Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vegan Summer Fruit Macaroon Tart

Treat every day as if it was a special occasion
I heard that recently and it really struck a chord with me. I think it's easy for many of us (ok, me in particular) to go through life and look forward to the exciting days ahead. Like our plans for the weekend or the vacation we're taking sometime in the future. Or some other life stage that we're anxiously awaiting. Or that dream that you'll fulfill "someday". And we forget to live in the now. We forget to celebrate the incredible journey that is life right in this minute. We forget to celebrate the small things (or even the bigger things that don't typically have a celebration associated with it).
I've felt that the past six months have been an incredible time of growth and changes for me. Some of those changes have been amazing and wonderful and just plain exciting. But many of those changes have do I say it...uncomfortable. There have been many moments of questioning, doubt, and reasoning. Moments where I wonder if I'm actually actively pursing my dreams or if instead I'm just waiting until the time is right. Well, I'm here to say that I've decided to take the chances, do the work, learn the skills, and feel the pain. I'm not backing down. The moment is now. No more distractions or excuses.

I just quit my unfulfilling restaurant job and I'm ready to do what I love. I'm ready to do what I feel like I've been put on this earth to do. I'm devoting more time to this space and to projects that I'm passionate about. I'm seeing where it all will take me. I'm reaching out to others, soaking in everything I'm learning like a sponge. I don't have it all figured out, and mistakes will be made along the way. And honestly, I'm scared to death. But I'm putting it out there and I'm excited to see where it takes me.

And so, I'd call that a reason to celebrate. A special occasion, if you will. And what better way to celebrate than with a gorgeous tart filled with summer fruit? I don't think there's a better way.
This tart is happiness on a plate. For real. I improvised on the original recipe and made it vegan (one, because I wanted everyone to be able to eat it and two, because I ran out of eggs). It came out great. The crust is delicious and the coconut oil richness is just perfect. I imagine that just making the crust and topping it with fruit would be incredibly delicious on its own.

Summer Fruit Macaroon Tart (inspired by Heidi's Macaroon Tart in Super Natural Everyday)
For the crust:
1 ½ cups whole spelt flour (or any flour, really)
¾ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
½ cup coconut sugar (or rapadura or cane sugar)
½ tsp. fine sea salt
8 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or you can use butter)

For the filling:
2 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut (I had to use some oats here because I ran out of still came out super)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp organic almond or vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 tablespoons chia seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons water wisked until a gel forms (or use 4 egg whites)
2-3 handfuls blackberries
2 small plums, sliced
one small nectarine, sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub coconut oil on a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan, and set it on a rimmed sheet pan.

2. To make the crust, combine the flour, coconut, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir to mix. Stir in the melted coconut oil, and mix until the dough no longer looks dusty and all flour is absorbed. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan: it should form a solid, flat layer. Bake for 15 minutes, or until barely golden. Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

3. While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. Combine the coconut, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir to mix. Add the chia seed gel (or egg whites), and mix until well combined.

4. When the crust is cool, evenly distribute the fruit over it. Drop dollops of the filling over the fruit, using your fingers to nudge it into the spaces in between. I liked keeping some of the fruit poking out from the topping.

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the peaks of the filling are deeply golden. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Yield: 8 to 12 slices, depending on how much you like dessert.

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  1. Looks delicious.. perfect for summer!

  2. Rene, congrats on your decision! I'm sure you'll do just fine. Keep writing - it's really interesting, and the photos are wonderful. My best wishes!

    1. Irina! So wonderful to hear from you. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I'm so much happier now that I'm focusing on what I'm passionate about! All the best to you, as well.

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