Florentine Christmas Tarts - Carême Pastry

Florentine Christmas Tarts

These fruity, nutty delights are encased in sweet, crisp, vanilla bean sweet shortcrust pastry and topped with cranberries, pistachios, and lashings of rich, dark chocolate. They’re the perfect gift for the sweet tooths in your life, and a great accompaniment to coffee or red wine at the end of a long Christmas Day.

Serves: 20 tartlets
Prep/Cook Time: 1hr 10 mins
Skill Level: Intermediate


  • 1 (435g packet) Carême Vanilla Bean Sweet Shortcrust Pastry, defrosted
  • 1 x 395g tin condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ cup (70g) dried cranberries, chopped
  • ½ cup (g) flaked almonds
  • ½ cup (35g) raw cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup (70g) pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (75g) shredded coconut
  • 1 cup (160g) crushed cornflakes
  • 100g dark 70% chocolate.
  • For garnish
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts, chopped.
Vanilla Bean Sweet Shortcrust Pastry


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Lightly grease a shallow, 12-hole tartlet baking pan.
  2. Unroll the pastry, place it onto a lightly dusted work surface, then dust with flour. Using a 9cm round pastry cutter, cut out 20 pastry circles, combining and rerolling the cut pastry as necessary to make 20. Place the pastry circles into the bottom of the tartlet pan, then place into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
  3. Once chilled, line each pastry case with baking paper, then fill them to the top with baking weights (or dried chickpeas) to help support the sides and weigh the base down during cooking.
  4. Place the tartlet pan into the oven and blind bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and check the pastry is lightly golden around the edges, then remove the weights and baking paper.
  6. Return the tartlet pan to the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the heat to 160°C (140°C fan-forced).
  7. In a small mixing bowl, combine the condensed milk, zests, and mixed spice, stirring thoroughly, then set aside until required.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cranberries, almonds, cashews, pistachios, coconut, and cornflakes together, then pour the mixture over the condensed milk mixture, stirring to combine.
  9. Place a heaped tablespoon of the mixture into the centre of each tartlet, then gently press the mixture down to fill each tart shell. Place the tarts into the oven to bake for 25 minutes.
  10. Once cooked, use a spatula to carefully remove the tartlets from the pan and place them onto a wire rack to cool.
To complete the tarts:
  1. Boil your kettle, then pour the boiling water into a small saucepan to a third full (off the heat) and sit a small bowl on top. Add the chocolate to the bowl and stir occasionally until the chocolate melts.
  2. Using a spoon, drizzle chocolate over the tartlets, then garnish with extra cranberries and pistachios.

Serving instructions

Serve as is, or dollop with pure thick cream. These tarts match beautifully with a dark, sticky fortified wine.

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