Dairy, sugar and gluten-free berry tartlets

tartlets

tartlets

Although I make all my desserts with healthier sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dates and coconut sugar, I do like the challenge of making a treat with just brown rice and yakon syrups.

Yakon syrup is a low glycemic sweetener (GI is the rate at which food raises blood sugar) made from a sweet tasting South American root vegetable. Yakon has half the calories of sugar and looks dark like molasses but tastes light and sweet. It contains inulin, which promotes healthy probiotics. Yakon also contains iron, calcium and 20 amino acids. And, several studies that have shown that yakon syrup helps improve digestion and weight loss rate. Since it’s classified as a super food, I feel good using it in desserts and sweet treats.

Traditionally made brown rice syrup comes from fermenting cooked brown rice with koji a naturally occurring yeast found in miso, sake and mirin. Since brown rice syrup is half maltose, it enters the blood stream slowly preventing the extreme spikes and lows that are caused by most other sweeteners.

I don’t usually throw the “sugar free” word around, but these tartlets are minimally sweetened using both these syrups and perfect for anyone who is either cutting down on sugar or cutting it out and could do with a dessert that won’t throw them off track. They are also really delicious and perfect if you need an elegant and impressive end to a meal that everyone will love.

I found black currants at the green market, which along with the white and red currants add a refreshing tangy flavor to the filling. Over-flowing with seasonal berries that are sweet, tart and fragrant, these tartlets are the ideal summer dessert.

Berry tartlets (vegan, gluten free and sugar free) with cinnamon coconut cream

Use any combination of seasonal berries here and slice any large strawberries.

Although I would say these are best the day they’re made, I found that they lasted quite well in the fridge.

These tartlets are perfectly delicious without the cream, but it does add a nice rich touch to the dessert. If you plan to make it, place the can of coconut milk in the fridge for 24 hours before making it (don’t shake it before refrigerating)

You can make these without any brown rice syrup and use all yakon syrup.

Makes 4 4-inch tartlets (plus a smaller one!)

Crust

½ cup rolled oats

½ cup raw walnuts

½ cup almond meal

½ cup dried unsweetened flaked coconut

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup brown rice flour

¼ cup oat flour

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, plus more to oil pans

2 tablespoons yakon syrup

2 tablespoons brown rice syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Filling:

1 cup apple juice

1 teaspoon agar flakes

1 teaspoon arrowroot dissolved in 1 teaspoon water

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ½ cups mixed berries, I used halved baby strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and black, red and white currants.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thoroughly oil tartlet pans, place on a sheet pan and set aside.

Add rolled oats, walnuts and almond meal to a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Transfer to a bowl. Add coconut flakes to the food processor, grind until fine and add to bowl with the walnut mixture. Add salt, brown rice flour and oat flour and stir to combine. In another bowl combine coconut oil, yakon and brown rice syrup, and vanilla and stir until emulsified. Pour into dry mixture and mix until evenly combined. With clean hands press crust into prepared tartlets, prick the bottom with a fork several times and bakes for 15 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Once cool, and if you are making the cinnamon coconut cream, spread a little over the bottom of each tartlet shell before filling with berries.

Make the filling:

Place apple juice and agar flakes in a small pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Whisk, cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until agar flakes have completely dissolved. Stir arrowroot mixture and whisk into simmering liquid. Once it has returned to a boil, stir in vanilla, remove from heat and set aside.

Toss berries in a medium bowl and pour over warm agar mixture, use a rubber spatula to combine and divide between tartlets. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Cinnamon coconut cream

Makes about 1 cup cream

 

1 13.5 fl. oz can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours

½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Large pinch cinnamon, plus more to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons yakon syrup

Open can of coconut milk and carefully spoon out the firm cream off the top of the milk and place it in a bowl. (Save the remaining milky part to add to smoothies or ice-cream ). Add vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract, cinnamon and yakon syrup, and whisk thoroughly to combine. Serve immediately or place in the fridge. I find it’s thicker when its first whipped.