The words “cous cous” and “desert” are most certainly not an obvious pairing. I came across this idea in a macrobiotic cookbook that I don’t recall buying. I love looking through cookbooks to get inspired for new recipes. I add, tweak, and make it my own. It’s easier to do that with cooking. Baking, however, requires stricter adherence to measurements since it’s more of a science. In my recent quest to come up with healthier desert alternatives, I was intrigued by making a tart crust out of whole wheat cous cous. This recipe has zero flour or refined sugar. It’s truly a guilt free indulgence. It’s satisfying and filling since the crust is legit, but it’s clean. Cooking the cous cous in apple juice gives it a wonderful sweetness. I love the look of halved fresh figs. Any sliced fruit can top this though. I think the cookbook used peaches. I added more ingredients to my version but kept it vegan. It was a crap shoot but came out delicious. I probably shouldn’t say “crap” when writing up a recipe...
3 cups good quality apple juice.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat cous cous ( the tiny kind, not the pearled pasta kind).
1/4 cup melted coconut oil.
2 tbsp ground flax meal. Flax meal has many health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and increasing fiber intake. It was a no brainer to add some here.
1/2 a cup of good jam, such as apricot, peach, plum, or raspberry. I used apricot. I liked the color contrast with the purple figs.
A container of fresh figs, sliced in half lengthwise.
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a ten inch springform pan with removable bottom well with non stick spray. Set aside.
Prepare the cous cous with the apple juice instead of water according to package directions. After it’s done, Mix with the flax meal and coconut oil to make the crust.
Meanwhile, mix the jam with 1/4 cup of water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer on low for several minutes until the jam thins out. Let cool. Pat the cous cous down into the spring from pan firmly to form the crust. Spread half the cooled jam onto the top leaving an inch border.
Arrange the figs artfully (or not) on top. Pour the rest of the jam on top to set the figs. Press whichever sliced fruit you’re using gently into the crust before the second jam pouring. Bake until the Tart is set and a tester comes out clean. about 45 minutes. Every oven is different. I’d start checking after 35 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.