Pear & Kiwifruit Tart Serves 8
Don't be fooled! This elegant pear tart looks difficult to make, but it's so easy! It's best prepared a couple of hours before dinner to allow the creamy tofu filling to firm up. Although we chose pears and kiwifruit to top our tart, you could also use strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
10 natural graham crackers (or enough to make 1 1/3 cups crumbs)
2 tablespoons canola oil or melted butter
1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup or granulated cane juice
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon natural vanilla or maple extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup organic apple juice, plus 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon agar flakes
1 10.5-ounce package silken tofu, firm style
4 tablespoons granulated cane juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/1/6 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 large ripe pears
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan, pie pan or tart pan.
2. To make crust: Finely grind crackers in a blender or food processor, or place crackers in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Combine remaining crust ingredients in a mixing bowl; stir well. Add cracker crumbs and stir until all crumbs are moistened. Press mixture evenly into bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Allow to cool before filling.
3. To make pie filling: Measure 1/2 cup apple juice into a small saucepan. Sprinkle agar flakes onto surface of liquid. Without stirring, bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Transfer 2 tablespoons of juice/agar mixture to a small bowl. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of apple juice and reserve for glazing finished tart.
4. Combine tofu, granulated cane juice, vanilla extract, cardamom and almond butter in a food processor or blender. Puree until very smooth while adding agar/juice mixture. Scrape down sides of processor container and puree again until smooth.
5. Pour tofu mixture into prebaked crust and spread evenly to fill crust. Refrigerate tart while you prepare fruit topping.
6. Cut pears in half from top to bottom through the core. Use a small spoon to scrape out the core and seeds from each half, removing as little fruit as possible. Place each cored pear half cut side down on a cutting board and cut into 1/4-inch- thick slices, keeping half intact. Lightly press each sliced half to fan slices in an attractive pattern. Sprinkle exposed surfaces with lemon juice to prevent browning. Peel and cut kiwifruit into 1/4-inch-round slices. Arrange fanned pear halves on tart in a circle around outer edges of tart, leaving space in the center for kiwifruit. Arrange kiwi slices attractively in the center of the tart. Press fruit lightly into the tofu mixture. Use a brush to glaze exposed fruit with reserved agar/juice mixture. Toast coconut in a 325°F oven, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle browned coconut over fruit. Refrigerate completed tart. Serve within 8 hours.