Classic Summer Tart - any way to make it dairy free

loves2cook4sixMarch 29, 2014

The classic Summer Tart which was published in the NY Times every year for over a decade is so yummy.

I've made it for years but need a dairy free version now. Any suggestions for modifying it?

Here is a link that might be useful: Recipe can be found here

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You can sub the butter for margarine.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 11:59PM
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I've had great luck with the new kind of trans-fat-free vegetable shortening. It's kind of icky to work with, but I've used it in cakes, breads and pastry, and the results are fine, light and fluffy. You won't get that melt in the mouth butteriness, but the crumb structure should be good. Use the substitution on the label (you add spoons of water to substitute for butter).

As for the ice cream, you're on your own in the tofuti aisle for that...

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:00AM
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Thanks. plllog what Vegetable shortening is that - the one from Crisco?

And FYI, I have a divine recipe for Mexican chocolate ice cream made with coconut cream. YUM!!!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:09AM
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I used to use parve margarine, but I hated doing it. Now I use coconut oil (which is a soft solid at room temperature) or Spectrum vegetable shortening which is cold pressed palm oil.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 1:38AM
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The problem with coconut oil is that coconut is a common allergen (I'm allergic, for one :) ). That probably doesn't matter if you're topping with coconut cream. :) There are all kinds of coconut products that are being used as vegan substitutes to great success, but for entertaining, I'm always looking for the items with the fewest known sensitivities. Which is why I'm going to definitely look for the Sectrum shortening Cloud Swift mentioned. I've never seen that.

The Crisco has soybean oil, which is another problem for some people. It also has hydrogenated oils, whereas the spectrum is organic and pure palm oil. They say it makes flaky pie crusts. They also have a non-dairy butter flavored one on their site that they say is good in cookies. I wonder about that because vegetable shortening in general isn't great in cookies. I'm definitely going to try this.

Like Cloud Swift, I don't like baking with parve margarine. Apparently it used to be better. When I wanted to make a parve version of my mother's challah recipe, Healthy Choice had come out with a zero trans fat shortening, which worked great and I used it for cakes, pies, etc. Then I went to find a new can and it had disappeared but Crisco had started selling the same thing. The timing led me to believe that they might have bought the product from Healthy Choice, though that's speculation. It seems identical, however.

Oh, I should say, with the addition of water as described for the substitution, be aware of your recipe and how it bakes. It makes for a lovely, moist crumb, but if you want something stiffer and drier you could skimp a bit on the water. But, as I said, I'm going to try the Spectrum, too. :)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 2:44AM
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I was curious why you want/need to make it dairy-free because that is important information that should be considered.

If the problem is lactose intolerance, most people who are lactose intolerant (unless severely intolerant) still produce some lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk, and can usually consume small amounts of butter - such as the amount of butter that would be in one slice of the tart).

The higher the fat content of a dairy product (butter, whipping cream), the less lactose it contains. And the opposite is also true, the lower the fat (low-fat milk) the higher the amount of lactose. Ghee (butter fat), which has only minimal amounts of lactose, is another option, but it imparts a different flavor than butter.

If it's a dairy allergy you are contending with, then that's a completely different problem than lactose intolerance; or perhaps just making it vegan-friendly.

I would use coconut oil or good quality fresh lard (not that hydrogenated stuff sold in stores) as another option, and would probably use less than the amount called for in the recipe (6 T. instead of 8 T.) if substituting either coconut oil or lard. If you find you miss the flavor, you could add some butter flavoring.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 6:04AM
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I do a lot of vegan baking and some of the better substitutes are Earth Balance (They have tubs and baking sticks but some people seem to prefer the tubs) and they also offer a coconut spread for baking but I haven't tried that. Earth Balance has cleaner ingredients than margarines imo but can be harder to find. There are also some Smart Balance versions that are vegan but you have to read the labels as some have a bit of dairy.

I have used the Spectrum shortening as well and liked it but mostly as a base for frosting. I would be curious if it worked in a cake!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:05PM
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Grainlady, I assumed that since it was loves2cook4six that she wanted to not use dairy for kosher reasons - i.e. to have it with a meat meal. Lard would be out for her and me since pig products aren't kosher.

Pllog and chi83, I have substituted Spectrum for butter in cake and cookie recipes to make them parve. They came out fine. I wouldn't try it in something that depends on butter a lot for its flavor like a butter cookie or a pound cake, but texture and flavor is fine in cookies and cakes that have other elements to contribute flavor.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 9:45PM
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Cloud_swift is correct - it was for kosher reasons to go with a meat meal.

I found all the products mentioned above at the local grocery and after reading the ingredients, I went with the Earth Balance in a tub.

I used raspberries and the tart was delicious!!! I should have taken a picture but all that's left now are a few crumbs. 8 people polished it off completely and my daughter was picking up the crumbs so definitely a success and will make it again.

For the record, I made it in a tart pan :)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Cloud Swift, thanks for the info! The old fashioned shortening works like oil in cookies--fine with an oil recipe but nigh on impossible to sub for butter. I'll certainly give the Spectrum a try.

Loves2cook4six, thanks for the recipe!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 10:58PM
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