Homemade fruit tarts

My grandma really hates butter and because of that, she can’t stomach many desserts like buttery cookies/tart bases and cupcakes. I myself having being influenced by her since she was the one who fed me most of my life also dislike butter albeit to a lesser extent than her.

Most desserts unfortunately contain butter so I try to mask it with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Dessert recipes using oil as a substitute to butter are really hard to find and more often than not yield less positive results. Thankfully, while browsing la tartine gourmande, I found a sweet oil crust recipe that I tried not once but twice and they both turned out perfectly 😀

Two of my best friends are born on the 6th of june so as part of their present, I decided to bake some fruit tarts. Berries from Driscoll’s are in season now especially for blueberries and strawberries. I gleefully picked up some blueberries which were on offer in ntuc ( I feel like an auntie already!). Blush pears were also in stock and I could not resist the adorable little pears with their pretty red hues!

This recipe yields a crunchy tart base. The thinner you roll it out the better or it may prove to be more hard than crunchy. I like to use the technique of rolling the dough between two pieces of cling wrap because I find it easier to handle the dough without having to continually dust it with flour which may dry up the base.

I have never baked with blueberries before but they turned out to be a perfect for tarts! The fillings for the tart are really simple. I just added a layer of raspberry preserves that mum purchased from london, sprinkled copious amounts of ground almonds, coated each blueberry with some raspberry preserves and sat them on top of the tart base. The tart was crunchy and slightly sweet but not artificially so because of the use of brown sugar instead of white. There was of course no rancid smell of butter but was instead replaced with a very very slight fruity taste of olive oil. Perhaps better quality olive oil will make the taste more stark but then again, it will probably be overshadowed by the filling. The tangy and sweet raspberry preserves complemented the sourish and sweetish blueberries perfectly which burst in the mouth with  every bite.

For the tarts with blush pears as the filling, I also sprinkled copious amounts of ground almond at the base, topped it off with thin slices of blush pears and drizzled organic honey that I obtained from an eocological farm from taiwan all over. To make it more visually appealing I sprinkled on some dried cranberries which also afforded a sourish dimension to the whole assemble.

You can get creative with your tarts but do avoid using fruits like kiwis which give out a lot of water when baked. Your tarts will get really soggy! Below is a recipe that I modified from la tartine gourmande ( her’s is gluten free).

Do you know any cupcake recipes that do not use butter? Do share!

Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande

Sweet oil fruit tarts

Makes 4 medium sized tartlets


200g all purpose flour

30g almond flour

60g unrefined sugar

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup olive oil (or any oil you favor)

1/3 cup cold water

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Start preparing the crust an hour ahead of time
  2. Mix dry ingredients before adding oil. Mix until crumbly and well incorporated
  3. Add water progressively enough for dough to detach from bowl and form a ball ( I used slightly less than 1/3 cup, you will have to gauge it yourself)
  4. Rest the dough one hour at room temperature before using
  5. Preheat oven 180 degrees
  6. Roll out the dough and place into molds ( use cling wrap method). Make holes at the bottom using a fork

For a berry filling:

Berries become bitter when cooked, they also take less time to cook than other less juicy fruits like apples or peaches


2 cups blueberries

Almond flour (2 tablespoons per tartlet)

4 tablespoons of fine sugar

  1. In a bowl, mix the washed berries with sugar
  2. Blind bake the crust using parchment paper and beans/rice for 10 mins
  3. Remove paper and sprinkle with almond flour
  4. Top with blueberries
  5.   Bake tartlets for another 20 mins

*alternatively, just coat the blueberries with jam/preserves