Saturday, April 9, 2011

Strawberry Ice Box Tart (or pie)

This is my submission for:
The Spunky Coconut is one of my favorite blogs. I started following it a couple years ago when I was searching around for dairy-free recipes. I didn't know it at the time, but I was allergic to dairy and was trying to find alternatives for it. Not only are all Spunky Coconut recipes dairy-free, but they are also gluten-free, free of refined sugar, and many are also grain free. So if you have those dietary needs/ curiosities, definitely check out the Spunky Coconut Blog!

I was excited when Kelly announced that she will be doing a blog carnival for each holiday. Being a newbie blogger, this is my first Blog Carnival! So here is my Our Spunky Holiday, Easter edition submission......

Strawberry Ice Box Tart (or pie)
gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and sugar-free...pretty much all the "frees", but not taste free :)

This tart is called "Ice Box" because it needs no baking and should spend most of it's time in the fridge- unless it's being eaten :) I love not baking things that look like you baked them- don't you?

Another note: I use a scale. I know scales intimidate a lot of folks out there, but there is a main reason why I think everyone should have one: substitutions! If I'm out of an item used in a recipe, like walnuts, and I know the weight of walnuts used in that recipe, I can easily substitute it for something else I have at home, like cashews for example. And I will know that I will get similar results that the recipe intended because I substituted weight for weight. If you substitute volume for volume (like 1 cup of walnuts for 1 cup of cashews), you may end up with a mess because the amount of walnuts that take up a cup could be 2 x more than the amount of cashews that fill a cup. Make sense?

So from here on out, when I can I will put weights down for my recipes. You can buy this scale or others on Amazon for $20-$30- not a bad kitchen purchase, right? Most kitchen scales come in grams and ounces. I will usually post ounces since I only have a bakers scale (not digital); however, grams would be even more accurate. In the recipe below, you can make substitutions- if you have a scale, that is - for the walnuts (think almond meal, cashews, etc.) or if you happen to have date paste instead of dates...see you could save a trip to the store if you had a scale!

Enough about scales, on to the tart.... well, first strawberries.....mmmm....For us, here in Georgia, strawberries are in season. Eating in season is very important for nutrient density. So is not eating just any old strawberries you may find on sale at the store. I think that strawberries are high on the list of foods you should avoid if they are not organic. However, many local farms are not organic certified, but make sure to avoid harmful pesticides like the one posted here by Elana. I buy my strawberries local- that way I know they are sure to be in season and free of pesticides :)

For Easter, my mom used to make a bunny cake made with coconut cream and coconut "fur", jelly bean bowtie and face...good times. Man, did I look forward to that cake at Easter (my sweet tooth started early :). I thought about making a healthier version of this, but I was more up for a strawberry pie because that is what I was craving :) My mom also loves strawberries, so mom, since you made me all those bunny cakes, this one is for you :)

Don' be afraid of the lengthy recipe- I tried to be as detailed as possible so that you can make this dish at home....maybe as the perfect lower-in-sugar-than-a-bunnycake-and-gluten-free dessert to your Easter meal :) Also, there are directions for both a food processor and a Vitamix or other HPB (high-powered blender) like a Blendtec. Third thing, this is best made the night before, but can be made up to 3 hours ahead. OK, Enjoy!

Strawberry Ice Box Tart

Serves 6-8


For the Crust:

- 1.5 Tbsp coconut oil (1 oz)

- 1 ½ cups walnuts (6 ¼ oz)

- 2/3 cup coconut flakes, unsulfured and unsweetened (1 ¼ oz)

- 4- 6 dates- if you desire a sweeter crust you can have up to six dates and it not affect the structure of the crust- I use 4 ( ¾ oz)

- ¼ tsp sea salt

- ½ tsp vanilla

- 1 Tbsp almond butter ( ¾ oz)

- A tart pan like this one or a pie pan ( I prefer to make tarts because the middle just pops out when it’s set…easy and pretty :)

For the Strawberry Filling:

- ½ cup coconut oil (2 ¼ oz)

- 1 tsp vanilla

- 1 ½ tsp lemon juice ( ¼ oz)

- 1 pint of very ripe strawberries (1 lb), hulls removed

- 1 small avocado

- 1 ½ large bananas

- Optional: if you desire a sweeter pie you may add honey or vanilla cream stevia to taste here** (see below). I prefer to not so that the strawberry really comes through.

Top with:

- ½ pint (8 oz) additional ripe strawberries

- ½ tsp. lemon juice

- Coconut whipped cream


For the Crust:

- If using a food processor, melt the coconut oil

- If using a Vitamix this is not necessary (I use mine as a food processor because I gave my food processor away to save room in the kitchen! In parentheses are the Vitamix variations.)

- Pulse walnuts, coconut flakes, dates, and salt until powdery in form in food processor (slowly turn Vitamix to 7 for about 20 seconds, using tamper)

- Add the coconut oil, almond butter, and vanilla and pulse until a dough-like ball forms (use the tamper of the Vitamix and add the oil, almond butter, and vanilla and process on 3-4 speed until all is moist, about 1 minute)

- Dump onto a tart pan. Note: if using a pie pan, cut out a parchment circle and line the bottom of the pie pan with that- no need to grease.

- Pat out the dough and pinch with fingers until it looks like so…

- It should be pretty easy to work with and shape how you need to.

- Then freeze the crust for 15-20 minutes until firm. This will help your whole tart or pie set up faster.

For the Filling:

- If using a Vitamix, puree all ingredients on high for about 30 seconds- 1 minute until smooth.

- If using a food processor, puree the strawberries, banana, and avocado until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Melt the coconut butter, then add it and the vanilla and lemon juice to the food processor until a smooth, thick batter is formed.

- Optional** (see above): if desired- taste the batter and make sure it is sweet enough for you. I suggest adding honey or vanilla cream liquid stevia to taste at this point.

- Pour over the frozen crust. I pour it in the center, and then tap it on the counter a bit to make it level and get rid of air bubbles. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. For best results refrigerate over night. If in a pinch, you can freeze for up to 30 minutes to speed things up. Here is a pic of my set-up tart:

For the Topping:

- At least 30 minutes before you top the tart or pie, slice the ½ pint of strawberries in ¼ inch slices, or as thin as you like them to me. Let them sit in 1 tsp lemon juice after you slice them. They will develop their own syrup this way without needing to add extra sugar.

- Then place the slices in concentric circles, starting on the outside with the bigger slices, working inward, like so….

- Until you have the end result!

- Top each slice with some coconut whipped cream or whipped cream of your choice. And remember to keep the tart refrigerated except for slicing...and eating :)

Also, don't forget to check out other (gluten-free) recipes for Easter at The Spunky Coconut about a week before Easter. And for more sugar-free recipes, check out Sugar Free Sunday @ the Flip Cookbook!

Happy tart making and strawberry eating!


  1. This looks divine! Ahh... I think I'll just make the filling and eat it as-is! it looks soooo good! Thank you for bringing this gorgeous recipe to Sugar Free Sundays!

  2. Oooh, Sonia, that would be yummy- strawberry pudding :)

  3. This looks fantastic, Eryn! I'm with Sonia in that the filling would be really good by itself! This would make really cute individual tarts!

  4. woot! extra fruits in the filling :) cant wait to try this!

  5. Do you think I could use coconut flour instead of grinding the walnuts? or another nut flour in lieu of grinding whole nuts? I don't have a food processor or blender powerful enough to grind nuts? I want to make this for my sis for her upcoming Bday!

  6. Heather,
    You can definitely replace the walnuts -but just a fair warning- coconut flour all by itself might be a little strong. I would recommend buying almond meal/flour (Bob's Red Mill brand can be purchased at Kroger or Publix type groceries- but sometimes they put it not on the baking isle and you might have to ask :) and using that as a replacement. Let me know how it turns out!

  7. These look amazing and so healthy too. Can't wait to try it


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