Sweet Cherry & Coconut Tart with Caramelized Rhubarb
Nothing says summer like cherries.
And coconut cream. Lots of coconut cream.
Cherries and whipped cream is the quintessential dessert we think of when we get a sundae or ice cream dessert, with one of those maraschino cherries (that are soaked in chemicals, by the way), on top of a pyramid of whipped cream.
This brings a healthy spin on the traditional combination that is dairy free and uses much less sugar by using quality ingredients that are full of flavour.
What I love about the caramelized rhubarb on top is the slight tart flavour and crunchy texture it gives this otherwise sweet and creamy dish.
This tart is a great blend of healthy fats, protein and fruit for a dessert that will leave you feeling satiated and full, but without the heavy feeling that comes from eating a dessert made with flour and sugar.
The gluten-free crust is made from protein-rich almonds, naturally bound and sweetened with dates and given a warm taste with cinnamon and vanilla. Soaking the almonds isn't necessary if you have a good blender or food processor that will chop it fine, though soaking also makes almonds (and all nuts and seeds) easier to digest, so if you plan ahead, this is a good step.
dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan
This is a great recipe to make if you:
- you love dessert but don't want the sugar rush and belly bloat that comes afterwards;
- you want to experiment with healthy desserts that are simple and doesn't compromise on taste;
- you are trying to beat the sugar cravings you get when you're stressed.
INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS
- 1.5 cups almonds, soaked
- 1.5 cups dates
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cans coconut milk (full fat, organic), creamy thick part only, chilled overnight
- 1.5 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 2 cups cherries, pitted and sliced in half
- 1/2 c rhubarb, sliced thin
- 3 tsp maple syrup
- Soak the almonds for 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain the almonds and process them together with the dates, cinnamon and vanilla in a food processor. I used my Vitamix, so I actually did these in two steps – ground the almonds, cinnamon and vanilla together, put them in a bowl, then blended the dates.
- Use a pie crust pan or a spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. This is a necessary step otherwise the crust will stick to the bottom of the pan and you’ll have quite the time trying to get your dessert out.
- Spread the crust evenly over the bottom.
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Thinly slice the rhubarb with a mandolin or a very steady hand.
- Toss the rhubarb slices with the maple syrup and spread the pieces out evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, but keep an eye on them closely after 15 minutes to ensure they don’t burn.
- In a separate bowl, combine the coconut milk, vanilla and maple syrup. I hand whipped this because I don’t have electric beaters, but I’m sure those would work best. It took a bit of arm power to whip it, and I didn’t get peaks, but it got thick enough so the cherries wouldn’t sink through. After it’s set in the fridge it will thicken up more as well.
- Add the whipped coconut milk on top of the crust. Place your pitted and sliced cherries around the perimeter of the pan, working your way in so that the top is covered like the photo above.
- By this time your caramelized rhubarb should be done. Take it out of the oven and let cool. It will be slightly crunchy, tart and sweet.
- Garnish with the rhubarb as you serve the tart.