In the garden is a very rare tree producing very rare mahogany roundish fruits.
Unlike the date though, the fresh crispy ones taste even better than the soft crinkly fruit when it ripens.
How can I describe the flavor? It is like eating the best tasting apple with a caramel undertone. This is the jujube, the Korean, Chinese or Indian date …. a pop-in-the-mouth morsel full of flavor.
A very unusual fruit and quite delicious, yet I find I am unable to eat too many…. In Texas Jujube has become very trendy recently and is being cultivated and sold as a dried health food.
I wish to create a recipe using jujube as an ingredient. I have a good think about it as the fruit is so scarce and I only have the chance of a small bowlful to experiment with. I decide to leave the jujube in its natural state, as it is straight from the tree onto the tart. No additives, no processing or cooking just the freshest of ingredients, as nature meant them to be.
This tart is unique. I do not mean to sound big headed but I am merely admiring the combination of the fruit and the beauty of its raw state. I stand back and admire the simplicity like one does at an art gallery. A mix of fresh crispy jujube with riper wrinkly ones on a bed of rose colored pomegranate jewels, speckled with the freshest of mint still alive on the tree an hour ago. I had the pleasure of cutting the mint and fruit in the garden and within hours, here it is in a delicious tart on a silver platter being served to guests for tea ……. a precious tart because of its uniqueness. I came across another recipe that looks wonderful too. Vietnamese Jacqueline Pham author of Banh Mi who was born and raised in Paris, makes a Jujube Tart with Walnut Cream and she has planted a few trees in her garden in San Francisco.
If you are not fortunate enough to live on the paradise island in the heart of the Mediterranean or in Florida and California where jujube also grows, and of course you can be lucky to be in Korea, China and India where it still thrives, then you can make this tart by using pomegranate only.
You will need :
For the crust
10 tart dish with a loose bottom, this recipe is for two tarts
400 g butter
65 ml water
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer. Mix together the eggs and water. Gradually add the beaten eggs and water.
Add flour and beat in.
This pastry does not need to rest and can be used straightaway ! It is also best used on the day it’s made rather than storing it in the freezer or fridge.
Dust your work surface with flour and knead the pastry lightly dusting with extra flour. This pastry has a wonderful satiny feel and is lovely to work with.
Roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 5mm.
Neatly cover the bottom of the tart dish. This pastry is rich in butter and you will not need to grease the tart dish.
Bake Blind and check out my easy method for doing this.
For the creme patissiere
500 ml milk
5 egg yolks
Vanilla extract, as little as possible, just a hint of flavor
Bring the milk to a boil, add the vanilla and in the meantime whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until light and thick. Then stir in the sifted flour and keep whisking over medium heat to ensure that you do not have any lumps. Continue to cook until you see the first sign of a boil. Remove from heat and keep stirring. If you have lumps, do not panic, simply pass it though a sieve.
For the fruit topping
12 – 15 jujube berries, destined and cut in half
4 peeled pomegranates
Apricot jam to glaze or you can use a prepared tart glaze
Fresh mint leaves, torn up and some whole small ones.
To assemble, pour the creme patissiere while it is still warm into a cooled down tart crust. Leave for a couple of minutes and while it is still warm arrange the pomegranates and jujube over the top.
Glaze with warm apricot jam using a soft brush or use a tart glaze and follow the instructions.
Scatter some torn up fresh mint leaves.
Brushing on the glaze
Finishing off the tarts with Joseph
And a sprinkle of fresh mint….
So vibrant, so unique …
And yesterday’s newspaper