Monday, November 25, 2013

Persimmon Tart with Spiced Pecan Crust {Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free}




We are at the midnight hour for a post about Thanksgiving - almost too late, but not quite. Even though time has slipped away from me, I could not pass up an opportunity to slowdown and really contemplate the true meaning of the day.

Gratitude for all aspects of life helps to cultivate health of the body, mind, and spirit. Living from the grateful space of the heart promotes true abundance and positive outlook. Research has proven time and time again that a positive orientation to life is one of the most effective and important keys to robust health. A very inspiring website on the grace of gratefulness is found here.

Just like Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter and all those other holidays that have been hijacked by commercialism, Thanksgiving is a day I shunned for quite a long time. Over the last few years, however, I have come to appreciate the subtle, hidden qualities of the day. To quietly pay homage to all the wonderful abundance in life. Evelyn, our 3-year-old daughter, who has such a purity of heart and spirit that I am humbled each day by her beauty, inside and out. My family with their quirks and character. And of course, all the friends who have walked side-by-side with me through good times, as well as those of the more challenging sort. When I really stop to appreciate the amazing people who have been, and continue to be,  a part of my life, I realize I am truly blessed.




For this day of thankfulness, a persimmon tart is delightful addition to any gathering. There is something about the lovely orange color that inspires one to smile, to be grateful and a tad bit playful. Fuji persimmons are used along with pecans, maple, and a fair amount of warming, sweet spice. An effortless tart that is a refreshing change from the standard pumpkin pie.

Wishing everyone a beautiful day filled with abundance and good cheer.

A Grateful Persimmon Tart

Yield: 8 servings/wedges

*As always, organic ingredients are best for flavor, nutrition, and health.

2 cups raw pecans
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
11/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 Fuji persimmons, sliced to 1/8 inch rounds with mandolin

For the glaze:

1/4 cup coconut sugar syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground mace

For the topping:

1/8 cup pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Oil an 8-inch non-fluted tart pan and set aside. In a food processor fitted with an S-blade, pulse pecans into a grainy meal. Add maple syrup, salt, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and vanilla. Continue to pulse until dough comes together. Press pecan mixture into the tart pan and prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork. Bake crust for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk together the arrowroot and lemon juice. Add persimmons and gently toss to coat evenly.

When tart crust is ready, arrange persimmons in a spiral, overlapping pattern. Cover with a small sheet of parchment paper and return tart to oven. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until persimmons are slightly soft and the crust is firm. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

For the glaze, combine agave and mace. When tart is completely cool, remove from pan and gently brush the top with agave glaze. Sprinkle with a smattering of pomegranate seeds. Happily savor with those you hold dear.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

                                               -Ralph Waldo Emerson


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