Sunday, September 1, 2013

I am not a Tart! But I Did Make One with Figs

My parents have a couple of fig trees and I collected a basket full of them the other day.

What to make? What to make! I am picturing something with goat cheese, all creamy and maybe baked in a pie crust- wait, uhhhhh I am still on this no gluten, no dairy, no soy, and no eggs experiment for my daughter's allergies. Long story, short: I am nursing, she has eczema, I am cutting out possible trigger foods. Uh, I miss cheese most of all...but I am sure I can come up with something tasty.

Speaking of not eating certain things...did you know that some Vegans don't eat figs? Little known fact: Figs are pollinated by fig wasps and most figs end up with a least one dead female wasp inside. Figs are not mean insect eating fruits, though; this is a mutually beneficial relationship. The female wasp needs the fig and the fig needs her. They both have the same goal- to reproduce and they only have each other to get the deed done. The fig needs to share its genetic material with another of its kind and the wasp takes care of that with pollination. Then the wasp needs somewhere to lay her larvae and she does this inside the fig. Its a win win until the wasp dies inside and an enzyme in the fig breaks her down into protein. Ok, it basically digests the dead wasp, making it a part of the resulting ripened fruit. Yum! But I was very thankful to learn that the crunchy bits in figs are seeds, NOT parts of a wasp. I chewed a little slower at the thought, but enjoyed my figs just the same.

Anyway back to baking. I decided to make a tart. Sticking with the whole dairy, gluten, egg-less, and soy free guidelines I found a lovely recipe online for a gluten-free, vegan Chocolate Berry Tart and tweaked it to work with figs. Thank you Bakerita


for the crust:
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt

for the ganache:
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
6 oz chocolate. finely chopped
8-12 pureed figs

for the topping:
sliced figs

-For the crust: Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor or Vitamix, pulse together almond flour, salt, and shredded cocnut until finely ground. Melt together coconut oil and maple syrup and add to mixture. Pulse until coarse crumbs form.

-Transfer dough to a greased 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. I want to stress the importance of a tart pan. When loquats were in season I tried to make a tart in a pie pan and there was no getting that crust out. It wasn't pretty. Next, using your fingers, evenly press dough in bottom and upsides of tart pan.

-Bake in center of oven until golden and firm, about 12-16 minutes. Let cool completely, at least an hour.

-For the ganache: Place finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, just bring coconut milk to a boil and then pour immediately over chocolate and let stand one minute. Then stir until smooth and creamy. Stir in pureed figs.

To assemble the tart: Pour warm chocolate mixture into cooled tart shell. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes, and then arrange sliced figs on top as desired. Chill for at least one hour or until set. Enjoy!

This thing is not going to last long!

Get everything but the figs here:
Let's Do Organic Coconut Finely Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
Nutiva Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
Organic Maple Syrup -- 8.5 fl oz
Natural Value Coconut Milk
Enjoy Life Mega Chunks Gluten Free Non-GMO Semi-Sweet Chocolate
the awesome awesome Vitamix

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