I love tarts and pies but I hate making crusts. I find typical pie crusts difficult to get right, and even if a crust made with all natural fats and organic ingredients won’t really harm you, it’s not exactly health enhancing either.
One type of crust that I really enjoy making and eating, though, is a pie crust made from nuts. This is a trick I learned from the raw foodies out there. Crushing nuts in a blender gives you a flavorful and nutritious flour alternative that works great for healthy raw fruit desserts like this fresh fig and blackberry tart. It’s also a great pie crust alternative for those who eat gluten-free.
This is a raw vegan dessert, but it is delicious enough to serve to people of all dietary persuasions! It is also healthy enough to eat for breakfast…
I haven’t tried the raw fruit tart with other fruits, but you can feel free to experiment, if you like. Try other varieties of seasonal berries or stone fruits: whatever you enjoy. I think it would also be good with sliced apples (in fact here’s a recipe for raw food chef Annie Phyo’s raw apple pie, which I’m sure I’ll try this fall).
If it doesn’t matter to you that the tart is completely raw/vegan, you can substitute another sweetener for the agave; try honey, maple syrup, or organic (white or brown) sugar. You may want to add more (or less) sweetener depending on how ripe your fruits are.
You can use any type of nut to make the crust: I’ve had success with walnuts and pecans in the past.
The crust can be crumbly, so it can be a little challenging to keep the integrity of each slice when serving; chilling the crust in the freezer for 30-60 minutes before filling/serving can be helpful.
Fresh Fig and Blackberry Tart
Yield: Serves 6-8
*2 cups fresh figs, ends trimmed and sliced into quarters
*2 cups fresh blackberries
*1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped away or a dash of vanilla extract
*1/4 cup agave syrup
*2 cups raw almonds, processed in a blender until they resemble a fine meal, or use 2 cups of almond "flour"
*4 tablespoons agave syrup
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*2 pinches sea salt
1. In a large bowl, gently mix together the figs and the blackberries.
2. In a smaller bowl, mix together the vanilla seeds and the agave syrup. Pour over the fruits and allow to macerate for about 30 minutes.
1. In a large bowl, mix together the crust ingredients. Everything should be quite crumbly and sticky and you should be able to form it into a ball; if not, add a bit more agave.
2. Press the crust ingredients into the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan or tart pan. Place in the freezer to chill for 30-60 minutes, or until just before you are ready to fill and serve the tart.
3. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and spoon your fruit filling into it; drizzle any remaining macerating liquid over the fruit.
4. Serve immediately or keep in the freezer for an hour or so; allow to thaw for a few minutes before slicing. If you don't finish it right away, this fruit tart will still be good for a day or two (though the crust will inevitably get soggy).