Another delicious recipe from our friend Beth over at Tasty Yummies, the master of gluten-free and vegan desserts.
Nothing kicks off summertime like fresh berries! Those beautiful colors, the bright and fresh flavors. It is the quintessential simple picnic or beach treat. Plus, there are so many different things you can do with them. Eat them fresh, as you are walking around the farmers market. You can toss them with a little sugar and enjoy all the sweetness dancing around on your tongue. You can add them to your favorite morning smoothie or you can dip them in melted chocolate. Oh and of course, there are berry pies, shortcakes, ice creams and yes, lovely little, mini tarts!
Being that I have been gluten-free for over 7 years, I have found a way to enjoy so many of my favorite foods, even when I am at a summer BBQ or a picnic where the menu is somewhat out of my control. If someone brings all of the stuff to serve strawberry shortcakes, I can always make do with a big bowl of just the fresh berries. That certainly makes me perfectly happy. But, why not create something even better than those soggy little spongy cakes or that stale pie made from a store bought crust that everyone can enjoy? Mini-tarts!! Sure, you could absolutely top these tarts with fresh, non-roasted strawberries, or any other fresh berry or fruit for that matter. But, I absolutely love the combination of the mellow tartness from the balsamic vinegar with the naturally sweet and tart flavors of the fresh berries. As if it couldn’t get much better, top that flavor-party for your mouth with a rich and creamy whipped coconut cream and you have yourself the perfect summer dessert. Even better, it is naturally gluten-free and vegan, so everyone can enjoy!
What flavors remind you of summer?
Mini Tart Shells (makes 12)
2 cups almond flour, aka almond meal
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 12 cups in a muffin tin with paper liners (you could also use greased mini tart pans). In a large bowl, add all of the crust ingredients and mix very well. Really get your hands in there to get it all together and work it into a nice dough. Add the crust mixture to the muffin cups and press down firmly into the cup using your knuckles, going up the sides a tad bit. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place the pan in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
Roasted Balsamic Strawberries
2 pints baskets of strawberries, hulled and sliced (it’ll look like a lot of berries, but they cook down a lot)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons maple sugar (or palm/coconut sugar, raw sugar, etc)
Raise the oven to 400º F. Toss the strawberries with the balsamic vinegar and maple sugar. Allow to sit for a few minutes while your oven preheats. Pour all of the strawberries and their juices onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or any other overproof dish or pan. Roast for about 10 to 12 minutes until the strawberries are hot but not too overly mushy. You can separate the berries and pour off some of the juices if you want to use it for drizzling, or you can just keep it all together. I kept some of the juice aside to add to some sparkling water for a refreshing drink.
Whipped Coconut Cream
2 cans organic full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 tablespoon maple syrup (use more or less or none at all, or whatever your favorite sweetener is)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Make sure that your cans of coconut milk are well chilled. I recommend leaving item in the fridge overnight. Open the cans of coconut milk carefully, keeping them level. There will be a firm, waxy layer of coconut cream that solidified on top. Carefully scoop this off into a chilled glass bowl. Keep the leftover coconut water, it is great for smoothies.
Using a mixer, whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy, with soft peaks. Mix in your maple syrup and vanilla, if you are using. Place the whipped coconut cream back into the fridge until you are ready to use. This may be more than what you need for all 12 tarts, but that’s ok, it keeps for several days, covered in the fridge.
ASSEMBLING THE TARTS:
Remove the paper liner off of the tart shells. Top each of the tart shells with a spoonful of the roasted balsamic strawberries and a dollop of whipped coconut cream. Serve immediately.