A classic tart with a festive twist! A buttery gingerbread tart case with a luscious spiced custard filling and topped with redcurrants and gingerbread cookies. Serve with drizzle of caramel sauce for a show-stopping festive dessert.
It's easy to overindulge in desserts and sweets during the festive season, so I wanted to create a dessert that tasted just as sweet and indulgent but without the sugar. This delicious, sugar-free tart is made using one of my favourite sugar alternatives: Sugarly by Canderel. Canderel helps you to save on calories, and it tastes, feels, and looks just like sugar, so it's perfect for using in your favorite baking recipes or as a general sugar replacement.
How does Gingerbread Custard Tart Taste?
You'd think that a sugar free dessert would be lacking in flavour and sweetness, but thanks to Sugarly, you can’t even tell the difference. This tart tastes deliciously decadent, and the best part is, you can enjoy an even bigger slice as it’s far fewer calories than a tart made with sugar.
Can I use regular sugar instead?
You can use either granulated sugar, caster sugar, or any brown sugar of your choice instead of using a sugar replacement, but you’ll need to double the amount of sugar used in the recipe as most sweeteners are a lot stronger than sugar.
How to Store Gingerbread Custard Tart
The tart is best eaten on the day its baked or the following day as the crust will lose its crispness the longer it’s left to wait. If you’re not eating it right away, you can store it for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Can this Gingerbread Custard Tart be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze tart, but as I’ve mentioned before, this tart is best when it’s eaten fresh. If you’re going to freeze it, then wait for it to cool down completely after it’s been baked, then place it in a container or wrap in in cling film, and store in the freezer for up to a month. To defrost this tart, remove it from the freezer and leave out room temperature for around 4 hours, or until it’s thawed.
Can I use Store-bought Shortcrust Pastry for this Tart?
Yes, ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry can be used instead of making your own. If you want to save even more time, you could use a ready baked pastry crust, but I promise you it won’t taste as good as a homemade pie crust.
Gingerbread Custard Tart Ingredients
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list!
For the Shortcrust pastry:
Plain flour – Used to make the vegan shortcrust pastry. You could also use wholemeal flour.
Sugarly by Canderel – 1 tbsp of Sugarly will give the shortcrust pastry a subtle sweetness and a rich taste. As an alternative, you could use standard granulated sugar, caster sugar, or any soft brown sugar.
Vegan block butter – I used the Flora vegan butter block, but any plant-based butter will do. using a block butter will give the shortcrust pastry a light and crumbly texture. I wouldn’t recommend using margarine as it won’t create the same outcome.
Sunflower or Vegetable oil – I find that adding a bit of oil to the dough helps to give to shortcrust pastry a flaky texture.
Spices – I’ve used a combination of ground ginger, cinnamon, and allspice to give the shortcrust pastry that classic gingerbread flavour.
Date Molasses – The date molasses gives a subtle fruitiness and richness to the pastry.
For the filling:
Sweetener: I've used Sugarly by Canderel as a suger replacement, but you could use standard granulated sugar, caster sugar, or any soft brown sugar instead, but make sure to use double the amount.
Coconut cream: I'd recommend using a thick coconut cream, but if you're using coconut milk instead, make sure to put the can of coconut milk in the fringe at least one hour before using it; the solids will separate from the liquid, so drain away the liquid and use only the thick coconut milk for making the custard.
Vanilla extract: The vanilla extract gives the custard a lovely flavour and aroma.
Almond milk: I've used almond milk, but any plant-based milk will do.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to thicken the custard and to set the filling.
Date Molasses – The date molasses gives a subtle fruitiness and richness to custard.
Spices – I’ve used a combination of ground ginger, cinnamon, and allspice to give the custard that festive gingerbread flavour.
For the toppings:
Fresh Redcurrants – not only do the fresh redcurrants look beautiful on top of the tart, but they also add extra tartness and a lovely texture.
Gingerbread Men – You can use the dough scraps to create little gingerbread men for using as decoration on top of the tart.
How to make Gingerbread Custard Tart
To make the gingerbread shortcrust pastry, place the flour, spices, date molasses, sweetener, salt, vegan butter, sunflower oil and 2-3 tbsp cold water in a large bowl & mix until the ingredients start to come together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until a smooth dough has formed. Cover the dough with cling film & place in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to create a ½ cm thick circle big enough to fit a 20cm (8 inch) tart tin. Lift the dough away using the rolling pin and place into the tart tin. Don’t worry if the dough breaks apart – just use leftover pieces of the dough to fill in any cracks. Press the edges down and trim away the excess dough. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork.
Line the pastry case with a large piece of baking paper – to make it easier to remove the baking beans, make sure the baking paper is large enough to extend out from the sides of the pastry case. Fill the lined pastry case with baking beans, and then place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 7-10 more minutes until lightly golden. Remove the pastry case from the oven, and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Use any leftover dough to create decorative shapes and little gingerbread men to add on top of the tart, and bake them for 5-7 minutes.
To make the spiced custard, combine the cornstarch with the milk. Add this mixture to a medium saucepan along with the coconut cream, sweetener (or sugar), date molasses, vanilla, and spices. Cook on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, whisking constantly, until the custard has thickened. Spoon the custard into the tart case and spread it evenly. Arrange the redcurrants and gingerbread men on top in a decorative manner.
Place the tart in the fridge for at least 1 1/2 hours to set. Carefully remove the tart from the tart tin and serve chilled or at room temperature.
Notes and Tips
I’d recommend you use a tart tin with a removable loose bottom so that the tart is easier to remove once it’s baked.
I recommend using the gram measurements, rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cups conversions are never as accurate as grams.
For the best, crispy pastry, make sure that you don’t overwork the dough. Before rolling the dough out, place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to keep it about ½ cm thick – if the pastry is too thick, it won’t cook through, and it’ll be hard to slice.
Make sure your vegan butter and milk are chilled when preparing the shortcrust pastry as it’ll give it a crisper texture when baked.