Wait! Don’t go! Just because this post is all “sugar free” doesn’t mean that it won’t be sweet. I promise. Just look at these pretty tarts!
Let me start at the beginning. In January this year I was feeling like crapola. I was in a holiday food coma and I needed to find a way out of it. That’s when I stumbled across two books, Sweet Poision by David Gillespie, and I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson*. Then I watched this. And I decided to give this sugar free gig a try.
I didn’t follow any program exclusively, but mashed them together to create a version of sugar free that worked for me. I treated it as an experiment, one that I could stop anytime if I didn’t feel like it was working for me (wise advice from Sarah Wilson).
That was 85 days ago.
And I haven’t looked back.
I quit sugar to kick my “addiction” to the sweet stuff. To say goodbye to the constant cravings and the NEED to eat something sweet. I was sick of being a slave to it. There are many good reasons not to eat sugar, but I’ll leave the explanations to the experts. I can say that it’s worked for me. I don’t crave sugar any more. It’s one less demon that I need to worry about.
However. I like food and friends, and having food with friends. I like feeding my friends. So I have sought out some recipes to help when I need a sweet treat on the table.
Over Easter I modified a recipe for Portuguese Custard Tarts to make it sugar free. And it worked! These are slightly citrusy from the lemon zest, and just sweet enough to hit the spot.
Sugar Free Portuguese Custard Tarts
(go ahead and ignore the blue text if you are toddler free)
prep + cook time 55 minutes
2/3 cup (170ml) rice syrup (available in most supermarkets and health food shops)
2 tablespoons cornflour
4 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups (300ml) pouring cream
1/3 cup (80m) water
3cm strip lemon rind
1 sheet ready-rolled butter puff pastry
patience and persistence
1. Make a chair prison for your toddler and set them up with some patty pans, a muffin tray, and some seeds or lentils to keep them busy “helping” you.
2. Preheat oven to 220C. Grease 12-hole muffin pan. NOTE: I used a tart pan for one batch and a muffin pan for the second batch. I preferred the muffin pan.
3. Whisk syrup, cornflour, egg yolks, cream and water until smooth. Add lemon rind and stir over a medium heat until mixture comes to the boil. Remove from heat, discard rind. Stir extract into custard.
4. Give the toddler her dummy, even though she’s probably too old for it and it’s not sleep time (but she’s still in her pyjamas, so close enough).
5. Cut pastry sheet in half. Place halves on top of each other. Roll pastry tightly (like a swiss roll) from one short side; cut roll into twelve equal rounds.
6. Give the toddler a cuddle and a promise of play in just “one more minute”. Liar.
7. Place pastry rounds, cut sides up, on lightly floured surface. Roll each into a 10cm round. Push rounds into pan holes; spoon in custard.
5. Bake custard tarts about 20 minutes. Stand 5 minutes before lifting onto wire rack to cool.
6. Go and play with the poor kid.
So, what am I grateful for?
~ high backed kitchen chairs that prevent a toddler from falling when she’s standing on said chairs and “helping” me cook.
~ rice syrup, for making my sugar free life sweet.
~ patty pans and their never ending ability to divert the attention of a toddler.
*Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post.