Berries are one of the greatest sources of nutrients. One of which is called polyphenols, which make them and the foods they are mixed with a lovely slow energy release. They’re perfect to avoid those unwanted energy highs and then lows after eating refined sugar. These tarts are wonderful for when you are entertaining guests and need an easy dessert.
Canola oil, for greasing
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup pecans
- 2/3 cup plain cashews, soaked (see cooks’ note)
- 1/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- Large handful of blueberries (about 1/4 cup)
- Large handful of raspberries (about 1/4 cup)
- Large handful of blackberries (about 1/4 cup)
- Leaves from 1/2 bunch of fresh mint or basil
Grease four (5-inch) individual, loose-bottomed, fluted or straight-sided tart tins and set aside on a tray.
Place the dates and pecans for the crust in a food processor or mini blender and blitz until they start to clump together. Divide this mixture equally among the tins. Press the mixture onto the base and up the sides of each one, making sure it is of even thickness. Place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes while you get on with the rest of the recipe.
Place the soaked and drained cashews, the dates and vanilla seeds in a food processor or mini blender along with 1/2 cup of cold water. Blend until as smooth as possible to give a creamy mixture.
Once the tart bases have set and are feeling firm, remove them from the fridge and divide the cashew cream among them. Spread it out evenly with the back of the spoon. Top with the berries and then scatter over the mint or basil to serve.
So many people have said to me that when they see a recipe that needs to be started off a little bit in advance, they do not go ahead and make that recipe. So I wanted to give you options here. Ideally, the cashew nuts in the filling would love to be soaked for 4 hours or so in water, but if you are a last-minute Larry—like I can be so often—then just put the cashews into a bowl, pour over some boiling water to cover them and leave them to sit for an hour instead. Once the cashews have been soaked and have begun to soften, then just drain them completely and set aside while you get on with the rest of the recipe.
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