Monday, July 2, 2012

Raw Berry Tart with a Coconut Pastry Cream (vegan, gluten-free)

I have something for you, just in time for 4th of July celebrations.....and no cooking required! I used to think that making tarts was a complicated process, but it is really quite simple. You will need a 9 or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, which can be found on or your local kitchen store. For this recipe I use my standard nut-date crust which is pressed into the pan. Then the filling is added and topped with whatever berries or fresh fruit you have on hand. Raw tarts come together so quickly!

For the pastry cream, I use coconut butter, which is made from both the oil and the meat. We like the brand Artisana, but you can use others. Sometimes it is labeled with different names such as coconut mana or coconut cream concentrate, but it is all the same thing.

Raw Berry Tart with a Coconut Pastry Cream

Be sure to keep this tart refrigerated until ready to serve, especially if you are in part of the country that is experiencing a heat wave. You'll need a food processor to make the crust and a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix for the filling. For the crust, I use truly raw organic almonds that have been soaked for 12 to 24 hours and then dehydrated at a low temperature (this step is optional). This makes the nuts far more digestible; the dehydration process makes them shelf stable. For the fruit, try adding sliced peaches, pitted cherries, or sliced kiwi in addition to the berries if desired.

2 cups raw almonds or pecans (or a combination of both)
1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 10)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
pinch sea salt

Pastry Cream:
1 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 to 4 tablespoons coconut nectar or honey
3/4 cup softened coconut butter
1 to 2 teaspoons organic non-alcoholic vanilla
1/2 to 1 teaspoon organic almond flavoring

strawberries, halved

To make the crust, place the nuts into a food processor fitted with the "s" blade; process until finely ground. Then add the dates, coconut oil, and sea salt. Process again until the dates are ground and evenly incorporated into the nuts. It should stick together, if not, add another tablespoon of coconut oil. If you use all pecans or walnuts in this recipe you probably won't need any coconut oil. Pour the crust mixture into a 9 or 10-inch lightly oiled tart pan and evenly press into the bottom and up the sides.

To make the filling, place the cashews, water, orange juice, coconut nectar into a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth and ultra creamy, stopping and starting the blender if necessary. Your coconut butter should be soft enough to add if you are living in a hot climate; if not, place the amount called for into a small pan and warm on the lowest heat. Add the softened coconut butter to the blender along with the vanilla and almond flavoring. Blend until smooth. Pour into the crust and spread evenly.

Arrange berries over filling into your own unique design. Chill, uncovered, until ready to serve. When ready to serve, push the bottom of the pan up through the rim and place onto a platter to serve. Source:

More Summer Dessert Recipes:
Watermelon Sorbet
Layered Blueberry Pudding Treats
Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. That pastry cream sounds delightful. I have made lots of pies with raw cashews, but the addition of coconut butter and orange juice sounds really nice.

  2. What a stunning pie. I just love it when you post raw recipes.
    Peace and RaW Health,

  3. Totally stunning! Perfect for the 4th or any summer gathering. :-)


  4. This looks sooo delicious! I am going to make it for our company visiting from Tennessee! I take it that I can buy the coconut cream at the Food Co-Op?
    Thanks for a great, holiday-ready dessert recipe, Ali!

  5. This looks great! Any suggestions for replacing the coconut for my coconut allergic daughter? Cashew butter? Thank you for all you do, your work and recipes. I would be lost without them!

  6. Hi. After being on the elimination diet and going gluten free, I have enjoyed following all your posts and recipes. My difficulty is that I am highly allergic to peanuts and tree nuts as well. I would love to try some of your ideas, but there are so many that involve nuts. Are there any nut free substitutions that could work for example for your crusts? Thanks, Carol

  7. My daughter just finished making this wonderful dessert. Your timing is perfect, as she's exploring the world of raw foods this week. She even picked fresh strawberries for the top. Gorgeous!

    We also wanted to pre-buy your new book, but live in B'ham and would rather not pay for shipping. Options?

  8. Thank you, this is so perfect for the 4th. My sister-in-law traditionally brings her berry cream tart for our BBQ and its wonderful but we have 4 GF ,DF, and egg free people including my 4 year old autistic grandson. I usually make another dessert and make 2 versions for the variety sensitivities ( 1 chocolate allergy, imagine!) this year I'm making your beautiful tart and it will go along side the other and become a new tradition. We are very happy about this
    Thanks again

  9. I don't have one of the high-powered blenders. Is there an option for the rest of us? I really want to make this. I am assuming the food processor wont do the trick since you didn't use it?

  10. Made this today and it is SO good! Love the almond extract in the cream. I will definitely be making this one again.

  11. Made this today and it is SO good. I love the almond extract in the cream. I will definitely be making this again.

  12. Lindsey P - I am not sure how to replace the coconut in this recipe....cashew butter may work? You'd have to play around with it.

    Kelly - if you don't own a high-powered blender you can soak the cashews in water for at least 3 hours and then drain and blend in a regular blender. It may not get as creamy, but it is an option! :)

    Thanks for the comments! :)

  13. Just made this - delicious! I was out of dates, so used a combination of dried figs and apricots in the crust, plus a little honey and water to help it stick. Worked great! My Vitamix didn't want to blend the filling at the highest speed - got air pockets, etc., and I didn't want to add more liquid, so I gave up before it was totally smooth - not very noticeable in the final product. Fantastic dessert!

  14. I have made this twice now, and it has been well received. Thank you for such a satisfying recipe to replace things like cheesecake or a traditional tart.

  15. I made this tonight for the family and everyone loved it! I substituted macadamia nuts for the cashews because I was fresh out and put in a whole mango instead of the orange juice because I didn't have any on hand. I also added lemon juice and lemon zest to give a little tang to the cream. I think I will bring it to Easter!

  16. This was truly delicious and was a hit at my Easter table for both the GF and "regular" eaters! I made it the day before and added the berries a few hours before serving. It's also visually appealing.

  17. Wow - so Good! I used lemon juice instead of the orange, and 1/2 walnuts for the crust - the flavors are amazing. Can't wait to share this with my friends tonight! Thanks so much for this amazing recipe.


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)