Want a light, refreshing dessert you can prepare in advance and top with your favourite seasonal fruit? Here’s a simple but delicious tart you can play around with. Ahem. For a healthier and even lighter version make a white spelt flour puff pastry shell filled with quark sweetened with maple syrup and vanilla extract. Or use standard all-butter puff pastry and fill with whipped cream sweetened with a little sugar and vanilla. Top with fruit like strawberries, blood oranges or raspberries. And why use puff pastry? Because the flaky layers will melt in your mouth along with the creamy filling, perfectly counterbalancing the tangy or sharp fresh fruit. Close your eyes and it’s like eating an amazing millefeuille! It was hard to decide which prototypes to post so they’re all here! You might enjoy this blood orange and raspberry cream puff pastry tart…
Or perhaps a healthier raspberry, blood orange, quark and spelt puff pastry tart?
Maybe a healthier fresh strawberry tart?
We had the strawberry tart Sunday afternoon following a hefty tortilla, hummus and paella lunch. So light and delicious it was no trouble polishing off a nice slice, loved by all. Actually everyone has thoroughly enjoyed these tart prototypes and we even had some healthier slices at 2 in the morning. Ahem. So light and refreshing – no trouble ‘testing’ those either! Here’s the recipe so you can make your own. Yay! 🙂
Making puff pastry isn’t that scary, complicated or time-consuming. You just need a bit of precision. Try it! The step-by-step recipe’s in my ‘pastry is your friend’ section here: inverted puff pastry. For spelt puff pastry replace the plain/all-purpose flour with fine white spelt flour. You can also reduce the quantity of salt by half, from 10g to 5g. Alternatively, buy ready-made best quality all-butter puff pastry (but not your standard-quality stuff – I tried that once, don’t do it!).
Tart shell – 20cm/8in diametre tart ring or tin (serves 4-6 people)
- 200-225g/7-8oz puff pastry, preferably homemade inverted puff (fine white spelt or plain/all-purpose flour) or shop-bought all-butter
If you use fine white spelt flour the puff pastry will rise a little less but still be deliciously flaky and light.
You can try blind baking (prick the pastry all over with a fork). Or do what I did, following my instructions for a ‘neater tart shell’ where the sides are allowed to collapse. With the spelt inverted puff the sides stayed up a bit and looked more rustic.
With plain flour inverted puff the sides collapsed quite neatly.
The results depend on your pastry, the tart ring or tin and how neatly you line and trim the sides.
Alternatively you can shape a shell with no tart ring (like the little tart you can see behind in the photo, made with leftover pastry to avoid waste). It’s all good.
After you line your ring or tin, freeze overnight or a few hours at least then bake 25 to 35 minutes in the middle of an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F (static, non-convection oven) or 180°C/350°F (fan-assisted, convection oven). After the first 10 minutes prick all around with a fork to ‘depuff’ then do this again after another 10 minutes if necessary.
The shell should be light brown and well-baked. Allow to cool completely at room temperature. Choose your creamy filling:
Healthier Quark filling
- 200g/7oz Quark (I used Light and fat-free, 0%)
- 40-48g (about 2 tablespoons, or a little less) pure maple syrup
- scant 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or 1/4 plus seeds scraped from 1/4 vanilla pod)
Whisk everything together in a medium-sized bowl until combined. Yup, that’s it! You can use immediately or refrigerate for a day or so in an airtight tupperware container until needed – just quickly whisk again to combine the ingredients before using. Spoon into the tart shell and use the back of the spoon to make the surface smooth and even.
- 200ml fresh whipping cream (33% or 35%)
- 20g/1 and 1/2 tablespoons caster/superfine sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract to taste (or 1/4 tsp plus seeds scraped from 1/4 vanilla pod)
- Whisk cream to soft peak.
- Gradually add the caster sugar and keep whisking as you add.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Continue whisking to stiff peak. Be careful not to overwhisk or you’ll get butter.
- You should be able to turn the bowl upside down and find the cream doesn’t fall out or slide. If you want nice piping shapes the cream should be quite firm. You can use a saint-honoré piping nozzle or create your own pattern.
- about 125g/4.5oz fresh or frozen raspberries for half a tart (lightly rinsed if necessary)
- about 5 to 7 medium-sized blood oranges for the other half of the tart
For the strawberry tart: about 40 to 50 small/medium-sized strawberies
Peel then segment the blood oranges with a serrated knife. Pat the fruit dry with paper kitchen towels. Arrange on top of the tart. Any way you like. You can also sieve a little icing sugar on the sides.
Eating and storing
This tart is best eaten immediately or on the same day while the pastry is still flaky and crispy. The next day it will still be quite nice. Store in the fridge in an airtight tupperware container. Enjoy!
Time to get the cava out and celebrate. 🙂
Do have a slice!
I invite you to join me and create a tart! Then let me know how it goes.
A fond farewell to you sweet reader! Have a lovely week ahead with some happy creative baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x