These pecan pie tarts are uncooked. They look lovely with a dollop of coconut whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, dairy-free of course ;)
For the Crust
1 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup lightly packed, soft pitted dates
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the Filling
1 cup lightly packed, pitted dates
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup pecan halves
Place the dates for the filling in a bowl, cover with hot water and soak for approximately 15 minutes. While the dates are soaking, start preparing the crust.
Add all of the crust ingredients to a food processor and blend into a crumbly but sticky "dough" you can press together between your fingers.
Line a standard 12-piece muffin pan with paper liners then add a large heaping tablespoon of the dough to each liner. Once you've filled them all, divide any remaining mixture between the cups.
Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to firmly press the dough into a flat layer in each cup. Place the muffin pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Drain the dates, pressing them down into the bowl as you drain to help remove excess water.
Add the drained dates, water, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla to the food processor (no need to clean between uses) and blend until fully combined. It's ok if there are some chunks of dates but it should be fairly smooth.
Add the pecans and pulse or blend briefly to break the pecans down into small bits and combine. There should be some texture to the filling after adding the pecans.
Add a large heaping tablespoon of the filling to each cup then divide any remaining filling between the cups. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface of each into a flat, even layer.
If desired, place 3 pecans on top of each in a little star shape, slightly pressing them into the filling.
Place the tarts in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm.
Remove from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for 5-7 minutes before serving.
If you have never had a macadamia nut, please try one this holiday season, even in cookie form. These buttery nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, the fats that can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Eating 0.3-1.5 ounces a day could lower LDL by 10%.