Dessert! I don’t make much of that here, except for when I’m following a recipe for a cookbook review or trying something like this. So when I asked Jeff what he wanted me to make for Valentine’s Day and he said a lemon tart instead of something savory, I had to switch gears and step out of my comfort zone.
Which I was fine with. I just never quite get dessert right the first (or second) try, so I knew we were going to be eating a few batches of test custard before something clicked.
Thanks to awesome vegan products like Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg and Miyoko’s Kitchen’s European Style Cultured VeganButter, I was able to make a creamy, tart and eggy custard, with a rich and buttery shortbread crust. The consistency you see in the custard here is a bit thicker than what the recipe below will produce, which is smoother and silkier, and kind of oozes and melts into the crimping of the shortbread crust.
Lemon-Saffron Custard Tarts
Yield 4, 4.75-inch tarts
FOR THE SHORTBREAD CRUST
- 1 1/2 cup AP flour
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup room-temp vegan butter Miyoko's Kitchen's European Style Cultured VeganButter
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp bourbon
FOR THE LEMON-SAFFRON CUSTARD
- 1, 13.66 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
- zest and juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup juice)
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- a pinch of saffron, crushed
- 1 TB Follow Your Heart's VeganEgg
- 1 TB cornstarch whisked with 2 TB cold water
TO MAKE THE SHORTBREAD CRUST
- Combine the flour and salt in one bowl.
- In a separate bowl, cream together the vegan butter and powdered sugar. Add in the bourbon and mix again to incorporate. Form into a rough ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal-sized portions. Press each portion into each of the 4 tart pans, pressing the dough down firmly and evenly as possible. Place them into the refrigerator to chill for 45 minutes more.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Bake tarts for 20 minutes, or until the tops are very slightly golden. Transfer to a rack and allow to cool.
TO MAKE THE LEMON-SAFFRON CUSTARD
- Whisk together all of the custard ingredients except for the cornstarch/water mixture.
- Bring the mixture to a small boil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the cornstarch/water mixture and continue to stir until it thickens up.
- Allow to cool, then pour into the tart shells.
- Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
Serve with aquafaba whipped topping and candied lemon or kumquat slices.