This vegan strawberry tart is a delicious spin on traditional tarte aux fraises. Classic French strawberry tart is commonly made up of buttery shortcrust pastry, crème pâtissière filling, and an arrangement of ripe shiny apricot glazed strawberries on top.
This dairy-free version of the popular French dessert is filled with easy vegan pastry cream and uses macerated strawberries to bring out their sweetness and flavor even more. It tastes like summer in dessert form!
What to expect from this recipe
✔️ Made with 10 ingredients.
✔️ French boulangerie pâtisserie style tart that is sure to impress your guests!
✔️ Fresh and creamy flavor and consistency, and not overly sweet.
✔️ Perfect for summer and making the most of strawberry season.
✔️ Completely eggless, dairy-free, nut-free, and without coconut.
🍓 Ingredients needed
Notes about the ingredients
Make sure you go for the juiciest, reddest, good-quality strawberries you can find. We will be macerating them in sugar which enhances their flavor and sweetness. But since the emphasis of this strawberry tart is on those fresh berries, it always helps to start off with the best quality produce you can find.
For the pastry cream filling, I find soy milk has the best taste. But you can also use oat milk (certified GF if needed) or almond milk.
The apricot jam glazes the strawberries and give them a beautiful sheen. You can also use other light-flavored preserves or jellies such as apple jelly depending on what's convenient to you.
You can swap out the plain flour for a gluten-free flour blend at a 1:1 ratio to make this vegan strawberry tart gluten-free.
🥣 How to make strawberry tart
Firstly, go ahead and make the vegan pastry cream filling and place it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the other elements of the strawberry tart.
Make the pastry
In your food processor, combine all of the ingredients (flour, vegan butter, caster sugar, vanilla, non-dairy milk and salt) until the ingredients stick together to form a ball of dough.
Roll the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Once chilled, roll out the chilled dough to an inch larger than the circumference of the tart tin.
Carefully lift the pastry over the tin with your rolling pin and use your fingers to gently ease the pastry into the side of the tin. Use a knife to cut around the edges if needed and try to get the sides as even and smooth as possible, and pierce the dough several times with a fork.
Next, blind bake the pie crust in order to par-cook and prepare it for the filling. This helps to evenly bake the crust and prevents it from becoming soggy (via The Kitchn). Take a sheet of parchment paper and cut it into a circle slightly larger than the tart. Rest it on top of the pastry and fill the base with dried beans, rice, lentils, or baking beads.
Blind bake the crust in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the beans/baking beads and bake for another 15 minutes. Place the tin on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
Lastly, spread the chilled pastry cream into the tart shell using a spoon or spatula. Cool the pastry fully before adding the pastry cream!
Decorating the tart
The topping of the tart consists of macerated strawberries. To make them, first wash, hull, and half the strawberries. Sprinkle sugar on them, cover, and allow them to sit for 30 minutes. The strawberries release their juices, creating sweet syrupy berries, yum!
Neatly arrange the strawberries on top of the tart and brush them with some melted apricot preserve.
👩🍳 Recipe Success Tips
How to avoid a soggy pie crust
As mentioned above, blind baking is an important step when you're adding a filling that's unbaked. Blind baking involves baking the crust with weighted parchment paper until it is half-baked. The weights are then removed and the crust is baked further until cooked.
Cool the pastry before assembling the tart
The pastry cream filling is essentially custard which means that it will melt when exposed to heat. So make sure that you wait until the pastry shell has cooled down completely before adding the filling.
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, this recipe cannot be frozen for several reasons. The first is that pastry cream does not freeze well. And secondly, defrosted strawberries tend to turn mushy.
Absolutely. There are several ways in which you prepare ahead, I would recommend getting the shortcrust pastry ready in advance if you're looking to save some time. You can either make and freeze the shortcrust dough until ready to use, or go ahead and blind bake and refrigerate the tart shell the day before preparing the rest of the tart.
The pastry cream should be made no more than a day ahead of serving. And the strawberry top on the day of serving, or the day before at a push!
This tart will keep covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I do recommend serving it on the same day it's made for the best results.
You can use any other berries such as raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries. Or go for a selection of different fruits like in my vegan fruit tart.
🍓 More Vegan Strawberry Desserts
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- 1 batch vegan pastry cream
- 160 g (1 ⅓ cups) plain flour
- 100 g (3.53 oz) vegan stick butter
- 25 g (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar, *see notes
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
- 500 g (3 ½ cups) fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 30 g (2 tablespoons) apricot preserve, or apple jelly
- Prepare the vegan pastry cream and chill in the fridge for an hour whilst you prepare the rest of the tart.
- In your food processor, combine the flour, vegan butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and non-dairy milk until the ingredients stick together to form a ball of dough. Gently knead the dough into a smooth ball and wrap the dough in cling film or place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a round 9" tart tin with some oil or vegan butter, if desired you can also line the base with parchment paper.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the chilled dough so that it is an inch or so larger than the circumference of the tart tin. Use the rolling pin to carefully lift the pastry over the tin and use your fingers to gently ease the pastry into the side of the tin. Use a knife to cut around the edges if needed and try to get the sides as even and smooth as possible. Pierce several holes into the base of the pastry using a fork.
- Take a sheet of parchment paper and cut it into a circle slightly larger than the tart. Rest it on top of the pastry and fill the base with dried beans, rice, lentils, or baking beads. Blind bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the beans/baking beads and bake for another 15 minutes until light golden brown. Place the tin on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
- Wash, hull, and half the strawberries. Place them in a bowl with the sugar and toss them well. Cover and allow them to sit and macerate for 30 minutes.
- Add the apricot jam/apple jelly to a small saucepan and place on medium heat. Stir continuously, the jam should thin out and become glossy. If the mixture is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to it and mix well.
- Using a spoon or spatula, add the pastry cream to the tart shell, smoothing out the top. Neatly arrange the macerated strawberries on top. Using a pastry brush, gently coat the strawberries with the melted apricot spread.
- This tart will keep covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I do recommend serving it on the same day it's made for the best results.
- Some white sugar in the US is not vegan, if in doubt use organic sugar.
- Make sure that you wait until the pastry shell has cooled down completely before adding the filling.
This recipe cannot be frozen for several reasons listed in the blog post.
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