Raw Pear Tart with Cashew Cream and Fresh Berries

The perfect holiday dessert recipe, this raw pear tart with cashew cream will delight even the most adamant non-vegan.
The perfect holiday dessert recipe, this raw pear tart with cashew cream will delight even the most adamant non-vegan.

Raw Pear Tart with Cashew Cream and Fresh Berries

Recipe from The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe by Mark Reinfeld.  Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2012.

Yields 1 (9-inch) tart

Crust:

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  • 1 cup finely chopped pitted dates (try Medjool)
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  • 1-1/4 cups chopped pecans
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  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
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  • Pinch of ground cardamom

Cashew Cream:

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  • 1 cup raw cashews
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  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
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  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar, coconut nectar, or pure maple syrup to taste
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  • Pinch of sea salt

Topping:

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  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
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  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave or coconut nectar
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  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
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  • Pinch of ground nutmeg, or ground cardamom, or allspice
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  • 2 large ripe pears, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
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  • 1 pint fresh berries, rinsed and drained well
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  • Mint leaves

Directions:

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  1. Place the cashews in a small bowl with 2 cups of water. Prepare the topping: Place the lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large shallow dish and mix well. Add the sliced pears and gently coat well.
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  3. Prepare the crust: Oil a 9-inch tart pan. Place the pecans in a food  processor and process until finely ground. Add the dates, cinnamon, and cardamom and pulse-process until the ingredients are just ground  up. Do not over-process or your crust will be too gummy.
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  5. Transfer to the tart pan and press down firmly to create the crust. The mixture should be holding together. If not, return to the processor and process a bit further. Depending upon the moisture of the dates, you may need to add a small amount of water or liquid from the topping to help hold the crust together.
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  7. Prepare the cashew cream: Drain and rinse the cashews well. Place them in a strong blender along with the 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water and agave nectar. Blend until creamy. The amount of water you will need will depend on the strength of your blender.
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  9. Spread an even layer of the cream over the crust. Creatively place the pear slices on top of the cream. Try forming a spiral where each pear slice slightly overlaps the one next to it.
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  11. Decorate with fresh berries and mint leaves. If you have more time, chill for 15 minutes or more before serving.

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