50% covered in the batter.
And voila. After about 35 minutes it comes out of the oven looking like a masterpiece! I simply can’t say enough good things about this tart. It is a little bit time intensive, but I really think it’s worth it. This is a sweet, fruity tart that is unique among desserts. Why make a standard pie, when with a little more effort you can make something like this!