These strawberry custard tarts have a vegetable surprise with courgette (zucchini) in the pastry! It doesn’t add any flavour, but leaves pretty green flecks in the pastry and added veg goodness.
My method for coming up with new vegetable dessert recipes usually involves opening my fridge and staring in. I’ve been taking full advantage of strawberry season to enjoy punnet after punnet of sweet berries. See my recipes for Spinach and Strawberry Marble Cake and Spinach Crepes with Strawberries and Chocolate Avocado Mousse.
But this time I wanted to pair the strawberries with a different veggie. Enter the humble courgette (zucchini). I also have a bit of a thing for courgettes, so here they are, adding some extra nutrients and flavour to a standard pastry and forming a base for a simple sweet custard and those seasonal local strawberries.
- 1 raw courgette, grated
- 225g (2 cups) plain (all purpose) flour
- 115g (1/2 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
- 4 tsp powdered icing sugar
- 1 free range organic egg yolk
- Strawberries (approx 75g), hulled and cut in half
- 2 tbsp strawberry jam
- 3 tbsp cornflour
- 250ml (1 cup) whole milk
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 35g butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F and lightly grease a muffin or tart pan.
- Grate the unpeeled courgette and then wring it out in a clean tea towel to remove most of the moisture. Keep 70g/2.5 oz of the grated courgette and discard any excess.
- In a food processor, blend the flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the courgette, icing sugar and egg yolk and pulse until combined. Then add 1 tablespoon of cold water and pulse until it forms a ball. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time, if necessary.
- Lightly flour the worktop and roll the pastry out to approximately 2mm thick.
- Cut into rounds to fit the tart pan with a cutter or the edge of a glass, and press into the tins.
- Prick the bottom of the tart shells a few times with a fork and let the pastry rest in the tins, in the fridge, for 30 minutes.
- Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the custard.
- In a small cup or bowl, mix 3 tbsp of the milk with the cornflour until smooth. Set aside.
- Place the rest of the milk, sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan over a medium heat, and heat gently while whisking until the butter melts.
- Add in the cornflour mixture and whisk continually until it thickens. Make sure cornflour isn't clumping in the edges of the pan. Whisk until thickened and bubbling.
- Put the egg and additional egg yolk into a bowl and pour about ⅓ of the thickened milk mixture over them whisking constantly until combined.
- Return the egg mixture to the saucepan and whisk it all together over the heat for about a minute until thick and boiling. Stir in the vanilla extract and then leave to cool.
- Bake the pastry for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then remove from the tart pan.
- Spoon the custard into the cooled pastry cases.
- Heat the jam, with 1 tsp of water, in the microwave or on the stove until bubbling.
- Arrange the strawberries decoratively on the tarts and then brush with the jam glaze.
I hope you enjoy these strawberry custard tarts with courgette pastry as much as we did!