Gluten/Egg/Dairy Free

Sweetheart Tart: Red Berry and Custard (Gluten-, Dairy- and Egg-Free)

February 10, 2023
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When I hear, “Valentine’s Day,” the queen of hearts rhyme I learned as a tot, always pops to mind: “The queen of hearts, she made some tarts, all on a summer’s day, The knave of hearts, he stole those tarts, and with them run away…” (I think the illustration of the skinny-legged “knave” running off with the tarts in the nursery primer was what fascinated me most.) Anyway, thinking about the verse recently, I poked around and discovered it was written by an anonymous poet in the 1700s, who added three more scandalous stanzas that definitely wouldn’t fly in the nursery. I’m guessing you’ve never heard them either, so here you go:

The queen of hearts, she made some tarts, all on a summer’s day,
⁠The knave of hearts, he stole those tarts, and with them run away:
⁠The king of hearts call’d for those tarts and beat the knave full sore;
⁠The knave of hearts brought back those tarts, and said he’ll ne’er steal more. (continued through link)

The king of spades, he kiss’d the maids, which vex’d the queen full sore;
⁠The queen of spades, she beat those maids, and turn’d them out of door:
⁠The knave of spades griev’d for these jades, and did for them implore;
⁠The queen so gent, she did relent, and vow’d she ne’re strike more.

The king of clubs, He often drubs, his loving queen and wife,
⁠The queen of clubs returns him snubs, and all is noise and strife:
⁠The knave of clubs, gives winks and rubs, and swears he’ll take her part;
⁠For when our kings will do such things, they should be made to smart.

The diamond king, I fain would sing, and likewise his fair queen,
⁠But that the knave, a haughty slave, must needs step in between.
⁠Good Diamond king with hempen string, this haughty knave destroy,
⁠Then may your queen, with mind serene, your royal bed enjoy.

No wonder the extra verses didn’t make nursery grade(!) But knaves aside, this beautiful tart is queen-worthy and heart-healthy. Featuring a gluten and dairy free crust, it’s filled with a delicate coconut-almond-milk custard (dairy and egg free) and topped with fresh strawberries and raspberries. Use great care removing the crust from the tart pan as it is more fragile than one made with regular flour and butter. (You may wish to just serve it in the pan.) Also, the custard will not be a firm as a typical custard cream. The tart is best eaten right after you make it, to enjoy the berries at their freshest, and to prevent the crust from softening. You can glaze the fruit European style, with a little melted jelly, but it is freshly sweet without it. 

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