There is no need to miss out if you are following a gluten free, dairy free or vegan diet! These extravagant looking strawberry tarts make a great alternative to Christmas pudding or an indulgent valentine’s dessert.
Strap: gluten free, dairy free and suitable for a vegan diet
Prep: 40 minutes
Chill: 15-30 minutes
Cook: 17-20 minutes
100g/4oz rice flour
50g/2oz tapioca flour
40g/11/2oz ground almonds
25g/1oz caster sugar
100g/4oz soya margarine
2 tbsp cold water
100g/4oz dark chocolate (check the packaging, not all brands are gluten free or dairy free)
100g/4oz blanched almonds or cashew pieces
1 tbsp cornflour (check the packaging, not all brands are gluten free)
2 tbsp caster sugar
½ lemon, juice only
225g/8oz strawberries, hulled, quartered
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
675g/11/2lb strawberries, hulled, halved
- To make the pastry, add the rice and tapioca flour, ground almonds and cocoa to a bowl or food processor. Add the sugar and margarine and rub in until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the water and bring together to make a smooth dough.
- Lightly knead the dough until smooth then cut into 6 pieces. Press each piece over the base and up the sides of a 10 cm/4inch individual fluted tart tin with fingertips, pressing the pastry a little above the top of the tin to allow for shrinkage. Trim the top of the pastry if needed with a knife so that it is neat. Prick the bases with a fork and chill for 15-30 minutes.
- Add the whole blanched almonds or cashew pieces for the filling to a bowl and cover with boiling water then leave to soak for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas mark 4. Line the inside of each tart with a square of nonstick baking paper so that the base and sides are lined then fill with baking beans. Put the tarts on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and cook for 3-5 minutes until the pastry is crisp.
- Pare curls from the underside of the block of chocolate, using a swivel bladed vegetable peeler, to give enough for a few curls to sprinkle over the top of each tart. Reserve. Break the remaining chocolate into pieces and divide between the bases of the hot tarts. Leave for a few minutes until melted then spread over the base and up the sides of each tart with the back of a teaspoon. Leave to set.
- To make the strawberry ‘cream’, add the cornflour, sugar and lemon juice to a small saucepan and stir together until smooth. Add the strawberries and cook over a low heat, stirring for 4-5 minutes until the strawberries are soft. Increase the heat and stir until thickened. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Drain the soaked nuts and add to a food processor bowl or liquidiser goblet, blitz until very finely ground. Add the cooked strawberry mix and blend until smooth. Cool, if needed.
- Take the tart cases out of the tins and put on to serving plates. Spoon the strawberry cream into the tarts then pile the remaining strawberries on top. Sprinkle with the reserved chocolate curls and serve now or chill up to 2 hours.
Adding a layer of melted chocolate to the inside of the pastry cases stops the pastry going soggy when you add the creamy filling. If you don’t have any chocolate then leave out, but make sure to assemble the filling and topping when you are ready to serve.