Sunday, 18 May 2014

Tarte aux Framboise with Basil Cream - gluten free

If you like Tarte au Citron and you like raspberries, then this one's for you! I was feeling a little inventive this week and decided to see if I could make a twist on the old lemon classic.

There were a couple of lemons skulking in the fridge which needed to be used and a load of raspberries which had been stored at the back, forgotten about (oops!) and were just on the 'turn'. I managed to rescue the best ones (later used for decoration) and decided the rest needed to be either pureed and frozen or made into a coulis or something else which would prolong their life.

I didn't want to freeze them as I am on a bit of a mission at the moment to eat down the contents of the freezer, which had reached the point of being full to bursting. Freezers are great for storing food, but if you don't eat what you put in there, it all gets a little bit pointless.

So what to make with all these raspberries and a couple of lemons? Tarte aux Framboise? (My French is pretty naff so I am sure I have the spelling or grammar wrong there...........)

I did a quick search on the internet to see what recipes were there. Most of the raspberry tarts were made with whole raspberries and a couple used custards, but none quite mirrored the lightness of the Tarte au Citron which was inspiring me. In the absence of a suitable recipe, this one has been made up by myself, varying the ingredients and quantities found in Tarte au Citron to adapt and make a light raspberry cream.

The pastry is crisp and sweet against the tart soft raspberry, but has also been sharpened slightly with a little lemon zest and juice. Interestingly, this is my best gluten free pastry yet, the dough being very malleable and easy to roll, yet still really short after baking. I am no food scientist, but I wondered whether the addition of a little acidity from the lemon made the difference? I will certainly test that theory again, but if anyone knows whether this would be relevant, please let me know!

The raspberry cream filling is as intended........ light and airy, silky smooth and creamy, with just the right balance of sharpness to wake the tastebuds without making the mouth smart. I forgot to 'tap' out the air bubbles before baking, hence the slightly 'pitted' effect (whoops!).

I had a real hankering to add some basil to the tart and considered putting it either into the pastry or the filling, both of which I think would have worked. As my daughter can be a little picky, I decided not to risk it however, incorporating it instead into a mascarpone cream which could accompany the tart.

It worked really well.......... A subtle, slightly perfume hint of basil coming through as the sharp fruitiness of the raspberry and lemon subside. The flavour married really well, complemented by the sweetness of the pastry and seemed a great compromise to get a truly grown-up tart, whilst leaving simple plain cream for my daughter to use if she preferred. I needn't have worried, she actually quite enjoyed the basil!

I am entering my Tarte aux Framboise with Basil Cream for four challenges this month :

Tea Time Treats being hosted by Janie over at The Hedge Combers (and Karen at Lavender & Lovage). May's theme is Open Top Tarts, Pies & Quiches'. To be honest, I much prefer an open topped pastry, whether sweet or savoury. It's not that I don't like or won't eat a closed pie, but I always think you get a better balance when the pastry is only at the base!

Cooking With Herbs, again with Karen from Lavender and Lovage, who has kindly allowed us to use any herbs we like this month, as long as they are fresh. I am beginning to really enjoy experimenting with fresh herbs in sweet bakes and desserts and have found basil to be particularly versatile, especially when paired with a something a little tart, as it is here.

The No Waste Food Challenge, this month being hosted by Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen (on behalf of Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary). I used up a load of raspberries in this recipe, just in time before they went off, as well as a couple of lemons which were looking for a good use. And what better place to end up?!

And finally : Four Season's Food's May event (hosted by Lou over at Eat Your Veg and Anneli at Delicieux), which asks us to celebrate Spring. The fresh, natural flavours, and use of newly grown basil make this a perfect, taste-bud awakening Spring dessert.

Tarte aux Framboise with Basil Cream - gluten free (makes one 10 inch/26 cm tart)

Lemon & Almond Pastry - gluten free



130g brown rice flour
50g corn flour
40g ground almonds
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
70g golden caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 to 2 lemons 
110g unsalted butter - cold and cubed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cold water

Raspberry Filling

5 large eggs
140 ml double cream
225g caster sugar
sieved juice 1 lemon
300g raspberries - liquidised and sieved 

Basil Cream

300 ml double cream
125g mascarpone 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon icing sugar
large handful of fresh basil - finely chopped

extra raspberries (150g), icing sugar and small basil leaves to decorate


  1. To make the pastry : Weigh and mix together the flours, almonds, xanthan gum and salt, making sure any lumps are broken down.
  2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the sugar and lemon zest and stir into the mix.
  4. Beat the egg with the water and lemon juice in a cup (using a fork) until combined and then add to the dry ingredients.
  5. Using a flat-bladed knife, gradually stir the wet and dry ingredients together until the mixture comes together as a dough. Use GF floured hands to knead slightly and complete the mixing process so that the dough is smooth and even. Do not chill at this stage.
  6. Put the dough onto a well-floured surface (use corn flour, rice flour or a combination to prevent the dough sticking) and then roll-out with a floured rolling pin until you have a circle which is large enough to line the flan tin, about 5mm thick.
  7. Gently lift the dough with the help of the rolling pin and ease into the 10 inch/26 cm flan case. Trim the top edges so that the pastry is even with the top of the tin.
  8. Place in the fridge to chill and rest for an hour or so.
  9. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/Gas 4.
  10. Blind-bake the pastry case by lining with baking paper and filling with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes with beans and then remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes until golden.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 
  12. Turn the oven down to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
  13. To make the filling : After liquidising and sieving the raspberries, add to the sieved lemon juice to make up to 200 ml juice. Set aside.
  14. Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy in a large bowl.
  15. Add the sugar, cream and juice and whisk again until well combined.
  16. Place the pastry case on a baking sheet, so that it remains steady when transferred to the oven.
  17. Pour the custard-cream mix into the cooled pastry case, being careful not to let it over-flow.
  18. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the filling is set, but still has a slight wobble.
  19. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  20. Decorate with raspberries, a sprinkle of icing sugar and fresh basil leaves.
  21. To make the basil cream : Beat the double cream with the mascarpone, vanilla and icing sugar until it has a dropping consistency which is able to just hold its shape.
  22. Add the finely-chopped basil and fold through the cream until evenly combined.

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  1. That is one beautiful and delicious looking tart. I'd love a big slice please!
    Looks so summery. Lemon juice/acid helps break down the protein fibres in foods - think how you marinade meats etc. This would brake down the gluten strands in wheat flour, but not sure how that applies to being gluten free! Maybe it causes some chemical reaction too? Either way looks amazing

    1. Thank you Katie. I'd love to send you some.........I think you would have enjoyed it! May get a bit squished though. I guess the science could still be relevant?!

  2. You have out-done yourself here, Kate! I love the sound of the flavours (especially the basil ice cream) and the decoration is spotless. Lovely photographs too :-)

    1. Thanks Aimee. I am really enjoying experimenting with a few herbs in unexpected dishes! It was a lovely tart......

  3. Wow this looks spectacular. I love the flavour combination of raspberry and basil and how you've presented it. I've baked with strawberry and basil a few times but not with raspberries. Must give this a go!

    1. Thanks. Basil pairs amazingly well with raspberry. You must try it!

  4. Absolutely stunning! Thank you so much for finding the time to enter it in this months Tea Time Treats!
    Janie x

  5. Stunning bake Kate! I've bookmarked & pinned so I don't forget where to find that pastry recipe - it looks gorgeous!
    Thank you so much for finding the time to enter it in this months Tea Time Treats!
    Janie x

    1. Thanks Janie. You're welcome. The pastry hasn't failed me yet, but it does need slightly different handling to the glutenous variety. I would thoroughly recommend it!

  6. Pretty as a picture! How could you bring yourself to slice into this masterpiece? And the recipe sounds amazing, particularly loving your basil cream pairing with the raspberries. Thanks so much for linking up to Four Seasons Food, a suburb pud to "Celebrate Spring".

    1. Thanks Lou. Slicing into and eating it was the best part!!

  7. It's a stunning tart. I'd never have guessed it was actually partly designed to use up leftovers.

    1. Thank you Corina! It's amazing what you come up with when there is food to use up. I hate wasting anything!


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