This recipe is inspired by Evelyn, our vivacious 16-month-old. She loves raspberries. I mean, this little girl can power-down an entire pint of berries if I let her. For Evelyn, raspberries are only second to avocados. And even then, it is a close match.
We are lucky enough to live in an area that grows seasonal, organic, real raspberries. Not those overly-perfect, yet totally tasteless kind. Ours are the real deal. If you can track down locally grown raspberries, it is well worth the effort.
The slight tanginess of the berries are paired with the sunny sweetness of apricots. And grounded with the richness of almonds. If you have not had a truly raw, unpasteurized almond lately, you are in for a treat. Tread carefully here. Many so-called 'raw' almonds have actually been flash pasteurized due to regulations in some states. Look specifically for unpasteurized on the label. There is no comparison in quality or taste. Think fresh marzipan with authentic almond character.
By using agave nectar exclusively in this recipe instead of maple syrup or honey, raw-foodists and vegans alike can enjoy these tartlets without remorse. Also remember that honey is not advised for children under the age of two. Evelyn's tartlets were served straight up without the honey drizzle. She seemed to delight in the flavors all the same. For the rest of us, no adaptation is necessary.
These are a fun, lightning quick snack suitable for all ages. Not to mention vibrantly healthful and delicious. So go to it and enjoy.
Yield: 4 Petite Tartlets
1 cup almonds, raw and unpasteurized
2 tablespoons coconut butter
¼ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
1 teaspoon alcohol-free pure vanilla extract or raw, ground vanilla powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 pinch Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
4 fresh apricots
1 cup fresh raspberries
wild-flower honey for garnish (optional)
zest of one Meyer lemon
In a food processor or high-powered blender, process almonds until the consistency of fine meal. Add coconut butter, maple syrup or agave nectar, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt. Pulse, occasionally scraping down the sides of food processor/blender, until well combined. Divide dough between four, parchment lined mini-tartlet pans. Using fingertips, press dough soundly into pans. Place in freezer until firm, about 10 minutes. While the tart shells set, slice apricots into thin wedges, about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly toss with lemon juice and nutmeg. Set aside. When ready to serve, remove tart shells from pan and fill with two layers of sliced apricots. Top with whole raspberries and drizzle with honey or agave nectar. Sprinkle each tart with lemon zest. Enjoy immediately with abandon.
"Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy.
And cooking done with care is an act of love."
As always, it is best to use local, organically grown ingredients whenever possible. As we invest in our community and world by making beneficial choices, we preserve health and the environment while fostering prosperous local economies.