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Fruit Tart with Lemon Cream and Spiced Almond Crust (Vegan, Dairy- and Gluten-Free)

 

fruit-tartI love ANYTHING that has that many words in parentheses and still tastes as good as this does. I’ve got some stubborn eaters in my extended family, and this stunning dessert satisfied them all. If I hadn’t already made it for her this season, I would shape the crust like a heart and serve it to mom for Mother’s Day brunch. Awww…

Fruit Tart with Lemon Cream and Spiced Almond Crust (Vegan, Dairy- and Gluten-Free)
Author: The Wellness Chef
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1-9″ tart
Ingredients
  • 1 can coconut milk (without guar gum)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal or flour
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 cups 100% all fruit apricot preserves
  • 2 T water
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • Juice of 5 lemons (about 1 cup)
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1-2 T organic powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste
  • Mango, peeled and sliced thin
  • Pineapple, peeled and sliced thin
  • Kiwi, peeled and sliced thin
  • Clementines, peeled and separated
  • Assorted berries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. To prep the whipped coconut cream, pour coconut milk into a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. To make the crust, stir together the almond flour, sea salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.
  4. In another bowl, stir together the vanilla, oil, maple syrup and 1 T water. Add the oil mix to the flour and combine well.
  5. Turn the dough onto a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan. Flatten the dough slightly with your fingers or a rubber spatula to spread it towards the edges of the pan, making sure to press it all the way up the sides of the pan. Try to make the dough a uniform thickness across the bottom and edges.
  6. Place the tart on a sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is an even golden brown. Don’t overbake!
  7. While the crust is baking, make the glaze by heating the preserves and 2 T water to boiling in small sauce pan.
  8. Strain through a sieve to remove lumps.
  9. Remove the tart shell from the oven and let it cool completely to room temperature before brushing with glaze.
  10. In the meantime, make the lemon curd. Heat agave nectar, arrowroot, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice In a small saucepan over medium heat.
  11. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened to a pudding consistency.
  12. Whisk in coconut oil.
  13. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Curd will get very thick the longer it sits. Still tastes great spread on toast though!
  14. Once crust is cool, use a pastry brush to lightly brush interior of tart shell with thinned preserves. Let “dry” for 15 minutes.
  15. In the meantime, make whipped coconut cream. Drain off liquid (should look like thin coconut milk) and reserve for another use.
  16. Whip cream with a mixer on high until thick and frothy.
  17. Fold 1/2 c coconut cream into chilled lemon curd.
  18. To remaining whipped cream, add 1 tsp vanilla bean paste and organic powdered sugar, to taste. I like mine not too sweet. Reserve to use as garnish.
  19. Fill crust with lemon cream, spreading in an even layer.
  20. Channel your inner artist and layer slices of fruit and berries in whatever pattern makes you happiest.
  21. With remaining apricot glaze, brush fruit lightly until evenly coated and shiny. This will keep your tart looking beautiful for days—not that it will last that long!
  22. Serve with big spoonfuls of whipped coconut cream.

 

Now that’s the definition of doing something delicious!

 

Lighter Lemon Curd (Refined Sugar-Free, Plus a Vegan Variation)

lemon-curdHave you ever noticed that kids don’t seem to like lemon-flavored things? I didn’t as a wee lass, and my favorite little (who’s eleven now) won’t even eat a sugar cookie if it has lemon zest in it. It’s a funny thing, because when you fast forward to grown up me, I simply can’t get enough of the stuff. Lemon sorbet, lemon pound cake, lemon poppyseed muffins, lemon in my cocktails. It’s simply my favorite! Maybe in weaning myself off chocolate, I found sour to be a way to get my dessert fix without dying in the clutches of cloying.

Lemon curd might be my favorite way to enjoy my obsession. I’ll spread it on gluten-free toast or muffins, fill tarts and layer cakes with it, or mix it with fluffy coconut whipped cream and dollop it atop fresh berries.

The thing about lemon curd is people freak out about the fat content. While I no longer demonize fat (you can read all about why here), I’m always game for healthifying a recipe if it’s still going to taste great. And this recipe does just that. It’s basic lemon curd, except it uses whole eggs instead of just yolks to keep it copacetic for the folks in the world who still crunch the nutritional numbers. And it also makes use of an all-natural sweetener, maple sugar–which is my favorite replacement for table sugar in recipes with light-colored ingredients and delicate flavors.

And I even took it a step further: I found a vegan variation! Made egg and butter-free, obviously, but maintaining the pudding-esque consistency like a champ, and tasting every bit as good as the carnivore variation. I’ve included both recipes here so that no matter what your preference, you can do this deliciousness STAT!

Lemon Curd (Refined Sugar-Free)
Author: The Wellness Chef
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Makes 2 cups. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a week.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Place sugar and eggs in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended.
  2. Gradually beat in rind and juice. Spoon mixture into a heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add butter to pan; cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly (do not boil).
  4. Spoon mixture into a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill thoroughly.
Lighter Lemon Curd (Refined Sugar-free & Vegan)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Wellness Chef
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 1/2 cups
For your loved ones who are vegan, and all who aren’t but will never know the difference!
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 2 T lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 T coconut milk
  • 3 T [url href=”http://” target=”_blank”]cornstarch[/url] dissolved in 3 T cold water
  • 2 T dairy-free margarine, divided
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest and salt, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.
  2. After the sugar is dissolved, add the corn starch mixture and the coconut milk.
  3. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture begins to thicken and bubbles gently, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the margarine, and continuing to stir constantly, cook for several minutes more or until mixture resembles thick pudding.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a heat proof dish, cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and let cool completely before placing in the refrigerator.
  6. Chill 2 hours before serving.

Photo credit: French Tart via Foter.com / CC BY-ND