Sunday, February 14, 2010

Raspberry-Topped Amaretto Tarts

This recipe for two makes the perfect dessert on Valentine's Day! Even better, you can make it ahead of time, so you're not slaving over a stove when you would rather be with your significant other.

I had to do some improvising for the crust, which called for vanilla wafer cookie crumbs. As with the Banana Pudding I made last week, the closest I could find were organic Letter of the Day cookies in 'very vanilla' flavor, from Earth's Best Organic - but once you crumble them into cookie crumbs, no one will know they once had the alphabet on them!

So crumble whichever vegan vanilla cookies you find to equal 1/4 cup - about 10 cookies. A good method for crumbling is to place them in a zip-top bag and roll over them with a rolling pin.

Combine the cookie crumbs in a small bowl with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) and 1 teaspoon raw sugar, tossing with a fork to combine.

Coat either 2 (6-ounce) ramekins or 2 (5-inch) creme brulee dishes with cooking spray. Divide the crust mixture evenly among the 2 dishes, pressing into the bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1/4 cup plain soy milk (such as Silk), 3 tablespoons raw sugar, 5 teaspoons cornstarch, 1/8 tsp. salt (which I forgot!), and the equivalent of 1 egg yolk using egg replacer. (If you use Ener-G, a 'yolk' is 1 and 1/2 teaspoons powder stirred into 1 tablespoon warm water). Set aside.

Heat 3/4 cup more plain soy milk in a saucepan over medium heat, just until tiny bubbles form around the edges, but before it comes to a boil. The original recipe said this stage would happen at 180 degrees, but my thermometer was only at 140 degrees, so perhaps soy milk has a different boiling point than cow's milk. Either way, it took quite a lot longer than I expected for the temperature to get that high (about 15 minutes), so have patience!

Pour the hot soy milk into the sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk, then transfer the whole mixture back into the saucepan. Continue to cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. It should be thick and bubbly by the end, and will really thicken up in the last 30 seconds or so of cooking.

Remove from heat and stir in 2 teaspoons amaretto (Disaronno is vegan, according to the company), and 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract.

Place the bowl with the custard into larger bowl filled with ice, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until cooled to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Spoon the custard evenly over your 2 prepared crusts. Cover and chill for anywhere between 2 and 6 hours.

Just before serving, top each tart with 1/4 cup raspberries. You could also garnish with mint sprigs if you like, for a pretty presentation. Each tart is 310 calories.

vanilla cookies $3.29
amaretto $3.50
raspberries 4.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance