15 June 2009

keeping cool with raw dessert

raw fig tart with candied walnuts and lavender ice cream

Before the first wave of heat rolls through North Texas, I've already began to anticipate summer:

• Sunburn
• Mosquito Bites
• Shorts (ugh...I just want to wear leggings and a big shirt every day)
• No more summer vacation (as Bryan pointed out, summer vacation in school just sets you up for loads of disappointment later on in life)

But summer also means a lot of other things, things that make me happy, like:

• Figs (my favorite fruit)
• Farmer's Markets
• Figs!
• Cookouts in backyards
• Figs!!
• Tomatoes (finally more than two varieties)
• Figs!!!

Did I mention figs? They really are my favorite fruit. In my pre-vegan days I loved eating them with a rich yogurt and honey, but now I've found another way to enjoy them (other than just eating them plain). The combination of the creaminess from the cashew cream and the ice cream along with the sweet crunch of candied walnuts and little bursts of lavender compliment the figs so well that I'll never miss yogurt or honey again.

A few notes about this recipe:
  • I had a bit of trouble with the tart shells. It could have been because I just winged it with the ingredients I had available, or maybe I dehydrated the shells too long or at too high a temperature, but they came out quite a bit cracked. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  • Although this recipe only makes 2 tart shells, it makes more than enough ice ceam and candied walnuts for more than two servings. And although this recipe has quite a few components, it's mostly advance prep work, so serving it isn't too difficult.
  • I'm writing the recipe as I made it, but I think the amount of agave in the ice cream could be reduced by 1 or 2 tablespoons and it would still be sufficiently sweet.

Raw Fig Tart with Candied Walnuts and Lavender Ice Cream:
serves 2

Candied Walnuts:
1/2 cup soaked, strained raw walnuts
1 Tablespoon raw agave

Combine the agave and the walnuts and dehydrate on teflex sheets at 115F for 24 hours.

Lavender Brazil Nut Ice Cream:
2 cups raw brazil nuts
3 cups water
1/2 cup raw agave
1 Tablespoon fresh lavender flowers or 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soy lecithin*

Combine brazil nuts and water and blend on high until smooth. Strain this mixture through a nutmilk bag, keeping the liquid for the ice cream base and saving the pulp for the tart shell. Combine the strained liquid with the rest of the ingredients and blend again. Process through an ice cream machine according to directions.

Brazil Nut Tart Shell:
Pulp strained from ice cream mixture
2 1/2 Tablespoons raw agave
1 Tablespoon raw mesquite meal
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
large pinch of salt

Combine all of ingredients and press into 2 4-inch tart shells. Dehydrate at 115 F for about 12 hours.

Cashew Cream:
Make a thick cream with cashews and water. Add a pinch of salt and a bit of lemon zest.

2 black mission figs
1 Tablespoon agave
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Cut figs into 8 slices each. Combine agave and lemon juice and lightly coat figs. Dehydrate figs for just 20-30 minutes, just to help warm them a bit.

Final Assembly:
Remove tart shells from dehydrator and spread a layer of cashew cream over the bottom. Arrange sliced figs neatly on top. Serve with lavender ice cream and top with candied walnuts.

*soy lecithin will help give your ice cream a better texure, but you can definitely omit it or substitute with guar gum, etc.


VeggieGirl said...

I simply cannot LIVE without figs - they are a delicacy.

Gorgeous dessert!!

Pearl said...

i've never had a fresh fig! that looks delicious! i'd probably opt out of the lavender ice cream though - my mother and i despise lavender!

I'm Philippa O said...

this looks absolutely beautiful!

junko said...

This recipe looks so good! I love figs too but have a hard time finding them.

Mandee said...

Gorgeous dessert!

I just found your blog through the Fairest Feed, it's fantastic :)

valerie said...

this looks so delicious! i first discovered figs years ago when i lived on some land in the hill country with my parents. i just stumbled across the tree and started eating the fruit. i've never had a fig as yummy as those. curtis and i bought a fig tree this year. it's super puny, but maybe in a few years i'll enjoy fresh figs from our tree!