I can’t get enough of the fresh strawberries that are really coming into season now in California. Here is a picture of some that I picked up at my local farm stand this past weekend:
I made a raw strawberry tart last summer, but I used maple syrup in the crust and I kept meaning to make a crust using date paste instead (since dates are a whole food as opposed to a concentrated sweetener).
For the updated version I made this past weekend, I used pecans, oats, raisins, flax meal, currants, vanilla, and date paste all mixed together in the food processor:
I pressed it all into a tart pan and popped it in the fridge to chill and firm up:
Have you ever made date paste? I’ve seen various recipes for making it, but what I did was pit 8 Medjool dates (the big kind) and put them in a small saucepan with about 1/3 cup water. I then brought it to a boil and then simmered the dates and water until it turned into a thick paste. It took about 20 minutes.
The date paste made my crust mixture very sticky, but it also made it sweet and delicious.
The last step in making my tart was to mix together one pint of strawberries with some chia seeds to make a filling to spread over the tart, and then to top it all with the last pint of sliced strawberries:
I found a large glass bowl that fit perfectly over the entire tart while it chilled in the fridge (and did double duty to keep sticky fingers away from it, ha ha):
I was happy that the crust stayed together really well, even after I removed the outside of the pan:
This recipe does make for a very thick crust, but that’s kinda how I like it. Once I sliced the tart, the strawberries were a bit mushy, but the flavor was just incredible:
Here is the recipe:
- For the crust:
- 1½ cups unsalted, raw nuts such as almond, pecans, or walnuts
- 1 cup rolled oats (uncooked)
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- ⅓ cup dried currants
- ½ cup date paste*
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the filling:
- 2 pints fresh strawberries (use in-season, organic varieties for the sweetest flavor)
- 1 teaspoon ground chia seeds
- 1-2 teaspoons coconut sugar, if desired (this depends on how naturally sweet your strawberries are. If they are on the tart side, you might need the sugar. If your strawberries are very sweet, then leave out the sugar).
- Place nuts and oats in a food processor and process on high for about a minute or until a flour-like consistency is reached. Add raisins and process on high for another minute. Add ground flax seeds, dried currants, date paste and vanilla and pulse several times or until ingredients are combined.
- Wash one pint of strawberries and remove the stems. Add them into a medium bowl with the ground chia seeds. Use a fork to mash the mixture together and set aside for at least 10 minutes to thicken. In the meantime, wash the other pint of strawberries and slice them thinly.
- Pour the crust mixture into a tart pan and press evenly, including up the sides. Pour over the strawberry sauce from your bowl over the entire tart and then placed the sliced strawberries on top.
- Let tart chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.
- *To make date paste, place 8 pitted Medjool dates in a small saucepan with just enough water to cover (about ⅓ cup). Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the dates have reduced to a thick paste.
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