In the fall, when the carrots are bolstering for cooler temperatures, they become a bit sweeter and perfect for this unique tart. Creamy, sweet and packed with vital nutrients and minerals, will remind you of its pumpkin (or sweet potato) pie cousins, but the slices will be a bit more pudding like. It’s easy to make this pie dairy-free by electing coconut yogurt in the filling, and I love the foolproof date + oat crust — no one will miss the gluten of traditional pie dough at your celebratory table!
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For the filling:
- 2 lbs carrots (roughly 6 large) trimmed, peeled, cut into chunks
- Sea salt (or your preferred seasoning salt)
- ½ cup organic granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups heavy creme, creme fraiche, or coconut yogurt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
For the crust:
- 1 cup pitted dates (I used Medjool)
- ¾ cup gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
- Large handful crushed pecan pieces (or other favorite crushed nuts)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- Big pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice (or cinnamon, if you prefer)
For the coconut whipped creme:
- 1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk chilled overnight
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar,
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Before you begin preparing your tart, pop the can of coconut milk and a mixing bowl into the fridge — preferably the night before you intend to eat the pie — so that the creme will whip. Then, prepare your carrot filling. Put your carrots in a large saucepan, cover with water, add 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a gentle boil and cook until the carrots are thoroughly tender roughly 20-35 minutes. Drain well, then transfer to a blender or the bowl of a food processor.
Next, place the sugar and ¼ cup water into the saucepan and stir to moisten the sugar. Then, cook on medium-high heat without stirring (but swirl the pot a few times to distribute the heat!) continuing to cook until the sugar syrup has turned a dark amber and smells very caramel-y (roughly 5-6 minutes.)
Next, you’re going to add ¼ cup of the creme and whisk until the caramel is smooth. Add the butter and a pinch more salt and stir until the butter is melted then quickly take the pot off the heat and transfer the caramel to the blender with the carrots. Add the remaining cream, the whole eggs and yolk. Blend the carrot mixture on high until the filling is very smooth, then set aside until your pie shell is ready.
Preheat your oven to 350°F, and place your 9” round tart pan with a removable bottom on a baking sheet. Now, to blend up your crust! In the blender or bowl of your food processor, pulse together the oats, nuts, salt and spice so that no large chunks of nuts remain, and the oats are fine. Then, toss in the dates, coconut oil, and maple syrup and blend until the mixture is smooth.
Press the crust evenly into the tart pan and up the sides. Pop the tart crust into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Then, pull the crust from the oven and carefully pour in your carrot filling, spreading it evenly over the crust. (You’ll likely have a bit of extra carrot filling. I sometimes make additional crust to turn into tiny tartlets and use it up!)
Turn the heat in your oven down to 325°F and bake the tart until it’s just set. It will still appear to be very soft, but the top will have puffed a little bit, and when you jiggle the edge of the pie, you won’t have any loose liquid in the center. This will take about an hour. Let the tart cool completely.
Lastly, make your whipped coconut cream! Without shaking or tipping the can, remove the top and scoop out the thick, solid portion of the coconut milk. Leave the clear liquid at the bottom for another purpose. In the chilled mixing bowl, beat the cream to incorporate it. Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Then dollop like mad over your carrot tart + enjoy!