Fresh Fruit Tarts with Lemony Cream are a Summer Treat

Two Fresh Fruit Tarts with Lemony Cream
Tarts for two

Plums and Pluots and Peaches and Nectarines are absurdly, life-changingly good right now, and it’s time to seize the day and enjoy the heck out of them. Little Fresh Fruit Tarts are the perfect way to show off your juicy, plummy harvest.

It’s also Whole Grains Month, a good time to take stock of the whole grains in your life. Are you eating at least three servings a day? Three is easy to do, with a half cup of cooked grain or a slice of whole wheat bread counting as a serving. That’s a sandwich and some cereal, really. 16 grams of whole grain counts as a serving, and that’s a little more than 2 tablespoons of whole grain flour.

One of these delectable tarts has 25 grams of whole grain, but don’t tell anyone. They might think it’s not going to be a flaky, rich pastry that melts in your mouth.

If you want to learn more about whole grains, check out my books, or the Whole Grains Council website, where I serve as a culinary advisor.

Fresh Fruit Tart with Lemony Cream, topped with plums
Plums and Pistachios looking good!

These Fresh Fruit Tarts are also showcasing the appeal of cashew cream. Raw cashews, soaked and pureed, have a creamy, lush texture that’s crave-worthy. Even dairy lovers fall hard for cashew creams like this one, sweetened with powdered sugar and spiked with lemon zest.

Sweet Nectarines top a Fresh Fruit Tart with Lemony Cream
Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

To make these lovely little fresh fruit tarts completely plant-based, I used cold coconut oil for the shortening. It’s an easy trick, and makes a flaky pastry that will wow even the most dedicated butter lover. Just opt for the refined coconut oil, which has a more neutral flavor.

I always made variations of these types of tarts when I catered, so that I could make the crusts ahead of time, prep the filling, and assemble them at the last minute, for a showy finish. If you want to glaze them with jam, just stir a little water into apricot jam and use a pastry brush to dab it on the top of the assembled tarts. I didn’t bother in these photos, because the fruit is just so fine.

Because summer, and these perfect plums, won’t last forever.

Fresh Fruit Tarts with Lemony Cashew Cream

Make the tart shells and cashew cream the day before, and you can have fun with arranging fresh fruit on top of these mouth-watering little tarts.

Course Dessert
Servings 6
Author Robin Asbell

Ingredients

Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 probiotic capsule
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil optional

Crusts

  • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1/2 taspoon apple cider vinegar

Filling

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest plus strips for garnish
  • 6 plums and nectarines
  • fresh mint, chopped pistachios
  • apricot jam, if desired

Instructions

  1. Soak the cashews overnight. When soft, drain and rinse, then place in a strong blender with the water. Blend and scrape down, using the tamper, until very smooth. Blend in the contents of the probiotic capsule and discard the capsule. Transfer to a jar or storage tub and cover with a clean kitchen towel, held in place with a rubber band. Let stand at room temperature until the mixture has a few bubbles in it, about 24 hours. If using coconut oil, put the cashew cream and oilo in the blender and blend to mix really thoroughly. Refrigerate until time to use.

  2. Crusts: Melt the coconut oil, if it is solid, and measure 1/2 cup, then chill until solid. In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt. Grate in the coconut oil and toss the shreds in the flour as you go. Using a fork to toss the mixture, drizzle the ice water in, and stir gently until a dough forms. Use your hands to gather the dough, squeezing to mix and hold it together. If you need a tablespoon or so of ice water to incorporate all the flour, sprinkle it in and form a log. 
  3. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and form into balls. Flatten into disks and put back in the bowl, cover with plastic, and chill for about 30 minutes. Get two baking sheets ready, preferably rimless cookie sheets, but any will work.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Roll out each ball on a floured counter to make a 5-inch round, then dampen the edge of the round and roll the dges, pinching to make a half-inch high rim. Transfer to the baking sheet. When all are formed, prick the bottoms several times and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and dry. Transfer to a rack to cool. If making ahead, store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.

  5. Mix the powdered sugar and lemon zest into the cashew cream. Slice the fruit. Spread about 1/4 cup of cashew cream in each tart shell, then arrange fruit (glaze with apricot jam now, if you want to) and sprinkle mint on top of it. Garnish with lemon zest and pistachios. Refrigerate, covered, and serve within 24 hours.

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