We have strawberries! So thrilled. I'm still getting used to the whole notion of summer. In California I was always excited when the summer fruits came into season, but now in Connecticut it seems particularly significant in stark contrast to the freezing weather and copious quantities of bananas I ate for months. Evidently the winter did have an effect on me...
I posted a photograph of this tart on Instagram a couple of years ago, and have had many requests for the recipe. And since I'm on a dessert kick, and the weather is warm which means berries are back on the menu, now's the time to share it! I suppose strawberries were still available over the winter, but let's be honest- when they're not in season, berries just taste like water. Produce grows seasonally for a reason! Anyway, I modified this recipe from one I found online a number of years ago. Stuck pretty close to the original, but made some subtle tweaks that make a big difference.
For me, fruit is the essential component to any summer desert. Sometimes it's as simple as serving berries or peaches with ricotta cheese and a drizzle of honey (yes! try it!), fruit with ice cream or whipped cream, or macerating some fruit in sugar with mint... But sometimes I ditch my laziness and actually create a "real" dessert. So here's to summer with one of them "real" desserts.
But I should point out... since the beautiful fresh strawberries are to pile on top, you could easily make the base of the tart, drizzle with chocolate sauce or a little ganache and a few toasted coconut flakes, and indulge in a winter version of this coconut-y dessert after this year's berry season comes to a close. It might help hold you over until next summer. Just saying.
STRAWBERRY COCONUT CREAM TART
- 2/3 cup raw almonds
- 10 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 teaspoons + a splash of vanilla extract
- 2 pinches of sea salt
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained
- 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I use Let's Do Organic)
- 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil plus more for greasing, melted
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- sliced strawberries, to garnish
Grease 2- 4.5" mini springform pans with coconut oil, and set aside. Place the almonds and dates in the food processor, and combine until the mixture is fairly well-ground. Add the splash of vanilla and 2 pinches of salt, and pulse until evenly combined. Have your rubber spatula handy, and use it to scrape down the sides as needed. Divide evenly between the two pans, and spread the crust along the bottom and up the sides, pressing firmly. Place in the refridgerator.
Blend the cashews and remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla in your Vitamix or high-powered blender along with the remaining ingredients (except the berries...). Spatula the filling into the crusts, pile your strawberries on top, and refrigerate for a couple of hours.