Sensational Sunflower Tart

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 T. unbleached cane sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup safflower oil
3 T. cold water
3 T. soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1 recipe of Vegan Pastry Cream
3-4 nectarines, unpeeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
2 clusters of fresh red currants or a handful of red raspberries
1/3 cup apricot preserves or jelly

In a bowl, using a fork, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, water, and soy milk. Drizzle the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well with the fork to combine. Form dough into a ball. Divide the dough, making one half slightly larger than the other. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Remove the larger piece of dough from the plastic wrap and place it between two pieces of waxed paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to form an 11-inch circle. Peel off the top piece of waxed paper, flip the dough into a 9-inch tart pan, and peel off the remaining piece of waxed paper. Press the dough into the bottom and up the edges of the tart pan. Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet. Using a long piece of aluminum foil, fold it lengthwise several times to form a foil collar that extends 1-inch above the rim of the tart pan, secure the collar around the outer edge of the pan, and set aside.

Place the remaining piece of dough between two sheets of waxed paper, and roll out evenly. Using a knife or leaf-shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into leaf shapes, and use the dull edge of a knife to make vein-like indentations on the surfaces of the leaves. Using a little water, moisten the upper edge of the dough in the tart pan, and pressing slightly, attach the leaves to the dough so that they extend up over the foil collar to form a decorative edge like the petals of a sunflower. Place the prepared tart shell in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. Remove the chilled tart shell from the refrigerator, line it with a piece of aluminum foil, and place a layer of dried beans (for weight) over the piece of foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, remove the foil and beans, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow the tart shell to cool completely before carefully removing the foil collar.

Carefully remove the outer ring of the tart pan and transfer the tart shell to a large plate or pedestal. Prepare the Vegan Pastry Cream according to the recipe instructions. Spread the prepared pastry cream over the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Beginning at the outer edge, arrange the nectarine slices with the skin side facing up to resemble the petals of a sunflower, in a circular pattern. Repeat the procedure to form a second circle inside it. Place the currant clusters (or raspberries) in the center. Place the apricot preserves in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until melted. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the warm mixture over the slices of nectarine and currants. Allow to set for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Yield: One 9-inch tart or 8 servings


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The Vegan Chef
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