Friday, October 9, 2009

Custard with Class--Fruit 'n' Dark Chocolate Curls

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
"I've been doing the same lemon tart for
fifteen years. I can't make it any better. To me, it's perfect.”--
Thomas Keller

A decade ago, I remember my dear friend (a surrogate mom) in the San Francisco Bay Area (where I was born and raised), brought me small custard tarts with fruit on top. She was helping a baker's business. Sadly, his store's sign was hidden and she was a humanitarian giving a helping hand. I adored the adorable desserts but truly my fridge was overstocked with these tarts so I ended up passing out many to neighbors. And yesterday, while swimming I got images of these tarts. Today is Tart Day at my house...

Is a baked fruit tart nutritious? Yes and no. It does contain sugar, fat, sodium, and cholesterol. But it also has protein, calcium, and a wide array of good nutrients such as potassium plus vitamins and minerals. More nutritious fresh autumn fruit is better than less. I just read you can't freeze this type of pie because when thawed it will separate and be watery. So, if you don't want to gain weight, indulge in a small slice, share, and next time around I suggest making mini tarts like I enjoyed in the past.

Lemon Custard Fruit Tart
12 ounces evaporated milk, low-fat
3 large brown eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/4 cup premium maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil, lemon flavored
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 pie crust, Marie Calendar's Deep Dish

green grapes, sliced in half
fresh large strawberries, sliced
dark chocolate curls

Heat milk on stovetop but don't boil. Combine milk with beaten eggs, sugar, and flour. Add syrup, vanilla, olive oil, and lemon juice. Pour easily into pie crust. Sprinkle top with nutmeg. Cover the bottom of the pie shell with a large piece of foil that can cover the top crust (to prevent burning). Bake at 325 to 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or till firm. Cool and put in the fridge (and that is where you will store it, too). Top with fruit (after it is chilled) and chocolate curls for that cool touch.

Lemon, Fruit and Chocolate Curls Are Classy

The end result of lemon custard, fruit and chocolate: Ah, the lemony flavor is sweet and tart. The fresh fruity flavors of grapes and strawberries compliments the creamy texture of the custard. (The crust? I know I can make one from scratch but Marie Calender's pie crusts are tasty, flaky and they work with less time, less mess.) The Dark Chocolate Curls give this pie a sophisticated, pretty European look--and marrying chocolate with lemon works well. A tablespoon of the rich tasting curls: 20 calories with no sodium, trans fat, total fat one gram, and three grams of protein per serving. And don't forget the good for you antioxidants and compounds in dark chocolate.
This Fruit Tart with a cool chocolate twist works for me. But I should have really made the smaller ones to maintain my small size. (I did have a veggie salad for dinner. If you practice the balance plan you, too, can enjoy treats in moderation without packing on unwanted body fat. Note to self: Extra laps at the swimming pool; longer dog walk tomorrow.)
One more thing. I think I prefer the smoother texture of using half and half milk as I did in the
Sierra-Style Custard (with chocolate shavings) made back in September, the day before autumn arrived. They're different. They're both fun and light with a chocolatey, cosmopolitan San Francisco-type edge.


  1. This a.m. I woke up to this fun and light Lemon Fruit Custard...I warmed a petite piece in the microwave and ditto straight from the fridge. Warm or cold? Either way this dish makes me want to move back to The City.

  2. The fruit tart looks delicious! It reminds me of the fruit tarts they serve in Denmark. I tried to recreat the yummy treat without a recipe, but it wasn't quite as good. I'll have to give this one a try.