ra-raw raspberry rhubarb tart
I imagined this tart in the early days of summer, when the scorching heat was just beginning to creep in, yet the rhubarb of late spring was still in beautiful, rosy abundance, and seemed to multiply in my refrigerator every time I went to open it. The first time I winged it without writing down the recipe, the second time was just not quite right, and the third time was positively charming. By then my freezer was full of tested and re-rested leftover tart pieces, wrapped haphazardly in parchment and foil, and I learned a very valuable lesson for the remainder of the summer: Haphazard leftover pieces of pie stored in your freezer ready to be eaten at a moment's notice are essential to living your best life.
This tart is, well, deliciously tart, with fresh raspberries and a rhubarb-ginger compote cutting through the richness of an almond crust and thick cashew cream. It is full of healthy fats from the nuts and naturally sweetened with dates and honey; dreamy enough to be eaten as a late night snack, yet virtuous enough to be eaten for breakfast. It is essential that this tart be eaten chilled, whether is be eaten straight from the freezer like a slice of deep dish pizza with your bare hands (ahem, yep that happened!), or straight from the fridge for a softer texture.
For the compote:
• 2 cups diced rhubarb
• heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger
• 1/4 cup honey
• 2 tbsp. lime juice, plus zest from 1 lime
• pinch of salt
• 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
For the crust:
• 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
• pinch of salt
• scant 1 cup fresh, soft medjool dates (about 9 large)
For the cashew cream:
• 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in cold water for at least 6 hours (or overnight)
• 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (store-bought or homemade
• 3/4 cup fresh, soft medjool dates (about 6–7 large)
• pinch (or two) of salt
• 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1-2 additional cups fresh raspberries, for topping
• Honey and bee pollen, for drizzling and sprinkling (optional)
Make the compote first. Combine all ingredients except raspberries in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering, stirring regularly, until rhubarb pieces have broken down and compote has thickened consistently, about 20 minutes. It helps to smash the ginger and rhubarb bits with the back of a heavy spoon as you stir. Add in the fresh raspberries, and cook 1-2 minutes more, breaking up the raspberries with your spoon. Remove from heat and refrigerate until fully chilled (this step can be done ahead of time).
Make the crust. Add almonds to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until almonds are the texture of very coarse sand. Add dates and continue to pulse, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor as you go, until the mixture looks dough-like, and holds its shape when pinched together with your fingers. Press mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of an 8" nonstick tart pan with a removable bottom. It helps to use a drinking glass or measuring cup to really pack the dough tightly and create a clean edge. Place crust in freezer while you make the cashew cream filling.
For the cashew cream filling, drain the cashews from their soaking water, and rinse thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve. Add cashews and remaining cream ingredients in the pitcher of a high speed blender (like a Vitamix), and blend on high speed until mixture is smooth and thick. Spread cashew cream into the chilled tart crust, and freeze for 1 hour, or until cashew cream and firmed up slightly.
Gently remove chilled tart from the tart pan (it helps to loosen the edges with a small paring knife), and spoon over as much of the rhubarb compote as you'd like. I ended up with some leftover, which I ate by the spoonful for the rest of the week. Top tart with fresh raspberries, a drizzle of honey, and bee pollen, if you're feeling fancy. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. Allow frozen tart to sit at room temperature 10–15 minutes before serving for ideal texture.