Lulu planted jujube trees 3 years ago and they didn’t produce much fruit until this year. A jujube (also called Chinese date) is a little date-sized fruit that has a sweet smell and a flavor reminiscent of apples. In Asia, legend says that the scent of jujubes makes people fall in love. They are also a sign of fertility.
The fruits are so much more flavorful and sweet than the ones from our local market. In Vietnam, jujubes are eaten fresh as a snack. The girls have been going back and forth to the garden to pick the fruits from the trees. The crop is so huge this year; each branch holds at least 2 dozen jujubes. We’ve been asking friends and family to take some home, but we still had more, so I decided to try and make a dessert with some jujubes.
The texture of the fresh fruit is very similar to apples, so I adapted my tarte amandine and made it with walnuts and jujube instead. For a nice glossy look, I drizzled date syrup over the jujube tarts. It was the first time I tested the recipe and it worked wonderfully.
1. Info for Fresh Jujube Tart with Walnut Cream (Chinese Date Tart)
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
- Servings: 12
- Calories: 180kcal
2. Ingredients for Fresh Jujube Tart with Walnut Cream (Chinese Date Tart)
- 18 tablespoons unsalted butter (2-1/4 sticks), diced, + extra for greasing the molds
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon anise extract
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 whole eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon imitation brandy extract
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar, to taste
- 1-2/3 cups walnut powder (see tips), 5 ounces
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 dozen jujubes
- 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 cup pure date syrup, warm
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. In another bowl, place the powdered sugar. Sift all the dry ingredients, separately.
- Using a handheld mixer, whisk 1 whole egg with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar until you get a pale, yellow foam. It’ll take about 5-6 minutes. The consistency must be very airy. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and the anise extracts. Stir well using a spatula. Set aside.
- Lightly oil the bowl of your food processor with a silicone brush. Add the flour, 4 tablespoons walnut powder, salt and remaining powdered sugar. Blend for a few seconds, then add 10 tablespoons of cold butter. Pulse the mixture until it forms crumbs of butter and flour. Add the egg mixture. Pulse another 3-4 times until it forms a dough. Do NOT over-mix. Transfer the dough onto a pastry board lined with a sheet of parchment paper. Place a silicone mat (or parchment paper) on top of the dough like a sandwich. Even out the dough using a rolling pin to about 1/2 inch thick. Place the dough in 12 individual non-stick tart molds previously buttered (or in 2 9-inch pie pans). Prick the dough with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator.
- For the walnut cream: Using a handheld mixer, whisk 2 eggs with about 1/4 cup of sugar until you get a pale, yellow foam. It’ll take about 5-6 minutes. The consistency should be very airy. Add the remaining vanilla and brandy extracts. Set aside.
- Cream 8 tablespoons of butter (at room temperature) with the remaining sugar. Pour in the egg mixture. Add the remaining walnut powder. Mix until the batter is smooth.
- Wash the jujubes, cut them in 6 wedges (no need to peel them). Transfer to a bowl. Coat each piece with lemon juice. (Sprinkle granulated sugar if the fruits aren’t sweet enough, althought these didn’t require it). Toss well.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of walnut cream in the center of each tart shell. Top with about 2 jujubes (12 wedges). Place the jujube tartlets on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 375°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F for another 25 minutes.
- In a bowl, dissolve the date syrup with about 1-1/2 tablespoons of water. Warm the syrup in the microwave.
- Before glazing the tartlets, broil for about 2-3 minutes to get a nice golden crust. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle each tartlet with 1 tablespoon of warm date syrup, for a nice glossy look.
- Let the tartlets cool for a few minutes. Remove the shells from the molds. You can serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of masala chai.
- Bon appétit!