Monday, December 27, 2010

Mini Lemon Tarts

I found another recipe I wanted to try courtesy of my Epicurious iPhone app. This one is vegan, gluten-free, and raw. I usually really like raw desserts, so when I saw Lemon Pudding Filled Coconut Cupcakes with Shaved Coconut Topping I was practically drooling just reading over it.
I made mine in a mini-muffin tin and didn't have enough coconut left to top them, so they are more like tarts than cupcakes, but they're still super yummy. I also didn't have any agave nectar on hand, so I used maple syrup instead. Apologies for not having any pictures of the beginning steps for this recipe, as I only took photos of the assembly, but these are really easy to make in a food processor.

Lemon Pudding filling

1/3 cup cashews
1 1/2 bananas
1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons agave nectar (I subbed pure maple syrup)

Grind cashews into a powder in food processor. Add the bananas, lemon juice, and maple syrup and process until smooth. Let chill in the refrigerator.

Cupcakes/tart shells

2 1/2 cups dry pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup firmly packed pitted dates
3 tablespoons alcohol-free vanilla extract 

One thing about raw recipes, don't ignore the "alcohol-free" detail when it comes to using vanilla extract. Trust me on this one. As it happened, I didn't have any alcohol-free vanilla extract, so I used 2 tsp of my pure vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons plus a teaspoon of water.

Combine the pecans, coconut, and salt in the food processor and process into evenly sized small pieces, taking care not to overprocess into a butter. Scoop the mixture into another bowl. Combine the dates and vanilla in the food processor and process into small pieces. Return the pecan mixture to the food processor and pulse to mix. It should have a crumbly but sticky texture.
I put mine in the refrigerator overnight, and then it was nice and cold when I was ready to use it. The recipe says to use a cupcake pan, but I wasn't sure how rich these would be so I decided to use a mini-muffin tin to make them more bite-sized. I don't think removal would be an issue either way, but I lined mine with some festive mini-muffin baking cups.
I used my measuring spoon to put a teaspoon of the cupcake/tart shell mixture in each, then used the back of it to press it into the cavity.
I then added another teaspoon to the top and used the flat top of my spurtleto press the mixture deeper into the bottom of the cup and up the sides. I had to use my fingers to tidy the tops and make sure the sides were evenly distributed.
I used a clear plastic disposable piping bagto add the lemon filling. 
Then the mini tarts got to sit in the fridge for a few hours to chill and firm up. 
I think the filling was supposed to set up more than it did. For some reason, my filling stayed pretty runny even after it chilled in the refrigerator overnight, so I maybe added too much lemon juice or something, but I'll figure that out on the next round.
The recipe was supposed to only make 6 standard-size muffins, but I got nearly 18 mini tarts. You're also supposed to top them with more coconut, but I didn't do that. Apparently the filling keeps for a few days in the refrigerator when stored separately, and the cupcakes/tart mixture will keep for several weeks. Keep the assembled tarts in the fridge and use within a few days. If they last that long. Making these bite-sized seemed like a good idea at the time for portion control, but I find myself snacking on them.

1 comment:

kristen said...

this looks delish!! I love lemon desserts.