Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mini Cashew Cream Fruit Tart

I have been really, really into all sorts of fresh fruit tarts lately. Also, I am hooked on using cashews as a base for any sweet and creamy filling for desserts. It is creamy, and the cashews have a really nice, natural sweetness to them. And it thickens up like mad! I was pretty surprised the first time I tried this.

I have been making full size tarts, but I thought it would be cute so have little personal tarts, because 1.) they are cute and 2.) I am obsessed with "personal" sized servings of food. I don't know why, but I am. So here is my offering in hopes that these summery little tarts will help ward off the rain here in the Pacific Northwest. I guess I just want my fruit tarts and my summer to go along with them.

The recipe makes 10 mini fruit tarts. I had some cashew cream left over, but it is delish tart-less, simply topped with some fresh fruit.

What you will need:

1 1/3 c. flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. Earth Balance (or your fav butter substitute)
1 1/2 tbsp ice water

1 1/2 c. raw cashews (pre-soaked for 3 - 4 hours)
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. Earth Balance, melted
2/3 c. water
mixed berries, your choice for topping

Start by soaking your cashews in advance, for at least 3 - 4 hours.

Next up, make your tart crust. Add your flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Pulse once or twice to mix. Add your 1/2 of the Earth Balance, either cutting into small cubes if using a stick of butter sub. or by spooning by the tbsp. Pulse 4 - 5 times to mix. Add the other half of the Earth Balance in the same fashion, and pulse a few more times. Add your ice water. Your dough will almost seem crumbly at first, but go ahead and pulse several more times. Your dough should slowly come together. If a few more pulses don't do the trick, add 1/2 tbsp ice water more to your dough and repeat. The trick to a fab tart crust is to go through this whole process using the least amount of water and the least amount of blending. Once your dough has come together, knead a few times on a lightly floured surface. Form into a disc, and refrigerate for one hour.

After one hour, take out your dough and roll out to appropriate sizes. I used a muffin pan for my mini tart shells, so I rolled out the dough and cut out circles to fit into each muffin compartment. I used a glass with a 5" diameter to cut out each mini tart shell, then rolled each circle out until it was about 1/8" in thickness. Place rolled out dough into each muffin section, gently press dough to fit. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes. Then preheat oven to 375, make a few pricks with a fork into each tart shell and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until shells are lightly golden brown.

While the tart shells are cooling down, go ahead and start on your cashew cream filling. I don't have one of those fancy Vita-Mix blenders, just a regular old blender and it works fine for this. I am sure my blending time is a lot longer than with the awesome Vita-Mix, but hey, whatever works, right? Ok, onto the filling. Add half of your cashews and all of your sugar, vanilla, melted Earth Balance and water into blender. I usually start on a lower setting and work my way up to the highest blender setting. Once I have this blended to a fairly smooth consistency, add the rest of your soaked cashews one handful at a time. This will help in not overwhelming your blender if you just have a little one like I do. There should be no cashew chunks visible, just a smooth mixture that almost resembles pudding or a custard. (I have read about doing this in a food processor and have tried it, results where nowhere near as good as with my crappy little blender.)

Spoon filling into each tart shell and place in freezer for 30 - 40 minutes, or until firm. Slice up fruit and top each tart with a generous helping. For additional, gluttonous each little mini tart with some soy whip cream.


Haley (thezenofmaking) said...

These look amazing--I love using cashews as a cream base. I'm also really into single servings (and containers for single servings), so I'm right there with you on that!

Allyson said...

yummmm! I love your posts.. they always look fantastic. :D This, my friend, is no exception.

Morgan-- said...

Just came across your have some great stuff on here. ANd the tarts look SOOO good!

Mihl said...

Those are really pretty! I love mini tarts, especially when guests come over. Thank you for the recipe.

Mandee said...

Your mini cashew cream tarts are beautiful! I love that the filling is cashew based, it must go so well with the fresh fruit.

I will definitely be trying these, what a perfect dessert.

Lindsey Mills said...

I just attempted a fruit tart with cashew cream (right here: - yours look LOVELY! I'm gonna give your filling recipe a try. Mine was a work in progress.

Love your blog! Found it through the Vegan Foods flickr group!

Kala said...

So beautiful, I need one right now!

Tammy said...

I made this last week (with a few changes) and my husband and I went crazy over it. The next night he said, "Are we going to have some of that tart? I want a huge piece of it!" So I gave him 2. I highly recommend trying this to anyone! I posted my changes on my blog. Thanks so much for the delicious recipe!

Photo Jenny said...

Thanks so much Tammy! I am so glad you tried them and liked the recipe! I love making one big pie like you did too! So much less mess to do it that way too!

I liked the changes you made too, a quick version of this! Always good to have! Also, love your is 9:30am here and now I want pizzas because yours look delish!

Thanks again for stopping by my blog :)

John Smith said...

Wonderful recipe thanks, I work in a lab at viagra online labs but i really enjoy to cook sweet stuff and also lunch food.