Vegan French Strawberry Tartlets
Updated: Jun 27, 2021
If you have tasted French strawberry tartlets before, chances are you are already a fan. These mini tarts are inspired by the French classic and are ideal for those of you who like light and creamy desserts without the addition of eggs and butter.
These mini-tarts are made of three layers:
silky-smooth pastry cream
Vegan créme patissier
Créme patissier is a delicious French pastry cream that is used as a filling in eclairs, tarts, croissants, etc. It is made from egg yolks and milk, and it is usually vanilla-flavored.
In today's recipe, we will be making créme patissier without animal products. This plant-based version is just are delicious and appetizing as the original pastry cream. I find the vegan créme patissier much lighter in the absence of eggs.
To prepare the pastry cream, we will need plant-based milk, cornstarch, and a sweetener. I prefer to use a mixture of oat milk and full-fat coconut milk. The coconut milk makes the pastry cream rich and buttery. The addition of oat milk helps to lighten up the pastry cream and hide the coconut flavor of the coconut milk. You can substitute these two types of milk with any milk of your choice (cashew, almond, soya, etc.). The texture of the pastry cream would vary depending on the milk you choose to use but the taste will not be compromised.
Next, cornstarch is used to thicken up the cream. You can substitute it for potato starch or tapioca starch. The quantity of the starch you will need in this recipe may vary depending on the chosen type of starch, so you should also consult the packaging.
To sweeten the cream I add maple syrup. Maple syrup could also be substituted, for example, with any liquid sweetener (honey, date syrup, etc.) or sugar.
The flavor of the pastry cream (and of the mini-tarts) is vanilla. Vanilla is one of the most important ingredients in this recipe. You can use vanilla extract, vanilla powder, or infuse vanilla bean in the créme patissier. Whichever option you decide to use, make sure that the quality of the vanilla is good to get a pronounced vanilla flavor.
These tarts are simply irresistible. Despite being vegan, they have a rich taste and are highly decadent. Check that for yourselves with the following recipe.
150 g spelt flour
50 g almond flour
60 g coconut oil (melted)
50 g coconut sugar
a pinch of salt
350 g oat milk (or any other milk of choice)
150 ml full-fat coconut milk
60 g maple syrup*
20 g cornstarch
10 g vanilla
a pinch of turmeric
For the topping:
maple syrup to glaze
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined and a ball gets formed.
Divide the dough into four equal parts and roll out each part between two sheets of baking paper to about 1cm thickness.
Transfer each dough to a mini tart tin and press it with your fingers to even it out on each side.
Bake at 180 degrees C for about 15 minutes.
Remove the crusts from the oven and let them cool down completely.
In a pot add all the ingredients except the cornstarch.
In a bowl combine the cornstarch and 3-4 tbsp of the initial mixture. Mix well and add it to the pot.
Transfer the pot to the stove on medium-high heat and cook (while stirring constantly with a spatula) for approximately 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens.**
Let the cream come to room temperature before dividing it between the four tart crusts.
As a final touch, decorate with a layer of fresh strawberries and glaze with maple syrup.
Et voila! Such an easy dessert to make but so effective and delicious. I believe you will love it as much as me and my family! Let me know if you try it out, it always means a lot to me when you share your dessert creations.
Serves 4 (12 cm in diameter) mini-tarts.
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Notes: * Or another sweetener of choice.
** Run a finger on the back of the spatula to check if the mixture separates well. If it does, your cream is ready. The cream will continue thickening up as it cools down.