Tuesday, August 12, 2008

British Bulldog's Custard Berry Tart with Biscuit Crust

Please head over to my new blog at TheUrbanHousewife.com, where you'll find this post & more!

Okay, I'll admit it, in my childhood, I was a fan of WWF wrestling. Saturdays were filled with body slams & beefy men in tights; Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Ultimate Warrior, Jake the Snake, Bret "the Hitman" Hart, I watched them all while yelling at the television. Needless to say, my mother was less than thrilled. What does this have to do with vegan food you ask? Well, Natalie from Bake & Destroy is currently holding a "Sugar Slam!" competition of wrestling inspired desserts & I decided to whip up an entry.

When coming up with ideas, many things danced through my head, "cupcakes with snakes popping out!", "something with blood!" & then I decided to go another route. I never make tarts. In fact, this is my first tart with a tart pan that has been sitting here a few months. Enter, the British Bulldog! I think it's safe to say he would like a tart! My trip to London had provided me with some goodies to incorporate in my dessert, namely McVitie's Digestive Biscuits (only the LIGHTS are vegan) & Bird's Custard Powder. With summer's wonderful berries flooding the farmers market & my loot from London, I set out to create a tart fit for a wrestler!

British Bulldog's Custard Berry Tart with Biscuit Crust
2 cups Digestive Biscuits, Rich Tea Biscuits, or Hob Nobs (approximately 14 biscuits), crumbled.
6 Tbsp Earth Balance, melted.
a pinch of cinnamon (optional)

2 cups soy milk
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp Custard Powder (try Bird's or Orgran)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split & scraped. (optional)

1 cup strawberries, sliced in to strips.
1 cup blueberries

For the Crust- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees & spray a 9 inch tart pan with non-stick spray.

Over medium heat, melt 6 tbsp of Earth Balance.

Crumble biscuits until you've reached 2 cups & place them in a bowl with the cinnamon.

Add the Earth Balance until a soft crumbly dough forms & then press it in to the bottom & sides of the tart pan.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes & let it cool completely.

For the Custard- Combine 2 tbsp of the soy milk, the sugar & custard powder, whisk to combine, forming a paste & removing all lumps.

In a saucepan, combine the paste & the rest of the soy milk. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer & let it thicken, stirring occasionally.

Whisk the lemon juice & arrowroot together, once again making sure there's no lumps. Add the lemon juice to the thickened mixture & bring it back to a simmer, continue to thicken the mixture.

Once thickened, turn off the heat, stir in the extracts & vanilla bean. Place the custard in a bowl with a layer of plastic wrap on the top of the custard, so a skin doesn't form. Place in the refrigerator until it is completely cooled, it will firm up quite a bit once cool.

Assembly- Once everything has cooled, add the custard to the crust, filling all the way to the edges. Make sure you don't leave too much custard in the middle, or your fruit will sink in & disappear.

To make a Union Jack; From top to bottom & across the sides form a cross with your strawberries, then with thinner sliced berries, make an "X" shape.

Use the blueberries to fill in the vacant spaces, leaving visible custard on either side of the strawberries to make the white lines.

Place your finished tart in the refrigerator to bring everything up to the same temperature or be a rebel & dig in! I think the British Bulldog would opt to eat it straightaway!

My Notes: This makes a light, fluffy custard that would be good with any sort of fruit. Many grocery stores carry Bird's Custard Powder, but if you don't want to use it, you can try a flour or cornstarch thickened recipe for custard or pastry cream. Most biscuits or cookies would suitable for the crust, I just love a good digestive & was thrilled to find the McV's Lights to be vegan. Many other brands of digestives are vegan, just read the label!

On another note, I was surprised to find out I am nominated for a 2008 Veggie Award from VegNews Magazine for "Favorite Veg Blog". Make sure you go vote, not only so the veggie voice is heard, but you may win some fabulous prizes! Ooh, prizes! Anyway, I am honored that VegNews thought of my humble little blog & I'm nominated with some truly fabulous bloggers & friends.


VeggieGirl said...

A tart fit for a wrestler, eh?? How fun!! :0D

Congratulations on the nomination!! :0)

Early Bird Special said...

I haven't seen any of the other entries, but really, there is no need to. This is the winner. Congratulations and The End. <3

Carrie said...

I am also a closeted childhood WWF fan. I believe I even had action figures. The tart is too great, I think he would like it.

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

That tart idea is so great! And it looks delicious. The Bulldog would be proud... My brother used to be obsessed with wrestling, too. He still watches sometimes for old times' sake, but would be mortified if anyone knew... Shhh.

Congrats on the nom, too! Yay!

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

That tart is awesome! Wrestler or not, who wouldn't love it?

Carrie™ said...

What a great idea!! It looks and sounds delicious. Congratulations on the nomination. Much deserved.

VeganCowGirl said...

Any one who would post about the British Bull Dog deserves that award! Who wasn't a fan of WWF in the eighties - it was all my grandmother watched on the involuntary (now much loved and missed) visits to her house on Sundays...it was WWF and cheezies.

What a great looking post. Good luck and congrats.

Mihl said...

Congratulations on the nomination. And with this wrestling-cake you should definitely win! (Maybe British Bulldog is going to help you?)

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

That's a beautiful tart! And congratulations on the nomination. What an honor!

Paulina said...

I don't think I've ever had a custard before, but yours looks fabulous!

Amey said...

hee hee,
that's pretty hilarious Melisser, I certainly wouldn't have guessed it! :)

The tart looks amazing. I've never heard of custard powder, but I'll keep my eyes open for it. Tarts are so fun because they really aren't that must work... but with a little artful fruit arranging, they can look totally spectacular.

I ate so many of those light digestives in India. YUM.

Congrats on the veg news nod. Very cool! Good luck!

: ) Amey

porcalina said...

Very awesome. I love it :)

Bianca said...

I used to love wrestling too! It always came on after Saturday morning cartoons, and I loved that "dunh! dunh! Dunh! DUNH-DUNH!" music. You know what I'm talkin' about.

I was a big Jerry "The King" Lawler fan since he's from Memphis. In my house, we called it "wrastlin" cause how folks talk.

Your custard berry tart would melt the heart of any tough-guy wrestler. It looks so beautiful, and I'm a fan of anything with a biscuit crust.

EB said...

Congrats on the nomination! Very well deserved.

jessy said...

hoooray on the nomination! :) and i loooooove your tart! it's colorful, fun as hell, and freak'n perfect! mmmmmmm! it's awesome!

and i'm with you on the old WWF stuff - i used to love the macho man & the hulk, too. ah yes, the old days. soooo much fun when we were all wee, indeed! :)

bakeanddestroy said...

Excellent! I am forwarding your info to CM Punk right... now!

the little one said...

I saw the Bake & Destroy contest. This is a fabulous entry! Would be great to see a vegan entry win.

Animal-Friendly said...

Wrestling and tarts are two things I would have never thought to go together, but I guess they do! Tarts are always the perfect summer dessert and thanks for the recipe!

Also, congratulations on your nomination!

Katie said...

Oooh tarts are great. This one looks so delicious.

I love your blog!

jennconspiracy said...

Gawd this thing looks so delicious!!!

I need to take more lucious photos but I' so busy with processing fruit...

Congrats on the nomination - I voted for you in my ballot.

Rural Vegan said...

Congrats on your nomination! Your tart is incredible!

Hannah said...

Haha, how creative is that tart! I love it!

shannie cakes said...

melisser that tart is too adorable!

hope all is well in californ-i-a!

Penny said...

I dig the combination of veg food and pop culture...my dad took me to see Wrestle Mania as a kid, so this was especially enjoyable!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

that is a gorgeous decoration on the tart! and congrats on the nom!

Anonymous said...

That tart looks incredible! Congrats on the nomination! Totally deserved, if you ask me!

Liz² said...

that custard is so simple and awesome and light! You know I'm gonna try this someday. And congrats on the nomination, you totally deserve it!

Jade Strange said...

That looks delightful. Nice recipe congrats on the nomination!

Destiny's Vegan Kitchen said...

Oh yum! I need to stock up on Bird's Custard Powder, since I ran out. Beautiful tart.

Cakespy said...

Congratulations on the (well-deserved!) nomination.

Why well-deserved? well, one need only to look at this tart for a reason. :-) It is certainly fit for a wrestler!

Erin said...

I was never a WWF fan, but this is hilarious. In a delicious sort of way.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Umm, so yeah I just can't believe this is your first tart. It definitely has the british vibe going.. even cooler that you incorporated ingredients you brought back from London!

And you know you got my vote, right?

Urban Vegan said...

Go British Bulldog. (He doesn't seem deserving of such an exquisite tart.) And go Melisser!!!

mixtape cupcakes said...

now I NEED to try those "cupcakes with snakes busting out"!!!

Jennifer A. Wickes said...

Fantastic tart!

Inspired Housewife said...

This looks seriously delicious ...

very saucy vegan said...

Wow just beautiful! I'm taking it to my work potluck so everyone can say "what no butter or anything"?

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