There are very few food items that I don’t like.
Actually, there are only two. Peas and raisins.
I know, so random, right?
I really can’t explain the peas. I mean, I guess they are just so….pea-like.
Now the raisins on the other hand, I can certainly explain why I dislike those so much.
When I was a kd I would receive a healthy box of raisins in my lunchbox everyday.
And by everyday, I mean every. single. day.
You see, after a long ride on the bus to school, combined with the heat in Texas, well, the nice metal lunchbox I took to school every day must have baked those raisins or something. Because when I would open my lunchbox, the kids sitting next to me scooted their chairs away maybe a foot or so. The smell was overwhelming…something between an overripe banana and an armpit. Or an armpit with an overripe banana in it.
I am pretty certain I even scooted my chair back from my lunchbox.
Nobody would ever trade lunches with me.
Not one time.
You are probably wondering why in the world I would make a recipe with raisins in it after hearing my anti-raisin story? And not just a few raisins, but with an entire tart shell made of raisins…?
Well, I had a whole bag of raisins in my fridge and they needed to be eaten.
The raisins were invited into my house with the idea that just because I didn’t like a certain food item, I should still be offering them to my son so he could form his own opinions. Who knows, maybe he would love them? Hopefully not because I can’t even look at a bag of raisins without thinking of that long lost baked lunchbox smell. But, try I did.
And he didn’t like them either.
Yay! No more raisins.
Except for the giant bag I had purchased.
So up popped this recipe that was made with dates. I didn’t have any dates, but I had one giant bag of raisins, so raisins it was. And it was good. So good in fact, that I served it to my husband (who strangely enough doesn’t like raisins either) and he loved it too.
No armpits or overripe bananas here. Just a crunchy almond and vanilla flavored no bake (raisin) tart shell with creamy mascarpone cheese and juicy mission figs.
You can’t even taste the raisins. Promise.
Now on to the peas…
fig and almond tart
recipe inspiration from Dinner with Julie
1 1/2 cup raisins
1 cup whole almonds, roasted
1 cup almond meal
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
the zest of one lemon
1 pint of mission figs
In a food processor, process the raisins until they have broken down into a paste. Add the almonds, almond meal and cinnamon and process until the mixture is crumbly and sticks together when pressed with your fingers.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch tart pan. Set the tart pan in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about five minutes.
Place the filling in the middle of the tart shell and carefully spread into a thin layer.
Slice the figs in half or in fourths and lay the fruit on top of the cream.
notes: Any fruit can be used in place of the figs and walnuts or pecans can be used in place of the almonds. If you want to make a vegan tart, use this coconut cream recipe in place of the mascarpone.