Virginie Wiggins is back to share her pomegranate tartlets recipe. Not only did she write this post and let me try her delicious tartlets, but she let Myles play at her house with her boys while Jonathan took photos of the tartlets. She’s the best! I hope you love her tartlets as much as I do.
I am a bit of a health freak. And, here I am posting on Cupcake Project, baking blog, epicurean heaven. I don’t think the two are incompatible. To me, chocolate = magnesium. Custard = proteins. Fruit tarts = vitamin C. Yes, eating dessert can make you healthier!
Take pomegranate, for example. This Middle Eastern fruit has many virtues! It is an antioxidant, fights heart disease, lowers high blood pressure, and decreases inflammation. It is rich in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, although you will miss out if you just suck the juice out of the seeds and spit out the white middle.
Too many people do not eat pomegranate because it is too hard to extract the seeds! If you are one of them, I exhort you to consult this tutorial by Mama Natural and bypass your fears:
All you need is a paring knife to cut the skin “from flower to stem” in several sections, and tear up these portions of skin inside a bowl full of cold water. You don’t want your kitchen to look like a crime scene!
Pomegranate season runs from October to February, on schedule for Valentine’s Day and a romantic dinner with a special someone. Pomegranate seeds are bright red – the color of passion! Your Valentine will be so impressed: You baked seemingly elaborate pomegranate tartlets AND made healthy choices to show your love. (In the meantime, you did not even dirty your kitchen walls!) Happy Valentine’s Day!
- 1 cup unsalted chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon sugar I use coconut sugar or honey
- pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder optional
- 1 large large egg
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup
- 4 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk the rest of the can is used the pastry cream
- pinch salt
Pastry Cream Ingredients
- 2 teaspoons gelatin I use Great Lakes unflavored beef gelatin; you can substitute with 1/2 package of Knox gelatin.
- 2 tablespoons water
- 400 milliliters full-fat coconut milk (MINUS the 4 tablespoons used in the ganache)
- 4 large large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups pomegranate seeds from 2 pomegranates
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a small food processor, blend together the pecans, shredded coconut, sugar, salt, and optionally cocoa powder until you are left with a coarse powder.
- Add in the egg and process until a paste forms. (Do not over-process or it will get too oily).
- With your fingers, spread into four small, lightly greased tart molds (5’’ diameter). It should be done easily, although if the dough is too sticky, you can first wet your fingers with water.
- Bake the crusts for 15 to 18 minutes, until they feel dry and cooked (don’t burn yourself!) and look golden but not dark brown.
- Let them cool completely. You can also prepare them a day ahead and keep them in the fridge before adding ganache.
- Place chocolate chips, milk, and salt in a small pan on medium heat and gently stir until the chips begin to melt (about 3 minutes).
- Remove from heat and stir vigorously until the chocolate is melted completely.
- Let the ganache cool about 10 or 15 minutes.
- Once cooled, divide the ganache into the bottoms of the empty tart crusts.
- Reserve in the fridge.
Pastry Cream Instructions
- Stir the gelatin in water in a small bowl and let it rest and swell (bloom) for about five minutes while you continue with the recipe.
- Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan.
- While the milk warms up, stir together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl.
- Temper the egg mixture by pouring some hot milk in, stirring constantly. Then, pour in the rest of the milk.
- Return this mixture to the saucepan and thicken on medium-low heat. It should take about 5 minutes.
- Remove the custard from the stove and stir in the bloomed gelatin until it is fully dissolved.
- Let the custard cool. It should have the consistency of heavy cream.
- Once the custard has cooled (but not set!) for about 15-20 minutes, divide between the 4 crusts.
- Place in the fridge to rest.
- After 10-15 minutes, drop about 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds on top of each tartlet, pressing LIGHTLY on top of the custard. Place the seeds on top of the custard one pinch at a time in order to not disturb the custard or cause the seeds to bleed!
- Let the tartlet set completely in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Serve at room temperature.
Virginie Wiggins is a St. Louis mother of two boys, French teacher, baker, and blogger. She sticks to her French roots by making classic recipes “paleo”, and occasionally revisits American classics by giving them a French flair.