- Associated Press - Thursday, March 31, 2011

Whoever coined the phrase “easy as pie” clearly didn’t bake much. Enter Martha Stewart. Again.

Miss Stewart’s latest cookbook — simply named “Pies and Tarts” — offers more than 150 recipes whose clear instructions, gorgeous photos and brevity (each recipe fits on one page) take the intimidation out of pastry. Organized by category from “classic” (think apple) to “free-form” (no pie plate handy?) to “artful” (double lattice crusts, shingled leaves), the book lets users pick pies according to their skill and the occasion.

Coconut and berry Passover tart

From Miss Stewart’s new cookbook, this simple berry-topped tart is perfect for Passover. It sports a coconut crust that is both chewy and crispy, a puddinglike vanilla-almond filling and mounds of fresh fruit. Serves 8.

For the crust:

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup sugar

2 large eggs, separated

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

For the filling:

½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise

½ cup vanilla soy milk

4 tablespoons sugar, divided

2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch

2 tablespoons almond paste

1 cup almond flour

½ cup soy cream cheese (preferably Tofutti)

5 tablespoons apricot jam

4 cups mixed fresh berries, such as sliced strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. To prepare the crust, in a medium bowl combine the coconut, sugar, the 2 egg whites, vanilla and salt. Press the mixture into the bottom and up sides of a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Set aside.

To make the filling, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a small saucepan, then add the pod. Set over medium-high heat, then stir in the soy milk and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Bring to a boil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 egg yolks, arrowroot and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Add the hot soy-milk mixture in a slo stream, whisking .

Return the mixture to the pan, and whisk over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Discard the vanilla pod.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium to beat the soy-milk mixture and almond paste for 5 minutes. Beat in the almond flour and soy cream cheese. Spread the mixture evenly over the crust. Bake for 15 minutes.

Cover the edges of the tart with foil. Bake until set, another 15 to 25 minutes. Let the tart cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Unmold.

In a small saucepan over medium, heat the jam until loose. Spread the jam evenly over the tart and arrange the berries on top.

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