Vegan Fruit Tarts with Custard - a vegan dessert bursting with flavor! A classic flaky shortbread crust with silky soft vegan custard. The custard cream has a Panna Cotta like texture with a beautiful vanilla taste and scents of cinnamon. The wild berries on top give everything a freshness that rounds up this spiffy dessert. The best part about these tarts? This homemade vegan dessert looks fancy, but doesn’t require a lot of fuss!
💡 The recipe in a nutshell
- Vegan (eggless and dairy free)
- Made with only 9 ingredients!
- Classic home baking made plant-based
- Quick to make
- Easy shortbread crust
- Perfect to make-ahead
- A fancy looking dessert without a lot of fuzz
- Flaky, crunchy, buttery, creamy and fruity
💭 Making a shortbread crust
I wanted to make this dessert as simple and easy to make as possible. Even beginners can make this dessert! A traditional flaky pastry crust can be intimidating and definitely needs some practice. This vegan shortbread crust is a much simpler, and more delicious solution. By the way, it can also be used for cheesecakes and pies.
👩🏽🍳 Using Agar-agar
Agar-agar is a plant based gelatin substitute produced from a variety of seaweed vegetation. It is sold as flakes, powder, bars, and strands - for this recipe we are using the flakes. Agar-agar helps the custard filling to set and firm up enough so it won't be runny. It gives the filling an incredible panna cotta like texture, without adding any taste to the filling.
You find Agar in Asian markets, health food stores and online. Some supermarkets that have a health food section or specialty cooking supplies may carry it as well.
Agar has no calories, no sugar, no carbs, and no fat. It is free from soy, corn, gluten, yeast, wheat, starch, milk, egg, and preservatives. It is also a good source of fiber, calcium, and iron.
⏲️ Make-ahead Dessert
I know how hard it can be to find some spare time in our busy schedules nowadays. Thankfully you can split this recipe onto two different days and save some time!
Day 1: Prepare and bake tart crusts (est. time you'll need: 25 minutes).
Day 2: Make custard filling, fill tarts and let set (est. time you'll need: 10 to 15 minutes). Let set for at least 1 hour - or until cooled completely. Wait to add the fruit until just before serving.
Store without added berries in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. After the second day, the tart crust may start to get a bit soft. Eat within same day when topped with wild berries.
❄️ How to freeze
Place tarts without berries into the freezer for around 3 hours, until custard hardened. Then transfer to a freezer-friendly bag labeled with the date of freezing. Store in a single layer in your freezer for up to 3 months.
🍰 More dessert ideas
Looking for more vegan tart recipes? Check out this amazing Chocolate Tart recipe! Are you in the mood for some puff pastry? Then try making these super easy vegan Napoleons. For more ideas browse our recipe page.
Vegan Fruit Tarts with Custard Recipe
- electric mixer, 6 small tart pans Ø 10cm / 4"
- Alternative: 20cm / 8" round tart pan
- 120 g vegan butter at room temperature (½ cup)
- 25 g powdered sugar (¼ cup)
- 125 g unbleached all-purpose flour (1 cup)
- 40 g vanilla pudding powder, eg. dr. Oetker, or jell-o cook & serve (4 tbsp)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (7g)
- 400 ml plant based milk, eg. almond milk (1 ¾ cups)
- 1 tablespoon agar agar flakes (2g)
- 1-2 tablespoon cane sugar (15-30g)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- wild berries
- some powdered sugar optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.
- To make shortbread crust: Lightly grease your tart pan, with canola oil or nondairy butter. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, and beat until dough just comes together. It's fine, even if it’s still a little crumbly.
- Take one to two normal tablespoons of the dough and press the mixture into the bottom of one of your prepared pans. Continue until all pans are filled. Using a fork gently prick the dough several times. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. You can either make the crust a day ahead or let cool down for at least 30 minutes before starting to make the filling.
- To make custard filling: Mix 4 tablespoons (60 ml) plant milk with vanilla pudding powder and cornstarch. Then add the remaining milk and whisk together. Now add agar-agar flakes, cane sugar (if using), and ground cinnamon. Whisk everything together until well combined.
- Add mix to a saucepan and bring to a boil while constantly stirring. Once boiling put the heat down and simmer for 5-6 minutes to thicken - stirring occasionally. Take saucepan from heat. Transfer to a vessel that'll help you pour it evenly into the tarts (eg. a measuring cup). Stir the mixture once again before you start filling the tarts, then fill them. Once they are all filled make sure there are no air bubbles. Pop bubbles with a toothpick, or gently tap the tart pan onto the countertop. Let custard set and cool down completely.
- Serve at room temperature with fresh wild berries. Optional: sprinkle with some powdered sugar. Enjoy!
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