If you have ever been to a patisserie in France, you are probably familiar with that rich cream filling that renders their pastries so sinfully good. Thick, vanilla infused cream hiding inside éclairs, choux pastries, réligieuse cakes, and tucked under glazed fruit in buttery tarts. French pastry cream is so adored that it has even infiltrated American fast food chains such as dunkin' donuts and Starbucks. One of my favorite childhood food memories is wrapped up in one particular pastry cream explosion, rightfully called a "Belly Bomb". Spending summers on Martha's Vineyard–an island off Cape Cod–one of our traditions after going to the beach included a stop at local bakery where I would choose an oversized, overstuffed fried pastry filled with white pastry cream and glazed in chocolate. I must not have been older than 6 and that donut was probably half the size of my head. I still can't figure out how I managed to down the entire thing. Ten years later I discovered that I have a gluten allergy, and I still mourn those ridiculously delicious Belly Bombs.
But what if I told you that something even more decadent than pastry cream exists? It is Crème Mousseline, an even richer and more indulgent form of pastry cream. This level of indulgence is achieved by simply adding creamed butter once the pastry cream has cooled.
My gluten-free and dairy-free crème mousseline tarte is made with a healthier take on French pastry cream while maintaining the same level of rich indulgence. This recipe uses more nutritious ingredients, employs the same techniques and even accounts for the buttery crème mousseline finish, but without the butter of course.
Gluten free flour, 1 1/2 cups
Coconut oil (Virgin), 6 tablespoons
Honey, 2 tablespoons
Baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Iced water, 1-3 teaspoons as needed
Vanilla, 1 teaspoon
Coconut milk or hazelnut milk, 1 cup
Coconut cream (refrigerated, using just the thick cream and reserving liquid for other recipes), 1 can
Egg yolks, 4
Honey, 1/4 cup
Cornstarch, 3 tablespoons
Coconut oil, 3 tablespoons
Vanilla, 1 teaspoon
Orange juice, 1/2 cup
Sugar or honey, 1/4 cup
Cornstarch, 2 tablespoons
Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
Grease a pie baking dish with coconut oil.
Combine gluten free flour, baking powder, honey, salt in a food processor or mix by hand.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix until a ball forms.
Spread dough with wet hands ( to prevent dough from sticking) evenly across a greased pie pan, pushing dough up at the sides, and puncture holes into bottom and sides with a fork.
Refrigerate 1/2 an hour minimum to set the crust.
Bake for around 10–15 minutes until edges are golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
*If crust sinks after cooking despite refrigeration, wet fingers with ice cold water and push crust up along edges until cooled and set.
Warm coconut or hazelnut milk+coconut cream+vanilla in a saucepan over low heat.
In large bowl, whisk yolks and honey until thickened. Add cornstarch and salt and whisk.
Pour 1/4 of the milk mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk.
Then pour the mixture back into the warmed milk mixture in the saucepan and whisk. This is done in order to temperate the cream so as not to cook the yolks too quickly.
Raise temperature slightly, bring to a light simmer, and stir until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Add coconut oil and whisk until smooth.
Pour the coconut mousseline filling into crust and refrigerate until set. Top with fresh fruit and paint on fruit glaze (see recipe for glaze below).
Combine 1/2 cup fruit juice + 1/4 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a small saucepan .
Heat on stove and whisk until thickened and reduced. Paint onto fruit with pastry/paint brush.
Refrigerate tart until ready to serve.
*If you want to make chocolate mousseline cream, add melted chocolate or cocoa powder to cream mixture once removed from stove and then finish with softened coconut oil.