Recipe & Photography: Amber Bremner
This dreamy vegan custard tart is the perfect end to a long summer lunch or balmy evening dinner, perhaps alongside a chilled glass of rosé or even a buttery chardonnay. Choose a light, floral honey blend you like the flavour of. Blind baking ensures the pastry case keeps its shape. I use crushed baking paper and uncooked brown lentils as an inexpensive alternative to professional blind baking weights (save them in a jar for next time).
250g standard flour
75g solid coconut oil (chilled)
30g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
¼ tsp salt
4–6 tbsp ice cold water
Saffron Custard Filling
generous pinch saffron threads
1 cup almond milk
1 cup + ¼ cup full fat coconut cream
3 tbsp honey, or substitute ¼ cup brown rice syrup
2 tsp vanilla paste, or natural vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp cornflour
2–3 nectarines, thinly sliced
2–3 tsp honey, melted if solid
fresh thyme leaves
To make the pastry case, preheat oven to 200°C. Pulse the flour, coconut oil, icing sugar, lemon zest and salt together in a food processor until it has a crumbly texture. Add ice cold water a little at a time until the mixture starts to come together. I find 5 tbsp to be the right amount, but this may vary a little.
Tip the pastry mixture out onto a benchtop and use your hands to bring the mixture together in a ball, without kneading. Flour the surface and roll out to about 5mm thick. Line the bottom of a 22cm springform tart tin. Gently press pastry into the tart tin and trim the edges. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until firm. Line the pastry case with baking paper and blind baking weights. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the weights and baking paper and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
To make the saffron custard filling, start by placing the saffron into a small dish with a wee splash of boiling water (about 1 tbsp). Set aside for 5–10 minutes to allow the saffron to bloom. Put the almond milk, 1 cup of coconut cream, honey, vanilla, lemon zest, saffron threads and water into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the mixture just begins to simmer. Stir cornflour into ¼ cup of coconut cream to form a slurry, then slowly whisk into the hot milk mixture. Continue to stir over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the custard thickens. Pour the custard into the pastry case then refrigerate for 1–2 hours, until the custard is set.
To serve, top the custard tart with thinly sliced nectarines, drizzle with melted honey and sprinkle with a few fresh thyme leaves.
Quite Good Food
Amber Bremner is the author of popular plant based food blog Quite Good Food. A champion for cooking and eating food that make you feel good, she believes small changes in the way we approach food have the power to make a difference.