Raspberry Custard Tart (Gluten-Free)
I think this is possibly the fanciest tart I have ever made. And the best one flavour-wise too. I'm a sucker for plain custard, but for some reason the idea of raspberry custard really called out to me. So, off I went in search of some recipe inspiration where I stumbled across the amazing Zoe Bakes' Mango Curd Tart. If you've not come across Zoe Bakes before, I highly recommend you go check out her Instagram page (@zoebakes). It is drool-worthy.
Anyway, I took one look at Zoe's beautifully decorated Mango Curd Tart and decided to create something similar for my Mum's birthday. As usual, for such a family event the tart needed to be gluten-free. Anyone who has tried to make gluten-free pastry before will know that it is a bit of a nightmare.
Gluten is the thing that holds pastry together, so without it, things become very crumbly indeed. However, with a little practice, persistence and recipe adaptation, it certainly gets easier. I decided to use a combination of ground almonds and coconut flour in this pastry in the hope that the oils from the nuts would hold the pastry together better. I think it worked! Though if you do embark on the journey of making this tart, I do recommend you read my Top Tip below to ensure your pastry-making goes as smoothly as possible.
Utensils: Large mixing bowl, food processor (optional), non-stick baking mat (optional), cling film, small saucepan, sieve, handheld whisk, 23cm/9inch tart fluted non-stick tart tin, non-stick baking paper, rolling pin, baking beans or rice, pastry brush, cooling rack, potato peeler, small palette knife, small piping bag with piping nozzle(s) of choice.
Top Tip: Pastry usually relies on gluten to hold it all together. As gluten-free pastry has no gluten to hold it together, it is a rather delicate soul and can be unforgiving at the best of times. My top tips for working with gluten-free pastry are:
Once you have formed a dough, make sure your hands are cold when handling it, and try to handle it as little as possible. Wrap it tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before rolling out.
Try and use as little flour as possible when rolling the dough out. Using a non-stick baking mat really helps with this. Adding more flour makes the dough drier and more likely to fall apart during rolling.
Ensure that you have rolled the dough out large enough for your tart tin before you move it to line the tin. If you haven't rolled the dough out large enough, you won't be able to stretch it or piece bits of dough together as well as with pastry containing gluten.
Once you have lined the tart tin, chill for at least another 30 minutes before baking.
When taking a potato peeler or knife to the tart crust to tidy things up, be very careful. Ensure your potato peeler or knife is very sharp so it can easily shave away pieces of the crust you want to remove. Use a gentle shaving motion, rather than a cutting motion, until the crust is even with the top of the tart tin. Using a cutting motion is more likely to break the very delicate pastry which might mean your custard will leak out.
Once you've tidied up the crust, wash and dry the tart tin and return the pastry case to it. This helps to support the pastry during filling. Only remove from the tart tin when ready to serve.
150g gluten-free plain flour
15g coconut flour
25g ground almonds
120g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
55g caster sugar
1 large egg, plus a little beaten egg white for sealing the pastry case during baking
200g fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon freeze-dried raspberry powder
160ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
60g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
100ml double cream
Selection of fruits, e.g. nectarines, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, mango, etc.
Small handful of freeze-dried raspberry powder
Makes: One 23cm/9inch tart
1. Make the pastry: If making by hand, add the plain flour to a large bowl, then add the chilled, cubed butter and rub in using your fingertips until the mixture looks like crumbs. Stir in the sugar, coconut flour and ground almonds. Then, break in the egg and work into the mixture with your fingers, bringing it together to form a soft dough. You may need to add a little water to form a dough, but do this cautiously and stop as soon as a dough has formed.
2. If using a food processor, add the plain flour to the bowl of the processor, then add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture looks like crumbs. Be careful not to over-pulse. Tip the mixture into a large bowl and add the sugar, coconut flour, ground almonds and egg. Work into the mixture with your fingers until a ball of dough forms. Try not to overwork the pastry. You may need to add a little water to form a dough, but do this cautiously and stop as soon as a dough has formed.
3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface or non-stick mat and shape it into a ball. Flatten with your fingers to create a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 2 hours before using.
4. Make the raspberry custard: Wash the raspberries and add them to a small saucepan with the lemon juice. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes until the raspberries have broken down and released their juices. Stir in the tablespoon of freeze-dried raspberry powder and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve into a small bowl. Set the raspberry puree to one side for now.
5. In a small saucepan over a low heat, warm the milk with the vanilla extract until steaming but not boiling. Once steaming, remove from the heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar and whisk together firmly until pale and creamy.
6. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and add the raspberry puree. Cook the custard over a low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture noticeably thickens. This should take about 5 minutes. Once thick enough, remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Then, pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool. Once cool enough, place in the fridge until ready to use.
7. Line the tart tin: Line the bottom of the tart tin with non-stick baking paper and then grease the base and sides of the tin. Roll out the pastry on a very lightly floured work surface or non-stick mat if you have one. Once the dough is large enough to line the base and sides of the tart tin, with at least 1cm of pastry extending above the side of the tin, very carefully line the tin. Cut off the excess pastry, being careful to leave about 1cm extra of pastry extending above the sides of tin (this is to allow for any pastry shrinkage). Put the pastry case back into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes and pre-heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan).
8. Bake the pastry case: Prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork then line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. To ensure that the crust of your pastry case does not burn, make sure that the baking paper holding the baking beans extends out at least 5cm past the edges of the tin.
9. Bake the pastry case blind for about 15-20 minutes, until the sides of the pastry case are set. To check, remove the pastry case from the oven and carefully lift up a small part of the baking paper. The pastry on the sides of the tart should hold up and look less translucent. After this, remove the baking paper and baking beans. Reduce the oven temperature to 1800°C (160°C fan).
10. Carefully brush the bottom of the pastry case with a little beaten egg white. This helps to 'waterproof' the pastry case and seal any small holes so that your custard doesn't leak or make the base soggy. Return to the oven until the bottom of the pastry case is golden brown and cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin on a cooling rack.
11. Tidy up the pastry case: Once cooled, leave the pastry case in the tin and use a potato peeler (or a knife but a potato peeler gives a better finish) to shave the excess pastry off the sides the tart. Shave the excess pastry off until your potato peeler becomes level with the tart tin sides. Gently shake or brush the pastry shavings out of the pastry case using a pastry brush. Wash and dry the tart tin, then return the pastry case to the tin for filling (the tin helps to support the very delicate sides of the tart during filling).
12. Fill the pastry case: Remove the raspberry custard from the fridge and beat quickly using a handheld whisk to add a little air to it. Fill the pastry case with the custard and smooth the top with a small palette knife or back of a spoon.
13. Decoration: Whip the double cream to medium peaks, then place in a small piping bag fitted with your piping nozzle of choice. Arrange your chosen fruit on top of the custard as you wish, and then pipe the cream into any remaining gaps. For my decoration I took inspiration from the wonderful Zoe Bakes' Mango Curd Tart. Click on the link to see her tart and how she decorated it to give you some inspiration. Finish with a sprinkling of freeze-dried raspberry powder if desired (or if you could add the powder to your cream when whipping to give it a pinkish tinge).
14. Store in the tart tin in the fridge until ready to serve. This helps to support the very delicate pastry. When ready to serve, gently remove from the tart tin and allow to 10 minutes to come to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.