French guava tart filled with Crème Pâtissière

I really love French pastries. They are on my list of treats that I don’t mind splurging on. I love buying a variety of beautiful pastries in a neat box, eating them in secret without having to share with anyone!

A few of my friends are sugar intolerant and usually have to miss out on delicious pastries like these. But what if I tell you that this sweet and decadent classic French fruit tart was made without any sugar?

Take a look at the ingredients below: the only sugar in this tart is the natural sugar in the fresh guavas. The sweet pastry, custard filling and poaching syrup were all sweetened with Canderel Yellow – a great new alternative to sugar that is stable for cooking and baking, and safe for diabetics. And it tastes so close to sugar that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

This classic French fruit tart can be made way ahead of any party, and then assembled shortly before serving. You can use any fruit that you like (peaches, kiwi’s, strawberries etc) – guavas are in season, so I just lightly poached them in a simple sugar-free syrup. The custard filling is a French classic: Crème Pâtissière, also perfect for filling choux buns or sponge cakes.

This is a seriously delicious treat with zero guilt. Enjoy!

Ingredients for sweet flan pastry: (Pâte Sucrée)

  • 250 ml cake flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 60 g butter, diced
  • 75 ml Canderel Yellow (substituted for 75 ml caster sugar)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 t vanilla essence


  1. Using a stand mixer with beater attachment, add flour and salt and mix on low speed. Add butter, then mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add Canderel, egg yolks and vanilla, then mix until the dough just comes together. If necessary, add a few teaspoons of cold water, taking care not to make the mixture too wet.
  3. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 min. Remove from fridge, roll out thinly, shape carefully into a loose-bottomed pastry tin (20-23 cm), prick with a fork, and return to fridge until ready to bake.
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190 C for about 10 minutes until it is a pale biscuit colour – not brown. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Ingredients for filling: (Crème Pâtissière)

  • 375 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit open
  • 75 ml Canderel Yellow (substituted for 75 ml sugar)
  • 60 ml cake flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks


  1. Bring 300 ml milk to the boil with vanilla pod. Remove from heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Remove pod, sqeezing out the vanilla seeds into the milk.
  2. Mix flour, Canderel and remaining milk to a paste, then gradually add milk and mix until smooth. Now add mixture gradually to eggs, mixing well.
  3. Return mixture to stove and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, just until boiling point. Mixture will thicken. Remove from heat and continue to stir for 1 minute. Cool, covered, until ready to use.

Ingredients for lightly poached guavas:

  • 8-10 fresh, ripe guavas, still firm (skinned and halved)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Canderel Yellow (substituted for 1/2 cup sugar)


  1. Bring water and Canderel to a slow simmer, then add guavas cut side up. Poach, covered, for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Reserve liquid.
  2. Cut cooled guavas in neat wedges.

Assembly of tart:

Pour filling into baked pastry case, spreading to smooth surface. Arrange guava wedges in neat concentric circles, brushing them with poaching liquid if necessary. Serve immediately.

Tip: Use any seasonal fruit of your choice instead of guavas. Peaches, berries and kiwis will work well.

(Recipes for pastry and filling adapted from The A-Z of Food and Cooking in South Africa by Sannie Smit and Margaret Fulton)

This post is part of a 5 week campaign that I am doing in association with Canderel Yellow.

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  1. Linda van der Merwe

    I love that this gorgeous recipe is sugar free, just what I have been looking for, however I live in the US and have never seen Canderel Yellow here, what do you recommend in place that is similar to the above.

    1. Hi Linda, thanks for your comment! I’ll find out, I’m sure there should be Canderel Yellow somewhere near you. 🙂

    2. Hi Linda! You can use any low calorie sucralose based sweetener (for baking) – just check on the box if the same quantities apply. Hope you find it! 🙂

      1. Linda van der Merwe

        I am on my way to my local Whole Foods store and will let you know what I found that is similar. I love your blog, recipes and photos, also brings SA into my kitchen, I am living in Seattle.

  2. hi! just to let you know, Splenda is the American equivalent 🙂 And I love French pastries and the way they are presented 🙂

    1. Fabulous, thanks for letting me know Tandy! x

  3. Just found this recipe which sounded like just the thing to make to use with the fresh guavas I just bought. I am in the US. I looked up Candarel- contains sucralose, aspartame and stevia. Both sucralose and aspartame have been linked to causing a variety of diseases – cancer, MS, etc. sucralose which was supposed to be good for diabetics has been shown to increase insulin along with a decrease in insulin clearance. Safer alternative might be Lakanto (from monkfruit) or stevia.

  4. […] them thin to be added on top of cakes, tarts, meringues or […]

  5. Let me put in a good word for Canderel Yellow. I live in Mexico, where both Canderel Yellow and Splenda are available, as well as a host of other low calorie sweeteners containing sucralose with or without other ingredients. Canderel Yellow is my favorite. My spouse is diabetic and I love to bake. A dangerous combination. Chanderel Yellow has been our solution. It is a more cost-conscious choice than Splenda and bakes up very well. Taste is excellent. I also use it in the herb teas and fruit flavored waters that we drink in abundance. My results with this product have been very consistent, which is important to me as I have a reputation for my baking. On a recent trip to the USA I found it in my local Dollar General store. Definitely worth searching out.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Frances!

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