I’m having a great time with the Paleo Pen Pals monthly challenge: in February I created Black Garlic Chocolate Donuts with the gooey, salty, tangy Korean black garlic sent by Brittanie of Three Diets. One Dinner and this month I made taro tartlets with the package sent by Tanya from Feed the Clan!
Taro is the common name for a family of tropical tubers. They’re small (approximately the size of my closed fist), brown and…hairy. Odd-looking, compared to common root vegetables such as white potatoes, yams and turnips. Another twist is that they are inedible when raw and even considered toxic! This toxicity is neutralized by thorough cooking, however, which Tanya made sure to explain in a note included in the package. This aspect plus their appearance was a large part of the fun, as was the idea of making something as cheerful and twee as these tartlets out of a dusty, semi-poisonous product of the soil. The joke is that while the taro might be dismissed as the white potato’s unfriendly, ugly-duckling relative at first glance, taro is actually far more vitamin-rich, higher in fiber and lower in calories than the potato. A last fact for the nutrition nerds: taro affects blood sugar levels much more gradually and gently after ingestion than potatoes, also.
This recipe can be divided into the three steps of 1. filling, 2. crust, 3. assembly and accomplished over the course of several days as I did. If I make these again I’ll attempt the entire process at one time, however, since each of the steps turned out to be more manageable and less time-consuming than anticipated!
- 4 taro
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (plus more for oiling pans)
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 teaspoons honey
- 4 teaspoons water
- Chopped hazelnuts
- Chopped pistachios
- Edible flowers
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease ten 2.5″ fluted tartlet pans, set aside.
- Thoroughly wash the taro, scrubbing to remove any dirt from the hairy skin. Peel and chop into 1-inch cubes and place in a medium saucepan.
- Fill with enough water to cover the cubed taro, bring to a rolling boil over medium heat and maintain the boil until taro is thoroughly cooked and the tines of a fork pass through without resistance when inserted into a test piece (approximately 15 minutes). Drain and set aside to cool.
- Measure the ingredients for the crust into a large mixing bowl, combine thoroughly. Press equal portions into the tartlet pans, gently pressing and shaping until the crust is even. Snub the crusts’ edges by patting down the perimeter with the pad of a fingertip.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, remove and allow to cool. To remove the crusts from the pans, gently pick at the edges until they become dislodged.
- Roughly mash the cooled taro (approximately 1.25 cups mashed and packed). Combine the ingredients for the filling in a blender and process until liquefied.
- Gently spoon the filling into the crusts, smooth and level the surfaces. Garnish with the chopped hazelnuts, pistachios, raspberries and edible flowers.
- Serve chilled.