Hello everybody! It’s Friday, so this is Christine with another healthy dessert recipe! Today’s recipe for Fresh Fruit Tart with Almond Crust is an unlikely cross between primitive and elegant—but all your tastebuds will say is “wow!”
Does your body crave caveman ingredients?
The paleolithic diet craze seems extreme, and definitely fudges some historical details, but I get the underlying principle. Our bodies had finished evolving their digestive systems before the birth of agriculture, so our stomachs aren’t really prepared for the wheat, legumes, and refined sugars we force it to process.
It makes me think of cows who just want to chew on grass all day, but instead get their seven stomachs loaded up with antibiotics so they can fatten up on a cheap corn diet. Shouldn’t my body get as much care as grass-fed beef?
Of course, progress and technology are part of what makes us human. Now that we don’t have to spend all day foraging for food, we have time to think about food philosophies and compassion for animals, and even develop fad diets. Besides, didn’t the caveman only live to be like 30? If I only have 3 good years left, and can’t even eat peanut butter, well I just don’t think it’s worth it.
What would Betty Rubble do?
Luckily, this month’s featured cookbook Clean Food offers a good compromise. Lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, artfully paired with beans and grains. This minimally-processed approach takes the good notions of the paleo diet without the Flintstone-fervor. Like all the recipes in Clean Food, you don’t get that classic food-coma feeling after finishing this meal; instead, you’re left feeling satisfied and full of energy.
I also really appreciate the focus on seasonality in this book: Each of the four seasons has its own table of contents, and get this—its own dessert section! Finally, a way to sweetly showcase each season’s unique offerings, from rhubarb to butternut squash.
This fresh fruit tart is from the summer section, but since it’s a little early I was unable to get the peaches and used black plums instead. The natural geometric patterns of the overlapping sliced fruit take the panic out of decorating and provide a no-fail Betty-and-Wilma-approved elegance.
Here’s the recipe posted with permission, copyright CLEAN FOOD, copyright 2009, Terry Walters, Sterling Publishing, Co, Inc.
Fresh Fruit Tart with Almond Crust
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 kiwis, peeled and thinkly sliced
- 3 peaches, thinly sliced
- 3 cups berries of choice
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1/4 cup fruit nectar or juice of choice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon agar powder or flakes
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot or kudzu
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place nuts in food processor and pulse to chop coarsely. Add rolled oats, oat bran and salt and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. In small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, oil and almond extract. Add to almond-oat mixture and process to combine. Transfer to 9-inch oiled tart pan or springform pan and press down to form crust. Pierce several times with fork and bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside on wire rack to cool.
Arranged sliced kiwis and peaches around outside edge of tart and fill center with berries. In medium pot over no heat, combine apple juice, fruit nectar, syrup, agar, and arrowroot. Turn the heat to medium-high and whisk continuously until agar dissolves and mixture thickens. Add vanilla, remove from heat and set aside to cool 5 minutes. Spoon evenly over tart and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
I really enjoyed this tart; the ease of assembly, the presentation, and the taste make it a winner for me, especially for bringing to parties or potlucks. When you walk in with this vegan tart that looks as fancy as a Parisian patisserie, you’re gonna feel like a baking rockstar.
It’s an easy introduction to animal-free food for those less-enthusiastic guests, so go ahead and try it out! Even cavemen like nuts and berries.
See you next Sweet-Tooth Friday!
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