Seasonal Fruit Tart with Crème Patisserie
Lisa Roukin is a chef, teacher and writer, focussing on developing gluten and wheat free recipes. She runs her own cookery business, appeared on channel 4, BBC Radio, and was a finalist on Gordon Ramsey’s the F Word. She has self-published her own cookery book ‘My Relationship with Food’ 100 recipes to nourish mind, body and soul.
Admittedly, this recipe takes time but be patient. The result is a stunning dessert which resembles a painter’s palette of brilliant colours.
Date & Walnut Pastry
300g pitted dates 250g ground walnuts
150g ground almonds
pinch of salt
600ml almond milk
1 vanilla pod
6 egg yolks (large)
100g coconut sugar
50g oat flour
wheat & gluten-free
10g corn flour
500g strawberries hulled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp apricot jam (sugar free, smooth variety)
1 tsp cold water
To make the pastry you will need a food processor.
Place the dates in the food processor, and blend till smooth then add the ground walnuts and almonds, a pinch of salt and process till smooth.
When the pastry forms a ball, stop the machine.
Line the base of a 23cm fluted, loose bottom non-stick tart tin with parchment paper. Then, by hand push, the mixture into the base and against the sides to form the pastry for the tart, ensuring it is level all the way around and on the base.
Place another piece of parchment paper over the pastry and place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Remove and place in the fridge.
To make the crème patisserie, cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways. Remove the seeds with the back of a knife running down the length of the pod. Place the seeds and pod into the almond milk in a saucepan on a gentle heat for 5 minutes for the vanilla to infuse the milk (be careful that the milk does not burn).
Place the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl and beat until white and smooth. Now slowly whisk in the oat flour and corn flour until you have a smooth paste.
Remove the milk from the stove, then slowly whisk the milk into the egg mixture using a balloon whisk. Mix slowly and carefully until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
Pour the liquid through a sieve directly into the saucepan, pushing through the vanilla seeds. Discard the pod.
Place back on the stove and bring the vanilla cream to the boil, whisking it continuously. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes to get rid of the starchy taste of the corn flour. It is important to continue whisking or mixture will stick.
If you feel that you haven’t reached the correct consistency after 3 minutes, reduce the heat to medium/low and continue whisking. You should start to feel the crème thickening and you will notice your hand aching by now, but don’t give up! You are looking for a thick consistency (once again be careful not to burn the cream).
Pour the vanilla cream into a bowl or baking tray to cool, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30-40 minutes until chilled.
Remove the pastry from the fridge.
Prepare all your fruits by washing and slicing, so that everything is ready to hand.
Remove the crème patisserie from the fridge, beat the mixture together until smooth, if necessary, the thick cold cream can be strained through a fine sieve and stirred until smooth, then place the mixture into a piping bag.
Pipe out the crème patisserie starting in the middle and follow around in a circle motion until you get to the edge then smooth out with the back of a spoon
Assemble your mixed fruit strawberries and blueberries.
For the apricot glaze: heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it has melted. You can add a touch of water if the consistency is too thick, let cool until it is only slightly warm, then using a pastry brush glaze the tart.
To decorate the tart its best to use fresh fruits (such as berries, bananas, oranges, kiwifruit, plums, pineapple, and melon). Prepare the fruit by gently washing and drying. Peel and slice the bananas, plums and kiwifruit. The strawberries will need to be sliced also. Arranging the fruit on the tart can be done either randomly or in concentric overlapping circles, starting at the outside edge. Try to cover the filling completely so none of the cream mixture shows.