Well balanced combination of flavour rich elderberries, lemon and brown sugar create a distinctive taste in this elderberry lemon curd tart. Accompanied with almond crust and fruits on the top, this healthy dessert deserves our attention.
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We are all back from the summer holidays and we have been invited to our friends' house to get together. I have been assigned to bring a dessert. With such a big responsibility in mind, I wanted to come up with something unique that will surprise the others. Since I like to experiment with elderberries and live in the region where there are plenty I thought to use them in my recipe. Elderberry curd is delicious and turning it into a tart would be a great idea.
One of the friends who was also invited is allergic to gluten so I searched for alternatives. I came up with the gluten-free Elderberry lemon curd tart that was not only delicious but also healthy, packed with medicinal benefits of elderberries.
Because it was the beginning of September, the season of elderberries just started. It took me some time to find ripe elderberries. I know all elderberry bushes in the neighbourhood so I was searching to pick the black coloured and ripe ones as the unripped are toxic. I needed 3 cups of elderberries (about 20-30 heads depending on their size), but you can also make it with elderberry syrup, elderberry powder or dried elderberries.
How to make Elderberry lemon curd tart with a gluten-free crust
Let’s start with foraging some elderberries. select bushes that are free of any chemicals and look for black coloured berries. Avoid red colored ones (unripped) as they are together with stems not edible and need to be removed. You should end up with 3 cups of black elderberries free of stems. To fasten the process of stemming the elderberries, you can freeze them for 30 minutes as frozen berries pop right of the stems. It is impossible to remove all small pieces so just don’t bother too much.
Elderberry tart crust
If you know me I am not too much into baking as I don’t like to use flour and sugar so I turned my attention to raw cakes that require other ingredients. Like this simple to make crust.
All you need is just almond and dates. Depending on the hardness of dates you can leave them soaked in hot water for a while. In the meantime place the almond with ½ teaspoon of himalayan salt in the mixer and blend into breadcrumbs size pieces. Add dates with one tablespoon of water and pulse. MIx it together so the mixture is compact and can easily be spread on the bottom of the tart base. Use parchment paper to line the cake tin so it is easy to slide the tart our of the tin when needed.
Elderberry Lemon Curd
Place 3 cups of washed and and cleaned elderbeeries in a the saucepan with ½ cup of water nad bring it to simmer. Cook it for 20 minutes while you stir and smash the berries.
Strain the berries using a cheesecloth or strainer and try to press the berries to get as much as juice as possible. We will use 2 cups of this juice for our project, the remaining seeds and skin you can discard.
Mix lemon juice and elderberry juice together in a small saucepan and place it over medium heat
Use a mixer to whisk eggs and egg yolks into the foam. While whisking, add brown sugar into eggs to create a homogenous mixture or yellow color. Now it is time to slowly pour the half of hot lemon elderberry mixture into the egg mixture. Better to do it in a small stream.
Continue mixing till all is well incorporated. Then transfer the egg-lemon- elderberry mixture back to the sauce pan with the remaining lemon-elderberry juice, place it over medium heat continue stirring and watch the mixture till the desired consistency of runny yogurt is reached. It might take 10-20 minutes. If you still not able to thicken the mixture at this stage add 1 tablespoon of corn starch diluted in 1 tablespoon of water and continue stirring till the consistency is correct.
Once it has started to thicken, start adding melted butter in the mixture. Mix it well and let it cool down a little bit before transferring it on the top of the crust.
Let it chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before decorating the top of the curd with fruits.
Fruits on the top
I like to use seasonal fruits so I used blackberries, blueberries and grapes from our local market. My friend brought me some figs from her garden to try them out.
Feel free to use whatever you like, the creativity is up to you.
I don’t think you are going to deal with this issue as this tart will disappear within 24 hours. However if you really want to keep it for later you can wrap it in the plastic wrap and freeze. Use it within 1 month. Don’t forget to remove it 2 hours before serving.
It really depends on many factors such as the temperature of the room, cooker etc. For me it was still very thin after 10 minutes however after 15 minutes I could see that it was becoming a little bit thicker but I kept carrying on another 5 minutes until I was happy with the consistency. So be patient, give it some time and keep mixing the whole time!
Meaning no eggs and no butter? Eggs are important to achieve thicker consistency so if you want to skip that ingredient you will have to use cornstarch to do the job instead. Butter can be easily replaced with coconut oil.