January 13, 2009

Vegan Orange Cream Tarts w/ Almond Crusts

Last year I was excited to hear about a new dairy-free yogurt made with coconut milk, though it was awhile before it finally made it to stores in Michigan. I jumped at the chance to buy some when it first showed up in our local Whole Foods. At first, the only flavors I could find were plain, vanilla and passion-mango. The vanilla was a hit with my husband and I loved the passion mango but Alex, my dairy allergic son, wasn't interested in any of them. Finally this December, I got a hold of some of the blueberry and raspberry and Alex loves it. I think it's great that he can have yogurt, get the probiotics and not add yet another soy-based product to his diet.

I've been thinking for some time about how I could use this yogurt in a recipe. Then I saw a blog event on Tony Tahhan's site. The event is A Taste of the Mediterranean and the first month's host is Fanny of Foodbeam. The theme is tarts and I knew I could use the yogurt as a tart filling. My hope was that the vanilla flavor, with faint hint of coconut, would work well with orange in a custard filled tart. I used an almond tart shell recipe I've been working the kinks out of and it came out great this time. I tore apart my pantry looking for that little box of agar for the filling but alas it has gone the way of single socks in the dryer. Instead of waiting until I could get new agar, I chose to thicken the custard with cornstarch. To top it all off, I used up the last of gifted marmalade from my parents. These were toasty, creamy, crunchy and sweet and best of all reminiscent of an Orange Julius. It'll take some experimenting but coconut milk frozen yogurt is now just on the horizon. Any other ideas that I should try?

Vegan Orange Cream Tarts with Almond Crusts

Makes 12 mini (1 1/2 inch) tarts

1 (6oz) container of So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt
1 tablespoon Earth Balance margarine
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch (or tapioca starch)
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
4-5 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 batch of baked almond mini tart shells (recipe follows)

-Prepare tart shells as directed and allow to cool most of the way. Warm 1 tablespoon of the marmalade in the microwave (~10 seconds) or warm in a pan. Brush the inside of the empty tart shells with marmalade and set aside.
-Add the yogurt and margarine to a small saucepan. Stir together the orange juice and cornstarch until there are no lumps and then add to the pan and stir everything together.
-Heat over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook for ~1 minute or until the mixture thickens.
-Remove from the heat and add the orange zest. Cool for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
-Spoon the filling into the tart shells and chill. You could use the refrigerator for ~30 minutes but I popped them in the freezer for 10 minutes, just until the custard sets some on top.
-Warm the remaining marmalade and spoon a small puddle on top of each tart.
-Store in the refrigerator. **Update: These are even better the next day!

Almond Tart Crust
Makes enough for 12 mini (1 1/2 inch) tart shells

5 tablespoons almond meal (blanced ground almonds)
4 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine (or butter)
1 teaspoon of flax seed mixed with 2 teaspoons of warm tap water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

-Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and mix together your flax seed meal and water.
-Pulse the almond meal, sugar and flour in a food processor until evenly mixed together. Or whisk together in a bowl.
-Add the margarine (or butter) and pulse until sandy and there are no large lumps of margarine or butter remaining. This can also be done with a pastry cutter or two forks.
-Stir together the extracts with the flax seed mixture and pour over the top of the flour mixture and process until larger clumps form. Or stir together with a spoon.
-Place a heaping tablespoon of the dough in each tart and then evenly distribute any extra dough. Tamp down the dough with a clean, floured spice jar or use your fingers or a spoon.
-Dock the tart shells, IE prick several times with a fork. Bake for 11-13 minutes until golden brown on the edges.
-Cool and fill.

Tamped and docked tart shells before baking

Tony Tahhan
So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt
Norpro Mini Cheesecake Pan, the pan I used.


VeggieGirl said...

So lovely!!!

**Just as a heads up: I will not be able to comment on blogs as often now, during this semester, due to work overload (I'm stressed already) - PLEASE know that I'm still loyally reading, but just won't have time to comment. I hope you understand!!

Melissa said...

Ooooh! These look lovely and so delicious!

Nithu said...

Looks absolutely mouth watering. Colour is perfect. Nice pics.

Nina Timm said...

Who ever said vegan is boring and without flavor......this looks amazing! Sunshine on a plate!!!

doggybloggy said...

you took it over the top again...I am glad we dont have to compete against each other because I would get tired of not winning....

shellyfish said...

These look amazing! Oh I would love to try these - need to think of a good sub!

Abigail said...

Oh my word! How gorgeous and tasty looking! I wish I could get that kind of yogurt over here in Japan. I'm afraid we're stuck with either plain dairy yogurt (which I eat a ton of) or sugar-laden fruit flavors. Not very much variety.

And your almond crusts! Wow.

cookingforaveganlover said...

Wow these look great I am very impressed! I had to take a second look at the name to make sure I read it right that they are VEGAN! yaya thanks for posting the recipe

TavoLini said...

Maggie, I'm blown away by your creativity!

I'm interested in this yogurt, too--is the coconut milk taste very noticeable? I have tried, but just can not get into the soy yogurt.

Joelen said...

This looks so delicious!!

Cheryl said...

Wow! YUM!!! I'm going to have to look for that yogurt.

Marysol said...

So drool-worthy, especially the second picture with the orange marmalade dripping down the side.
Maggie, I'm not vegan, but I love coconut milk, coconut water, and just plain coconut. So I'll keep an eye out for this new product.

Antonio Tahhan said...

beautiful tarts, Maggie!! I've seen those coconut milk yogurts at the supermarket. Now I'm tempted to give them a try! thanks for submitting this to A Taste of the Mediterranean!
and speaking of coconut frozen yogurt... maybe you could do a play on a classic Thai dessert since they use lots of coconut milk in their dishes. Can't wait to see what you come up with :)

A.B. said...


Allergy Mom said...

Those look luscious! Do you think I could sub oat flour for the almond meal? Libby

Cakelaw said...

These look wonderful! I am a fan of anything citrus.

Maggie said...

VeggieGirl: Thanks! I hope this semester goes well for you.

Melissa, Nithu: Thanks!

Nina Timm: I definitely think working vegan makes me more creative and not less.

doggybloggy: Chicken!

shellyfish: I think you could just make an orange pudding without the coconut milk, a little sugar, more juice and more cornstarch to adjust for the yogurt's texture and flavoring.

Abigail: Thanks! I think it would be good with plain yogurt too. We just don't eat much dairy in our house because of my son's allergies.

cookingforaveganlover: Thanks, I had fun playing with the new ingredient.

TavoLini: Thanks! The plain and vanilla flavors have a touch of coconut taste but the fruit flavors are barely noticeable, which is great because my son isn't a big coconut fan. My son will eat soy milk yogurt but I hate overdoing soy in his diet, like you I just don't think soy milk yogurt is worth eating.

Joelen: Thanks!

Cheryl: I hope you find some.

Marysol: Thanks, I love when I manage to catch drips.

Antonio Tahhan: Thanks for having the event. I've been trying to work out a dairy-free ginger ice cream so I think I might try ginger frozen yogurt instead.

A.B.: Thanks!

Allergy Mom: Thanks! I love the almond crust but any sweet tart crust would work, something similar in sweetness to shortbread dough.

Cakelaw: Thanks! It's nice to have citrus in season now so there is something bright and sunny to eat.

Kevin said...

These orange cream tarts look so good!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

OMG, these tartlets look mighty scrumptious! Wonderful!



inspiredbites said...

Those tarts look so beautiful and elegant. Nice work!


Elra said...

My goodness, your tart look so amazing. Glistening and delicious.

Shayne said...

you have my attention with coconut milk yogurt. I will have to try that when we move back. The tart sounds really great, but I am bias because I like orange marmalade

Amanda said...

I'm just discovering your blog, but boy am I happy to have found this recipe. I have a vegan friend and these would be perfect for her. And for me ;) I can't wait to try these out and to see what other interesting things I can find in your blog.

Bianca said...

Yum! I love those coconut milk yogurts! Except the chocolate flavor...it's kinda funky. But this sounds like a great way to use the yogurts for a tasty dessert.

Kristen said...

wow, so glad I stumbled upon your site. These are going to be perfect, I am always looking for dairy free alternatives.


wtyang24 said...

wow... it's like eating a tiny sun...

wtyang24 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keely said...

This is just wonderful! I tested the recipe out the other day and it is the most refreshing Spring desserty nibble. I'll be making them for my daughter's big 1st bday next week. You're right...they're even better the next day!

Maggie said...

Keely: I'm glad you liked them! I had totally forgotten about them but now I really want to make them and try a gluten-free tart crust. Happy Birthday to your little girl!