Lemon Vanilla Custard Tart + Berries

So this recipe is a long time in the making. It's nothing that creative in the Raw Vegan world - substituting cream with cashews and wheat crust for oat and nut crusts - but I dreamt this recipe up on day while driving. Being 5 1/2 months pregnant, I dream of sweet pastries and cupcakes. 


Lemon custard/pudding is what I was craving. I went home and threw ingredients together {you might remember my Instagram pic}. Not sure if you remember my carob ganache/pudding? I used a similar ratio of coconut oil to water to give it a soft yet also dense texture. Instead of chocolate I used lemon juice and vanilla bean!

It was to die for. I didn't write down a recipe though. So I had to recreate it weeks later when I was craving it again. Only this time, I decided to make it into a cheesecake/custard pie topped with fresh berries. 

It turned out so good that I made one for our Father's Day party! It was a huge hit amongst the entire group! I will for sure make this for the 4th of July as well! 

Note - regular custard is made with: 

  • whipping cream
  • cornstarch
  • eggs
  • egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

This recipe contains no dairy, refined sugar, butter, eggs, cornstarch, soy or gluten. Which is even more exciting, if you ask me! {wink}


makes 3  8" tarts


1/4 c gluten-free oat bran

1/2 c almonds

5 large dates, seeds removed

1 Tbls chia seeds {unsoaked}

1 tsp lemon zest

pinch, sea salt


1/2 c coconut oil

1/3 c water

1/2 c cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours

1/3 c + 1 Tbls maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract + pinch vanilla bean {optional}

1 1/2 lemons, juiced {about 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbls}

When I woke up in the morning I soaked the cashews in filtered water. I went about my day and a few hours later, when it was time to make this pie, my cashews were ready to blend. In a high speed blender blend all the FILLING ingredients on high until completely smooth - no chunks or grainy textures - it should be super smooth like real cream. I like using vanilla bean because you can see the specs in the cream. It's so pretty and gives it a really neat flavor. 

Let that sit while you prepare the crust. 

In a food processor add all the CRUST ingredients. Chop and blend until mixture is mealy and fine, but not completely turned into nut butter. The crust isn't very sticky or oily, so you'll have to press the mixture really well into the pie/tart pans. 

I made these tarts in small tart pans because I used all different kinds of berries. I wanted them to be different. I used a metal cake pan and also disposable paper cake pans. Both work really well. 

After you press the crust into the bottom of the pans, pour the lemon custard mixture over the crust. Let chill in refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours before serving. Keep in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, top with fresh black berries and raspberries or strawberries or figs. Honestly, whatever fruit is in season will taste amazing! 

variations: I made this custard in cups and at it with a spoon, topped with berries. You can do this as well without a crust. See photos. Have fun with the toppings. You can also blend berries up and swirl a pretty purple into the custard. Possibilities are endless. Also, you can make this recipe more like a cheesecake if you use less water and more coconut oil. Just tweeking it a tiny bit will make the cake more dense. Like my ganache recipe, you can play around with the texture.