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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pear Tart for One

Every day, I count how many grams of protein I’ve eaten. Sometimes it’s hard to get up to my “normal” range (39-45 grams a day), so I have to supplement my meals with a protein-heavy dessert like this one. <sigh> Poor me. It’s such a chore to get enough protein sometimes.

For the Crust:
2 teaspoons vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 ½ TBLSP almond meal (garbanzo or coconut flour would also work, as would all-purpose)
2 teaspoons brown rice flour
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
For the Filling:
2 ½ TBLSP almond butter (you could certainly use peanut butter, too)
4 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons maple syrup
Slosh of vanilla extract
For the Pear Topping:
1/3 (or so) of a medium-sized pear
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of sliced almonds for garnish (you don’t have to match the butter—if you’re using peanut butter in the filling, you could still use almonds on top, or mix and match. Whatever makes you happy.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the Crust:
  1. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave (30 seconds should do it). Then add in and combine the sugar, almond meal, and brown rice flour. Mix in the brown rice syrup. Stir it enough that all the dry ingredients are a bit moist.
  2. Press this mixture into the bottom of a single-serving tart dish (mine is about 5-inches across) or freestyle it in the center of a parchment lined baking sheet. If using a tart dish, bring the crust up the sides a bit. If freestyling, make a little lip to catch the cream filling.
  3. Set the crust aside.

Make the Filling:
  1. Put the almond butter, water, maple syrup, and vanilla in a small bowl and give it a vigorous stirring until it’s well combined and not watery or lumpy with almond butter. 
  2. Spoon the cream into the crust and smooth the top.
  3. Set the crust and its friend the cream aside.

Make the Pear Topping:
  1. Core and slice the pear by cutting it in half lengthwise and then cutting the half in to 1/8-inch slices. (Don’t peel them. The peels add nutrition and flavor, but they also make it pretty.) You’ll probably need more than a quarter of the pear and less than half. It all depends on how crowded you make the top. Don’t worry. You can always eat any extra slices.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the pear slices with the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Place the pears on top of the cashew cream in the crust. I like to make a circular pattern, but you could go wild. Why not?
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pears are soft when you poke them with a fork.
  5. Sprinkle the finished tart with sliced almonds as it rests comfortably on a rack to cool. It doesn’t have to be cold before you slice it, but it tastes best cooled to room temperature.

  • Try it with almond milk (or other non-dairy offering) instead of water in the cream. You'll get a more creamy cream that way. Yogurt would also be nice. 
  • Mix in some raisins or other kind of dried fruit, like apricots or chopped dates. You could put them in the cream or sprinkle them on top of the cream as a layer, or mix them in with the pear pieces in the cinnamon and sugar. 
  • You could certainly use apples instead of pears.

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