Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Cherry Mousse Tarts

 It's President's Day and I wanted to make a cherry pie again (see last year's recipe), but my buying club out-of-stocked my frozen cherries today, and when I stopped by the co-op they didn't have any fresh, frozen or canned. All they had was organic Tart Cherry Juice, so I bought some of that and while driving home tried to think how to use it to make a pie. Something gelled with agar flakes, also known as kanten, a seaweed product? Or a pudding made with arrowroot powder or organic corn starch?

I decided in the end to make CHERRY MOUSSE. I made eight little pie tarts and two big glasses of mousse.

Make some pie crust and cut it into rounds that will fit into muffin tins. My tins are kind of shallow, but you could make deeper tarts just as well. Flute the edges of the crust, prick the bottoms so they don't bulge up, and bake them for ten to fifteen minutes in a preheated 475 degree oven. Set aside until you are ready for them.

In a saucepan heat to boiling three cups of cherry juice and one cup of water. I tasted the cherry juice and it was pretty tart, so I added one tablespoon of sweetener. You can add a tablespoon of arrowroot powder before the juice heats up and whisk it in, or cornstarch, if you would prefer.

When it is boiling, add five tablespoons of agar flakes. This can be found in most natural foods stores, maybe near the macrobiotic products. It is what vegans use to gel foods, since gelatin is an animal product. Stir this every now and then for about five minutes, or until the agar is dissolved. Then turn off the heat and let it sit to partially cool. When it is not hot any more, pour it into a shallow container (or just use the pan itself) and place in freezer for a half hour to an hour. You could also refrigerate it for a longer time, until it has set.

I scooped about a tablespoon of the deep red gel into each of my eight tarts. There was enough to make more tarts in the end. The recipe would probably make sixteen.

I blended the rest of the gel with two tablespoons of vanilla soy yogurt. You could use a little tofu and sweetener, perhaps, or maybe some tahini, but I liked the yogurt because it was already smooth and ready to go. Now the mousse was more deep pink than ruby red. I poured it on top of the gel in the tarts, filling them, and then had enough left over to fill two big or four small glasses. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.

I am going to serve them topped with Soyatoo Whipped Cream. I am able to buy the pressurized canister, but if you can't find that where you shop, you could always get the box version and whip it up yourself. Or you could make your own whipped tofu cream. Look back at my chocolate pudding recipe for how to do that.

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