Raw Pomegranate Tarts with a Spiced Pistachio Crust

After my first experience of past life regression many things became clear. What I found most significant was an explanation as to why I’m so drawn to Persian or Iranian flavour combinations. This raw, vegan dessert is reminiscent of a past life in Persia.

Middle Eastern cuisine to me is a haven of colour, flavour, texture and absolute balance. By attuning your taste buds to appreciate and savour the balance of sweet and sour, you will be enlivened by a whole new way to approach your cooking, desserts especially!

Base:
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom, about 4 pods
1 cup pistachios
1/2 cup almonds
6 medijool dates or 1 cup dried dates
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Pinch of salt

Filling:
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 cup cashews, soaked
1/4 cup beetroot juice, freshly juiced
1 teaspoon coconut nectar, or to taste
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Squeeze of lemon
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon lecithin powder

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To un-raw this raw dessert, you can also use salted and roasted pistachios. This gives another dimension of flavour and texture

To un-raw this raw dessert, you can also use salted and roasted pistachios. This gives another dimension of flavour and texture

To make the base, blend all ingredients in a food processor until a coarse dough has formed. If it’s too dry, add another date. Too wet, add some more nuts. Taste to balance sweet and salty.

I’ve found the best way to make raw desserts is to use a silicon muffin tray. This way, when the tarts have set, you can simply pop them out without damaging the fragile edges inattempt to remove them.

Press the mixture evenly into the moulds, just the base for a more finished look, or up the sides as well for more of a rustic edge. Pop into the freezer while you make the filling.

For the filling, blend all ingredients, except the coconut oil and lecithin, in the food processor for about 2 minutes or until the cashews have broken down to create a velvety cream. As previously done with the base, make sure you taste and carefully balance the sour tones of the pomegranate with the sweetness of the beetroot and coconut nectar. It’s magic how the tiniest squeeze of lemon brings together and rounds the flavour of the mix.

Once you’re satisfied with the taste, add the coconut oil and lecithin. These two ingredients help to set and thicken the mix. Spoon the mixture on top of the base, making sure to leave no space around the edges.

Allow to set in the freezer until just solid. Remove from the moulds with care and store in the freezer until ready to serve. When ready to eat, remove from the freezer and leave on the bench for a few minutes to soften slightly.

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