How is Summer everyone? So far, the summer season here in Berkeley CA is absolutely delightful. The seasonal fruits in the farmers markets seemed to arrive all at once. All through Spring it was weeks of strawberries and then one Tuesday in late May the market was bursting with the first wave of summer fruit: cherries, blueberries and an amazing variety of stone fruits --peaches, nectarines, apricots, apriums... I was caught by surprise, emotionally swooning over the crates of cherries and blueberries, and then quickly rushing over to the stone fruits to collect bounty from the "bruised and imperfect" selection. The figs are ripe now too! Hello! Time to enjoy this Summer abundance.
The recipes I've created here are first time trials. This means I really just experimented my way through them, so some of the ingredient ratios may be a little off. Both crusts are almond flour crusts, one uses an egg and coconut oil, the other uses olive oil and no egg. Both cremas are with a cashew base but go in slightly different directions. I pair balsamic vinegar with the fruits because it is a delicious combination; the vinegars come through in the final product, adding a unique acidic dimension. I hope by showing you both of these recipes, you can play in your own kitchen and dream up whatever combinations excite you --the possibilities are plenty! Enjoy!
Mixed Stone Fruit Tart with Orange Blossom Crema
For the Crust: ( I made some small adjustments to this Almond Flour Pie Crust by Mommypotamus)
2 1/2 C almond flour (I used the Blanched Almond Flour from Trader Joes)
1/3 C arrowroot powder (I used Bob's Red Mill)
5 T coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Procedure: Preheat oven to 350F. Place dry ingredients in the food processor and pulse to mix. In small mixing bowl, whisk eggs, then add in melted coconut oil and vanilla; whisk to combine. With the food processor on the low setting, pour the liquid mix into the dry ingredients. Process on the low setting until dough forms. You will likely need to scrape down the sides of the container to get the dough to form together. As soon as the dough forms into a ball shape, remove dough and press into a greased 9" pie or tart pan. Use a fork to poke holes on the surface of the dough crust to assist in the baking process. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then set aside and allow to cool.
For the Stone Fruit:
3-4 cups sliced stone fruit (I used a combination of yellow and white peaches and nectarines, about 6 fruits total)
2 T white balsamic (I used a Blenheim Apricot White Balsamic from Amphora Nueva in Berkeley, CA)
squeeze of lemon
Procedure: Gently wash the stone fruits. Slice the fruits according to artistic preference; place them in a bowl and mix with the white balsamic and a squeeze of lemon. Set fruits aside to marinate in the balsamic while you prepare the cashew crema.
For the Cashew Crema:
1 1/2 C cashews, soaked
3/4 C water
2 T date syrup or maple syrup (I used Just Date Syrup @justdatesyrup )
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp orange blossom water (you can usually find this item in a Middle Eastern grocery, or the baking or ethnic foods aisles of your grocery store)
pinch of sea salt
Procedure: Soak cashews in water for at least two hours (ideally 4-6 hours). Drain off the water and rinse cashews well. Place the cashews in a high speed blender. Add the water, date syrup or maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, orange blossom water, and salt. Blend until creamy and smooth. Adjust the flavor and consistency as needed. The crema should be silky smooth, not too thick and not too thin; it's best to start with less water and then add more as needed. When you are happy with the flavor, spread the crema in the crust shell before arranging the mixed stone fruits on the crema. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes. Allow the tart to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Vegan Fig and Balsamic Tart with Vanilla Crema
Almond Flour Olive Oil Crust
1 1/4 C blanched almond flour (I used Trader Joe's Blanched Almond Flour)
1 1/4 C almond meal (I used Trader Joe's Almond Meal)
3/4-1 tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt (if you use 1 tsp you will have a more savory/salty crust; I personally enjoy that salty contrast with the sweet crema)
2/3 C olive oil (use a high quality olive oil; I used Amphora Nueva's House Blend)
2 T plant milk (I used full fat coconut milk)
1 T date syrup or maple syrup (I used Just Date Syrup @justdatesyrup)
Procedure: Preheat oven to 350F. Place dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and mix with a fork, then set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients and whisk together. Create a small well in the dry ingredients, then slowly pour in wet mix and stir dry flours into the wet center until dough forms. This dough comes together easily; if it seems a bit too oily, sprinkle more almond flour on the dough and gently incorporate. Gently press the dough ball into the pie or tart pan and dot with fork marks. Bake on 350F for 12 minutes. Set aside.
Figs and Balsamic
7-8 lusciously ripe figs
1 T dark balsamic (use a high quality balsamic; you could also use a balsamic reduction)
Procedure: Gently rinse and dry the figs. Slice figs in half lengthwise (or to your artistic preference). Place figs in bowl and gently coast with balsamic. Set aside.
Vanilla Cashew Crema
1 1/2 C cashews, soaked
6-7 Medjool dates, pitted
3/4 C water
3 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
1 T lemon juice (optional)
Procedure: Soak cashews in water for at least two hours (ideally 4-6 hours). Drain off the water and rinse the cashews well. Place cashews in a high speed blender. Add the dates, water, vanilla and salt. Blend until creamy and smooth. Adjust the flavor and consistency as needed.
To assemble the tart: Spread the cashew crema in the tart crust. Be generous; you want the fig halves to float on a thick layer of crema. Artfully arrange figs on the crema. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
A note on the tart: The olive oil crust is quite moist and will moisten even more as crema sets so this tart is best enjoyed the same day.