I like to herald the arrival of October – one of my favorite months of the year – by dusting off my hoodie collection, daydreaming about Halloween festivities, listening to copious amounts of Type O Negative, and baking fall-type stuff. This year, though, with balmy weather still upon us here in the Midwest (and after a summer of recipe-testing and second-cookbook-writing), I’m leaving the oven off and sticking with my beloved raw treats for now. They’re just too good!
This recipe combines autumn fruit and warming spices with nuts and a creamy caramel sauce. Sweetened solely with dates, it’s low in fat and free of grains and added sugars. I think you’ll agree it’s the perfect way to say hello to the fourth quarter of 2012.
Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Low-Fat, RawPer serving: 252 calories, 9.8g fat (2g sat), 42.5g carbs, 6g fiber, 4.2g protein
- 3/4 cup almond flour (or ground almonds)
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- Big pinch of sea salt
- 2/3 cup almond milk (or any other nondairy milk)
- 1/3 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 2 large, ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- To make the crusts, combine the almond flour, dates, and salt in a food processor and pulse until well-combined. (If the mixture doesn’t quite come together, add 1/2 tablespoon of water and process again.)
- Divide the mixture between three 4-inch mini tart pans, pressing it firmly and evenly onto the bottoms and sides of each pan. Place the crusts in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
- To make the filling, combine the milk, dates, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth.
- With the machine running on low speed, stream in the coconut oil; blend again until smooth.
- Place the thinly sliced pears in a medium bowl or measuring cup.
- Add the caramel sauce from the blender and toss/stir to coat.
- Remove the crusts from the fridge and divide the pear-caramel mixture among them, heaping the pears into each crust until almost overflowing. (If there is any remaining caramel sauce, enjoy it with a spoon or save it for another use.)
- Place the filled tartlets in the fridge and let chill for 2 to 4 hours, or until the filling is set.
Oil-Free Almond Pear Tartlets: Replace the coconut oil with coconut butter or cashew butter.
Almond Apple Tartlets: Replace the pears with apples.
Happy October, everyone!