Almonds, cashews, maple, and coconut form the base for this über-lemony tart topped with coconut cream and summer berries. Naturally vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.
Today, June 10th, is a special day – my mom’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! I wish I could serve you up a big slice of this tart, because I know you’ll love it. A classy lady needs a classy dessert on her birthday. You’re the one who introduced me to the wonders of healthy desserts 15 years ago – who knew I’d be making them in lieu of traditional butter-flour-sugary desserts years later? They are every bit as delicious – creamy, decadent, and just sweet enough. Thanks for teaching me so much about health and wellness. I’m lucky to have a mom like you.
I’ve been on a cashew kick lately, whipping up all manner of yummy things from the soaked nuts, which puree into creamy oblivion in a few minutes. (And to make things even better, I have a shiny new fancy blender to make them in.) I’ve been appreciating the little tropical nuts even more after seeing this photo by my friend living in Mexico – amazing!
This tart was inspired by these no-bake matcha mint grashopper pies which I enjoyed with Emma when she came over to make spring rolls a couple months ago, an armful of meyer lemons from her tree in tow. Around that time, Dana posted these tantalizing lemon bars, and the whole thing left me with a crazy craving for creamy, lemon goodness.
Additionally, I needed redemption.
Several weeks ago, Sarah and I styled a lemon tart for NYT, a classic recipe by Amanda Hesser. The tart must have been cursed. First, I made the whole thing and managed to leave out 5 whole eggs from the recipe (#professional). The resulting tart was thin, incredibly tart, but oddly enough still edible. We made the tart again and this time it was perfect. We spent ages cutting and arranging slices just so and setting it up for its beauty shot…
only to drop a piece of equipment on it mid-shoot!
Determined to make a non-cursed lemon tart, I pulsed almonds with coconut and maple syrup and pressed the mixture into a tart pan to form a stupid-easy crust that’s chewy like a macaroon. Soaked cashews get blended with maple syrup, loads of zest and juice from floral meyer lemons, coconut oil, and a bit of ground chia seed to thicken it up like a lemon curd.
After a good chill in the fridge to firm it up, on go a smear of whipped coconut cream and a mess of fresh berries. Any berry will do – just raspberries, or a mix of ALL the berries, or anything in between.
The resulting tart has a nubby crust, silky soft filling that sings with citrus, and lots of fresh berries for a bright finish. The juicy berries set off the creamy filling just so. Though in winter months, this could be simply adorned with candied lemon slices or a shower of toasted coconut shreds. I’m also dreaming of a chocolate version topped with roasted cherries…
I will certainly be serving up one of these in a few weeks when my family comes together to celebrate Mom’s birthday properly. So happy, happy birthday, Mom! Here’s to a fun and delicious year ahead. Love you.
- 1 ½ cups (160 g) sliced almonds (or 1⅛ cups whole almonds)
- ½ cup (40 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
- pinch fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup
- 1 ¾ cups (230 g) raw cashews, soaked in cool water for 4-12 hours (or covered in boiling water and soaked 1-2 hours)
- 2 tablespoons (10 g) finely ground white chia seed
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (145 ml) light maple syrup (preferably grade A amber)
- zest from 3 large lemons (preferably meyer; 2 tablespoons lightly packed)
- ¾ cup meyer lemon juice (from 3-5 large meyer lemons)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional, for color)
- pinch fine sea salt
- ¼ cup (60 ml) cool water
- ¾ cup (180) melted and cooled extra-virgin coconut oil
- 2 small (5.4 ounce / 160 ml each) cans unsweetened coconut cream, chilled at least 2 hours
- 1 tablespoon (10 ml) maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups mixed summer berries, large berries halved or quartered
- In the bowl of a food processor, process the almonds, coconut, and salt until finely ground. Drizzle in the maple syrup and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Use moistened fingers to press the crust into the sides, then the bottom, of a 9” tart pan with a loose bottom. Chill.
- Rinse and drain the cashews and place them in the bowl of a blender with the ground chia, maple syrup, lemon zest and juice, turmeric, and salt. Blend on low, gradually increasing to high, gradually adding the water. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until silky-smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Add the melted coconut oil and blend until just combined; don't over process or the mixture could become grainy. Pour the filling into the chilled crust, and chill until firm, about 4 hours (or cover and chill overnight).
- Without tilting or shaking the cans, remove the coconut cream from the refrigerator, open the cans, and scrape the firm top part into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, discarding the liquid. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and whip until the mixture holds soft peaks. When the tart filling is firm, remove from the refrigerator and top with the coconut cream and berries. Optionally chill again to firm the coconut cream, 30 minutes or up to several hours.
- Carefully remove the sides of the tart pan and place the tart on a platter or cutting board. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice the tart into slender wedges, wiping the knife clean between cuts. The tart keeps well, refrigerated airtight, for up to 3 days.