Friday, 7 February 2014

Getting Figgy with it!

So it's been just over two months since my last post, crazy I know.  I've been thinking so much about the blog and wanting to write like crazy but totally unmotivated to do so.  Not because I've got nothing to say, no, that could never be true!  Rather, it came down to prioritising and well, after all the craziness of end of year festivities, family visiting from overseas, and my little girl starting school, I chose sleep over the blog.
My deep and sincere apologies but I bet the majority of you understand.

Before I go straight into the recipe, I just want to tell you that I still have been experimenting with different eating philosophies, the latest one being a more starch based way of eating, like that detailed in Dr. McDougall's 'The Starch Solution'.  But I will dedicate a whole post to that.
I initially started with 7 days, which finished this Wednesday, but I think one week is not really enough to judge something.  Therefore, I'm going to keep trying it for the rest of the month and make a more detailed post about it then.
Ok, so I hear you asking, "why are you doing all this stuff, aren't you happy eating a predominantly raw diet?".
Fair question, and I ask myself this all the time.  Besides, I just create more work for me when I embark on all these different philosophies, but hey, I do it because I'm curious and eager to learn new things.  So there you go.

Ok, but back to this scrumptious recipe that I have for you.
I will start by saying that this is a rather indulgent recipe and not one I recommend making and eating on a regular basis.  Why? Well, simply, it's quiet fatty, due to the all the nuts used, and it's also rather sweet.  But, if you have a special occasion that calls for something that little bit extravagant, then I've got you covered.

The idea for this recipe came to me whilst I was walking down one of the main streets of my neighbourhood.  I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for any cuisine that's not mine.  I love, love, love, wondering through Asian supermarkets, I can spend hours just going up and down the isles, eyeing all the exotic ingredients with quizzical eyes, begging for them to start talking and telling me how to use them in a recipe!  Does that sound weird?  Maybe, but it's the truth.
But I digress.
So here I was, walking with one of the minis, and the smell of spices and strong coffee came wafting out of a nearby shop.  So in we go, and it was like a little treasure trove of Middle Eastern amazingness!
It was then that I decided that I would make this dessert.
So, with my purchased ingredients in hand, a plump and delicious date in my mini's hand, we came home, both happy like the cat that got the cream.

Fresh Fig Tart with Orange Blossom Custard & a Pistachio Crust

Makes a 20cm round tart (12 slices)


1 cup raw pistachios
8 dates
1 TBS coconut oil
pinch of Himalayan pink salt

2 1/4 cups of raw cashews (soaked overnight and rinsed)
1 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
1/2 cup liquid sweetener of choice (I used coconut nectar)
2 TBS coconut oil
zest and juice of 1 medium orange
1/4 -1/2 cup of water
3 TBS soy lecithin* granules (optional-read note)

6-8 fresh figs


Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until it resembles fine crumbs and mixture can hold together & you can form a ball.
Spread over a lined 20cm springform cake tin, making sure that it's the same thickness all the way around.  You will need some of the mixture to come up the sides.  Set aside.

Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender, except the water and lecithin.  Process until super smooth.  If mixture is having trouble blending, add the water, starting with 1/4 cup first.  This may be all you need.  You want it to be a thick custard like consistency.  
Once it's super smooth, and you are happy with the consistency, add the lecithin and blend again.
Taste it and adjust the flavours if needed (more orange water if you want it a bit stronger, more sweetener if not sweet enough, e.t.c)
Pour the custard into the prepared tin and place in the freezer for a couple of hours.

When you are half an hour away from serving, take it out of the freezer and arrange the fresh figs on top.
You can cut them in any way you like.  I cut them in quarters because I like biting into big plump chunks of them!

*soy lecithin is used to thicken things up, so make sure you add it right at the end and that it's in powder form if using.  I just whizzed mine in the blender.  You can also buy liquid lecithin but I'm yet to find some, besides, I rarely use it, however, I wanted the tart to hold it's shape even if it was left out of the fridge (for presentation), which is why I added the lecithin. Like with all soy products, you should make sure they are organic and GMO free. 

So, will have an update for you on my starch experiment at the end of the month, including some more cooked vegan recipes as a result.
Hope you have all been well, and that you year has so far been amazing!

Peas, love and mungbeans