Summer berry tarts
Plump, juicy berries are one of my favourite things about summer. I especially love blueberries and their softly sweet sharpness.
When I was little, we would visit family in America every few summers. We had a great uncle who grew blueberries in his garden, and he would bring us buckets full to the brim with them. We would gleefully dig our hands into the depths of the buckets and stuff fistfuls into our mouths, leaving us with purple stained tongues and fingers. Those blueberry deliveries were always a highlight of our trips.
I've never found berries that taste quite as sweet as those, but these tarts come pretty close.
Berries with benefits
The deep purples, reds and blues of berries offer a clue to their nutritional benefits. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are all rich in phytonutrients, including anthocyanins. These powerful anti-oxidant compounds are responsible for berries' bright pigmentation, and help protect our tissues from oxidative stress and inflammation.
In addition to being fantastic antioxidant sources, berries have a low glycaemic index, meaning they can support more stable blood sugar levels. Regulating blood sugar also prevents oxidative stress on tissues and inflammation caused by high blood sugar.
Now for the tarts
For the topping, I've used a mix of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries for different flavours, colours and textures. Blended together, this combination also make a delicious, deep purple filling.
Dates are used to sweeten the crust and filling, while lime zest gives some citrus tanginess to the filling and extra colour to the topping. The oat and ground almond crust provides the perfect crunch to balance the softness of the berries. Super quick and easy to make, these tarts are a perfectly unfussy dessert, and their rustic (aka messy) prettiness is part of their charm.
The tarts are vegan, and you can make them gluten free by using gluten free oats.
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup rolled oats
Pinch of himalayan/sea salt
3 medjool dates
2 tbsp coconut oil
For the filling and topping, I used a small punnet each of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries and 1 organic unwaxed lime.
1 cup mixed raspberries, blackberries and blueberries
1 tbsp ground almonds
Grated zest of half a lime
2 cups mixed raspberries, blackberries and blueberries
Grated zest of half a lime
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan assisted)
Put the crust ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth, sticky consistency that can be rolled into a ball. The mixture will also feel pretty oily, this will help to give it crunch once it's baked.
Divide the crust mixture into six pieces, and roll out each into discs between two sheets of baking paper so they fit your paper baking cups (I used 2 1/2 inch cups). Place the filled paper baking cups on a muffin tin. The mixture might break off a bit, just press back in and fill any holes with your fingers.
Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, removing when the edges start to brown. Leave to cool.
In your clean food processor, add the filling ingredients and blitz until fully mixed. Put a tablespoon of mixture into each of your cooled crusts and then top with the mixed berries and grated lime zest.