‘The association of strawberries and tarts is perhaps somewhat predictable yet Renato Briffa’s recipes always inspire me to try something new. The idea of this very delicious tart is based on another of his father’s recipes used in the family confectionary in Old Mint Street Valletta in the 50s.
But I used almond milk for the custard filling that is now readily available in long life packets on the island. I use fresh grated turmeric root to make a golden custard filling, hence the bright attractive colour. Golden turmeric lattes have become very popular so why not try a golden custard? And I must say that the combination is delicious. I made it during the live tv show this week, from scratch without leaving the pastry to rest as I wanted to finish it off in time. I do not usually have anything prepared before the show. It is real time cooking and I made it and rolled it out before the commercial break to demonstrate just how easy it is.
The importance of using a good tart dish guarantees a perfect tart.
I use a deep 21cm tart dish
Heat the oven to 175 C
For the Sweet Pastry:
5g baking powder
80 g sugar
a pinch of salt
Few drops vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon fine zest of an orange and lemon
Sieve flour and baking powder twice. Rub in butter until the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs.
Add a pinch of salt, the vanilla extract, citrus zest, ground cinnamon and cloves and mix in well.
Dissolve the sugar with the cold water. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and bring the pastry together. Place in cling film in fridge for at least half an hour. On tv this week, I rolled out the pastry straight away during a live show and it was perfect.
Prepare a loose bottomed tart dish with baking spray. Roll out the pastry and line the bottom of the dish. Dock the pastry with a fork and place in fridge again for at least 15 minutes.
I usually like to bake the pastry case blind for about 10 minutes to give it more of a crispy texture but on the show this week I used Renato’s method and skipped this stage.
For Almond layer you will need:
I like a thick and generous almond layer at the base of my tart, however if you prefer a thinner layer, reduce the ingredients by half and you will have enough mixture to spread on the base of the tart crust and still achieve the same flavour.
You will need:
200g pure ground almonds
150g sugar or stebia
3 tablespoons egg replacer [or you can use 3 eggs instead]
Fine zest of half a lemon and half an orange
Few Drops Vanilla Extract
Pinch of cinnamon powder
Pinch of cloves
Combine all the dry ingredients and mix in the eggs or Orgran egg replacer with a spoon. Spread the mixture on the bottom of the tart dish and bake for 15 minutes at 175 C if you have already baked the base or for 25 to 30 minutes if you have an uncooked pastry crust. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for two minutes then press the top of tart gently with a metal spoon and allow to cool completely before adding the custard mix.
For the custard filling you will need:
1 litre almond based milk
200g sugar or stevia
1 cm grated fresh turmeric
Rind of half an orange and half a lemon
Separately, 5 tablespoons custard powder mixed with some of the milk from the recipe
And of course the strawberries, as many or as few as you like
Gently heat the first four ingredients and bring to a gentle boil stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the custard mix and stir while bringing to a gentle boil. Remove from heat immediately and carry on stirring. Pour over the cooled down almond filling in the tart and leave it to cool got 2-3 minutes.
Decorate with strawberries before it cools down completely so that they will set in the tart. Place in fridge. To serve you can either dust lightly with icing sugar for a more rustic look or brush with warm agave or honey just before serving.