Updated: May 5
I can still remember the first time I tasted strawberry rhubarb pie. My highschool boyfriend's mother had made it on Easter and I have loved that unmistakable super-tangy combo ever since. When I first went gluten, dairy, egg, and sugar-free, I mourned pies like this. But as I've become more adept at navigating these waters, I've adapted many of my old favorite desserts and found that these cleaner versions taste so much fresher and more vibrant. I don't miss those old-pasty-clogging-inflammatory desserts at all!
When I saw rhubarb make its Spring appearance in stores, I was moved to make this delicious strawberry-rhubarb tart for my family for Easter. It was a huge hit and perhaps even my new favorite dessert. Though, the sea salt and peanut butter cups I also made last weekend are a close runner-up. (That recipe coming soon!)
This tart uses a classic raw-vegan date and nut crust, along with tasty fruits and just a touch of maple syrup. Measurements for this recipe don't need to be exact, but in the ballpark. For example, maybe you bought a 16 oz bag of frozen strawberries when the recipe calls for 20 oz. No biggie ~ use an extra banana to bulk up the filling.
Regarding the strawberries, you can certainly make this using fresh fruit, but I find that frozen strawberries to work better here because they are easy, economical, can even be more nutritious than fresh strawberries, and the freezing process brings out their natural sweetness.
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart Recipe (8 servings, 20 minutes active time, 4 hours inactive)
2 cups of walnuts, pecans, or a mix of the two
3 Tbsp coconut oil, divided
16 deglet dates or 8 medjool dates
4 stalks of rhubarb, diced
20 oz of frozen organic strawberries
1/4 c maple syrup
2 ripe bananas
fresh sliced or crushed freeze-dried strawberries to garnish
Combine nuts, 1.5 Tbsp coconut oil, and dates in a food processor until well blended then use your hands to press into the shape of a pie crust inside your springform pan.
Heat remaining 1.5 Tbsp coconut oil in a skillet over medium then add the rhubarb.
Sauté the rhubarb for about about 5 minutes, until it begins to soften.
Rinse the frozen strawberries to remove any ice crystals then add them, along with the maple syrup, to the skillet with the rhubarb.
Increase heat to medium-high and stir frequently until mixture is boiling, then reduce heat to low and cook the filling until thick and jammy, while stirring frequently (about 20-30 minutes total). Err on the side of a very-jammy filling. You want the strawberries to be completely broken down and your spatula or wooden spoon to leave a clear trail in the pan as you move the filling around. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Mash the bananas with a fork until well-mixed, then spoon an even layer of banana mash into the bottom of the date & nut crust in your springform pan.
Spoon the fruit mixture in an even layer, on top of the banana mash.
Garnish with fresh fruit or crushed freeze-dried strawberries for a festive look.
Put into freezer for at least 4 hours.
Let the tart sit on the counter at room-temperature for about 30 minutes prior to serving. Can be stored in the refrigerator after that.