Lemon custard is so delicious. The zing of the lemon cuts through the richness and when set with gelatin and poured into a delicious shortcrust pastry, it all comes together for a happy dance in your mouth! I’ve tried this on my benchmark friend who edits Australia’s most successful magazine and she says: YES! Sensational gluten-free shortcrust pastry. So now, I bring it to you. This can be made with any filling you fancy – raw cheesecake filling, savoury filling, berry or chocolate mousse filling. It’s all about arming yourself with a few basic recipes and knowing how to vary so that ‘dessert’ and ‘stress’ never have to be in the same sentence again!
So there you have it. Now, I know, it sounds super complicated and long. If you’ve not made pastry before or custard, then sure, it might seem too hard. BUT, it really isn’t. Take the time to learn the steps. Why not make 2 batches of the pastry one after the other and save one for less work next time? It’ll freeze well and defrost in the fridge overnight for next time! Every first time making something feels like an arduous task – as with everything in life, practice makes it easier and grows confidence. Can’t wait to see what you think of this baby.
If you make it, I want pictures. Tag me on Instagram at @lowtoxlife or on the Facebook wall.
Real Food. Decadent Treats
Lemon Custard Tart with Sweet Short Crust Pastry
For the LEMON CUSTARD FILLING
- 400 ml coconut cream
- 100 ml water
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 whole egg yolk
- 2 tbsp tapioca or arrowroot (or GM free corn flour)
- 2 tbsp gelatin powder or 1.5 tbsp agar agar
- 3-5 tbsp rice malt or maple syrups (depending on sweetness you desire and if you’re fructose free use the rice malt)
- 1 pod vanilla, scraped into the custard
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 75 ml juice of 1.5 -2 lemons
For the PASTRY
- 1 1/4 cup tapioca flour (120g)
- 1/3 cup almond meal (30g)
- 2 heaped tbsp coconut flour (20g)
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour or sorghum flour (45g) (plus a little more for dusting your hands when pressing out the pastry into the tart shell)
- 140 g butter (OR GHEE OR sustainable palm shortening if you can get access to it and are vegan) – Ideal scenario is that it’s REALLY COLD, so I pop mine in the freezer while I’m getting everything else together, to bring the temp down a little.
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 pod vanilla or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp rice malt syrup (fructose free) OR maple syrup OR honey
- 1 pc tart tin or quiche tin of some sort. I used this gorgeous rectangular tart tin – 13cm x 35cm.
- Pop all your flours in your food processor or thermomix and pulse to combine and aerate (3 secs, speed 5 for TM users and about 5 seconds for Food Processor)
- Add your chilled ‘fats’ of choice
- Pulse until a wet sand vibe is achieved (3 seconds on speed 6 for TM users / about 5 secs in a food processor)
- Whisk your egg, vanilla and syrup together in a bowl
- Add about 2/3 of this mixture slowly over 3-4 seconds into the processor. Has it gone to clumps? You’re done. Has it not? Add a tiny bit more.
- Save the leftovers of this mixture if you have any for a batch of French toast or to pop in a hot cake batter!
- Spatula out onto unbleached parchment paper and shape into a ball and pop in fridge for 30 minutes to make it more workable, as at this stage, it will be a little wet.
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F fan forced OR 200C / 400F non fan forced oven
- Now, line your quiche / tart tin with coconut oil or butter and then dust with buckwheat flour / sorghum flour and shake off excess. This will help you when it comes to dislodging the tart later on!
- Plop your pastry blob onto a layer of parchment paper and another piece of parchment on top – both a little longer than the tin’s length.
- Peel top layer of parchment off
- Flip parchment over on top of the tin and ease the pastry into the tin, pressing well into all the corners.
- OPTIONAL: Pop back in the fridge for another 20 minutes. BUT you don’t have to. It’s just that pastry is at it’s absolute best when super chilled, so I do it most times but a couple of times haven’t due to time, and the world did not fall apart and the pastry was still lovely.
- Any excess – make a couple of short bread cookies out of it while you’re blind baking the base!
- Now, place parchment on top and weight it down with raw beans, rice grains or pastry weights and blind bake in the oven for 10 minutes with the weights in, and a further 15 minutes without – this will mean your base isn’t soggy for the finished product later – I despise soggy bottoms, don’t you?
- Once the pastry is a nice medium golden brown, it’s ready. Set aside.
For the LEMON CUSTARD
- Start making when you remove the blind baking beans out of the tart shell to get the timing right.
If you have a thermomix
- Place all the ingredients except the gelatin powder into the TM and set timer to 7 minutes, 80 degrees. Then blend in the gelatin at the end, 5 seconds speed 6. You’re done.
If you don’t, here’s the wonderful and easy, traditional way of making custard.
- Mix your sweetness and tapioca flour with your eggs. Heat coconut cream, water, vanilla and lemon zest together until just a bubble is sighted.
- Poor the coconut mixture very very slowly into the egg and syrup bowl, continually stirring. If you pour too fast, you will cook the eggs into chunks and we don’t want that!
- Then, pour everything back into the saucepan, low-med heat and stir continually until custard thickens. Once thickened, add the gelatin with a whisk, whisking for a few good seconds until incorporated.
- As the great Maggie Beer has a rule about pastry: Cold filling into cold pastry shell. Hot into hot shell. So, if you made your tart shell a while ago and it’s cool, cool your custard a little too before filling the shell.
- Pour your custard into the tart shell. If you have some left, just fill a couple of ramekins for a delicious little back up dessert for another day.
- Let it set in the fridge and when it comes to dislodging, do it carefully and steadily, only when the tart is fully set. I never take mine off the base, either, I just lift it out of the tin and leave the base under it. I just slice and serve from it with it on a platter.
To garnish, you can get creative
- Cut 4 fine slices of lemon and bake for 20mins on 180C / 350F (have a little check at the 15 minute mark) Once dried out and sufficiently looking like something from pinterest, place them on the tart surface wherever you fancy!
- Drop a few frozen blueberries into the custard and stir them around gently to release a few little purple shots of colour
- Let it set almost completely and do a layer of meringue and blow torch if you’ve got loads of spare time
- Serve it nude – taste is amazing enough!