Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Vanilla Tart (Low Fat Eggless)

Vanilla Tart (Low Fat Eggless)

Making western dishes has not been my strength mainly because I barely get opportunity to do so. My husband prefers Indian dishes, particularly south Indian and also the fact that there are ever so many Indian dishes I am yet to try gives me limited incentive to explore alternate cuisines. I do think that in order to be a good cook, one needs to try a variety of dishes and also was hoping that I could lure my wee one into trying some western dishes every now and then. I had bought fromage frais which is a curd cheese as well but much lesser in fat and cholesterol than cream cheese. I chose to use this instead of a full fat cheese filling. This tart is a kind of hybrid between a cheesecake and traditional tarts. The mixture of whole wheat flour and all purpose flour helps keep it healthy and delicious at the same time. I also used olive oil instead of butter to make the pastry so saturated fat is reduced. It is not too sweet so if you do have a sweet tooth you may want to add bit more sugar to the filling.

For the pastry:
½ cup all purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
50-60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
Pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons sugar
Cold water
For the filling:
500g fromage frais
1 teaspoon corn flour
3 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Slices of fruits of your choice for garnish

To make the pastry:

Add the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and add the olive oil. Mix so it looks like breadcrumbs and add water and make a soft dough that is well combined

Divide this dough into about 6 portions (I used mini tart tins so I divided the dough, you could use it to make one big pastry (I would say about 18-22 cm tin) and roll each one into a disc about 3-5 mm thick, I used few drops of oil to help roll instead of flour and line the tin with the pastry ensuring the corners (where the base meets the side walls) are pressed into properly so you get a nice shape when baked

You can trim the excess dough by rolling the rolling pin over and pulling the dough away. Be careful not to stretch the dough when lining the tin as the dough will shrink far too much when baked

Prick several places on the base with a fork and bake at 180degC for 10 minutes. I did not use baking beans because I did not have any. You could put an oven proof aluminium foil on the lined tin and put some baking beans or even red kidney beans. This will help prevent the dough from raising and even baking. If you do so, bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and beans and bake for further 3 minutes

Let the pastry cool so it is crisp before filling

For the filling:

Put the fromage frais in a muslin cloth or a white cloth, roll it and squeeze excess water out. Alternately, let the fromage frais on the muslin cloth sit on a collander with a bowl placed underneath so the water drains. It may take about 2 hours or so but I prefer to squeeze it out as it prevents the cheese from becoming sour sitting outside. Some people put it in the fridge to avoid sour cheese

Mix the cheese with the sugar, vanilla extract and corn flour

Fill the pastry case with this mixture and bake at 180deg C for about 10minutes

Garnish with cut fruits and sprinkle some sugar and serve. You could also sprinkle some sugar and put in the oven at 200degC for about 3 minutes so the sugar caramelises.


  1. very interesting veena :) great recipe - wil surely try this - but i had this doubt otherwise too - why is the tart rolled out even after it is shaped - i saw this on another tart recipe too - pls educate :)

  2. Looks fabulous,quite a guilt free tart.

  3. @Ramya, in the recipe I posted I have advised rolling the dough again after shaping it in the tin so that it is easy to cut off the excess dough (as I said in the post, you need to roll out a big sheet of dough so you do not have to stretch it when lining the tin)and get a good edge. If one has the patience, it can well be done without the rolling pin. Hope this helps, if not, please let me know and I will try better :)