Fruit Tart Confessions

with coconut sabayon

Makes 24 mini tarts

Let’s start with the sabayon.  Anything French is basically gourmet by default.  This sabayon, or French custard, came about by mistake.  I had intended this to be tarts filled with fruit and topped with whipped coconut cream.  But, when my cream wasn’t behaving I was forced to fix it.  I heated then refrigerated it and the sabayon was born!  Love when that happens!  I guess that was confession #1.  The list goes on.

Confession #2: I tried this recipe with brown rice flour and it came out a bit too crisp.  I swapped it out for oat flour and yummy, tender tart shells were the result.  Yes, this is a gluten-free goody!

The main ingredient and quite frankly the understated star of the show, is the almond…in this case, almond meal.  Almonds are a special nut.  They are a cousin of stone fruit such as peaches, plums and apricots.¹  Almonds contain cyanidelike substances that are medicinally powerful, so much so they inhibit cancer growth.  Its phytosterols contribute to this incredible anti-cancer powerhouse and also reduce cholesterol.¹  Its Vitamin E content and monosaturated fats (holy fats again!) also contribute to reducing LDL cholesterol and improving conditions for the heart.  Magnesium, a special mineral that almonds contain, is responsible for clearing the arteries of any calcium build-up.²  Your heart is smiling if Mg is present!  They also lower the glycemic index of the meal you’re eating.  Good news for our blood sugar.  Great news for diabetics.  One interesting tidbit is that eating almonds with their skins actually makes them work harder than they already do.  So, heart is happy, blood sugar is happy, cholesterol is in check, cancer cells won’t even think of setting up shop…I’d say almonds are great addition to everyone’s diet.  Good thing I had almonds and not pecans which were the nuts I had intended for this tart…confession #3!

They are extremely versatile, too.  Enjoy them chopped on salads or sautéed with greens.  Have some almond butter on that toast or with crudite.  Trail mix and energy bars are other goodies, too.

Finally, for the last confession:  My husband, not a fruit tart lover at all, confessed that this was one of his favorite desserts yet!  Bon Appetit!

You’ll need:

1 C almond meal

1/2 C coconut flour

1/2 C oat flour

1/4 t ginger

1/4 C maple syrup

1/4 C coconut oil + more as needed and for brushing tart pan

1 recipe Whipped Coconut Cream (but make sure to read below, too)

2 C mixed berries of choice (I used blueberries, raspberries and strawberries which I cut to fit in the tart shells.)

To make:

Tart shells:

1. Pulse the almond meal and flours together in a food processor.  Add the ginger, maple syrup and coconut oil and pulse until a dough is formed and you can squeeze it together in your hands.

2. Form the dough into a ball and then pinch off about a T or so to start pressing into the (oiled) tart pan.  Press evenly so that all the sides are about the same thickness and it bakes evenly.

3. Refrigerate tart shells in pans for 30 mins.  (Confession #4: Claire’s bedtime coincided with this and I left the tart shells in there for closer to 1.5hrs.  They were completely fine:)

4. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Bake tart shells for about 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Coconut Sabayon:

Before preparing the whipped coconut cream as per the recipe, please read to see how my mistake turned out to be a great surprise.  I had forgotten to refrigerate the coconut milk which means I attempted to make the cream without separation of water and cream/fat.  Obviously this didn’t work.  I added the kudzu (as per the recipe) and while it thickened, it wasn’t exactly rich and dreamy.  I added another T of kudzu just for kicks.  From here:

1. Add the coconut milk mixture to a saucepan over low-medium heat and bring to an almost simmer (just bubbling at the edges).  Stir often to keep it even.  Keep it over low heat for 15-20 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and let cool before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.  Chill for at least 2 hours before assembling tarts.

Assemble your tarts:

1. Measure about a teaspoon of sabayon to fill each tart shell and top with your desired fruit.

2. Enjoy!

*Assembled, the tarts will last overnight in an airtight container.  Otherwise, the tart shells will last 2-3 days and still be fresh if kept in an airtight container in the fridge.  Ditto the sabayon.

¹Rebecca Wood, The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia

² http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20

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