April 3, 2013

Apple Pear Blackberry Tart with Almond Custard

Spring is coming! Last weekend I served up a big Veganette brunch to 14 people in my shared apartment. It was so lovely to gather together, perching loaded plates on our knees, on couch arms, on floorboards. We had Ginger Carrot Soup, Beet Risotto, Roasted Asparagus, Herb Salad with Fresh Peas, Parisian Baguettes, and these fancy tarts. I'm always looking for excuses to whip up a tart or two. The creamy almond custard (which I owe to Isa at PPK) never ceases to surprise me with its subtle flavor and thick "eggy" consistency. Choose any fruit filling you like, though I rarely divert from this classic combination. In  love the messy blur of purple and spooning half-moon pears.

Easy Press-In Oil Crust
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 Tbs. almond milk

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the almond milk and oil until combined. Add the wet to dry to combine. Press into tart pan. It's as easy as that!

Prepare your fillings by peeling 1 apple and 3 pears and slicing very thinly. Rinse berries. Next, prepare the fragipane custard. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1/3 cup Earth Balance
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup sliced almonds (made into a course meal)
2 Tbs. cornstarch
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup almond milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract

In a large food processor, pulse almonds until finely ground. Add margarine, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon and pulse until combined. While the food processor is running, slowly add the almond milk and extracts. Scrape sides to ensure all ingredients are combined.

Parbake the crust by placing into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and fill with custard and fruit. Return to oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Place on a cooling rack and let cool while preparing glaze. Heat 1/3 cup apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat. Use a brush to coat the top of the tart for a shiny sweet finish. Once cooled completely, move to the refrigerator to chill for one hour.



  1. What is Earth Balance?

  2. Sorry! Earth Balance is a brand of margarine that is natural, vegan, and delicious! http://www.earthbalancenatural.com/. If you can't find it, use any margarine, just make sure it is vegan!

  3. How much of each fruit did you use?

  4. I used one apple and 3 pears and 8 blackberries but you can alter the amount depending on how much fruit you like in the tart. If you are doing all pear I would suggest you buy 4. Good luck!