I’ve been dreaming about and creating this dessert in my head for a while. Monday we celebrated America’s Independence Day so I had the perfect reason to make a special dessert. Not that I need a reason of course…but neither one of us like a lot of sweets lingering around the house as they become increasingly difficult to ignore.
I’m very happy with the result. The flavors are exactly what I imagined in my head. Believe me, I’ve dreamed up countless recipes in my head that didn’t translate well into real life, so when I get a perfect outcome the first try, I allow myself a little celebration and mental high fives.
The only bummer was that it fell apart when I plated it. Only because I didn’t make it the day ahead and allow it to set in the fridge over night like I had planned. So when you make it, make it a day ahead and all will be well.
My mother’s friend turned us on to a wonderful organic store just across the border in Idaho called Pilgrim’s. When I was growing up Pilgrim’s focused just on supplements but now it’s turned into a very lovely health food grocery store. All the fruit on the tart came from Pilgrim’s and it was gorgeous. Not one yucky piece or under ripe morsel in the whole bunch. It made me want to move right next door so I could wander around in there every day basking in the glow of what healthy produce should look like. They sell almost everything that Whole Foods sells, just on a smaller scale. They also have a salad bar, hot food bar, and freshly baked GLUTEN FREE (can you believe it?) goods. It’s amazing and I think it’s well worth the 20 minute or so drive seeing that I typically have to go to three grocery stores in our own town to get what I need and it’s rarely very fresh.
For the tart filling if you’re not bothered by cow’s milk dairy, you can use cream cheese instead of the goat cheese, regular heavy cream for the whipped cream instead of coconut milk, and regular vanilla yogurt (plain will be too tart). If you’re vegan or don’t care for goat cheese, you can substitute the goat cheese with Diaya cream style cheese. You could also add pureed fruit to the filling for different flavors. You could make it a chocolate filling by adding cocoa powder to the yogurt and goat cheese mixture and maybe some dairy free chocolate chips to the filling. There are many options to fit different needs. The crust does have gluten free grains, but you could easily make it with a grain free cookie crust as well.
Mixed Berry Tart with Goat Cheese & Coconut Cream
*For everything to come together properly, you’ll need to make the whipped cream ahead of time. The tart will set up more solid and plate better if allowed to chill in the fridge overnight or all day prior to serving.
For the tart shell:
1/4 Cup of Ground Buckwheat Groat Flour (I buy the groats and grind them in my VitaMix)
1/2 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum
1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of Pure Almond Extract
1/3 Cup of Coconut Sugar
1/2 Cup of Dairy Free Butter, cold
Measure the flours, xanthan gum, and sea salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. In a mixer, whip the butter and coconut sugar until fully combined and creamy scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. Add the almond extract and the flour mixture and mix on medium high until combined and the mixture begins pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
Quickly press the dough into a removable bottom tart pan. Refrigerate for at least one hour until solid and chilled. Remove from fridge and poke holes throughout the tart with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until crust is a light golden color. Remove and cool completely. (I cool completely and then chill for 15 minutes in the freezer before adding the filling.)
For the filling:
1 oz. of Goat Cheese (the log is creamier and softer than a brick of goat cheese)
1 1/4 Cups of Coconut Milk Yogurt (you can use store bought, but you may want to cut it down to 3/4 – 1 cup as mine is thicker than store bought)
Sweetened Vanilla Coconut Whipped Cream made with 2 Boxes of 100% Coconut Milk – 2 Cups (Chilled over night and then whipped into coconut cream with vanilla and sugar. I think the whipped cream is more stable when it’s allowed to rest and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You could also make it a day ahead, then just pour off any amount of coconut water separation.)
Zest of 1 Lemon
About 3 Cups of Berries/Fruit For The Top Of The Tart
In a mixer with the whisk attachment, add the goat cheese and yogurt and whip until smooth. Add the lemon zest and whip to combine. Remove the whisk and mixer bowl and gently fold in the whipped coconut cream. Pour into tart shell and smooth with a spatula. Top with desired fruits.