For the tart shell, sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add in the coconut palm sugar, dairy free butter and hard white vegetable shortening and with a knife cut into small chunks. With your hands high, rub the dairy free butter and vegetable shortening into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. You can also do this in a food processor.
Add a tbsp of the egg and water mixture and fork the mixture together. If it is still crumbly and not coming together, add a little bit more liquid, being careful not to over do it. Bring the dough together with your hands until it is in a smooth ball with no crumbs falling away. Gently flatten into a round, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge until thoroughly cold.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Once the pastry is cool, roll it out and line an 8-inch tart tin. A handy trick to make this easier is to roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of floured cling film.
Bake the tart blind for about 20 mins. Remove the greaseproof paper and beans used to blind bake. Brush the base and sides of the shell with some beaten egg. Return to the oven and continue to cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes until the base is a golden colour. This will give the tart base a lovely short pastry texture and prevent it from getting soggy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
For the filling, add the maple syrup and coconut palm sugar to a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and while still warm add in the coconut butter and stir until it has completely melted.
In a bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and salt. Then slowly add to the maple syrup mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Add the lightly toasted pecan nuts to the mixture and combine together. Pour this into the tart shell, cover with tinfoil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the tinfoil and bake for roughly a further 15 minutes or until the top is reasonably firm with a little bit of give in the centre.
Leave to cool and serve with a dollop of dairy free ice cream.
Yield: 2 Servings
225g White spelt flour
50g Dairy free butter (e.g. sunflower spread)
60g Hard White Vegetable Shortening (it is crucial that you get the hardest one you can find, I have tried a number of them and in my view ‘Cookeen’ is one of the best)
1 Egg beaten together with 1 tsp water
1 dessertspoon of coconut palm sugar
Pinch of sea salt
250ml Organic maple syrup
100g Coconut palm sugar
50g Coconut butter
260g Pecans – very lightly roasted, about 5 mins at 170 C
1.5 tsp Vanilla extract
Good pinch of sea salt