Vegan and Paleo Ube Tart
Thanksgiving is very different this year. I thought it to be the perfect time to play with non traditional dishes. A twist on the classic sweet potato pie, this ube tart is sure to please.
I have fond memories of eating the signature sweet potato pecan pie at a restaurant called Killer Shrimp. That was one of my favorite restaurants, probably due to the simplicity of the menu. They had shrimp with bread, rice, or pasta. That’s it. Oh, and of course, the sweet potato pecan pie that was served with a HUGE dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
We used to order a few of these pies for our holiday celebrations every year, and I always chose it over pumpkin. When I owned my bakery, I attempted to recreate this pie, but it never really worked out for me. The Killer Shrimp that I grew up going to closed over ten years ago. Honestly, I still think about that pie… This tart isn’t that pie, but it definitely comes close in my book. I love it paired with candied maple pecans and a big dollop of coconut whipped cream.
Why This Ube Tart?
My hometown of Los Angeles has a large Filipino population, in fact, my oldest friend is Filipina. Ube is used in a lot of Filipino desserts and I have always loved it. When thinking of my favorite sweet potato pie from Killer Shrimp, I set my mind to trying it with ube. I am SO glad I did. Not only is this tart absolutely delicious, it is striking to look at.
Purple sweet potatoes, or ube, make this tart a gorgeous deep plum. Ube is more starchy than a regular sweet potato. It has a distinct flavor that blends beautifully with traditional sweet potato pie spices.
I knew this tart would have to be sweetened with either maple syrup or coconut sugar (in this case both) and would probably be vegan. My experience has taught me that dessert is a beautiful crossroads where a vegan diet and a paleo diet can meet.
I also prefer tarts to pies. They are more impressive in my mind and don’t take much more effort than a pie. Am I alone in this preference?
Let’s Talk Ingredients
Purple Sweet Potato (Ube): these are the absolute star of the show. They are deep purple and have a distinct sweet potato flavor. They are more starchy than a traditional sweet potato, and I had to make some adjustments to accommodate that. I found them at Trader Joe’s and my regular grocery store. You may need to seek out an Asian grocery store to find them. It will be worth it. The recipe calls for them to be baked, but I have also had success with boiling them. I prefer the baked version because it preserves the deep purple color more. It’s completely up to you.
Tapioca Starch: this helps bind the filling and makes it set properly. You could use arrowroot starch in replacement. This is an important ingredient as it acts as an egg replacement.
Almond Flour: almond flour make a great tart crust. It acts similarly to graham cracker crumbs making it the easiest tart crust in my arsenal. I use this recipe/ratio for many of tarts. It’s easy, refined sugar free, vegan, and paleo. You can’t lose!
Spices: this pie uses a lot of different spices. This is something that can certainly be adjusted to personal tastes. This recipe includes cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. I am a HUGE fan of spice, but if you’re not, feel free to change it up.
Coconut Whipped Cream: this is something that is optional, but complements the pie perfectly. To make it you need to refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight (I always have a few cans in the fridge). Open the can and scrape the firm coconut cream into a bowl. Reserve the liquid for smoothies. Whip the coconut cream with a hand blender until soft peaks begin to form. Add 1 T of maple syrup and 1/2 t of vanilla and continue to whip until firm peaks.
Maple Pecans: this is another option for the pie. I love candied pecans and they are super easy to make at home. Toss 1 c pecan halves with 2 T of maple syrup and 2 t of coconut oil. Place them in a 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. Allow to cool completely before devouring.
I hope you try this beautiful deep plum tart this Thanksgiving. Its striking color is sure to impress, and the flavor will knock your socks off.
Vegan and Paleo Ube (purple sweet potato) Tart
- Food Processor or High Speed Blender
- 9" tart pan
Almond Flour Crust
- 1 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 2 tbsp coconut oil softened
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
Ube Tart Filling
- 2 cups purple sweet potato puree about 2 medium; boiled or baked
- 3/4 cup coconut milk canned
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Almond Flour Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl add all of the crust ingredients.
- Mix the ingredients together with your hands, making sure the coconut oil is fully distributed. it will resemble graham cracker crust consistency.
- Lightly oil the tart pan.
- Press the crust along the bottom and sides of the tart pan evenly. You may have some leftover crust.
- Bake for 8 minutes and remove from the oven.
Ube Tart Filling
- Place all of the ingredients into the bowl of the food processor or blender.
- Blend on low for 2 minutes and stop to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Blend again on low for another 2 minutes, until the filling is smooth. It should be a somewhat thick consistency.
- Pour the batter into the tart pan being careful not to overfill, and smooth out the top. You may have some leftover filling.
- Bake for 35 minutes.
- Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar for 20 minutes. This helps the tart set.
- Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool for at least one hour.
- Place the tart in the refrigerator to finish setting, about 2 hours.
- Remove the tart from the pan and place on a plate.
- Serve chilled with coconut whipped cream and maple pecans.