Summer berry tart

by Alison,   29/07/2014

I love summer fruits. I know you can get berries at any time of the year these days but they taste even better when they are home grown and only travelled a couple of counties rather then countries. There was nothing better as a child then going to pick berries ( eat berries) or seeing the stands for Wexford strawberries on the side of the road and your mum suddenly pulling over to pick up a punnet.

The following tart was inspired by my love of Nigel Slaters strawberry mascarpone tart from The Kitchen Diaries cookbook. It has never failed to bring a massive smile to any of my friends or families faces. The best part is, its really easy to make so its an all round winner.

However every so often you want something different. I started by changing the base of the tart and after a couple of tries it morphed into its own dessert. Like most people I go through food phases and try to figure out the best way to eat. I obviously have a sweet tooth but I know how bad sugar is for you. I also am noticing how many people seem to be intolerant to different foods so its nice to try and have some food that everyone can eat. In my opinion this dessert is a pretty good compromise. Its sweet and creamy while being free of gluten, dairy and processed sugar.

I've drawn inspiration from a number of blogs. The base was inspired by Deliciously Ella, and the topping was inspired by Green Kitchen Stories, and Gluten Free Vegan Girl.

Ingredients for the base:
cups ground almond
1 cup dates
1cup pecans
1tbs maple syrup
coconut oil

This will make enough for one 23'' springform pan.

Ingredients for the topping:
1.5 cups strawberries
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3tsp maple syrup
2cans of coconut milk
1 egg white
2-3 drops vanilla essence 
1 pinch of sea salt

Place the cans of coconut milk in the fridge and leave overnight.
Next day, pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. 
Grease the tin using coconut oil.
Use a food processor to grind the nuts and dates together.
When these are finely ground, mix in the maple syrup.
Press the mix firmly into the tin until it is compacted. Use a spoon to even out the top.
Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.
Remove this from the oven and place in the fridge to cool.

While this is cooling you can make the topping.
First separate the egg white from the yolk (the yolk is not needed for this dessert).
Whisk the egg white until stiff (A handy trick to know whether it is stiff enough is that the white should remain in the bowl when held upside down).

Open the tins of coconut milk and remove the solidified coconut cream from the can.
Add a pinch of salt and a couple of drops of vanilla essence to the coconut cream and whisk.
Mash the strawberries either using a hand blender or a fork and add the lemon juice and maple syrup to the mix.
Fold the egg whites into the coconut cream and then fold the strawberry syrup into the mixture.

Pour the mixture over the cooled base.

Place in the fridge to set. (If you are short on time like I was you can use the freezer for 10-15minutes however this can cause the base to become a little wetter.)

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