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Vanilla Glazed Grape and Custard Tart

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It’s not often comfort and looks come together so beautifully. I feel like I’ve been chasing milk tart since I was a child. When it comes to deciding on a tart filling, custard has to be my favourite. How dare I knock chocolate off it’s throne? Well, let’s be honest, it’s not as versatile, and is really more of a special occasion tart filling. But custard you can dress up or down, it’s incredibly satisfying to make as you watch the eggs turn into a rich, velvety gloop, and somehow always feels light and optimistic.

Every month at Klein JAN, we shine a light on one of the seasonal ingredients we keep in the root cellar, and something that still amazes me is all those vast stretches of vineyard along the Orange River. Somehow, no matter how often I see them, they always catch me by surprise, like they don’t belong in the desert. But if it weren’t for that life-giving river, the Kalahari – and Klein JAN – would be a very different experience. This year, however, we’re even more grateful for the grapes that were delivered to our root cellar, as the heat wave that washed over the Kalahari this summer had a drastic impact on this year’s grape yield.

I also found it especially therapeutic to make this glistening beauty – cutting the grapes one by one and arranging them in a spiral all the way to the edge – putting in the time really gives you an incredible sense of accomplishment.

Vanilla Glazed Grape and Custard Tart

Cooking Time: 1 hour | Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 50 minutes | Pastry resting time: 1 hour 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

for the grapes

400 g white seedless grapes, sliced 2mm thick

200 ml white grape juice

80 g castor sugar

2,5 ml vanilla extract

½ lemon, juiced

for the tart case

180 g Snowflake Cake Flour

35 g icing sugar

1,25 ml fine salt

115 g butter, cubed

1 egg yolk

15 ml cream

2,5 ml vanilla extract

for the custard filling

240 ml cream

240 ml milk

2,5 ml vanilla extract

8 egg yolks

65 g icing sugar

30 ml Snowflake Vanilla Flavoured Custard Powder

1 lemon, zest

METHOD

for the grapes

Start by making the glaze while slicing the grapes. To make the glaze, simmer the grape juice, sugar, and vanilla together for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.

for the tart case

Place the cake flour, icing sugar, salt, and cold cubed butter in a food processor and blend until it reaches a breadcrumb consistency (this can also be done by hand – use your fingertips to rub the butter into these dry ingredients). 

Add the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla and mix well until a dough forms.

Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for 1 hour before rolling out, it is best to flatten the dough before placing it in the fridge – this will help to make it easier to roll out later.

Once the dough is ready, roll out and line a 23cm quiche tin. Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes before baking. While resting in the freezer, heat the oven to 190°C. Blind bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool before placing the filling inside the tart shell.

for the custard filling

Heat the cream, milk, and vanilla together in a large saucepan until it starts to simmer. Whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, custard powder, and lemon zest in a bowl, and temper the eggs by slowly pouring about one cup of the warm milk and cream into the eggs while whisking. Add the mixture back into the pot and cook until it reaches a thick, custardy consistency. Strain through a sieve and place the mixture in the baked tart shell, once cooled down. Bake the tart at 190°C for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Allow to cool at room temperature before removing the tart from the tin.

to assemble

start by placing the grapes in a circular shape starting from the middle of the tart, overlapping each grape slightly.

Brush with the glaze and serve.

CHEF’S TIP

Store the egg whites in the freezer and they can be used again for numerous other recipes

On average, one large egg white weighs 30 grams, if you need to adjust your recipe for later.

Recipes you can use leftover eggs in:

Meringue

Clearing a consommé

And even some whiskey sours

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