Ginger Snap Custard Tart (Vegan, Gluten Free)
The blue mountains are softened in a spring mist. The trees are budding or blooming, but not fully. Half of the branches are still bare or just starting to press neon green leaves out of their wood. I walk through puddles striped in gasoline rainbows. I pick up a pastel pink camellia blossom that's fallen off of the bush, weighted down by water droplets. I analyze its perfect shape, the inner curl of petals like a perfect porcelain shell. And then it falls apart in my hands, the petals separating and dropping to the ground.
It's a constant reminder of how short our lives are, how limited our physical forms, how fleeting our glory days. How time catches you like a bird in the grate of a train and presses forward on and on with a momentum that is not your own. You have to grasp firmly onto your joy -- whatever that is. Hold tight as life whips on.
Speaking of joy... this tart! When life gives you ginger snaps, make a ginger snap tart! That was my motto for the whole hour or so that I was making and eating this pie. Sometimes Logan gets free stuff at work and sometimes it's cookies and sometimes we're tempted to eat all of the cookies at one time and/or invite our friends over for beer and chill times and then force cookies on them (force? I meant guide them gently to OD on ginger snaps). Why? Why not just keep all of the cookies to ourselves? Why would one EVER give away cookies?! Well, the answer is: we don't really like cookies that much. Really.
I mean, homemade chewy, crisp, perfect chocolate chip cookies is one thing. Store bought is a different beast. Sorry, store bought gluten free cookies are a different beast. They usually have some flaw that makes them less than satisfying (too dry, too crumbly, too sweet, too much goddam rice flour, etc.). But that doesn't matter. All that matters is that you have a backup plan for all of those damn cookies. Like making them into a cookie crust volcano and filling it with ice cream and cream soda and BOOM ice cream float magma. Or forget about that because it makes this ginger snap tart seem less epic!
It's funny, I know this is a common thing in the regular cookie eatin' world. But for me it was like BLAM cookie crust revelation. Again, only because I never have cookies around. But whatever, we all benefit from me being very late to the cookie crust game. So, here's a ginger custard tart that's so vegan friendly you'll want to punch something out of joy.
- 1 5.5 oz box [url href="http://www.amazon.com/Marys-Gone-Crackers-Ginger-Cookies/dp/B003TRL6SG"]vegan, gluten free gingersnaps [/url](makes 1.5 cups milled ginger snaps)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S blade, mill your whole ginger snap cookies until they break down into a dry, sandy mix.
- While the machine is running, add in the coconut oil and almond milk. Blend together until you have a malleable, pliable dough (about 20-30 seconds more).
- Scrape down the sides of the food processor and bring the dough together with your hands, forming a ball.
- Press the dough into your 9" tart or pie pan evenly. Pour in your filling of choice, and voila!
- 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch fine pink sea salt
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon sorghum flour
- 1/8 teaspoon agar agar powder
- pinch turmeric (for color)
- *Optional garnish: chocolate chips, chia seeds, fresh ginger slices
- In a small sauce pot, combine the coconut milk, vanilla, and sea salt and bring to a simmer over low heat.
- Mince the ginger, then add the ginger to a garlic press and juice directly over the pot of coconut milk. Also scrape the ginger pulp that you've pressed through the press into the coconut milk. Continue until all of the ginger is juiced, discarding the leftover dry pulp as you go.
- In a separate bowl, combine the coconut sugar, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, agar, and turmeric.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together briefly, just to remove any clumps and combine everything evenly.
- Add 1/2 of the warm coconut milk to the dry mix and stir to combine.
- Add the wet mix to the rest of the coconut milk on the stove and stir again to incorporate everything.
- Cook on low 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until glossy and thick.
- Immediately pour the ginger custard into your crust.
- Let set our until the tart reaches room temperature, then place in the fridge to cool.
- Cool a minimum of 1 hour before serving, up to overnight (covered).
- *Optional: Dot the top of the tart with chocolate chips or top, sprinkle chia seeds over, and create a little flower with ginger slices in the center!