Our whole world has changed these past few months. Not just here in Seattle, in America, but the whole world has a different look and feel. In many ways it’s worse, and in some ways it’s better. I find that it all depends on the perspective that comes with each day.
For a while, I stopped going back to the kitchen to find my calm. It oddly didn’t feel right for me amidst all the change. So I listened. I meandered away from my cooking-loving-self until my intuition called me back, with a very specific craving and recipe in mind: a slightly sweet, zesty lemon custard tart. I went into my kitchen with low expectations on how my idea would play out to make a healthy, yet irresistible, tart that fully embodies summer.
This idea in my mind turned into a mini adventure that I would come home to on the weekend. I wouldn’t let myself even think of COVID-19 while playing around with this recipe. It felt good. And needless to say, I ate A LOT of lemon custard tart these past few weeks! That’s what happens when it takes four rounds to perfect the recipe. There are worse things!
What I love the most about this recipe, is that it is completely sweetened with dates! Dates are a natural sweetener, in the form of a sweet stone fruit that is known for its low glycemic index. Meaning dates don’t spike blood sugar as much as, say, conventional sugar. This helps support a balanced mood and overall eases stress on our body’s ability to regulate our blood sugar levels and immune system — which are all extra important during these unimaginable and stress inducing times.
Dates are also absolutely delicious. Their sweetness pairs beautifully with the citrus and healthy fats in this recipe. This recipe is fantastic for a snack, dessert, or even breakfast. Yes, breakfast. Just check out the ingredients below. So simple, and trust me when I say this recipe is super EASY! No fancy equipment, ingredients, or techniques are needed. Let’s get to it.
On an ending note, if you try this recipe or have questions, please let me know in the comments below or on my Instragram @alittledough.eats — I’d love to hear from you!
Best of health to all of you.
Lemon Lime Custard Tart – Sweetened with dates!
(Serves 6-8, gluten-free, refined sugar free, dairy free)
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 4 medjool dates, pits removed
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp ground flax seed (flax seed meal)
- 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger powder
- 1 Tbsp lime juice (sub lemon juice)
- 1 tsp lime zest (sub lemon zest)
- 1 cup coconut cream (if using a can of coconut milk, simply use the top solidified portion)
- 5 dates, pits removed
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 Tbsp lemon & lime zest (I used 1 large lemon, and remaining zest from the lime used to make the crust)
- 6 Tbsp lemon & lime juice (I used 1 large lemon and remaining juice from the lime used to make the crust)
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a standard springform cake pan (like this one) with coconut oil, about 1 tbsp.
Zest the lemon and the lime first and then cut in half to juice.
For the crust, place all crust ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and pulse until a crumbly, sticky consistency is met. This may take 2-3 rounds, with scraping down the sides of the blender/food processor in between.
Empty the crust dough into the greased pan and press the dough down with you fingers to create an even layer on the bottom and a rim of about 1.5 inches tall around the edges. Bake at 350F for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
To make the filling, add all filling ingredients into the blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, or until a smooth consistency is met. Transfer the filling into the baked crust and carefully place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, then cover with a plate or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, ideally. If pressed for time, refrigerate at least 2-3 hours, noting that the filling may be softer than preferred.
Top with lemon or lime zest, or any garnish you wish. Serve as is, with whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
Tart stays fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.