When I was deciding what to make for Christmas Day dessert this year, I looked at a lot of recipes for inspiration. My mum loves cherries, my dad loves caramel, and I love anything sweet!! So I combined and adjusted and added ideas to come up with my own recipe for a cherry caramel tart. I’m really happy with what came about! I love having events that I can come up with something yummy and bake for – something that I can eat with my food intolerances yet is still delicious for the rest of my family and friends. I am always the designated dessert maker and I’m not unhappy about that!

(Disclaimer: this dessert can be served all year round and once you make it, I don’t think you will want to wait until the ginger-themed festive season to make it again!)

Base

1 1/2 cups almond meal
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 pinch sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 – 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 – 2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (optional)
1 – 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil

Caramel layer

1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
1/2 cup Medjool dates
1/4 cup solid coconut oil 
4 tablespoons tinned coconut cream (or the solid layer of tinned coconut milk that has been kept in the fridge)

For the Cherry jam

1 cup pitted frozen/fresh cherries
1.5 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup maple syrup (with enough to adjust for preferred taste)

Method

Base

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degree Celsius
  2. Grease or line a 20cm tart pan or cake tin with oil or butter
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl
  4. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl
  5. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and combine well. Use your hands to press the mixture into a ball. It should be moist but firm and not fall apart or crumble.
  6. Press the mix into the tart pan so that it is evenly spread with no holes, including up the sides of the pan
  7. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool

Carmel layer

  1. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil for at least 5 minutes
  2. Simmer for about 10 minutes until it thickens, stirring occasionally to keep it from catching on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Carefully pour the mix onto the tart base. Put into the fridge or freezer until the caramel is firm

Cherry jam layer

  1. Add the cherries, maple syrup and water
  2. Heat on a medium heat, stirring continuously
  3. Press the cherries and gently burst them as they soften with a wooden spoon. Add more maple syrup if you want it sweeter 
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chia seeds.
  5. Place in the fridge/freezer until set
  6. Spread across the caramel layer and keep in the fridge/freezer until ready to eat (remove prior to serving to soften to desired texture)
  7. Keeps well in the fridge/freezer in an airtight container (though I’ve not confirmed this…it didn’t last long enough!!)

This recipe is surprisingly simple to put together, and is absolutely delicious – if I do say so myself! I decorated mine with fresh cherries and ginger biscuits (my recipe for them is here), and served it with coconut cream mixed with maple syrup. Instead of making one large tart, you could also use small muffin trays and make mini tarts!

Happy baking and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did!

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