April 15th, 2013
Today we are so happy to welcome a guest poster, Laura, a beautiful lady behind The First Mess. In case you are not familiar with her blog, head over and prepare to be amazed. You will be drawn into the world of vibrant colours, fresh and seasonal food, unique and simple recipes and engaging writing. The First Mess makes me smile with every new post, and I often run straight to the kitchen to make another one of Laura’s delicious dishes. Here is Laura:
Hello all! I’m so pleased to be sharing something with you in this beautiful space today. I’ve long admired Golubka, for the healthy approach and the gorgeous imagery that sings stories of life well-lived. I have a special affinity for anyone capable of elevating natural foods so vibrantly. I strive for that same feeling in my own space.
Spring time brings a special vibrant energy all its own in my home. Lemon desserts are one of my favourite ways to usher in the warmth that soon comes. Rhubarb and strawberries and everything good will be along soon, but lemon’s brightness is always within reach it seems. I’m sincerely grateful for that.
While I’ve always been mad for lemon desserts, I’ve found them somewhat difficult to recreate without eggs, dairy or soy. I sometimes tire of cashews for creaminess when I’m making a treat, so I tried something a bit riskier. I reached for the giant bag of pine nuts in the freezer, my go-to for salad topping and pesto mixing. The buttery and outright pine-y qualities were perfect for a lemon filling. I might even say that it was the finest lemon dessert I’ve ever had. Bold, I know.
The little pansy blossoms are an optional garnish, but they are perfectly edible and bring some colour to the plate. Do ensure that yours haven’t been exposed to pesticide before adorning any treats.
Notes: Use the finest almond flour you can find. Honeyville is a great brand to seek out if you live in the United States. Also, some full disclosure: I wasn’t careful enough with one of the shells when I was flipping it out of the pan and it crumbled into a heap! Handle them with care.
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup oat flour (or use all almond flour) + extra for pans
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted coconut oil + extra for greasing the tart pans
splash of water
1 1/4 cups raw pine nuts, soaked for at least 4 hours
1/3 cup almond milk (or water)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup raw agave nectar (+more if you prefer it a bit sweeter)
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 5 tartlet pans with coconut oil and sprinkle them with a bit of oat flour. Place them on a baking sheet and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all of the crust ingredients except for the water. Stir them together with a spatula until you have a wet sand-like mixture that holds together when you pinch it. Add the splash of water if necessary.
Divide the crust mixture between the tartlet pans and press the mixture into them evenly with your fingers. Bake the shells for 15 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow them to cool completely, then place them in the fridge for at least an hour. To remove the shells, gently invert them upside down and tap the bottom of the pan with a spoon.
Make the filling: combine all of the filling ingredients except the coconut oil in a blender or food processor. Blend or pulse the mixture until completely smooth. Add the coconut oil and blend/pulse until incorporated. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl and stir in the lemon zest. Cover the bowl with saran wrap, pressing it onto the top of the lemon filling to avoid a skin forming. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours to firm up.
To serve: divide the lemon filling amongst the tart shells. Garnish with edible flowers (like pansies, lavender or nasturtiums), berries, mint sprigs, strips of lemon zest or anything else you like.