This ‘rustic’ tart is an absolute delight of contrasting tangy pink grapefruit, light almond dacquoise sponge and grapefruit or orange marmalade within a thin crispy pastry. There was also an experimental little plum tart, since this fruit is currently in season, and it was just as delicious if not more! Easy and fast to make, it’s a lovely fairly guilt-free treat that can be made with optional gluten-free buckwheat pastry, refined sugar-free marmalade and a filling sweetened with healthier coconut sugar. In fact you can experiment with this tart so feel free to incorporate any fruit, flours, sugars and jams you like (within reason)! It may not be a layer cake or very sophisticated but my trusty group of cake-testing climbing friends absolutely adored their slices of grapefruit almond tart. I urge you to get cordially acquainted with it! 🙂
The source and adaptations
The original inspiration was the Grapefruit Mirliton recipe in the Bake Off Crème de la Crème book. Then I came across some Sicilian grapefruit marmalade made with 82% fruit, shouted ‘hurray!’ and … bought it. One week later I decided to use the half spelt-half buckwheat pastry in my freezer. But a later version of this tart had 100% gluten-free buckwheat pastry. You can also use plain all-purpose flour but add about half the quantity of egg/water first and see if you need to add more liquid or not. Actually, always add a little less liquid to your flour initially just in case, as the quantity depends on your flour and environment!
The other difference between my recipe and the original is there’s more marmalade spread on the base so there’s a stronger tangy flavour to balance the sweeter almond filling (made with cornflour rather than custard powder). So try to find a marmalade that isn’t too sweet and has a high fruit content, using orange marmalade if the grapefruit kind is hard to find. There are also more grapefruit segments in this version because it’s nicer to have some in almost every bite. Then there’s no apricot glaze over the grapefruit (add it if you like). Instead there’s a light sprinkling of icing (powdered) sugar over the whole tart.
Healthier version and some coconut sugar info
For my second prototype there was refined sugar-free marmalade and coconut sugar in the filling. It made the tart a bit heavier (it doesn’t rise as much) but with a lovely taste. It seems coconut sugar, which I’ve recently discovered, is the new trendy sugar substitute made from the sap of coconut trees. So coconut sugar doesn’t actually taste like coconut but has a caramel-like flavour! And apparently it has a very small quantity of nutrients and a lower glycemic index than regular sugar by about half, so will cause less sugar spiking. But watch out… it’s said to have the same amount of carbohydrates and calories as regular sugar so I don’t suppose you’re meant to eat lots of it! Ahem. There are some articles here if you’re interested in reading more: What are the health benefits of coconut sugar? and Coconut sugar – healthy sugar alternative or a big, fat lie?
It could be an idea to use half coconut sugar-half regular sugar in this tart for a healthier bake that’s quite light. Or if you want to avoid sugar altogether try ground xylitol (from birch).
Plum tart version
I made a mini tart with a plum and it was so delicious. Next time I make this tart I think I’ll use plums for a nice change. They have a lovely tart and robust flavour that beautifully complements the stronger coconut sugar almond filling.
Possible vegan version?
As previously mentioned, climbing friends loved this tart. Even a vegan climber was saying how delicious it smelt. Which made me wonder about an egg-free version. I imagine the egg could be replaced with chickpea water (aquafaba) in both the pastry and the almond filling. If you’re interested the official aquafaba website provides measurement guidelines and advice for replacing egg with bean water.
The recipe – for a 22cm/8.5in diametre tart tin (or about 8 mini tarts)
Bake the pastry case an hour or more before so it can cool. Use your own shortcrust recipe or this one.
- 140g buckwheat flour (or white spelt/plain all-purpose flour), or a combination!
- 50g cold good-quality unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon stevia or 1 tablespoon caster/superfine sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 egg yolk (20-22g) beaten with 1-2 tablespoons cold water (16-32g) – add half first and the remainder if necessary
Follow the instructions in making shortcrust pastry then to bake the pastry case see Lining a French tart ring with pastry and blind baking (both posts are in my basics pastry is your friend section).
Almond dacquoise sponge filling
- 50g beaten egg (from 1 small-medium egg)
- 10g egg yolk (half a yolk from 1 small-medium egg)
- 60g/4 and 1/4 tablespoons caster/superfine sugar (or coconut sugar, ground)
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 5g/2 teaspoons cornflour/cornstarch
- 75g/1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ground almonds
- 10 segments from 1 large pink grapefruit (or 12-15 smaller segments from 1 and 1/2 smaller grapefruits), optional: 6-9 plums each stoned and cut into 6 to 8 slices
- 100-120g/5-6 tablespoons grapefruit marmalade (70 to 80% fruit content if possible) or bitter orange marmalade (refined sugar-free options if you prefer)
- a little icing sugar to sprinkle on top
When your tart has cooled sprinkle a little icing sugar over it with a sieve. You might like to do this just before serving, as the icing sugar eventually dissolves into the tart.
Eating and storing
You can eat this tart warm or at room temperature. Store in baking paper then aluminium foil or a tin at room temperature somewhere cool and dry. Eat within 2 or 3 days. The almond filling stays nice and moist, the grapefruit remains lovely and tangy.
Farewell for now sweet reader and have a lovely (possibly healthier) week ahead! Happy baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x
P.S. Sorry there have been no amusing anecdotes this time. Hopefully next time there’ll be funnier stuff. lol. Or not lol…!