Today is my birthday! It’s never a good day for a birthday. There is often a blizzard, or flu epidemic or bad deadline in mid march. This year there’s a pandemic. Happy birthday to me! If it were ever a good day for having a birthday party, I might make this my requested birthday tart.
I invented this for the Muses in the City event Dear Valentine in early February. You can see more beautiful photos by Rose Callahan and the complete menu here. All of the food that I made for the event was gluten free and vegetarian. I tried to make most of it Vegan as well. I’m a big believer in offering food that everyone can eat and enjoy at events and I actually enjoy the challenge of working within constraints.
This vegan and gluten-free tart was, in my opinion the star of the menu! The combination of creamy passionfruit and fresh raspberries is ridiculously delicious and this tart crust is like the most satisfying shortbread cookie.
I already had vegan and gluten-free tart recipes that I have been using for years for treats that I make for family members who do not eat diary (See the gallery of dairy and gluten free tarts at the end of this post). I had to rework my crust for this event though. It needed to be sturdy enough that I could make, transport and plate tarts for about 30 people. The addition of sorghum flour did the trick and added a bonus butterscotch flavor! I also learned a really cool trick for forming the crusts (which can be frustrating without the structure offered by gluten) from Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich.
I’m not going to lie to you. This recipe is a bit of work. Here is what you need to know if you want to make it.
- 4 four inch mini quiche tins with removable bottom or a rectangular tart tin (4 x 12 inches) with removable bottom(s).
- A metal, 1/4 cup measure with a flat bottom and strait sides
- plastic wrap
- A good blender. You must blend the cashew cream until it is totally smooth. I have a vitamix that does this in 30-60 seconds but you can absolutely use a regular blender. It will just take closer to 5 minutes, stopping to push the ingredients down every 30 seconds or so.
Do in Advance
- Make the tart shells. They have to set in the fridge for 1-8 hours before you bake them. Then they have to cool before you fill them. They keep up to three days in a sealed container in the fridge and even longer in the freezer. Gluten free tart shells are less prone to getting soggy!
- Soak the cashews. They need 4-8 hours.
- You can finish the cashew cream up to three days ahead. Store in a sealed container in the fridge
- You can fill the tarts and freeze them filled up to a day in advance. They need to be frozen for at least two hours and then thawed for at 15-30 minutes before serving.
FOR THE VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE SHORTBREAD CRUST
- 2/3 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and still warm, plus a bit for the pan
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- a pinch of sea salt
- 2/3 cup brown rice flour
- 3 Tablespoons potato starch
- 2 Tablespoon tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup sorghum flour
- Grease 4 four inch mini quiche tins with removable bottom with coconut oil and place them on top of a baking sheet. I have also used a rectangular tart tin (4 x 12 inches) and then cut the finished tart into slices.
- In a medium bowl, combine almond meal, sugar, melted coconut oil, vanilla and salt.
- Add the brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch and sorghum flour and mix until combined.
- Drop the dough into the bottom of the tart tin and cover with plastic wrap. Press a small measuring cup on top of the plastic wrap to evenly spread the dough across the bottom, up the sides of the tin and square off the top edge. Refrigerate the crust with the plastic on top for at least an hour and up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove the plastic and bake the crust(s) for 15 minutes. Take them out and use the small measuring cup to reshape the sides again as they will slump down a bit. Bake for 15 minutes more. Let the tart crusts cool completely before filling them. You can store them in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer for a few days if you are prepping in advance.
FOR THE PASSION FRUIT CREAM
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup seedless passionfruit juice (I use Perfect Puree Passionfruit Concentrate)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup vanilla sugar (regular sugar would be fine too)
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 of a vanilla bean scraped (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- up to 2 Tablespoons of water as needed
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours and preferably more like 8 hours.
- Drain the cashews and combine them with the passionfruit puree, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and the seeds scared from the vanilla bean in a blender. Process until totally smooth & creamy, adding a bit of water if needed. It will reach a ricotta like texture first. Keep processing it beyond that point and it will become totally smooth! You can store the cream in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days if you are prepping in advance.
TO FINISH THE TART
- 12 oz fresh raspberries
- 1/2 cup lilikoi, apricot or red current jam
- 2 Tablespoons water
- pre-baked and cooled crust(s) (recipe above)
- about 1 and 1/4 cup passionfruit cashew cream (recipe above)
- Spread the cashew cream into the cooled tart shell(s) and freeze for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
- 45 minutes before serving, whisk the jam and water together in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Heat until it begins to thicken, then let cool slightly
- Half an hour before serving, take the tarts out of the freezer. Decorate the tarts with raspberries brushed with the jam glaze. I actually find it easier to dip the raspberry in the jam glaze and then place it in the tart. I like a lot of glaze and raspberries are very delicate.
MORE GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE TARTS!