This sweet wine and grape tart with a silky, aromatic custard filling and a very easy olive oil crust is one of the best summer desserts you’re going to make.
This sweet wine and grape tart with a (ridiculously) easy olive oil crust may not be a traditional Greek recipe like these sweet Cretan cheese pastries, but it features all the flavors of the Mediterranean and it practically screams summer! The silky filling which is infused with a sweet wine from the Aegean Islands, the crunchy shell which is made with Cretan olive oil and the fresh grapes from Attica, all come together to form an amazing, summer dessert that you’ll want to make again and again 🙂
The sweet wine pastry cream
The filling of this sweet wine fruit tart is a pastry cream (also known as crème patisserie) with part of the milk replaced with sweet wine. Most of the times, you’ll see that only egg yolks (and not whole eggs) are used in this type of cream, mainly for a richer taste. Sometimes I also do that and store the whites in the freezer (they freeze exceptionally well) but in this case, I like to use whole eggs since I find the cream perfectly fine this way.
The moment the cream enters your mouth, a party of flavors begins. The sweet wine lends all its’ flowery notes and the aromas of ripe fruits like peaches, figs, grapes, and plums, to the cream and in combination with the warm vanilla, it creates a delicate, fragrant filling. Top that with some fresh grapes and you get the essence of a Greek summer, all distilled into a dessert!
Note that the alcohol of the wine, having a lower boiling point than water, will evaporate before the cream starts to bubble, but if you have any doubts regarding feeding it to minors, then you can replace it with milk (see notes at the end).
The olive oil crust
The olive oil crust for this fruit tart is truly phenomenal. I have another olive oil crust, but without sugar, for these feta and beet mini tarts. This sweet crust is very easy and quick, and also requires no pie weights and no long resting times in the fridge. In fact, you can bake it right away, but just 20 minutes in the refrigerator will improve the texture and make it easier to work with.
This crust is so easy and delicious that I often use it to make cookies for my afternoon coffee. Note that if you use a 9-inch tart pan like mine, you will have some left, so cut it to even pieces and make cookies without worrying much about the shape.
Also, the crust with this filling stays crunchy for about 2-3 days. If you make pies and tarts often and use other fillings with higher levels of moisture, I’ve read some tricks on how to keep your crust from getting soggy. Some say to brush it with a beaten egg white but the thing I find it helps the most, is brushing it with a very thin layer of white (or dark) chocolate. The layer should very thin though, otherwise, it can make the shell difficult to cut.
What sweet (dessert) wine to choose?
A Vin Santo wine will probably give a darker cream with a very rich and more intense aroma. It wouldn’t be my first choice for this recipe, but it could work. I have used a Santorini Vinsanto in this easy Santorini sweet wine pannacotta.
The best wines for this tart would be a Muscat-based dessert wine (the Greek islands of Samos and Lemnos produce such wines) or an ice wine. You can learn more about all the different types of the dessert wines in this article.
- If olive oil is too expensive where you live, you can replace half of it with a neutral tasting vegetable oil
- Don’t overwork the dough because the oil will start to come out.
- If you don’t want to use the sweet wine, replace it with whole milk and add 1 more tablespoon of sugar and 1 more teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- If you want to use only egg yolks for the filling, replace the 2 eggs with 5 yolks.
- Instead of only grapes, you can use a variety of fruits such as peaches, figs, pineapple, bananas.
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Sweet wine & grape tart with easy olive oil crust
- For the pastry cream:
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) sugar
- ⅓ cup (40 grams) cornstarch
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs (about 120 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups (370 grams) whole milk
- ½ cup (120 grams) sweet white wine, preferably Muscat-based
- ¼ cup (60 grams) cold butter, cut in cubes
- For the easy olive oil crust:
- ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (150 grams) olive oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Fresh fruit like grapes, peaches, pineapple, figs
- 1.5 oz (45 grams) melted white chocolate for decoration (optional)
- One 9-inch round tart pan
- Make the pastry cream: Transfer the sugar, the cornstarch, the salt, and the cinnamon to a pot and stir well to combine (don’t turn on the heat yet). Add the eggs and whisk until everything is smooth. Add the vanilla, the milk, and the wine and turn on the heat to medium. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens (it may foam while you whisk it, but the foam will disappear as the cream thickens).
- When you see the first bubbles and the cream has thickened, turn off the heat and transfer the cream to a heatproof container. Add the cold butter and stir until melted and absorbed. Cover the cream with cling film, making sure that the film touches the surface of the cream, and let it cool completely.
- Make the olive oil crust: Transfer the sugar, the cinnamon, the zest, and the salt to a bowl and stir to combine. Add the olive oil and whisk until the sugar is almost melted. Add the egg and whisk until creamy.
- In another bowl mix the flour with the baking powder and then add it to the olive oil mixture. Mix until the dough just comes together (don’t over mix) and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 320°F (160°C) (a fan-forced oven will have better results). Cut pieces of the dough and lay them onto the tart pan. You’ll need approximately two-thirds of the dough for the 9-inch pan. With the bottom of a measuring cup, press the dough onto the tart pan in order to form the crust, and cover the bottom and the sides of the pan. Make cookies with the rest of the dough. Prick the crust with a fork and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it cool completely.
- Make the tart: Stir the cream well with a spatula to loosen it up and fill the crust. Level the surface, top with fresh fruit, and drizzle with the melted chocolate. If you want to use only grapes, cut them in half, otherwise, they may be too heavy. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours for the filling to set.
If you want to use only egg yolks for the filling, replace the 2 eggs with 5 yolks.
Cooling and resting times are not included
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