If only you could smell these plump and ripe peaches I picked up from the Peach Truck here at the Nashville Farmers Market last week, you would know exactly how I was feeling: pure excitement to create a recipe, bliss from the scent, and a gentle rumbling in my stomach in anticipation for what I chose to first make. A raw peach tart!
Peaches can be a tricky fruit to choose from the market or store. Typically you purchase them relatively hard and can allow them to ripen on your countertop or more quickly in a brown paper bag. If you’re lucky, you get peaches that are super juicy, sweet, and begging to be eaten; the other bunch, for the lack of better words, get to see the compost/garbage a little sooner than you’d like. Either way, a quick tip for picking peaches (and any fruit) is to use your nose. A fruit is ripe when you can smell the fragrance when holding it up to your nose. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your nose knows! Now let’s talk about this peach tart action we have going on above.
Why a raw crust? Why not! It’s perfect for a hot summer day or evening. This raw crust contains seven simple ingredients — seven! Compare that to a store bought pie or tart crust and you’re looking at around 20 ingredients, including hydrogenated oils (eek!), enriched white flours, lard, food dyes (huh?), and preservatives galore! The only preservative used in this recipe is your freezer or refrigerator. Twenty ingredients that your body has to process, digest and absorb/excrete. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather choose a healthy, raw, easy-to-digest, fiber-rich, nutrient-dense, and boosting-with-flavor crust that doesn’t leave me feeling crummy after eating (ha ha, pun intended!). Not to mention, this crust has a great balance of carbohydrates, healthy fat, fiber and protein.
This Raw Peach Tart is perfect for the warmer months when you want a cool treat that’s light and refreshing. When I think of desserts during this time of year in the Nashville heat, my body craves something slightly sweet but also chilled. This recipe satisfies both! It’s also a great dessert to bring to summer BBQs with friends, to share something new.
Now by the looks of this tart, you may be thinking it’s going to take you a lot of time and effort. You have half of that equation correct. The only time consuming part of this recipe is allowing the crust to cool for at least two hours in the freezer or overnight in the refrigerator, which allows the crust to become very firm and a lot easier to work with and layer the peaches on top. Decorating this raw tart is where you can let your creativity shine. You don’t have to decorate in the concentric circle design I used. You can simply cut the peaches in small cubes, lay the slices flat, etc. Whatever floats your boat!
This recipe is also wonderful because it can be made in one large tart pan (as pictured above) or you can use mini tart pans.
Raw Peach Tart
Recipe by McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
1 cup dates, pitted
1 cups cashews, raw and ground
1 cup walnuts, raw and ground
1 cup almond, raw and ground
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbs. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 cups fresh peaches, sliced (about 4 peaches or until your tarts are filled)
Juice of 1 lemon
Local honey, to drizzle on top (This is optional, it should be sweet enough)
- Grind all nuts in a nut grinder (or a coffee grinder that’s clean, of course) or Vitamix until finely chopped. It’s okay to have some chunks!
- Combine all the crust ingredients into your Vitamix (or high speed blender or food processor) until well combined. This “dough” will be very sticky, but should hold together when pressed in between your fingers. If your mixture is too wet or moist simply add more ground nuts.
- If you’re using mini tart pans, divide the mixture evenly.
- Using your tart pan or mini tart pans, gently press the nut-and-date dough into the pan and up the sides. Press firmly until a crust is formed.
- Chill in the freezer (at least 2 hours) or refrigerator (overnight).
- To make the filling, cut the peaches in half, remove the pit. Thinly slice the peaches lengthwise (as shown in the picture), and arrange in a circular pattern or simply lay flat.
- Sprinkle with fresh squeezed lemon juice, and honey if using.
- Serve immediately or wrap tightly with clear wrap and keep in the refrigerator.
The sugar contained in this recipe is from all natural occurring sugars, none added nor processed. If you’re using mini tart pans, you will probably get 2-3 servings out of a 1 tart tin. You may also simply divide the mixture into 12 “dough balls” and use 1 per serving in a mini tart pan (to help you measure). FREEZING: You may also keep the crust in the freezer until topping it with fresh peaches. Even after you top with fresh peaches, you can still keep this tart fresh by freezing it; just note the peaches will turn slightly brown due to the freezing-thawing process but are still delicious and fresh!
Serving size: 1/12 of tart Calories: 260 Fat: 16 Carbohydrates: 24 (net 20) Sugar: 17 Fiber: 4 Protein: 6 If you have any nut allergies to the ones used in this recipe, simply use seeds instead of the nut that you’re allergic to (for example, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or any other nut that you’re not allergic to).