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Cool recipe alert: California Tart

Plateia is an al fresco, full-service restaurant and lounge at the University of California-Los Angeles’ Luskin Conference Center. Cali-centric small plates, wine and cocktails are all on the menu, along with desserts and pastries like this California Tart, a berry-forward taste of spring in SoCal. This recipe uses gelatin, but it’s not your grandma’s Jell-O mold!

YIELD: 6 servings

For avocado mousse:

1 sheet gelatin

2 small or 1 large ripe avocado

¾ tsp. citric acid

3.5 oz. condensed milk

1 oz. Greek yogurt

Pinch fennel pollen

3 oz. heavy cream

For tart:

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup almonds, sliced & toasted

1/8 cup sugar

3 Tbsps. butter

1/8 tsp. salt

1 to 1.5 Tbsps. cold water

For black currant gelée:

1.5 sheets gelatin

3.75 oz. black currant puree

1.5 oz. granulated sugar

  1. For avocado mousse: Soften gelatin sheet in ice water. Place avocado, citric acid, yogurt, condensed milk and fennel pollen in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Pour 1 oz. heavy cream in saucepan, heat to simmer. Add gelatin sheet to melt.
  3. Meanwhile put remainder 2 oz. heavy cream in mixing bowl and start whisking. Add the melted gelatin when it starts to thicken and whip to soft peak.
  4. Fold in cream to avocado mixture.
  5. Add to desired round molds and freeze overnight.
  6. Place flour, almonds, sugar, butter and salt in food processor. Cover and pulse until blended.
  7. Gradually add water, pulsing until mixture forms a soft dough.
  8. Press onto bottom and up sides of individual greased 3.5 tart molds. Bake 350°F for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
  9. For gelée, soften gelatin sheet in ice bath.
  10. Heat currant puree with sugar until sugar dissolves. Add gelatin and mix until melted.
  11. To assemble: Add just enough gelée to cover bottom of tart.
  12. Unmold frozen avocado mousse and push into gelée in center of tart. Garnish with seasonal fruits.

Photo and recipe: UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services, Plateia Restaurant

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