Pears and caramel are an ingredient match made in heaven. You can serve this tart warm or cold – expect a scrumptious result either way
For the caramel:
• 400ml tin coconut milk
• 10 medjool dates, pits removed and finely chopped
• pinch salt, plus more if needed
• 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, (optional)
For the dough:
• 185g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
• 50ml coconut oil, melted
• 50ml maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, (optional)
For the topping:
• 3 pears, peeled, cut lengthwise and then finely scored the outside at 2 mm intervals – careful not to slice it all the way through
• handful walnuts, roughly chopped
• Whipped coconut cream
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2 To make the caramel, put the coconut milk in a small saucepan. Add the chopped dates to the pan and bring to the boil, then allow to simmer, whisking occasionally to help the dates break down.
3 When the caramel is thick and smooth, remove from the heat, add the salt and vanilla powder (if using) and set aside.
4 To make the dough, place the flour, coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon (if using) in a bowl and mix with a fork until the ingredients are combined but the mixture is crumbly.
5 Add 50–100 ml water, one tablespoon at a time, stirring between additions, until the mixture sticks together. Lightly knead into a ball in the bowl and then place the ball on a floured surface.
6 Press the ball into a circle with your fingertips. Flip and roll flat with a lightly floured rolling pin, then continue to flip and roll again, dusting the top with a little flour each time, until your crust is big enough to fit in your pie dish or cake tin and go up the side a little. If you are having difficulty rolling, let it rest a moment. Gently lift the dough into a pie dish or 23 cm round springform cake tin.
7 Pour your prepared caramel into the crust. Place the scored pears on top and press down so they are nestled into the caramel.
8 Sprinkle the chopped walnuts around the outer edge of the caramel. Bake for 40 minutes until nice and golden.
9 Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving with some whipped coconut cream.
Recipe courtesy of Jessica Prescott, extracted from Vegan Goodness