I just realized that it seems as if I lately choose my recipes for the letters they start with, it’s all alliterations in the titles: after the Spinach Stuffed Zucchini I was testing some Black Bean and Beet Burgers, then I posted the Curried Carrot-Coconut Soup and now the Cherry Chia Tarts…
Today’s weather forecast is rain all day. As disappointed as I am for not being able to go cycling, I still like rainy days every once in a while, especially if you don´t have to go outside, but can enjoy the sound of the rain from inside. I had breakfast in bed reading a novel, glancing at the grey sky every once in while. Days like these are the perfect excuse for being lazy without any pangs of conscience. Just look out – no other choice. And I have a post to finish… This is a post for those of you who were disappointed about my latest post being all about cherries except the recipe (although I´m sure that anybody who made the soup got comforted). The other day I discovered two cherry trees on my way to work and have stopped there already twice to pick cherries (good thing I carry empty tupperware on my way back!).
When I was an adolescent I would have paid every price for not being so tall – I was extremely shy and it is really hard to disappear among the others if you’re at least a head taller than everybody else. Luckily at some point the boys started growing a bit too, many of them surpassing me, and even though I’m still taller than many (especially in Spain), by now I’ve come to like my height. Especially so when it comes to cherry picking. I fear that the combined power of my height, cherry-love and speed haven´t left many (reachable) cherries for others…
The past weekend I went to my grandma’s farm for a family gathering. It is always impressive to watch the women of this family, all impressively energetic, moving around like busy bees. Regarding her kitchen, my grandmother is very modern. It is a huge room where she used to cook for the family and people working at the farm, and she has all kinds of equipment in it (I can easily think of at least 15 electrical devices).
But when I asked her for a cherry pitter, she said she had none. I was completely puzzled. Then she took a little tool out of one of her drawers. She meant she didn´t have a cherry pitter as I might have expected it, but she had a very simple self-made one. A hair needle stuck into a cork. It actually works much better than the ones that are like pliers and that make your wrists hurt after pitting a few cherries. When I came back from my grandma’s, my flatmates just got a few kilos of cherries from their family’s garden and we made two of these pitters at home. Now we’ve already given them some use and we all agree it’s just a great invention, so simple, so efficient. You can see it at the pictures, try it!
These cherry chia tarts are raw, very easy to make, requiring few ingredients and are made without sweeteners (except from the fruit) or oil. It is a very refreshing dessert on a summer day. What are you waiting for?
Makes 4 10cm/4-inch tarts.
For the crust:
- 2/3 cup Almonds or Hazelnuts
- 8 fresh dates (or dry, soaked for at least 10min in warm water or 4 Medjool dates)
- 2 teaspoons Almond butter (or 2 more dates)
- 1 pinch sea salt
For the filling:
- 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from an organic lemon)
- 1 mashed banana or 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 1/2 cups cherries
For the chia pudding, combine milk, chia seeds and lemon zest. Let sit in the fridge for an hour or overnight, stirring a few times at the beginning.
Put all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor and pulse a few times until everything is chopped and comes together when you press it with your fingers. Line the trays with plastic wrap or parchment paper for easy removal and press equal parts into each tray.
Mash the banana (or add the maple syrup) and mix it into the chia pudding. Pour it into the crust. Put the tarts in the freezer for at least an hour to get them firm. You can also make these in advance and take them out of the freezer while pitting and slicing the cherries. Pit the cherries, slice into quarters and arrange (densely) on top.
You can skip the freezer and put the cherries on top right away, but you will have to use a spoon as the chia pudding is not firm enough to stay in shape when slicing the tarts.