Soaking up all that I can of the fruit picking, orchard hopping season. I love summer for its warming of the water to swim in, the bounty of produce it brings and the easy way of outdoor socialization it encourages, but I am a bit of a cold weather and fall fiend. I love bundling up, blankets, hot drinks, food and fire. I’ll put those cravings on hold though, knowing that we are in the ripest bit of the summer season and everyday should be savored.
Summer is also the perfect time for raw food meals and desserts. They take very little time to prepare and don’t require heating up your house with the oven or being anywhere near a hot stove. Don’t let the name fool you, raw desserts will tally up sugar and fat just as fast as any standard butter, flour, and sugar concoction would, but we can feel better about the lack of refined sugars, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals from fresh raw fruit.
Peaches are one of my favorite fruits to pick. The particular orchard I go to stuns me everytime with how beautiful it is and it never fails to be sunny with blue skies and a perfect breeze moving through the peach trees. There’s more of a hunt involved with peach selection as you only have so many you can gather before you’re pulling out a $20 bill. I’m not afraid to pick the most ripe and perfect off the ground or go deep into the fields to find the best trees or scavenge through the branches to get the size and ripeness I want.
I wanted to make a raw dessert with these peaches to best honor their perfect summer beauty. Not much manipulation is needed here to get these ingredients to taste awesome, folks.
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw cashews
1 tsp sea salt
5 pitted dates
5 dried apricots
15 oz coconut cream (Trader Joe’s sells canned coconut cream, or you can leave a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight and scoop out the layer of cream that will harden on top-you’ll probably need two cans if you go this route)
2 tbs coconut oil, melted
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
about 5 medium ripe peaches (how ever many it takes to cover your cream layer)
1/ In a food processor, pulse pecans, salt, and cashews together a few times. Add in dates and apricots every few pulses or so until a crust-like texture forms. You want the ingredients to crumble together; the nuts should still have some texture and not be completely ground.
2/ Press dried fruit and nut mixture into the bottom of a 10 inch spring form pan to create your crust (the spring form pan will you allow the best removal and slicing of the tart). This will form a shallow layer, if you desire more crust to your cream ratio, just double the ingredients. Place in the freezer to set for about 10 minutes while you continue on.
3/ In a separate mixing bowl, combine coconut cream,coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk together and pour over the crust layer. Place back into the freezer so the coconut cream can stiffen, about 10 minutes.
4/ Meanwhile pit and slice peaches about 1/4 inch thick (if possible, depending on ripeness). Layer on top of the cream layer when set, working towards the center. Allow all the layers to come together in the freezer for another 10 minutes as this dessert is much easier to slice when kept cold. Keep in the fridge or freezer depending on the texture you enjoy.