Tasty Tuesday: {Gluten Free Fig Tart}

A few weeks ago we introduced our newest contributor to the team, Zoe. She’s an amazing food stylist and recipe creator who is passionate about cooking food that features quality ingredients and is as healthy as it is delicious. We’ll add beautiful to the list too! With just days of fig season left, we’re right there with her on baking this Gluten Free Fig and Crème Fraîche tart! You’ve got to cherish everyone one of those sweet little jewels while you can. Thankfully, today, Zoe is teaching us how…

I’m in love with figs and have recently been obsessing over the hundreds of different kinds of tart combinations – from sweet to savory. So one afternoon I decided to make these delicious gluten-free mini tarts with fresh figs and crème fraîche. They were enjoyed over a magical moment catching up with a girlfriend whom I hadn’t seen in years. The tarts are so light and fresh that we managed to save two for after dinner and enjoyed a second round, post-meal. Shhh, don’t tell!


This recipe features a gluten-free crust alternative that has a lovely nutty finish which pairs deliciously with the figs. This is also a particularly healthy dessert – perfect for enjoying these last days of indian summer and officially welcome fall. You may want to try it with bee pollen sprinkled on top, a superfood that is delicious with tarts, yogurt or granola!

Gluten Free Crème Fraîche Fig Tart


Shortcut Pastry:
3/4 ground almonds
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup apple sauce
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of sea salt

3/4 cup crème fraîche
3/4 cup cream cheese
2 Tbsp sugar
Grated zest of 1large lemon (or two small ones)
Juice of 1 lemon
15 to 20 fresh figs, rinsed and quartered


1. Mix the dry ingredients with the butter, apple sauce and honey and knead the dough until it becomes a smooth pastry. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

2. Roll out the pastry (the easiest way is to roll it out directly on baking paper) and place it carefully in a greased tart pan and prick it with a fork (I used several small pans). Bake in the oven for 20min at 375°F.

3. In a bowl, stir together the crème fraîche, cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice.

4. Fill the cooled tart shell with the cream filling and arrange the figs in circles. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle bee pollen on top right before serving (optional).

For more of our favorite recipes, including gluten free optionsCLICK HERE!

original photography and recipe by food contributor, Zoe Armbruster 

A Delicious Welcome to Fall with Aperol!

Well friends, it’s official. The first day of Fall is here! But it has me feeling a little torn. Now I luv summer as much as the next girl. Long days, warm temps, dreamy afternoons spent on a beach {or at least dreaming of one}. But I also love when the seasons change. It always feels like a breath of fresh air. A new beginning if you will. And just because summer is saying see ya, doesn’t mean entertaining season is ending. Oh contraire! We’ve actually been enjoying a seriously gorgeous Indian Summer in San Francisco right now. So I say set aside a little time to gather friends and enjoy that waning evening light while we still can! In fact, we did exactly that last weekend and the results were equal parts yummy and lovely – if I do say so myself!


Our mission was simple. Gather some of our favorite ladies for an impromptu happy hour. The ingredients for a successful happy hour aren’t complicated either. Copious amounts of easy to snack on food, a killer outdoor patio and a fabulous drink of course. But remember, just because something’s impromptu doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty! Today we’re revealing our tricks to creating a stunning little feté in no time flat {seriously!}.


Step 1: Set the scene. An outdoor patio decked with a farm table and bench seating is easy and relaxed. We were lucky enough that our table happened to be marble-topped but any wood table would be just as pretty. A string or two of cafe lights are extra nice touch. You can leave them up pretty much all year ’round. A few simple flower arrangements plucked straight from the garden are also a thoughtful detail. 

Step 2: Don’t skimp on your place settings. When you want to up the ante for your gathering, paper and plastic just won’t do. But again, you don’t need to slave away. We relied on the services of Mrs. Peasy Party Box Rentals who provides gorgeous plates, flatware and glasses for rent! She’s got pre-designed boxes featuring gorgeous items like Heath Ceramics dishware and vintage cutlery. Or you can do what we did and simply mix and match your own set up. The best part? You can drop it all off dirty so your end of party clean up is pretty much done before you even start. It’s genius.

Step 3: Create a humble feast. For our happy hour we decided to create the charcuterie board of champions. But again the task required little else than a power shopping trip at Trader Joe’s and an epic 3-foot long wood board. Cured meats, crackers, cheese, olives, pickles, fresh berries & figs, dried fruit, nuts and our little trade secret – fresh flowers created a truly stunning display. Piling everything high makes your board so pretty you almost don’t want to dig in and mess it all up. Almost.


Step 4: Serve a signature drink! The true star of our party was our cocktail – the Aperol Spritz! Now this drink is near and dear to my heart. A traditional Italian apertif, Chris and I enjoyed a Spritz (or 5 or 6!) in Venice – the drink’s actual birthplace – during our honeymoon and I’ve loved them ever since. They’re totally refreshing – a true before dinner sipper. And the best part? They’re super easy to make. No professional mixologist skills needed here. You’re not concocting homemade syrups or adding tinkshers with eye droppers. The recipe is so simple every party guest can whip up one for themselves – yet another way to take some pressure off of you! Don’t worry – we’ve got the recipe for you at the bottom of this post!

But first we have to give you the final step in our happy hour master plan.

Step 5: Sit back, relax and have a grand old time!! There’s nothing better than some quality catch up time with girl friends. Even with today’s overly packed schedules, offering a chance to enjoy a refreshing drink, a bite to eat and some great conversation is pretty irresistible. We’re quite confident your girls will show up for a gathering like this #squadgoals.



Recipe: The Aperol Spritz

3 parts prosecco
2 parts aperol
1 splash of seltzer

Add a few ice cubes to a wine glass. We actually used oversized square cubes in our drinks. Pour in your prosecco. Then add your Aperol. Top with a generous splash of seltzer. Give your drink a swirl, garnish with orange slices & an orange peel twist if you like! Betcha can’t enjoy just one!!


original photography for apartment 34 by ashley batz // florals by natalie bowen designs // dishware by mrs. peasy // styling by erin hiemstra + bianca sotelo // produced by bianca sotelo

This post is in partnership with Aperol. All thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting partnerships that help keep Apartment 34’s doors open!

Technology x Travel: How to Use Instagram to Plan Your Next Trip

Now that Instagram has updated its user experience (who is into the vertical option?), we decided to take advantage of the multiple ways the picture sharing app can be a great resource. And what’s on our minds 365 days of the year more than…travel!

Instagram is one of the first places we go when dreaming up our next vacation. It’s where we initially get inspired, but oh that’s just the beginning. Now with options like “Search Places” and “Top Search” you can open up a world (quite literally) of ideas about beautiful places to visit.


On a recent late-night research tip, we clicked on a gorgeous picture under “Explore Posts”, and down the rabbit hole we went. Where did we go, you ask? We stumbled upon (and fell in love with) the historic seaside country of Portugal! And if we had to go anywhere first, it’d be the beautiful city of Porto. Here are a few must-do’s on our imaginary itinerary!

O! Galeria: a small gallery, every inch filled with color and culture!


Castelo de Obidos: this castle overlooks the most picturesque town!


Museu Colecao Berardo: a must-visit modern art museum!


Igreja Capela Das Almas: this gorgeously tiled church is breathtaking – a photo must!


How to Optimize Instagram’s Search Options:

– Use “Search Places” when you want to search a geotag. You can be as specific as a restaurant or as broad as “Portugal” and boom, beautiful places to visit are right at your finger tips. The auto search will also bring up an endless list of the most popular geotags related to your search. From cities, to airports to beaches, this is your easiest and best tool to use for building your itinerary.

– “Top” the first column under the general “Search” is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. Use this to find the top everything. After typing in “Portugal”, it brings up the top (aka most followed) accounts associated with the search, as well as the most tagged hashtags and the most popular spots geotagged in Portugal. How cool is that?

– Other new updates we’re loving? The “Trending Tags” section is a fun tool to use to stay on top of trending stories and hashtags. It’s great to reference for ideas on what to post that day (when you’re stuck in an Instagram rut!) and ways to be a part of a larger conversation within the app. We also love that you can now directly send or share an Instagram with a friend without having to screenshot the image and text it to them – or worse, type their handle into the comments section (because who really likes to have a personal conversation in the comments section of someone else’s Instagram??). Ha! Just click the little arrow next to the comment symbol on the Instagram you want to share with your friend and you’re golden to dream up the next place you want to travel to together!


If you’re planning to head to Portugal (and not just dreaming like we are), here are some awesome Portuguese Instagrammers to help you plan your itinerary! They’re amazing accounts to follow even if you’re not jetting to the charming country anytime soon.

Instagram Accounts To Follow:


image 1, 2, 4, 8 @hmiguelsousa // 3 via @victoriacher // 5 via @dani3e // 6 via @drcuerda // 7 via @fabiobf // 9 via @lopesrute // 10 via @iter_miguel