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How to make all-Aussie gin and lemon custard tarts

When we think of gin, we think of martinis, gimlets or G&Ts. But what about using gin in food? Its freshness and vibrance fit perfectly with so many sweet dishes.

And with the incredible range of Australian craft gin available these days, you can even match the flavour profile of your gin to the dessert you’re making.

This Australian gin and lemon custard tart recipe is an easy delicious gin-spiration!

All-Aussie gin and lemon custard tarts

With its sharp powerful edge, Karu Distillery’s Lightning Gin counters the rich custard of these tarts beautifully, and its firm citrus notes enhance the lemon and zest.

Meanwhile the delicate crumbly pastry holding it all together adds a crunch that you just can’t fault.


Makes 8 individual gin and lemon custard tarts

Pastry cases

- 2x sheets of frozen shortcrust pastry


- eggs - beaten with a fork

- 2 tsp vanilla paste

- 1/4 cup caster sugar

- 1/2 cup of milk

- 1/2 cup of cream

- 2 tsp lemon zest


- juice of 1/2 lemon

- 1.5 tbsp icing sugar

- 1/2 tsp cornflour

- 1.5 tbsp Lightning Gin

- lemon thyme leaves to decorate


Pastry cases:

1. Preheat the oven to 180dC. Cut and press the pastry into the tins, pricking holes in the bottom with a fork, line with baking paper then fill with baking beans or uncooked rice.

2. Blind bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and take out the baking beans etc, then brush with a little of the beaten egg. This stops the pastry going soggy when you add the custard. Return to oven for another 3-4 minutes until evenly golden.

3. Reduce the oven to 140dC.


4. To the beaten eggs, add the cream and milk, vanilla paste, sugar and lemon zest. Combine well with a fork. Pour into the pastry cases and bake for 25 minutes or until just set. Remove the tarts from the tins when cool enough to handle.


5. Sift the icing sugar and cornflour in a small pan and stir the lemon juice in. It’s best to strain the lemon juice to remove any pulp or pith. Heat the mixture gently (don’t boil it), stirring until it begins to thicken.

6. Remove from the heat, add the gin and stir. Spoon carefully over the tarts so there is an even glaze on each - you don’t need much. Tilt each tart so the glaze spreads out over the surface.

7. Sprinkle a few lemon thyme leaves over to decorate and leave for the glaze to set a little.

The gin flavour can dissipate fairly quickly, so the closer to serving you add the glaze the better.

With all the herbs, spices, roots and fruit that go into gin, it’s surprising that there aren’t more desserts out there that add a little gin for jazz.


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