Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart - Raw, Vegan and Gluten-Free

This is practically all raw. The first time I made this, I ended up heating the rhubarb just a little to make the sweetener melt, but in the future, I am going to make this completely raw by simply soaking the rhubarb in the brown rice syrup for a few hours in the fridge beforehand.

Rhubarb is currently in season, and what better time to try this tart fruit than in a gluten-free and vegan tart! Adding a little brown rice syrup and coconut palm sugar helps temper the bitter taste usually associated with rhubarb. The bright red color of the rhubarb and strawberry will literally pop out as you serve this dish to your excited meal-mates. It can be served as a breakfast or dessert, and will go great with a dollop of cashew crème on top.

Tart Crust Ingredients:
8 dates, pitted
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw almonds
¼ cup brown rice syrup, softened
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the Tart Crust:
**Note: I chose to assemble the tart in a large pie pan, but it can also be served in mini tart dishes or ramekins for an easy single-serve option.
  1. In food processor, pulse dates alone first, then add rest of tart crust ingredients and process until the mixture starts forming a dough.
  2. Press into a pie pan and set aside while assembling the fruit.

Rhubarb Ingredients:
¼ cup brown rice syrup
¾ cup coconut palm sugar
¼ cup apple juice
3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1” slices
2-3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced in half

Make the Rhubarb Mix:
In a saucepan, mix together sugars and apple juice. Add rhubarb and stir so the sugar mixture covers it. On medium-high heat, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring often. (Alternately: soak the rhubarb in the sugar mixture in the fridge for at least a few hours prior to making the tart.)

If there seems to be a lot of liquid, drain some of it off first before pouring the fruit mix into the tart crust. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Top with the sliced strawberries and serve. Garnish with mint and top with a dollop of cashew crème or vegan vanilla ice cream, if desired.

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