The kids have been begging for a fruit tart filled with custard and shiny berries on top for months.
I just couldn’t figure out how to make it without milk and eggs, so I kept putting it off.
Finally, I made a vegan version. This recipe will make 1 big tart or 6 small ones. They polished this off and were already asking to make it again even as the last spoonfuls were still making their way to their happy mouths.
I made these as part of the pastry week showstopper for season 1 of the Great British Bakeoff vegan challenge. The task was to make 6 kinds of pastry – 3 kinds of sweet tarts and 3 kinds of savory canapes.
The sweet tarts were butter tarts, these custard tarts with sliced plums and a peach glaze, and chocolate cream pie tarts. The canapes were stuffed mushrooms in rough puff pastry, miso roasted pepper hummus twirls, and lentil sausage rolls.
So much fun (when there wasn’t a puppy constantly barking and wanting to eat everything), and delicious to boot!
Great British Bakeoff Vegan: Season 1, Episode 5, Showstopper
- ½ cup vegan butter, chilled
- ¼ cup icing sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp ice-cold water
- ⅓ cup sugar (can use coconut sugar for a caramel-flavoured custard)
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ⅓ cups soy milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 ½ cups sliced plums, berries or other fruit
- 3 Tbsp peach or apricot jam
Make the crust: in a small bowl, beat the vegan butter and icing sugar together into a fluffy cream, then add in the flour. Mix it together into a ball of dough, adding 1 tbsp of water at a time only if needed. Wrap the dough up in cling wrap and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours or overnight (or if you’re tight on time, you can put it in the freezer for 20 minutes).
After it’s chilled, remove from the fridge and press it evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ round tin or six 4″ tart tins. Poke gently across the bottom with a fork. Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes until nicely browned (or blind bake 20 minutes then bake 10-15 minutes), then set aside to cool.
Make the custard: in a small bowl, beat the sugar, flour, cornstarch and water together until it’s all dissolved. In a medium pot, heat the soy milk until it starts to steam, then pour 1/2 cup of the warm soy milk into the cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine, then pour the whole cornstarch mix into the pot of soymilk. Whisk constantly over medium heat for about a minute until it thickens into a thick custard. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Spoon the custard into the pie crust and smooth it out, then press your sliced berries into the custard before it sets. Arrange the fruit in whatever pattern you like.
In a small bowl, heat the jam in the microwave for 20 seconds until it gets a bit runny, then brush it all over the berries with a pastry brush or spoon. This will give it a nice glossy shine.
Chill your fruit tart in the fridge or enjoy it right away. As they were eating this, all the kids asked when we can make this again! ❤️🤗
For today’s inspiration, we look to a poem by Douglas Malloch:
The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees,
The further sky, the greater length,
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and people good timbers grow.
May we appreciate that life’s challenges help us to grow and strengthen ourselves.