Exotic Tartlets

Paul Young's exotic fruit tarts are made with a vibrant red pastry and topped with sake panna cotta and plump flavoursome lychees
By Paul A Young
Exotic Tartlets
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes plus chilling
  • Effort: medium


For the pastry

  • 200 g plain flour
  • 133 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15 ml cold water
  • red food colouring

For the sake and vanilla panna cotta

  • 15 sheets leaf gelatine
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 250 ml full-fat milk
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
  • 20 ml sake

For the tartlet filling

  • 10 lychees
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 100 g desiccated coconut

To decorate

  • 4 small orchids
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • gold leaf


1. Put the flour, butter caster sugar and egg yolks in a food processor with the water. Blitz to a paste, adding enough red food colouring to give the dough a vivid red colour. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. To make the panna cotta, soak the gelatine in cold water until soft.

3. Place the cream, milk and sugar together in a saucepan.

4. Spit the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and pod to the pan and bring to the boil.

5. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and add the softened leaves to the hot cream mixture. Mix well and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

6. Add the sake and mix well. Pour into teacups or dariole moulds and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, until set.

7. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Roll the dough out and use to line 4 individual tart tins. Bake blind for 10-15 minutes or so, until golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/gas 2, and leave the tart case to cool.

8. To make the filling, peel the lychees and remove the stones. Place the pieces of fruit into the bottom of the cooked tart case.

9. Mix together the eggs and sugar.

10. Add the coconut and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the tartlet cases and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool thoroughly.

11. To serve, place a tartlet on each of 4 black lacquered Japanese style square plates.

12. Dip the base of the moulds into very hot water for 15 seconds to release the panna cotta. Invert the teacup and carefully turn out on top of each tart.

13. Decorate with orchids, long pieces of vanilla pod and gold leaf; serve at once.

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