I’ll tell you what, this heat wave has become a real pain in my ass. It’s been weeks since I’ve used the oven and I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s making me crazy. Crazier than working 12 hour days, even. I’m craving fresh baked cookies, warm berry crumbles and ooey, gooey cinnamon rolls for breakfast. And then I remember there are people who are literally losing everything they have because of this heat wave. And I stop feeling sorry for myself because things could be a lot worse than not being able to have ooey, gooey cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
In case you haven’t heard, Colorado is plagued with voracious wildfires at the moment. The prospect of losing everything is unimaginable, and Thom and I don’t even have that much. The extent of our things-worth-saving is nothing more than a box filled with five year old love notes. And maybe Cedric. But still, starting over from scratch? The thought alone makes my mind race while I’m trying to sleep at night; attempting to wrap my head around the fact that over 300 homes have been reduced to rubble by one of the many fires that is currently blazing throughout the state. 300 homes that were once filled with laughter and warm memories are gone. Just like that.
I feel helpless. Guilty, even. There are so many things that I would like to do, but not many of them are within my capacity. However, I’m currently orchestrating something with the Red Cross – and if all goes well, we might be able to do something to help the wildfire victims, together. And yes, it involves baked goods. After going back and forth with the good people at the Red Cross, it’s been decided that there is no way around the restriction on donating goods that are made at home. But you can still donate here.
Notes: This is my go to tart recipe for all seasons; I’ve made it with apples, as mini pumpkin pies and I’ve been topping it with fresh fruit, as of late. I have plans to turn it into a banana cream pie. There might even be raw whipped cream topping involved. Maybe. And in case you need any convincing, this tart was devoured within a matter of minutes at a dinner party earlier in the month. Seriously, it’s really kind of delicious – and would look great on a picnic blanket at a Fourth of July celebration. Just sayin’.
RAW BERRY TART
1 1/2 cups cashews
1 1/2 cups almonds
14-16 medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup raw nut milk
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 1/4 cups blueberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut, optional
Place the cashews in a small bowl; cover with water and let soak for 4-6 hours, or overnight. While the cashews are soaking, you can prepare the crust by adding the almonds to the container of a food processor fitted with the S blade. Blend almonds into a fine meal then add 8-10 dates and blend until smooth; about 45-60 seconds. Press the dough into an 8″ tart pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic and freeze until ready to use.
Once the cashews have soaked, discard the soaking water and add the cashews to the container of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Add the 6 remaining dates, nut milk, lemon juice and sea salt, and blend until smooth; about 30-45 seconds. Transfer the cashew cream to a small, air tight container and and refrigerate until ready to use.
Once you’re ready to assemble the tart, fill the tart crust with the cashew cream. Top with berries and sprinkle with coconut, if desired. Tart will keep in the freezer for weeks, but let thaw for 20 minutes prior to serving. If you do plan on freezing it, I recommend adding the fruit just before serving.
Yield: 12 servings