Grain, Dairy and Sugar Free Tartlets with Lemon Coconut Curd

These bite size mini-tartlets are made from grain, dairy and sugar free sweet crust and filled with a cream, which can be considered a distant cousin to lemon curd, but is dairy and sugar free. Sweet crust recipe is another by-product of my several attempts to make decent grain and sugar free biscuits. The dough does not have any sweeteners among the ingredients, and for biscuits it’s not sweet enough. But for tartlet shells, to be filled with any cream filling, it is perfect. The dough is easy to bake, it comes out dry and stays dry, when stored in air tight container. Pastry shells keep the shape well and do not go soggy when filled with relatively runny creams.

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To create dairy and sugar free lemon curd recipe I had several objectives to follow:

  1. to utilise seasonal crop of lemons;
  2. to use the whole contents of coconut cream can for convenience, to avoid leftovers (staying in the fridge forever), and to reduce fat content in the curd;
  3.  to increase protein and fibre content in the final product, and to move lemon curd from a sweet treat  category to a nutritionally more balanced sweet sauce.

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Ingredients: 

Lemon, coconut cream and chia curd

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 250g organic honey
  • 150ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 270ml full can organic coconut cream (29% or more fat)
  • 3 table spoons of white chia seeds
  • 2 sheets of gold grade gelatine

Sweet crust to make 12 medium individual tartlets (as shown on photos below)

  • 100g almond meal
  • 50g organic coconut flour
  • 1 mashed banana (100g)
  • 1 egg white (30-35g approximately)
  • 80g pure lard
  • 20g chia seeds, ground
  • 1-2 tea spoons of lemon zest (vanilla powder, cinnamon or other natural flavourings can be added)

Preparation:

Lemon, coconut cream and chia curd

  • zest and juice lemons, put them aside
  • combine eggs, egg yolks and honey and whisk them to combine
  • beat the mixture for 6-7 min on high
  • add the contents of coconut cream can, whisk it well to combine on medium speed
  • add lemon juice and make sure that the mixture is well combined
  • add lemon zest
  • pour the mixture into non-stick or stainless steel pot and heat on low heat, constantly stirring until it thickens, the temperature should not reach more than 80 degrees C (mixture will have the consistency of crème Anglaise, and will be more runny than custard)
  • place gelatine leaves in cold water and leave for 5-7min
  • add chia seeds to runny lemon curd, mix them it and continue cooking on low heat 2-3 min, not allowing the mixture to go over 80C
  • squeeze excess of water from gelatine leaves, add them to hot mixture, stir until gelatine is dissolved
  • I tried to whisk half of the curd, and poured another half straight into glass jar – there was practically no difference in the texture of these two portions of lemon curd

Lemon curd thickened when refrigerated and had a set texture of the thick custard or baked crème caramel. To use it as a filling for mini tartlets  I stirred it in a jar.

Sweet crust

  • grind chia seeds into flour
  • mix almond meal with chia flour, put aside
  • sift coconut flour into a wide bowl
  • add lard pieces and work them into coconut flour with your finger tips
  • coconut flour fully combined with lard will have a consistency of a very soft play dough and can be shaped into a ball
  • add lemon zest to this mixture
  • in a separate bowl mash banana well, add egg white
  • whisk banana and egg white together until combined, do not worry about small banana pieces in the mixture
  • add banana and egg white mix to coconut-lard-lemon zest mix
  • combine them together with your hands
  • add almond and chia flour mix
  • combine and knit the dough
  • wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate
  • this dough can be refrigerated for 2-3 days  or frozen if stored for longer time

I made medium size individual tartlet shells and mini tartlet shells. The first were easier to make.

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  • for medium size 10cm individual tartlets baking shapes use 30g of the dough
  • shape piece of the dough into a ball
  • place dough ball between 2 sheets of baking paper
  • press to make a disk
  • roll piece of dough to exceed the size of the baking pan

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  • peel the top sheet  of baking paper

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  • turn the sheet with the dough and peel the second sheet of baking paper
  • insert the rolled piece of dough into a baking pan

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  • turn extra dough inside to form double thickness sides of the shell

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  • push firmly the dough to the sides and bottom of the baking pan
  • wet your fingers with water, it will help to work with the dough
  • cut the extra dough sticking out from the pan

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  • bake in preheated to 160C oven 15-20min, baking time can be different for individual ovens, the dough goes very fast from fully baked to being burned, watch baking process carefully
  • baking pans do not have to be greased, the dough slides easily from the pan, pans with removable bottoms are not necessary

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  • to make shells for bite-size tartlets, make smaller balls of dough, roll them and cut the necessary size with cookie cutter, if the dough becomes softer and sticks to baking paper more, refrigerate the dough

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  • place each piece into the spot of a mini pie baking tray
  • scrapes and cut offs of the dough can be reused many times

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  • bake 10-12 min in preheated to 160C oven

These pastry shells keep dry surprisingly well for at least 1-2 weeks. To make tartlets use any filling you like. I used lemon coconut curd, topped with yellow kiwi and strawberries. Any coconut based icing or frosting can be used with fresh berries or fruit pieces. Mini tartlets would be nice with any frozen berries and chia jams, as  well as any thick fruit or berries preserves. Yogurt topped with fruits, berries or even dried fruits, can be used by those of you who can tolerate yogurt based on coconut or sheep milk.

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