Summer has be flying by and with a sudden close of the eyes, it's already halfway gone. As the days stretch into evenings I always tell myself that I'll accomplish more, that I'll tackle those uninspiring tasks on my ever growing list, and that once and for all I'll have nothing urgent left to do. But when those warm evenings arrive where the sun doesn't sleep until 9 or 10, a sudden switch is turned on and I come to my senses realizing that living in the here and now is all that really matters. Summer is beautifully chaotic with family reunions, friends weddings, camping get-a-ways, and fruit gathering. Old friends show up from out of town, and you connect in a way that renders that ten year gap from the last moments you saw them seeming like a mere pinhole in the vastness of a lifetime.
In the wake of summer wonder and excitement, food seems less and less important. Simple meals like smoothies and salads suffice in the heat of the moment. More time spent outside and less over a hot stove is all that summer cooking is about. Yet every once and awhile the mood strikes for something special or celebratory. This last month saw us busy with birthdays and after baking three pies in one day, I realized that something less fussy was required (obviously, what was I thinking?).
Based on the gorgeous strawberry tart from Yossy's book, I went out to make a pie that involved zero fuss leaving more time for picnics, and dips in the old salt chuck. A simple olive oil crust requiring no chilling means that you can have a great vegan pie crust without any weird soy products and all in under an hour (it's a miracle!). The real star of the show is a luscious vegan mascarpone (which will make more than you need, but it's great to top a crumble, cobbler, or spread on thickly sliced toast with fruit) made out of coconut cream and cashews, and gently sweetened with some maple syrup. While I topped my tart with fresh local peaches and basil micro greens, any fruit from cherries to blueberries, or even plums would be a delicious slice of carefree summer.
Peace, love, and to taking it easy <3
Summer Peach Tart with Vegan Mascarpone
Olive Oil Pastry
Adapted from this recipe
1 Cup Spelt Flour (I sifted out the bran before measuring)
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
¼ Cup Olive Oil
2 tablespoon Almond Milk
1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. In a small dish, add the oil and the almond milk (no need to stir). Pour the liquid into the dry and mix just until combined. Roll the dough right away between two sheets of waxed paper, lifting and returning the top piece to ensure it doesn't stick. Roll the pastry into a rectangle until it is ⅓ of a cm (⅛ inch) thick. Flip on a parchment lined tray, peeling away the waxed paper. Dock the crust with a fork and gently wash with a little almond milk. Bake in a preheated 190 C (375 F) oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crisp. Set aside to cool.
¾ Cup Cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
1 Can Coconut Milk, refrigerated overnight***
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup (or more to your taste)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch Sea Salt
1. Begin by removing the solid coconut milk from the coconut water. Simply open the cold can and scoop off the layer of white coconut cream (set aside in a bowl), leaving the coconut water. Combine 3 tablespoon of this coconut water with the drained cashews in a high speed blender. Puree until creamy and smooth. Once the nuts are all nice and creamy, add the solid white coconut milk, vanilla, salt, and maple syrup. Puree until the mixture is combined and airy. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed. Try not to mix it too long as this will heat it up and cause the coconut milk to melt. If this happens, just refrigerate until it sets again.
***I always have at least 2 cans of coconut in my fridge just in case.
3 Peaches or Nectarines, sliced
Handful baby basil, or finely sliced full basil
2 tablespoon Apricot Jam (Optional), I live this brand
1. To finish the tart, spoon the Mascarpone over the cooked base and arrange peach slices. Combine the jam with a splash of water in a pot and heat gently. Once the jam is warm, pass through a sieve and gently brush fruit for a glossy shine and little extra sweetness. Garnish with basil. If you want, the tart crust and mascarpone can easily be made the day before and simply assembled later.
Share your creations on IG with the tag #Wholeheartedeats