A simple 1-bowl Mixed Berry Crumble Tart filled with fresh strawberries and blueberries for a gluten-free and vegan dessert.
I was quite sure I wasn't going to have a post ready for this week even though I have wanted to share this mixed berry crumble tart for quite some time now.
We returned from our road trip through the Southwest last weekend to the news that my freshman college roommate had passed away. News that was sudden, much too early, and impossibly sad.
We fell out of touch after college, but both of us eventually made it back to our hometown of Kansas City. It was her, a friendly high school acquaintance I knew through music ensembles, that had told me late into our senior year about her college plans and future program of study. I was instantly sure I needed to do the same, and although my fall plans were already pretty much set, they changed that day.
We were both southern-bound as college freshman, and since we knew each other well enough, we figured rooming together made the best sort of sense.
Two Kansas City girls going far from home. A familiar face and someone to talk to could only help break-in the newness of our impending adulthood.
When you share a room with someone for a year, you really get to know them. Whether you become friends or foes, you know their habits, their dreams, their favorite brand of shampoo.
As happens all too often, life took us different places. And except for the occasional Facebook update, I hadn't seen her until we ran into each other a couple months ago at the grocery store.
We hugged and made a scene and were totally those people that block all the important produce from the other patrons. Updates of our lives interrupted by "excuse me," "pardon me," or "I just need to grab some kale." Always the kale.
As a counselor by trade, I have unfortunately had to work with situations that deal with suicide. It is always difficult and always heart-wrenching, but this one has rocked me in a way I can't yet explain. I've had a hard time getting things done this week, or wanting to, and an overwhelming sadness has my heart heavy.
And while I tend not to write in this space about such serious matters, I felt I'd be remiss in my work as a counselor and as a human being if I didn't write about my friend and how important a reminder it is to tell those you care for just that—you care.
Most of us in the US will be celebrating the long holiday weekend with friends and family, and while I thought I couldn't possibly talk about this before such a fun occasion, it seems it is both simultaneously never and always a good time to talk about mental health and letting those in your life know you love them whenever you have the chance.
So hug them in the grocery store. Make a scene and block the kale. Listen. Love. xoxo.
Mixed Berry Tart
- 2 ¼ cups almond flour
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar + 2 teaspoons
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 2 cups fresh strawberries hulled, halved, and quartered
- 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut sugar,1 tablespoon of cane sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the melted coconut oil mixing initially with a whisk and then with your fingers until the mixture form moist crumbs. It will have the consistency of wet sand.
- Place 2 ¼ cups of the mixture into your prepared tart pan. Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Reserve the remaining mixture in a measuring cup.
- Once you have removed the reserved crumb mixture from the bowl, add the strawberries, blueberries, 2 teaspoons cane sugar, and lemon zest. Stir to mix. Using the back of a large spoon, smash about 25% of the berries (blueberries will smash mostly). Add cornstarch and mix again until evenly coated. Transfer berries into the tart crust, spreading them out to make an even layer. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top crumb layer is golden brown. Allow the tart to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the sides and continuing to cool.
- Once cool, carefully transfer slices of tart to plates and serve with whipped cream or ice cream for an extra treat. Best when served the day it is made.
This is so delicious! I particularly love the almond flour crust with coconut oil. All of the flavors of this tart go perfectly together. I made this the other morning, for breakfast, and it was one of those recipes where I tasted and thought, "Who can I invite over to share this deliciousness?" I called my parents! My kids and I sat on the deck with Grammie and Grampie and devoured the whole thing, topped with coconut whipped cream. Thank you for bringing my family together!
Oh, thank you, Lisa! Your comment just made my day. I am so happy you all enjoyed the tart.
Also, I love that you say "Grammie" too. My family called my grandmother Grammie as well. <3
Tess - I'm so sorry for the loss of your roommate. We always assume something this horrific will happen far away from our lives and emotions. But, occasionally, it does hit our world, takes our breath away and leaves us turning in circles. Be easy on yourself. It's understandable to feel unmotivated and undirected. I hope you feel better soon. I'm thinking of you.....
Thank you, AP. That's such a good way to describe it. Love to you! <3 <3 <3
Traci | Vanilla And Bean
What a horrific discovery, Tessa... such a tragedy and loss for you.. for everyone. Depression has touched my life in several ways, not only personally, but while I was teaching too. It is a struggle, it is real. And like you said, so important to reach out to those you care about. To block that kale.. to spend the time not only being there, but also, trying to understand its complexities. I appreciate your writing about this difficult reality. xo
- this tart.. breakfast? how about it!? Gorgeous, Tessa!
Thank you, Traci, that struggle is so real. It can be very scary too. I so appreciate your words.
Yes, this tart for breakfast?! Tested and approved! ;) xo.
This looks amazing! Love the crumble crust ingredients. So wholesome and delicious!
Thanks, Lauren! I like to think it is more healthy than not. ;)
Hi Tessa, I've been by your blog before, but haven't commented until now. I'm so sorry about your friend. I personally don't have many close friends, but your message still speaks to me in some way. Thanks for sharing your story, I hope the coming days are brighter for you.
Hi Lauren, thanks so much for your note. I really appreciate your words and am glad that the post spoke to you. Thank you for coming back to this space - I'm so glad to have you! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. xo.
So sorry, Tessa. I'm glad you wrote about it. xoxo
Thank you, girl. <3 <3
Medha @ Whisk & Shout
So sorry to hear about your loss and such a wonderfully written post. We've all definitely had those grocery store encounters that I often brush off because I'm in public. What a great reminder to take the time and 'block the kale'. Lovely.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Medha - I so appreciate it. <3 Always block that kale. xo
jaime // the briny
Tessa, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I can't quite imagine the heartache and grief and confusion of processing that. Wishing all the peace and love to her family and friends and to you. Your words here are so sweet, so welcome, so important, so wonderful. Never and always is just it. Thank you for sharing your heart here. Block that kale, indeed. xoxo
p.s. This tart looks so good. Perfect for the weekend, for sure.
Yes, always block that kale! Thank you for your kind words, Jaime. The tart was made more than once this weekend. :)
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
Oh Tessa, I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend. Such a sad situation. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous tart. I just saw it on IG and had to pop over to the blog to check it out. Just perfect for all the summer berries!
Thank you, Mary Ann. <3 The tart also doubles very well as breakfast! I hope you had a great weekend with your boys.