Where do you draw your inspiration from? When we're talking about food and the meals we prepare at home, maybe inspiration isn't something we need. Instead, it's an afterthought - a readymeal from the supermarket on our way home from work, a phone call to the nearest pizza delivery company.
Yet it's a perfect place to get creative if you lack that outlet elsewhere in life. Coming from two artistic parents, I've always been encouraged to express myself creatively. Art supplies and blank pieces of drawing paper could be found everywhere in my house as a child. I'd scribble and finger paint at every opportunity. Then I grew up a little and preferred to dance it out - ballet, tap, etc etc. A few more years passed by, along with a growing self-awareness, and it was music. I played piano, flute, guitar and joined school bands. In my early 20s, I turned to photography. Fully self-conscious, photography allows you to be creative while remaining hidden behind a lens. It wasn't enough for me - I still needed that outlet.
And then I discovered the creative side to food.
The photo above was taken on a recent morning from my bedroom window. That morning, I remember opening my eyes, still in bed, and noticing this pink hue to the room from behind the curtains. I got up, pulled back the drapes, and felt so in awe of this beautiful sky. The photo really doesn't do it justice - this was a dramatic, fiery display - it didn't match the quiet, sleepy morning inside the room. I rushed to get my camera and took about 30 photos.
This is what it took - this pink/purple/orange morning - to get my recipe inspiration going. I've mentioned Victoria plums recently on the blog, which have this gorgeous, multi-colored skin and are perfectly in season here in England. The plums I had in my fridge were in danger of going to waste - so thank goodness for this sky to remind me that they could be made into something delicious. As luck would have it, I needed to make a dessert to bring to dinner that night. The following raw treat was born...
This raw tart makes use of the plums in two ways. First, they are added to the creamy filling, which very closely resembles pumpkin pie or a spiced cheesecake. Second, they are sliced up for decoration on top (and help guide the slices too - functional AND beautiful!) Take advantage of that seasonal fruit while it's still around. Or just look outside to get inspired in your kitchen. Those orange and yellow leaves that are starting to appear on the trees could spark some amazing recipe ideas!
Raw Spiced Plum Tart
Makes one 8" tart
- 1 1/2 cups raw almonds, soaked and drained
- 1/2 cup dates
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup cashews, soaked and drained
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 6 small plums, stones removed
- 1/4 cup dates
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- To serve: 4 plums, sliced into thin wedges
- For the Crust: Combine the first 3 ingredients in a food processor until a dough ball forms. Press the dough into an 8" quiche or tart pan (one with a removable base is ideal). Refrigerate or freeze to harden.
- For the Filling: Blend all remaining ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth and creamy. Pour on top of the cooled crust and refrigerate or freeze until firm (about 1 hour).
- To Serve: Decorate with sliced plums and cashew cream (optional).