A lovely fruit tart with an easy to make gluten free crust, a perfect dairy free vanilla pastry cream, and topped with your favorite fruit or berries. (grain free and paleo)
FOR THE VANILLA PASTRY CREAM
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (like this )
- 1 can (15 ounce) full fat coconut milk ( I use THIS BPA free brand)
- 5 egg yolks
- 5 tbsp maple syrup (or honey or coconut sugar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp butter, ghee, or coconut oil
FOR THE CRUST
- 2 cup blanched almond flour (I use THIS brand)
- 1/4 cup butter, ghee, or coconut oil – melted
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 egg, lightly whipped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- fresh fruit or berries of your choice
- To make vanilla pastry cream, whisk together 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup arrowroot powder in a small bowl and set aside.
- Pour coconut milk into medium sauce pan and gently heat until steaming but not boiling.
- Meanwhile, with a hand blender, whisk together egg yolks and maple syrup on medium speed for 2 minutes. Turn hand mixer on low and VERY slowly (to prevent eggs from cooking) drizzle hot coconut milk into egg mixture. Go slow or eggs will curdle and cook.
- Once all coconut milk has been added, return mixture back into saucepan and turn onto low/medium heat. Stir the mixture continually for about 5 minutes. Whisk in arrowroot mixture until fully incorporated. Continue to stir continually, until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon and is smooth and free of lumps – about 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring to keep clumps from forming on the bottom. The ideal temperature to get a nice set is 165’F, but not any higher. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of fat of choice. Pour pastry cream into large glass bowl and place a round piece of parchment paper directly on the surface (to prevent a skin from forming) and chill for at least 4 hours (or overnight.)
- To make crust, preheat oven to 350’F and liberally grease a 9 inch tart pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, melted fat of choice, maple syrup, egg, and salt until well incorporated. Press mixture evenly into bottom and sides of tart pan. Prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork to prevent puffing up. Bake for 10 minutes, until crust is starting to get golden. Allow to cool completely.
- To assemble fruit tart: pour chilled pastry cream into cooled crust and smooth the top. Add whatever fruit or berries make you happy. Chill for 30 minutes before serving. (Fruit tart is best served within a few hours.)
Making a good vanilla cream custard is a fine art, but if you follow the instructions carefully, it will be delicious. In order to get the cream to set, it has to be sufficiently cooked and thickened without overcooking. After returning the mixture to the pot, cook on low medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring continually. Whisk in the arrowroot powder mixture. The mixture should thicken quite a bit pretty quickly and be smooth and free of lumps. If it get clumpy, turn down the heat and just keep stirring to keep it smooth and to keep the bottom from overcooking. Stirring continually is the secret to a creamy, smooth vanilla pastry cream.
Arrowroot powder is a great way to thicken sauces, but it’s important to know that it needs to be dissolved in a cold liquid first and not overcooked as over-heating it will destroy its thickening properties. The ideal temperature for a nice set on the custard is 165’F but not any higher.
I use a 9 inch tart pan, but you could also make this in a pie dish if you don’t have one.