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January 22, 2008

Cashew Creme Pear Tart

This is one amazing finish to any meal, sure to please all palates and diets alike.

Hannah Kaminsky

Serves 12 to 14

Crust
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup margarine
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup

Cashew Crème
1 1/2 cups whole, raw cashews or 1 cup cashew butter
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pear Topping
2 firm, medium-sized pears
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds for garnish

Preheat your oven to 325° F (160° C).

Combine the sugar, almond meal and brown rice flour in a medium bowl. Melt the margarine and pour it in, along with the brown rice syrup. Stir to coat all of the dry ingredients thoroughly, and press this mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan. Bring the crust about 1 inch up the sides of the pan, and set aside.

If using whole cashews, begin by grinding them down in your food processor. It may take 5 to 10 minutes for the cashews to begin releasing their natural oils and turn into a smooth paste, but don't stop short, as it is important that there are no lumps. Add your freshly processed cashew butter, or a store-bought version (available in many natural food stores), to your blender or food processor along with the water, maple syrup and vanilla. Process to combine. Smooth the resulting crème into your crust and set aside again.

To core and slice your pears, cut them in half lengthwise, and then cut each half into slices of about 1/8 inch thickness. There is no need to peel the pears, as the skins add extra flavor, texture and fiber. Toss the slices with the sugar and cinnamon, and arrange them on top of your cashew crème. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pears soften.

Let cool and sprinkle with sliced almonds before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Hannah Kaminsky, author of My Sweet Vegan.

For even more vegetarian recipes, check out VegRecipes.org.

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