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Cranberry Pear Tart

February 6, 2012

I have been meaning to make this tart again – the same one my sister and I made on a whim Christmas Eve (from My New Roots’ Holiday Reader Recipe Challenge: Megan B.’s Cranberry Pear Tart). I love this dessert. It’s easy to make, beautiful to look at and tastes amazing. Keep in mind also, that it is vegan, sugar-free and filled with nutritious fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds, calling for only moderately refined sweeteners and fats.

The crust is out of this world, so definitely keep the recipe on-hand and use it for any and all tarts that call for a “pressed crust”. You can swap out walnuts, almond or hazelnuts for the pecans. But please, pecans are pretty close to perfection, so I suggest you use them.

The sweet pear and tart cranberries pair perfectly together, but I’m also curious to try other combinations like blackberry-plum or raspberry-peach. The other thing, you may want to consider is arranging the pears on top, because they look so beautiful all laid out, but then get covered up by the cranberries – also lovely in their own right. Regardless of your fruit pairing, the combination of ground chia seeds with brown rice syrup and coconut oil makes for a fabulous “binder” for the fruit.

Cranberry & Pear Tart (slightly altered from the original recipe)

Serves 10 

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup pecans

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla (I used ½ a vanilla bean, scraped, plus ½ tsp. extract)

1 scant tsp. salt

2/3 cup whole grain flour (I used whole-wheat graham)

For the filling:

2 pears, sliced thin

2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried off

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

2 tbsp. ground chia seeds

5 tbsp. water, plus 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. cardamom

zest of 2 organic lemons (reserve zest of one lemon for garnish when tart comes out of the oven)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse to mix. Grease a 9” tart pan with a little coconut oil and press crust evenly along the bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to get the bottom crust really evenly flat and the side of the cup to press the filling into the pans corner curves. Place pear slices in a layer on top of the crust.

3. For the filling, combine the chia with the water & lemon juice and set aside until a gel forms. Mix the cranberries with remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Add the gel and fold to mix. Pour filling on top of crust and pear layer and spread evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow tart to cool completely before removing from tart pan (approx.1 hour, or place in the fridge).

4. Garnish with lemon zest. Slice and serve with an optional dollop of crème fraiche, whip cream or ice cream.

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