So, yeah, first off they are slightly green naturally if you use limes. You could use lemons, but mine are quite sweet, so I went with limes but there's also no reason you couldn't use a small orange instead and go for slightly orange coloured and flavoured ones. Really the flavoring is up to you. Fancy raspberry and red tarts, why not. Blue or purple and blueberries, you get the idea...
The method is quite easy, but if you only have a good processor, you'll need to soak the cashews overnight (12 hrs minimum) in order to get a smooth cream paste to fill the tarts. If you have a Vitamix, I'd still recommend you soak them unless you work very quickly and prefer a harder filling. I know because I didn't soak my cashew nuts. I know my blender can handle it.
There's no actual cooking involved. If you source raw cashews almonds, walnuts and pistachios, then your tarts will be raw by the raw food definition. If your not able to get whole Medjool dates, you need to match the combined weight of the nuts in the case with that out chord dates.
The original version is a berry and lemon version from Vegan Goddess, by Jessica Prescott.
140g Medjool dates (6 or 7 large ones, stoned weight)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛-¼ tsp sea salt
175g cashew nuts
2 limes (large ones)
50g (2½tbsp) maple syrup
½-1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
Pistachio nuts to garnish
- Soak the cashew nuts overnight (minimum 12hrs), drain well.
- Line a muffin/cupcake tray with foil or clinging or even cupcake/fairy cake papers. You could also use small ramekins or similar.
- Remove the stones from the dates, & roughly chop. Put the nuts and dates into a food processor and process until it is a lot quieter and everything is blended. Add the ground cinnamon and sea salt and briefly blend again. Divide the mixture into 6 by weight (roughly 48g per case) and press into shade with fingers and a spoon for the sides. Try to be reasonably neat and keep the depth consistent... easier said than done... set aside e.g. freezer so the sides to the cases stay put whilst you fill them!
- Zest the limes, then peel them and remove the fruit pulp from the membrane. I treated mine like a grapefruit segmenting them. You can just juice then if you want, but you'll waste some of the flavour and juice in the process. Set aside 6 strands of lime zest for decoration.
- Add the cashews to a blender (or your food processor), along with the lime zest, lime flesh (or juices), maple syrup, vanilla extract and blend until totally smooth. You'll need to stop, scrap down the sides and blend again a few times.
- Remove the cases from the freezer but leave in situ, and fill each cup to the rim. They'll just be enough filling to fill to the level on each with a tiny bit over... decorate with pistachios and a lime zest strand each and return to the fridge (or freezer out you want them know quickly) to firm up.
There are all sorts of flavours and toppings that can be done from chocolate (add cocoa to the case) to berry, to herbs. The only real lookout is your imagination. You want to aim for small quantities of strong flavours though, because the more liquid you add to the cashews when you blend them, the softer the filling and if it is too soft, you'll run into problems with bases getting soggy etc.