There is no end to the variety of berry tarts that you can find to satisfy your sweet tooth, and your greedy eyes on the net you know . . . each one looking more decadent and delicious than the last . . . this is the time of year for berries . . . and as you all know, I am a great lover of berries.
No surprise then . . . I also love berry tarts. This is a recipe that I have had in my file to make for several years now. I've adapted it from a Waitrose Seasons cookbooklet, from the summer recipes edition for 2009.
After having made these the other day . . .I have to confess . . . they are quite, quite, quite fabulous . . . seriously so.
First there is the sweet dessert pastry, which is slightly sweet, and buttery . . . and oh so crisp.
Then there are the berries. I used blueberries and raspberries the other day . . . my strawberries being to large to really fit into the shells . . . these are the perfect red, white and blue dessert tarts for summer holidays . . .
The creamy custard is unctuously delish . . . light and rich, without being overly sweet. It is simply vanilla custard folded into softly whipped cream . . . napped over the berries like a lovely . . . soft . . . little cloud . . .
The three together are totally, utterly, impossibly . . . irresistable!! I kid you not!
Not only that, but they are the perfect portable dessert. You can just carry your ingredients to the venue . . . the crisp tart shells, that beautiful custard cream, a bowl of those lucious berries . . . and put them together on sight. Easy peasy . . . lemon squeasy!
I can't believe I waited three whole years to make these!! I can tell you it won't be three years before I make the next bunch!!
*Mixed Berry and Creamy Custard Tarts*
Fabulous fresh berries in a crisp sweet pastry shell and topped with a creamy custard. Delicious!
200ml of milk (7 fluid ounces)
2 free large range egg yolks
20g of caster sugar (5 tsp)
1 1/2 TBS plain flour
1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
150g of sweet dessert pastry (enough for 4 4-inch tarts)
100ml of double cream (6 3/4 TBS), softly whipped
200g of fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, etc. (about 2 cups)
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.
First make the custard. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and bring just to the boiling point, over gentle heat. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, flour and vanilla paste together in a heatproof bowl. Pour on the hot milk, whisking continuously. Clean pan and return the warm mixture to it. Cook, over medium heat, whisking vigorously until the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer. Pour into a bowl. Place a piece of cling film over top, pressing it to the surface, and set aside to cool completely.
Divide the pastry into four pieces. Roll each piece out into a round large enough to line a 4 inch loose bottomed tartlet tin. Prick the bases all over with a fork. Line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until just beginning to turn golden. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for an additonal 5 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool compltely on a rack.
Fold the softly whipped cream into the cold custard. Spoon the berries into the pastry cases and top with the custard mixture. Dust with icing sugar prior to serving.
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