I was challenged by my friends at Pür kauppa to come up with a christmasy, refined sugar free recipe using their amazing Acerola powder from Kiki health, (Not only do Kiki Health source the highest quality ingredients, but I am slightly obsessed with their cool packaging too). Acerola, also known as the Barbados cherry, is renowned for its incredible vitamin C content, having 65 times the vitamin C of an orange. It is a perfect at this time of year, when too many Christmas parties, cold weather and drawn out darkness can leave your body feeling dull and fatigued. While Acerola can simply be added to juices and smoothies to give them a nutritional boost, I decided to make a healthier treat for a party or buffet. I started by making a simple Clementine and Acerola chia jam and spooned it into an almond pastry tart and finished with a final sprinkling of toasted almonds. If you don’t fancy making pastry, consider making the chia jam by itself. It is refined sugar free and the clementines work really well with the natural citrusy tang of Acerola. I like to add mine to porridge and yoghurt, or simply spread a thick layer on toast.
Clementine and Acerola Jam Tarts – makes 10 -12
20 g ground almonds
120 g plain/ gluten free flour
4 tbsp coconut oil (solid state)
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp chia seeds
Toasted almonds for decoration
Start by making the jam. Peel the clementines and place them in a saucepan. Simmer for ten minutes until the fruit has softened, (If you prefer a smoother jam like me, add the fruit to a blender and pulse until smooth). Cool to room temperature and then stir in the chia, acerola and maple syrup. Refrigerate and allow the jam to thicken. If you jam is too runny you can always add a little extra chia.
Meanwhile make the pastry. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c. Add the flour, almonds and coconut oil into a large bowl. Using your fingertips rub the oil into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add a few tsp of ice cold water and use a knife to slowly bring the mix together into a smooth pastry. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 20 mins.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to around 0.5 cm thick. Cut small 8cm rounds of pastry and use them to line a regular muffin tin. Blind bake the pastry for 8 mins (to blind bake, cut small pieces of baking paper and use them to cover the uncooked pastry. Top with baking beans or rice to weigh down the paper and stop the pastry from rising). Remove the paper and beads and bake for a further 4 minutes to allow the pastry to colour. Set to one side to cool completely.
When you are ready to serve spoon, the jam into the pastry cases and top with a few toasted almonds and grated clementine zest.