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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My Sweet Vegan: Cashew Crème Pear Tart

I told you about Hannah Kaminsky's book My Sweet Vegan, when it appeared last year. Kaminsky was an 18-year-old who became a teenage vegan and experimented heavily with desserts instead of drugs.

She sent out a press release today promoting her appearance on a satellite television cooking show.

Hannah Kaminksy, author of the full color dessert cookbook My Sweet Vegan, recently completed her first televised baking demonstration with Supreme Master Television. It aired internationally in early September, but the fifteen minute demo is now available to view any time. The show, entitled Baking with Hannah Kaminsky, Author of My Sweet Vegan: Cashew Crème Pear Tart, was an episode in the television series, Vegetarianism: The Noble Way of Living.

[Click here to view the program online.]

As the focus of her demonstration, Kaminsky opted to prepare the Cashew Crème Pear Tart recipe from My Sweet Vegan, due to its use of seasonal ingredients. The recipe also has broad comfort food appeal, since it was developed to be naturally egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. When asked about her recipe creation process she responded "I don’t use egg replacer for most things just because I see it as a whole new craft, I’m not replacing things, I’m not taking them out, I’m just creating something from scratch."

The recipe was included in the press release, which means that reprinting it is fair use. Enjoy.
Cashew Crème Pear Tart
Recipe from the dessert cookbook My Sweet Vegan, by Hannah Kaminsky
Serves 12 to 14

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.

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