The story behind these delicious gluten free sorghum tartlets comes from my encounter with Stefania Polisano, head chef of the beautiful organic resort Agrivilla I Pini, nestled atop the rolling hills of San Gimignano, Tuscany.
This place is one of a kind. The founders, Benjamin and Francesca Posch, turned an old Tuscan villa into a very unique hotel that encompasses five core beliefs. Everything here has to be vegan, organic, sustainable, handmade and seasonal.
And while this is definitely a challenge, since Benjamin and Francesca live their personal life respecting these same principles, they wanted them to be reflected in their business as well, and show their guests that another way is possible.
At “I Pini”, you definitely see these values encompassed in the restaurant, that serves delicious organic, plant-based food, mainly cooked using ingredients that grow on the surrounding hills and in this specific time of the year.
Chef Stefania, who’s originally from Sicily, and gained experience working in raw and vegan restaurants in London and Rome, has the ability to turn simple ingredients into gourmet dishes. Her cucumber gazpacho, for example, was absolutely outstanding, and yet, made with just cucumbers and a handful of garden herbs and spices carefully matched together.
Her baked millet with fennel and zucchini served over a dollop of carrot cream was my absolute favorite. The millet had a crispy crust that created the most perfect contrast of textures and flavors with the bits of vegetables scattered inside and the velvety cream on the bottom.
How do you make Gluten Free Sorghum Tartlets?
And her gluten free sorghum tartlets were filled with the most indulgent and delicious cream simply made with sunflower seeds. It was so rich and delicious that I couldn’t believe it was made with only two ingredients and a few pinches of sweet spices.
After Chef Stefania shared the recipe with me, I modified it to make it less sweet and caloric. I reduced the amount of coconut sugar and extra virgin olive oil, and swapped part of it with full fat coconut milk which always gives desserts an amazing flavor. If you want to keep these gluten free Sorghum Tartlets coconut free as well, you can use soy milk instead.
Going back to the principles of sustainability, they are embedded in every corner of “I Pini”: from the walls, that are plastered only with natural materials, such as hemp and lime, to the furniture, that is recouped from old farms and given a chance to live a new story.
Even the 160 gallons of water of their saltwater pool are reused. When the pool is drained, every 10 days, instead of discarding the water into the sewer system, they created an irrigation system that funnels the water into their garden.
Wondering how this is possible? They placed “salt plants” by the mouth of the water canals which are able to absorb the excess salt and “purify” the water to be used to irrigate their produce.
“I Pini”’s beautiful vegetable garden provides most of the food that is used to feed the guests. The extra virgin olive oil that is used in the restaurant comes from their own olive grove, whose 1000 trees produce 1000 liters of oil per year.
Working with Chef Stefania was awesome. In addition to our tartlets, we also created a chickpea pancake and a dairy free ‘Cacio e Pepe’ pasta, but we’ll just have that for another time! In the meantime, enjoy these gluten free sorghum tartlets, and I can’t wait to see your recreations!
Gluten Free Sorghum Tartlets
For the Sorghum Tartlets:
- Soak the sunflower seeds overnight or for at least 8 hours. Discard the water and set aside.
- Combine all ingredients for the crust in a mixing bowl or a food processor.
- Preheat oven to 329 F (165 C).
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until 0.4" (1 cm) thick.
- Cut out 6 rounds. Gather scraps and re-roll if needed. Shape the tarts as shown in the pictures (tartlets are about 2.3 inches (6 cm) wide and 1.2 inches (3 cm) tall.
- Bake for 18 minutes and allow to cool.
- To create the cream, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. You can also do this with an immersion blender, but the cram won't be as smooth.
- Transfer the sunflower seed cream in a pastry bag and fill the gluten free sorghum tartlets. Decorate with diced fruit and enjoy.
- These pastries preserve better when stored in the fridge and they should be consumed within a couple days.
If you like the recipe for these gluten free sorghum tartlets, share them on your Facebook and Pinterest or print it out so you can always have it handy when you are ready to make them!! And don’t forget to share a photo with me on Instagram! and subscribe to my weekly newsletter so that you never miss a post!!
Lots of love from Italy and I will catch you at the next recipe!