Nadolig Llawen!! (Merry Christmas in Welsh). I hope you have all had a fabulous day. Mine has been one of the best. As a family we have had a lovely chilled out day with one of the best Christmas dinners we’ve ever had (The Evans’ outdid themselves this year (Mainly Father Evans (Thanks Dad!))).
I have also clearly been a very good girl this year and Santa brought me plenty of pressies. Which includes a new portable photo studio set up!! The set includes lights and a backdrop ready to photograph food whenever necessary. So I am going to have great fun photographing food ready to share with you. This is part of the reason I have got around to sharing this recipe with you so quickly. Basically I just wanted a chance to play around with my new mini studio!!
So which dish had the honour of being the first food photographed in my new studio? Our Christmas day dessert of course. This years festive treat; Winter Berry Custard Tarts, a deliciously light and fruity way to finish Christmas Dinner. By ‘to finish Christmas dinner’, I mean 3 hours later because my dad is such a feeder all you can do is nap for an hour afterwards. The custard is smooth and vanilla-y, while the pastry is nutty and golden and the fruit is beautifully sweet and juicy.
These tarts are also gluten free, refined sugar free, vegetarian and can be made Paleo with some simple adjustments. Also you get a quick work out while making the custard which then makes you feel considerably less guilty when tucking into these sweet treats.
I hope you have had a truly wonderful Christmas and have been surrounded by those you love. I also hope that if you get a chance to try out these delicious custard tarts you enjoy them. Happy Christmas!!
Winter Berry Christmas Custard Tarts
Makes: 4 Difficulty: Medium Time: 2 Hours
- 200g Ground Almonds
- 15g Unsalted Butter (Use Coconut Oil for Paleo)
- ¾ Tbsp of Honey
- 1 Egg
- ¼ Tsp Sea Salt
- ¼ Tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
Custard Filling + Topping
- 35g of Unsalted Butter (Use Coconut Oil for Paleo)
- 4 Eggs (Whisked Together)
- ¼ Tsp of Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tbsp of Honey
- 400g of Mixed Winter Berries (blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries)*
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and lightly grease 4 mini tart pans.
- Mix together all the pastry ingredients until you have formed a dough, and chill in fridge for 10 minutes (or just long enough to make it easier to work with).
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and gently push the dough into the mini tart tins, ensuring there are no gaps. Use a sharp knife to trim the top of the tarts and return to the fridge for a further 10 minutes.
- Bake in the oven for 10-14 minutes. The edges should have started to turn golden, but watch them carefully as nut based pastries can burn quickly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 15 minutes. They will seem quite soft when you remove them from the oven but the will harden as they cool.
- Once hardened, remove from the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, store in the fridge in a sealed container until needed.
Custard Filling + Assembly
- Set up a Bain-Marie by placing a heatproof glass bowl over a saucepan of hot water ensuring the bottom of the bowl isn’t actually touching the water.
- Add the butter to the bowl and allow to melt slowly.
- Bring the pan to a gentle simmer and slowly add the eggs to the butter whisking the entire time. Continue to whisk for 5-10 minutes (Do not stop or you will end up with scrambled eggs!!)**. It can take up to 15 minutes so just be patient.
- Once the custard has thickened and leaves a trail when the whisk is removed, remove the mixture from the heat. Continue to whisk for a further 5 minutes until the mixture has started to cool.
- Once cool enough to touch, whisk in the honey and vanilla and allow to cool completely. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Just before ready to serve, spoon 2 tablespoons of the custard into the tarts and pile fresh berries on top.
*Nearly any fruit can be used to top these tarts. Seasonal fruit is always best though hence why this recipe has used winter berries at Christmas time.
** If you get any lumps while whisking, remove from the heat and whisk ferociously until you remove the lumps, before returning to the heat.