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Almond Pear Tartlets with Cinnamon-Caramel Cream

October 2, 2012

I like to herald the arrival of October – one of my favorite months of the year – by dusting off my hoodie collection, daydreaming about Halloween festivities, listening to copious amounts of Type O Negative, and baking fall-type stuff. This year, though, with balmy weather still upon us here in the Midwest (and after a summer of recipe-testing and second-cookbook-writing), I’m leaving the oven off and sticking with my beloved raw treats for now. They’re just too good!

This recipe combines autumn fruit and warming spices with nuts and a creamy caramel sauce. Sweetened solely with dates, it’s low in fat and free of grains and added sugars. Β I think you’ll agree it’s the perfect way to say hello to the fourth quarter of 2012.

Almond Pear Tartlets with Cinnamon-Caramel Cream

raw, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, low-fat, no added sugars

For the crusts:
3/4 cup almond flour (or ground almonds)
1/2 cup pitted dates
Big pinch of sea salt

For the filling:
2/3 cup almond milk (or any other nondairy milk)
1/3 cup pitted dates
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
2 large, ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

To make the crusts, combine the almond flour, dates, and salt in a food processor and pulse until well-combined. (If the mixture doesn’t quite come together, add 1/2 tablespoon of water and process again.) Divide the mixture between three 4-inch mini tart pans, pressing it firmly and evenly onto the bottoms and sides of each pan. Place the crusts in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

To make the filling, combine the milk, dates, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. With the machine running on low speed, stream in the coconut oil; blend again until smooth.

Place the thinly sliced pears in a medium bowl, add the caramel sauce from the blender, and toss/stir to coat. Remove the crusts from the fridge and divide the pear-caramel mixture among them, heaping the pears into each crust until almost overflowing. (If there is any remaining caramel sauce, enjoy it with a spoon or save it for another use.) Place the filled tartlets in the fridge and let chill for 2 to 4 hours, or until the filling is set.

Yield: 6 servings (3 tartlets)
Per serving (1/2 tartlet): 252 calories, 9.8g fat (2g sat), 42.5g carbs, 6g fiber, 4.2g protein

Oil-Free Almond Pear Tartlets: Replace the coconut oil with coconut butter or cashew butter.
Almond Apple Tartlets: Replace the pears with apples.

Chef’s Tip: You can double this recipe to make one large (9- to 10-inch) tart.

Happy October, everyone!

57 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2012 9:37 am

    these are gorgeous, amber! i love the photos. i also love how “clean” the recipe is. it’s too good not to try! plus almonds and pears make a perfect combo.

  2. October 2, 2012 9:40 am

    MUST. TRY. THESE!! thank you for sharing this with us! :]

  3. October 2, 2012 9:55 am

    Just sent this over to my roommmate. All over it! YUM!

  4. October 2, 2012 10:04 am

    Now those…are positively stunning. I want to slurp those babies right up!

  5. October 2, 2012 10:15 am

    These look so delicious!

  6. October 2, 2012 10:30 am

    Hi Amber,

    These are the cutest! And they look so rich, creamy and delicious. I love how well they hold together. I’ve pinned these to make soon. I think these would be just perfect for a Thanksgiving dessert – light and refreshing after that big meal. We are really into pears right now (Asian pears are our favorite).

    I hear ya with the warm weather. Sounds like many of us are patiently waiting for the cool weather. Happy fall to you lovely lady. This is also my favorite time of year. Halloween is my favorite Holiday – and not for the candy part of it…but for the dressing up. I’ve never missed a Halloween and dress up every year and probably will forever. It’s just too fun.


    • October 2, 2012 7:38 pm

      Thanks so much, Amber dear! They’re so creamy that they seem almost ready to fall apart when you cut into them, but they don’t – perfect texture!
      I am the same with Halloween! It’s probably no coincidence, as I’m an erstwhile goth girl… πŸ˜› Best holiday ever!

  7. October 2, 2012 12:00 pm

    YUM! need to make these

  8. October 2, 2012 12:59 pm

    These look amazing. I’m so jealous of your Fall weather in Kansas! It’s 100-degrees in LA today… ugh.

  9. October 2, 2012 2:43 pm

    Looks amazing! Mmm!

  10. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe permalink
    October 2, 2012 3:07 pm

    So pretty! October is definitely my favorite month, very excited about fall.

  11. October 2, 2012 5:15 pm

    Happy October to you!
    I hope things are calming down for you now, as they seem to possibly be beginning to (a girl can hope!) for me.
    This sounds so comforting and delicious, simple yet sophisticated–thanks for sharing!
    If your gorgeous Australian friend is still around, ask her if she loves hummus and marmite together, or if that’s only applicable to someone whose genes are half middle eastern, half british!

    • October 2, 2012 7:42 pm

      In many ways, things have calmed down…in other ways, not yet! I am happy things are beginning to settle for you, too.
      Hannah left last Friday, I am sad to say 😦 but I will still ask her anyway! I know she’s not big on hummus, and hates Marmite – it’s Vegemite that she/Australians eat/like – but perhaps hummus/Vegemite is a combo she’d enjoy.

  12. cheezyk permalink
    October 2, 2012 6:29 pm

    Yuuuuum! We’re heading into the warmer months down here so anything that doesn’t require the oven is a good thing πŸ™‚

  13. nik permalink
    October 2, 2012 9:49 pm

    ohgoodfreakingolly! You are a screaming genius in the kitchen…other than that I am speechless with this yumful creation. πŸ™‚

  14. October 3, 2012 12:19 pm

    This recipe sounds absolutely incredible! Love the combination of pear and almond, and they seem easy to make too.

  15. Laura S permalink
    October 3, 2012 9:34 pm

    Your photos = AH-mazing! Made my mouth water. And it’s no-bake, ready in 20 minutes? I don’t see how this recipe could go wrong. Excited to try it…thank you!

  16. October 3, 2012 9:44 pm

    Oh my goodness…these sound SO delicious. I love traditional pies and ALWAYS indulge in a few too many this time of the year, so a raw, nut-based crust is appreciated. πŸ™‚ Question. Does the fruit actually soften if you leave these overnight? I like raw fruits, but typically only in their whole fruit form. I’m not ‘crazy’ about raw desserts where they look like a pie but then the fruit is still crunchy. I know, I know. Weird. I just really love/crave that baked fruit taste/texture this time of the year. πŸ™‚ Pinned!

    • October 3, 2012 10:10 pm

      Great question! YES, as a matter of fact the pears soften so much overnight that they almost seem to *melt*. Sounds weird, but it’s the only way I can think of to describe it. The fruit becomes more tender and the filling becomes creamier the longer it sits. The crust also loses its slight crunch and becomes moister during that time, but it still tastes awesome. πŸ™‚

  17. October 4, 2012 9:40 pm

    Ohh, I have to try one of these! Lucky for us we’ve got loads of pears just waiting to be used!

  18. October 5, 2012 1:26 pm

    These look amazing!

  19. October 5, 2012 1:53 pm

    Amber, these look so so good! Perfect for any fall party!

  20. October 5, 2012 4:47 pm

    i like mini things, the spice and pear! have to make me some!

  21. October 5, 2012 5:04 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! You are the queen of the raw tartlets! I made your Raspberry Lemon Mousse Tartlets today, but with a Halloweegan twist! They were amazing, and even Mr. Wing-It who isn’t into raw desserts raved about it – you rock!!

  22. October 6, 2012 1:51 am

    Wow Amber these look to die for! I just HAVE to try them! Thanks for the music recommendation too! Can never have too much good music!

    • October 6, 2012 8:30 am

      Re: Type O…Bloody Kisses, October Rust, and World Coming Down are all must-have albums! πŸ˜›

      • Emily permalink
        October 20, 2012 1:13 am

        Type O is my favorite … I’ve seen them live at least 3 times (mostly Halloween shows hehe). I love your creations & I swear I never bookmarked anyone so fast as I did you when I saw you mentioned Type O!

        • October 20, 2012 4:41 pm

          Emily, that is awesome! I saw Type O four times, I believe, before Pete died. I actually met him 3 years to the day before his death. I have a photo of him doing someone inappropriate to me…one of my favorite music-related treasures. πŸ˜›

          • Emily permalink
            October 20, 2012 9:38 pm

            Haha! I feel lucky enough to have gotten close enough to Pete when he was performing, but to have met him! I definitely miss the guy. Although now I wanna see that photo, lol!

  23. October 6, 2012 12:04 pm

    These look so light and tasty. Hey, are you going to the Texas State Veggie Fair this year? And I’ve finally started trying out recipes from your book. I got a late start with the new baby. πŸ™‚

    • October 6, 2012 12:05 pm

      I won’t be at the Fair this year 😦 I was hoping they’d invite me back – there seemed to be demand for it – but I guess not enough. Maybe in 2013! Request me πŸ˜‰

      • October 6, 2012 12:18 pm

        Aw, phooey! I was thinking about going. Maybe it was an oversight on their part? I’m going to demand answers when I get there!!! Just kidding, but I will happily throw in your name for next year. πŸ™‚

  24. October 6, 2012 9:36 pm

    how cute!!! they look delicious!

  25. October 7, 2012 10:17 am

    It looks good, thick, and rich!

  26. coconutandberries permalink
    November 21, 2012 3:00 pm

    Tried out your recipe today and it was great, thank you πŸ™‚ As it’s just me I only made a 3rd of the recipe and put it into 2 little ramekins, one for today and one for tomorrow! I’ll definitely be making it again, maybe I’ll try the cashew butter variation next time…

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