Strawberry & Cream Tartlets
These tartlets are made with a flaky shortcrust pastry and a high-protein strawberry and cream filling. Top with fresh, seasonal strawberries for a delightful summer dessert.
It’s strawberry season in the UK, and I don’t know about you, but when these delicious berries are in season, I like to make the most of them. Strawberries taste great just as they are, so you don’t really need to do much to them to enjoy them, but one of my favourite ways to incorporate them into my baking is to combine them with custards and to use them fresh as tart toppings. The combination of flaky shortcrust pastry, creamy strawberry flavoured custard and fresh strawberries makes a combination that’s hard to resist! The filling for these tartlets is made with silken tofu but you’d never know by tasting them, The silken tofu adds extra creaminess and makes them higher in protein. You can decorate these tartlets with little flower shaped cream piping to create a fun and healthy treat for the whole family to enjoy.
How does it taste?
Who doesn’t love strawberries and cream?! Imagine both of them combined together to create a sweet, velvety filling, and team this up with a flaky shortcrust pastry and you have a dessert that is sure to please everyone.
I’ve topped these tartlets with whipped vegan cream and fresh strawberries for a pop of colour and extra texture, but you can top it with additional fruits and berries of your choice.
Strawberry and Cream Tartlet 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.
Caster Sugar: The caster sugar will give the shortcrust pastry a subtle sweetness. You could use granulated or icing sugar instead or icing sugar.
Vegan block butter: I used the Flora vegan butter block, but ant 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 flakier texture.
For the filling:
Silken tofu: You'll need 350g silken tofu. The silken tofu will add extra creaminess to the filling ands it'll also make it higher in protein. Alternatively, you can use the same amount of coconut cream instead of the silken tofu.
Sugar: I've used caster sugar as it dissolves faster than granulated sugar. I wouldn't recommend using fruit syrups as they'll darken the colour of the filling.
Lemon juice: The lemon juice helps to balance out the sweetness and also brings out the tartness of the strawberries.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to set the filling.
Vanilla extract: The vanilla extract gives the custard a lovely flavour and aroma.
Soya milk: I've used soya milk, but any plant based milk will do.
Strawberries: You'll need around 250g fresh strawberries. I wouldn't recommend using frozen strawberries as they can cause the filling to become too watery.
How to make Strawberry and Cream Tartlets
To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour, sugar, salt, vegan butter, sunflower oil and 2-3 tsp 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 and place in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4. Divide the dough into 8 evenly sized pieces and roll into balls. Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and use a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough to create a small pastry disc big enough to fit the tartlet tin. Lift the dough away and place into the tartlet tin and repeat this process with the remaining bits of dough. Press the edges down, trim away the excess dough and prick the base of the pastry case with a fork.
Line the individual pastry cases with a piece of baking paper. To make it easier to remove the baking beans, make sure that the baking paper is large enough to extend out from the sides of the pastry cases. Fill the lined pastry cases with baking beans, and then place them in the oven to bake for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, remove the baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 5 more minutes until lightly golden.
Remove the pastry from the oven and let them cool down for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling. To make the filling, mix the cornstarch with 2 tbsp of the soya milk and add it to a saucepan along with the remaining soya milk, silken tofu, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla extract, and strawberries. Use a hand blender to blend until completely smooth. Alternatively, you can blend all the filling ingredients in a blender or food processor, and then transfer the mixture to the saucepan. Simmer on a medium heat for about 12 minutes, or until the filling starts to thicken to resemble a thick custard consistency. Make sure to whisk continually as it cooks to prevent any lumps from forming. This step is optional, but if you’d like the colour of the filling to be more vibrant, you can stir some pink food colouring.
Pour the filling into the cooked pastry cases and leave them to cool down at room temperature for 15 minutes, then place the tartlets into the fridge for around 1 hour until the filling has set. Whip the cream with two tbsp icing sugar to form stiff peaks. Once the filling has set, remove the tartlets from the tins, and top with whipped vegan cream and fresh strawberries.
How to store Strawberry and Cream Tartlets
These tartlets are best eaten on the day they're baked, as the crust will lose its crispness the longer it’s left to wait. If you’re not eating them right away, you can store them for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Can these tartlets be frozen?
I wouldn't recommend freezing these tartlets as the texture of the custard will become too firm and the pastry will lose it's flakiness.
Can I use store-bought shortcrust pastry for these tartlets?
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.
What tins to use
I'd recommend using 8 mini (4 inch) tart tins with a removable bottom. The removable bottom makes it much easier to remove the crust from the tin once it's been baked.
Notes and Tips
I’d recommend you use tart tins with a removable bottom so that it's easier to remove the tartlets once they've set.
I highly 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.