Last week I tried to make a new recipe for chocolate cupcakes for a small dinner with some friends. They totally failed. I didn't want to risk another round of sunken cupcakes, so I flipped through some baking books, and found a tarte aux fraises that looked perfect. For the tarte, you start with a hand made pâte brisée, slather on a crème pâtisserie, arrange fresh strawberries, and then brush on a shiny coat made from a fruit jam. I made the original version, but throughout the entire process, I thought how easily this could be made into a vegan dessert!
After impulse buying two kilos of clementines, I switched up the fruit and instead of one big tart, I made mini tarts. This recipe should make 6 4-inch (mini) tarts, or one normal 9-inch tart.
Vegan tarte aux clémentines - what you need:
For the pâte brisée (Shortcrust Pastry):
- 250 grams all purpose flour (or equivalent to 2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon non-flavoured oil (sunflower or rapeseed are good choices)
- 125 grams of non-salted butter (vegan butter for a vegan version), chilled and diced
- 1-2 tablespoons ice cold water
For the coconut whipped cream:
- 1 can of coconut that has been resting in the fridge for at least 4 hours
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For the topping:
- 3 clementines, separated and cleaned (by cleaned, I mean: take off as much as the white stringy stuff as you can!)
- 100 grams of bitter orange jam
- 1.5 tablespoons of water
Vegan tarte aux clémentines - what you do:
First start off by making the crust.
Scoop the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and then add into this well the salt, oil, and butter.
Using your finger tips, break up the butter into the flour mixture until the tart crust resembles course crumbs.
Add the very cold water, and using your hands, bring the dough into a ball. (Add a TINY bit more water if your crust doesn't come together)
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice until the dough is well formed into a ball.
Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius (approximately 400 F).
After the dough has chilled, bring it back out onto the floured surface and roll the dough out until about 1 centimetre or 1/2 inch thick.
If you're making one big tart, then you can transfer the dough into a tart pan. If you're making mini tarts, place the tart pan onto the dough and cut out a circle around the pan that's approximately 1 centimeter (1/2 inch) larger than the pan itself. Then, take out the circle of crust and press it into the tart pan.
Place a sheet of parchment over the crust and then top it off with pie baking beans in order to prevent the crust from inflating in the oven.
Bake for 18-20 minutes for the mini tarts and approximately 30 minutes for one large tart.
Allow the tarts to cool.
While the tarts are baking, prepare the whipped cream.
I followed this recipe exactly from The Kitchn, and it works wonders.
(This is also the first time I've ever tried coconut whipped cream, and I'm swoon. This stuff is great!)
Finally, make a simple topping from the bitter orange jam and water to brush over the tarts.
Over a medium heat, bring the water and jam to a light simmer. Cook for around 5 minutes until you have a syrupy liquid. Remove from the heat.
NOW! Let's prepare the tarts.
Add a good sized dollop of coconut cream to each (cooled) tart shell.
Smooth out the cream.
Arrange clementine slices over the cream.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush on the orange syrup.
The flavours of these tarts are really remarkable... the buttery textured bottom with the slightly sweet, creamy middle goes wonderfully with the juicy citrus top. They are very easy to make, require few ingredients, and are very pretty if you need to impress!
You can switch up the fruit to your liking by using any sort of berries (blueberries would be magical!), or even something more simple, like grapes. The jam topping is optional, but it adds a nice shine and special finishing touch. Of course, you can switch up the jams according to what fruit you choose to use!
This tart was inspired by the tarte aux fraises found in The Art of French Baking.
Baking soundtrack - tunes to inspire your inner baker:
I really, REALLY REALLY, love her recent album... as well as this song.