Pear-Raspberry Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Pear Raspberry Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Pear Raspberry Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Before I went through pastry school, I had never made a tart. I don’t know why but tarts never got my attention. Then, part of my training was to make everything and, in doing so, I discovered something. I love making tarts! The art of pressing the crust ingredients into a shell can be very meditative. There is also the flexibility of making the crust raw or baked. And don’t get me started on fillings or toppings — there are so many to choose from!

For this recipe I began with a vanilla pastry cream filling. Then I chose to roast pears to put on top, as I had pears that needed to get eaten. Next I opted for a raw crust that began as a basic recipe but then got a bit crazy with the inclusion of some Kibo chickpea chips. (It was a creative dare, and they worked beautifully.) I threw in a bit of raspberry jam and fresh raspberries and my creation turned heavenly, although hubby said it needed some chocolate. He can be predictable.

Pear-Raspberry Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream
(This recipe is separated into components as any or all of the parts may be made ahead and the tart assembled later.)

Vanilla Pastry Cream adapted from Rouxbe Online Culinary School
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 3-4 hours to soften
3 ounces unsweetened almond milk
1 ounce agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
Place cashews, milk, agave, vanilla, and salt in a high speed blender. Process on high until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the jar as needed. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the tarts. (There will be extra, but it keeps in the refrigerator for a week.)

Tart Crusts
1 mini bag Kibo Himalayan Salt Chickpea Chips
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup finely chopped dates
1/2 tsp water, as needed
Lightly spray four mini tart pans with vegetable oil spray. Set aside. Place the chickpea chips into a food processor and process into a coarse meal. Pour the meal out into a bowl. (You will only need 1/8 cup of this meal). Put the walnuts and almonds into the food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Put 1/8 cup chickpea chip meal into the food processor. Add the dates a spoonful at a time, pulsing between additions, until the dates are incorporated and the mixture is crumbly. Add the water, a little at a time, and pulse until the mixture just holds together when pressed with your fingers. If the mixture seems a bit too dry, add another date. If the mixture seems a bit too wet, add a few more nuts. Spread the mixture among the prepared tart pans. Press the mixture thinly, firmly, and evenly onto the sides and bottom of the pans. (You can use a small glass or measuring cup to press down with). Put the pans in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the tarts.

Roasted Pears
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 pear, sliced thin
Preheat the oven to 375F. Mix the maple syrup and balsamic in a bowl. Add the pear slices and toss to coat. Pour the pears along with the liquid into a baking pan, arranging in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool completely. Use immediately to assemble the tarts, or store in the refrigerator for up to several days.

ready for tart assembly
ready for tart assembly

To Assemble Tarts
4 mini tart crusts still in their pans
3-4 TBS seedless raspberry jam
Vanilla pastry cream
Roasted pear slices
12 fresh raspberries
For each tart, spread a thin layer of jam over the bottom of the crust. Spoon the pastry cream on top of the jam almost to the height of the crust. Lay several pear slices and a few fresh berries over the pastry cream. To serve, carefully remove the tart from the tart pan. For tips on how to remove a tart from a pan with a removable bottom, see this article.

Until next time, happy baking!

Key Lime Pie Tarts

key lime pie tarts

key lime pie tarts

Pi day is tomorrow (3.14) and I wanted to celebrate with pie. The problem is that I don’t like crust so I’m not fond of pie. There is just one that I adore – Key Lime Pie. By making it I also thought that I could sneak in a nod to St. Patty’s Day with a “green” pie, although I ended up not adding food color. But the lime still evokes green, and I made crust!

The recipe I found was already vegan, so that part was easy. With the simple tart crusts I did not need to make high altitude changes. The adaptations I made were for other reasons. To start, I was going to visit a gluten-free friend so I found gluten-free, vegan cookies for the crust. It took some searching but Enjoy Life brand fit the requirements.

The other major change was to make a chocolate crust. When I was a kid I used to make a Key Lime Pie from packaged ingredients with a premade chocolate crust. The flavor combo of deep chocolate with tart lime was heaven. I recreated those tastes here and bumped up the chocolate by garnishing the mini pies with shaved chocolate. Memory lane can have some tasty moments.

Key Lime Pie Tarts adapted from Minimalist Baker
Crust:
1 1/4 cups gluten-free chocolate cookie crumbs (from about 5 oz of cookies)
2 1/2 TBS canola oil
Filling:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours (or overnight), then drained
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk, well shaken
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3-4 large limes or 6-7 key limes (1 Tbsp zest, 1/2 cup juice)
1/3 cup agave nectar
Garnish:
shaved dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 375 F and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Add cookie crumbs to a food processor and process until you achieve a fine meal. Add oil and pulse to combine; you should get a consistency like wet sand. Distribute evenly among muffin tins and press down with the bottom of a shot glass to flatten. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
Add filling ingredients to a blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime juice for more tart, or more agave for added sweetness. Pour filling into muffin tins and tap on counter to release air bubbles. Cover loosely. Freeze for 1/2 hour, then garnish with shaved chocolate. Return to freezer for 1-3 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer for 10-15 minutes to thaw before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Until next time, happy baking!