The holiday season is once again upon us with its irresistible onslaught of candy canes, cookie swaps, and gooey chocolate treats. While we find ourselves indulging right along with the rest of the crowd, as dietitians we like to add fruit desserts to the mix whenever possible. We’re not pie people—they’re too sugary and gloppy, and as Janice says, “cloyingly sweet”—so to celebrate the season, we baked a rustic fruit tart instead made with pears and grapes, a coconut oil crust, a wee bit of granulated sugar, and a natural, zero-calorie sweetener called Monk Fruit In the Raw. Just say “no” to gloppy desserts!
Disclosure: “We received free samples from Cumberland Packing Corp., maker of Monk Fruit In The Raw. By posting this recipe we are entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cumberland Packing Corp. and are eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. We were not compensated for our time.”
This month, we entered the Show Us Your Sweets recipe contest hosted by The Recipe Redux. The assignment: Adapt one of your signature baked good recipes by reducing sugar with Monk Fruit In The Raw or develop a new lower-calorie creation. We opted for the new creation. Our Rustic Pear & Grape Tart is perfect for your holiday table. It’s delicious, gorgeous to look at, healthy (yes, desserts can be healthy), and kids love it too.
Monk Fruit In the Raw is made from vine-ripened monk fruit grown in China, also called luo han guo. It measures cup for cup just like regular sugar, and it tastes like sugar with no bitter or unusual aftertaste. Sprinkled on top of our tart, it looks like powdered sugar. So pretty …
Making pie crust can be, well, easy as pie if you use our zip-top bag rolling technique!
To roll out pie crust using a resealable bag, follow our technique:
> Make your dough, roll it in a ball, place in a gallon-size zip-top bag, and pop in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
> Remove from the freezer and roll out the dough, opening the bag every now and then to remove wrinkles. Roll out the dough so it touches all four corners of the bag. Pop back in the freezer for 3 to 5 minutes to firm up a bit before using kitchen scissors to cut the bag away. If the dough is too sticky, pop it back in the freezer for another minute or two.
> Assemble the fruit filling and set aside in a bowl. Place the crust on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and lay the fruit mixture on top, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Roll up the sides of the dough to cover the fruit (free-form style), leaving the fruit on top uncovered.
Rustic Pear & Grape Tart
Makes 6 Servings
While we both spend a lot of our time cooking for our families, we don’t consider ourselves “bakers,” which is why we use the simple technique of rolling out our tart crust in a plastic resealable bag. For this recipe, all we used was two tablespoons of regular sugar, drawing an extra pop of sweetness from the Monk Fruit In the Raw. You don’t have to be an artist or a talented baker to turn out a lovely, rustic-looking tart every time. You can change up the filling depending on what’s on hand, and we suggest serving each luscious slice with low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt.
For the Crust:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons Monk Fruit In the Raw
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, room temperature
- 5 tablespoons cold water
For the Filling:
- 2 medium ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup red grapes, halved (about 20 grapes)
- 2 tablespoons Monk Fruit In the Raw plus 2 teaspoons, divided
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Place the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, Monk Fruit In the Raw, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse twice until combined. Add the coconut oil and pulse 10 times or until the mixture is coarse. Add the water and pulse 5 more times until a dough forms. Scrape down sides of food processor as needed.
2. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the center of a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Use your hand to flatten the dough slightly. Place in the freezer to cool, 10 to 15 minutes (but no more). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
3. While the dough is cooling, prepare the fruit filling. Place the pears, grapes, Monk Fruit In the Raw, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir gently to combine. Set aside.
4. Remove the bag from the freezer, place on a work surface, and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to all four corners of the bag. Open the bag to remove air bubbles and wrinkles and then reseal. (You may need to do this several times). Place flattened dough back in the freezer for 3 to 5 minutes to firm up slightly.
5. Remove from freezer and use kitchen shears to cut the edges of the plastic bag away from the crust. Place the crust on the prepared baking sheet, and arrange the fruit mixture in the middle, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Fold the edges of the crust over the fruit, using the parchment paper to help you along. The crust will not meet up in the center, and your handiwork does not have to be perfect; remember, this is a rustic tart.
6. Bake until the fruit is bubbly, softened, and the crust is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, dust with the remaining Monk Fruit In the Raw, and serve.
Nutrition Information per Serving (1 slice): 260 calories, 11g fat (11g saturated), 100mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate, 13g sugar, 3g fiber, 3g protein
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