I loved Illuminae so much (in case you didn’t pick that up from my review), that despite there being rare mentions of food, I wanted to feature it. I chose a summery-fresh fruit tart inspired by the book’s cover. I used a combination of strawberries, raspberries, clementines, and mango. There’s a lot of flexibility here and you can use any of your favorite fruits.
Another bonus of this dessert? It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. But doesn’t taste like cardboard! This is a great option if you’re going to a party or picnic with guests who have dietary restrictions. Or not. It’s delicious. Period.
The crust is similar to a Luna bar, with dates acting as both a binder and natural sweetener. The whipped cream is actually coconut whipped cream. The taste and texture is just like regular whipped cream with a subtle hint of coconut.
I was pretty nervous about the coconut whipped cream, as I’d never done it before, but found that it was super easy! A note: make sure you put the can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge the night before! It has to be cold so that the liquid and solid cream will separate.
Coconut Cream Fruit Tart
1 cup of old fashioned oats
1/4 cup of ground flax seed
1/4 teaspoon of salt
20 medjool dates, pitted
20 whole, raw cashews
Coconut Whipped Cream
1 – 13.5 ounce can of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Fruits of choice for topping
Optional: shredded coconut for topping
- In a large food processor, grind the oats, flax seed, and salt into coarse flour. Add the pitted dates about 5 at a time, pulsing until evenly distributed and then add the cashews. Pulse in the food processor until the ingredients are evenly mixed.
- If you are using a small food processor: First grind the oats, flax seed, and salt into coarse flour. Pour half of the flour mixture into a medium sized bowl and add 5 dates and half the cashews, pulsing until mixed evenly. Add the mixture to the bowl with the flour. Add more of the flour mixture to the food processor and mix with more dates and cashews. You’ll have to do this in batches until the dates are mixed throughout. Once you’ve ground all of the dates and cashews into the flour, you can knead the mixture in the bowl for a bit to bet a more even distribution.
- Press the crust mixture into an ungreased pie dish or tart pan. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Make the coconut whipped cream: Open the can of coconut milk and drain the coconut water into a separate bowl. You may need to poke a hole through the cream to the bottom of the can. Pour the coconut cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix on high for about 1 to 2 minutes until the cream is light and fluffy and can stand in stiff peaks.
- Spread the coconut whipped cream across the tart crust. Decorate with desired fruit. Optional: sprinkle the cream with shredded coconut before adding fruit.
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