About our guest food blogger:
Elenore Bendel Zahn is a health coach, organic gardener, writer, photographer, and the founder of Earthsprout, one of our favorite resources for seasonal vegan recipes. "All I create is brought to life with the intention of shaking things up and create a better world. And it’s all very delicious in so many ways."
The De-constructed Citrus Custard Tart
Shh, listen! Can you hear it? Smell it? Feel it? We’re right in the middle of those few weeks when everything holds its breath. It’s a short sweet nothingness, a pause after we say our byes to winter and before spring arrives in all its expansive glory. The collective anticipation for the coming season is almost tangible. But still.. I’m loving this short moment of pausing that is this Now.
The cold has done its important job for this year and the first buds are about to burst. Little envelopes of both collected and purchased seeds are scattered over my table along with plans for the season ahead. Before it all begins, we have this much needed moment to reflect and collect ourselves, then we’ll be ready to launch head first into the adventure that is 2015. Because no matter how good it is to stop for a while we WILL dive all wild ’n crazy into spring at the very first sign.
My cooking naturally reflects this little break as well. The stocks of winter apples, pumpkins and root vegetables are not as full as they once were and the abundance of sturdy greens in the markets are no longer. Before it's time to go forage delicate spruce tips, dandelion greens, nettle and other spring treasures I’ve decided to consciously celebrate all kinds of citrus fruits. Among the results of many a citrusy parties these past weeks the one you see pictured here quickly became a favorite. A rad de-constructed custard tart with special superpowers from fresh ginger and turmeric. I mean If I’m going outside of the seasons of my homeland I might as well go all in.
There is something so beautiful with living with the ebb and flow of food during the course of a year and even though I’m the hugest fan of eating seasonally I do enjoy food from other corners of the world too. When I do, I make sure to really stop and appreciate the long journey that specific food has been on to finally land in my hands. I’ll give that grapefruit a little kiss and say ’thank you’. Oh you betcha I talk to my food, I mean why not? Is eating a meal a one-way-dialogue? I think not. Call me crazy but if we all did that a bit more then maybe we’d land a little deeper in the gratitude of that which we get to call our Now.
Celebrations are in order at every meal and when enjoying this particular one - well, be ready for blinding fireworks and ballrooms of colorful balloons.
Don’t fret, while this might not look as your usual custard tart it has too many upsides to care about keeping up traditional appearances. The custard cream is raw (unheated) and packed with its full potential of awesome fats, protein, enzymes and buzzing vitamins and minerals. It also has the medicinal benefits of fresh ginger and turmeric. If you can’t find the fresh roots, however, using 1 tsp powdered of each will work just fine (although I do urge you to look for the fresh variety). Note that any leftover custard cream makes for an amazing ice cream.
Citrus Custard Cream
1 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
½ cup cashews
½ water + more for soaking
1 orange, the zest
½ lemon, the juice
1 tsp freshly grated peeled turmeric
1 tsp freshly grated peeled ginger
2 tbsp unpasteurized honey
¼ tsp vanilla bean powder
tiny pinch good quality salt
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1. Add cashews and coconut to a mixing bowl with 3 cups of pure water. Let soak overnight or at least 5 hours. Once soaking is done rinse cashews and coconut thoroughly.
2. Make the custard cream using either a high speed blender or a regular immersion blender simply by blending all ingredients all at once until smooth and soft. Refrigerate while cutting citrus fruits into segments and dry-roasting hazelnuts.
2 red grapefruits, cut into segments
4 blood oranges, cut into segments
1 tbsp unpasteurized honey
⅓ cup hazelnuts, dry roasted
1 small handful fresh basil leaves
1. Slice a little off the top and bottom of the grapefruits and oranges - this gives you a stable cutting surface that makes it easier to trim away the rest of the peel. Trim away the skin and pith using a small sharp knife. Begin at the top and slice downwards following the curve of the fruit. Now cut into one of the segments and slip the knife between one of the segments and the connective membrane. Cut until you reach the middle of the orange, but don't cut through any of the membrane. Scoop out segment and add to a bowl. Repeat with all segments of all citrus fruits.
2. Toast roughly chopped hazelnuts in a dry skillet on medium heat until lightly browned and deliciously fragrant. Set aside.
3. Scoop up cream onto plates of choice, add citrus segments, a little sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts, a drizzle of honey and a few basil leaves. It’s also really nice to serve this dessert on a large plate, giving everyone around the table only a spoon. Sort of like dessert tapas for small gatherings. Enjoy!