Fruit Tartlets

Fruit Tartlets

As you can probably tell,  there’s nothing I like more than some classic French patisserie, so here’s another one. This is a fairly generic combination, but once you try it you can see why it’s stuck around for so long – a simple sweet shortcrust pastry, with vanilla infused crème patisserie and lots of fresh fruit on top. We’re coming to the end of the season where fresh red berries are around, but I find frozen can also work well, and if that fails you can always go for blackberries and damsons which are at their best now.

These are really light and that’s partly down to this delicate crème patisserie. For anyone who doesn’t know, crème patisserie is basically the stylish cousin of the powdered custard, and it pairs beautifully with this selection of fruit. This recipe is pretty simple, and once you’ve tried it you’ll never want to back to a ready-mix custard ever again.

I’ve kept this recipe simple and classical, but as you may have seen by now, I love giving variations to try. For this one I’d recommend adding 1 tbsp of cocoa powder to the crème pat – hey presto chocolate crème patisserie! You can also top the tartlets with some chopped nuts, caramel or marshmallows to make them even more special. So stretch your creativity and go crazy, or stick to the classic and indulge in French pastry perfection. Either way you won’t regret making this.

Recipe

Serves 8

Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 175g Plain flour
  • 2 tbsp Caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 115g Butter
  • 1 Egg, separated
  • 2 tbsp Cold water

For the crème patisserie

  • 500ml Whole milk
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla bean paste
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 20g Plain flour
  • 20g Cornflour

For the topping

  • Any berries you like (I went for raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and blueberries)
  • 50g Dark chocolate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. To make the pastry put the flour, caster sugar and salt into a bowl and mix with a round bladed knife. Add the butter to the bowl and cut the butter up into small pieces with the knife. Once the butter is in small chunks put the knife to one side and go in with your fingers. Rub the butter into the flour to create a breadcrumb texture mix.
  2. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tbsp of cold water. Slowly add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and bring together with a round bladed knife until a dough forms. Use your hands to make the dough into a ball and then wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour.
  3. Remove the pastry from the fridge and separate it into 8 equally sized balls. Roll them out onto a floured surface to make 8 thin circles. Compare the size of the circles to the size of the tins by putting one of the tins your using onto the circles. You want the pastry a couple of cm wider than the tart tins so that the pastry will go up the edges and have a little overhang.
  4. Line the tins, pressing the pastry into the flutes in the tin. Let the pastry hang over the edge, then use a rolling pin to trim off the excess by rolling over the edge of the tarts. Chill the pastry-lined tins in the fridge for another 45 minutes.
  5. Line the tartlets with greaseproof paper and baking beans (or dry rice if you don’t have any). Put them into the oven to bake for 10 minutes, or until you can see them start to crisp up round the edges.
  6. Remove the baking parchment and the baking beans (careful, they’ll be very hot). Brush the pastry with the beaten egg white to coat lightly and then return them to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Take out of the oven and leave to cool.
  7. Next make the crème patisserie. Put the milk and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, mix the sugar, egg yolks and flours until fully combined.
  8. Once the milk is heated, remove the pan from the heat and mix 1/3 of the milk into the egg mixture. Whisk the mixture quickly and then pour the egg mixture back into the milk.
  9. Put the pan back over a heat and whisk gently on a medium heat until the mixture thickens and boils.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly. Put 2-3 tbsp of the crème patisserie into each of the pastry cases and smooth out with the back of a spoon so that it’s evenly spread.
  11. Top the tartlets with fresh fruit so that the patisserie is fully covered.
  12. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and put over a pan of simmering water. Once the chocolate is melted, put it into a pipping bag with a small round nozzle and drizzle over the tartlets.
  13. Leave the chocolate to set. Serve! (- with clotted cream if you want).

Thanks for reading! I’ve got another one coming out on Sunday so look out for it.

Emma x

 

 

 

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