Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Christmas pudding tart

Prep time over 2 hours
Cook time over 2 hours
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen
Christmas pudding gets a French makeover - it's mixed with pastry cream to fill a tart case, then topped with almond-flavoured crumble. Equipment and preparation: you will need 4 x 12cm/4½in loose-bottomed tart tins.


  1. To make the pastry, put all the pastry ingredients apart from the eggs in a food processor and pulse until the pastry has a texture like breadcrumbs.

  2. Add the eggs and pulse until mixture starts to form a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and work as little as possible until it is smooth. Form into a ball and flatten. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least three hours.

  3. For the pastry cream, place the milk, cream, vanilla pod and 60g/2¼oz of the sugar in a pan and bring to the boil.

  4. In a clean bowl whisk the yolks with the remaining sugar until pale.

  5. Mix the cornflour and flour into the yolk mix. Pour half of the milk onto the yolk mix and whisk well.

  6. Add the remaining milk, place back in the saucepan and cook until it thickens.

  7. Add the butter and mix it in. Pass through a fine sieve and cool. Cover with cling film and pierce with a fork to let out steam. Set aside in the fridge.

  8. For the crumble topping, in a bowl, rub together all the ingredients with your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs. Place to one side.

  9. For the crystallised almonds and pine nuts, place all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

  10. Place on a moderate heat and stir until the sugar crystallises and coats all the almonds and pine kernels. You will notice a whitish powder forming on the sides of the pan. Stir this back into the pan as this starts the crystallising process. Stir until all the nuts are coated.

  11. Scatter onto a plate or baking tray and leave until cold. Store in an airtight container until needed.

  12. For the cranberry sauce purée, place all the ingredients with 75ml/2½fl oz water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Taste, make sure it is sweet enough and then liquidise using a blender. Pass through a fine sieve and leave to cool, then store in a squeezy bottle until ready to use.

  13. For the mascarpone and amaretto cream, place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

  14. Whisk until medium stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Cover and store in the fridge until needed.

  15. To make the tart case, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  16. Grease four 12cm/4½in loose-bottomed tart tins. Use the pastry dough to line the tin and prick the base all over with a fork and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

  17. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  18. Line the pastry with parchment paper and weigh down with uncooked rice or ceramic baking beans. Bake the pastry blind for 15 minutes, remove the paper and rice or beans and return the pastry cases to the oven for a few minutes more, until light golden-brown.

  19. To make the filling, warm the Christmas pudding and add to the cool pastry cream with the almonds. Pipe the mixture into the tarts.

  20. Sprinkle with the almond crumble. Return to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until the crumble is golden-brown.

  21. Allow to cool a little, remove from the tins and dust with icing sugar

  22. To serve, place on the plate, dress with a little cranberry sauce purée, crystallised nuts and a scoop of mascarpone cream.


For the sweet pastry

  • 270g/9½oz plain flour
  • 150g/5½oz unsalted butter, cold
  • 50g/1¾oz ground almonds
  • 1 lemon or orange, grated zest only
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 100g/3½oz icing sugar
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 free-range egg yolk

For the pastry cream

  • 175ml/6fl oz milk
  • 75g/2½oz double cream
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds removed
  • 90g/3¼oz caster sugar
  • 75g/2½oz free-range egg yolks (about 4-5 yolks)
  • 15g/½oz cornflour
  • 15g/½oz plain flour
  • 15g/½oz butter, melted

For the crumble topping

  • 150g/5½oz ground almonds
  • 115g/4oz demerara sugar
  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter
  • 85g/3oz plain flour
  • 1 lemon, zest only

For the crystallised almonds and pine nuts

  • 100g/3½oz blanched almonds
  • 25g/1oz pine nuts
  • 125g/4½oz icing sugar
  • 30ml/1fl oz orange liqueur

For the cranberry sauce purée

  • 250g/9oz cranberry sauce
  • 25g/1oz caster sugar

For the mascarpone and Amaretto cream

  • 125g/4½oz mascarpone cheese
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • 25g/1oz icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp almond-flavoured Italian liqueur, such as Amaretto
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg

For the Chistmas pudding filling

  • 250g/9oz Christmas pudding
  • 30g/1oz sliced almonds
  • icing sugar, for dusting

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Christmas pudding tart

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