Nope, sorry, this post isn’t actually about doughnuts. That’s just a teaser picture from my post about the small country of sugar I consumed (in a single day!) during my brief pre-work vacation in L.A.
THESE are the tarts:
These tarts are super cute, and so good. As you can see in the picture, we used a mini muffin pan to make the crust. Only instead of patting the crust down inside the muffin cup like normal people, we tried using the bottom side, cookie cup-style.
It didn’t work that well–some of them broke and I spread the dough too thin on many of my “cups,” which made for extremely brittle and fragile post-baking products. In the future, I would recommend spreading the dough in the muffin cup (and adding weights so that the bottom doesn’t puff up too much).
My cousin also had a limited number of actual individual tart pans. GREASE THOSE THINGS LIKE YOU’VE NEVER GREASED ANYTHING BEFORE (or they won’t come out flawlessly. And who wants a less-than-flawless tart?). And don’t forget the pie weights. My cousin who hadn’t been involved in the baking took one look at our puffy crusts and said, “Did you forget the weights?”
But that didn’t stop them from being delicious!!! The crust is buttery, lightly crunchy and as simple as tart doughs get. I was skeptical at the idea of microwaving the custardy, creamy filling, but follow the directions–it just works. We were debating between using a mascarpone cream filling or this butter, milk and egg yolk concoction or another cream and sugar concoction and I was like I DON’T KNOW ALL I WANT IS THAT DELICIOUS STOREBOUGHT PUDDING-LIKE FILLING.
Luckily, this was it.
Miniature Fruit Tarts
Lightly adapted from Salad in a Jar. I tweaked the recipe to reflect my process (grating the butter, etc.), but you can view the original recipe here.
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick butter, cold
- 1 egg yolk, whisked with a fork
- 2-3/4 cups milk (I used 1 cup heavy cream, 1-1/2 cups nonfat milk…I think at least 1/4 cup of cream is necessary for this custard to work properly)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Using a cheese grater, grate cold butter into flour. Work butter into flour with your fingers or a spatula until mixture resembles oatmeal. Add egg yolk. (Go ahead and add the egg white if you want a sturdier but not quite as tender crust.) Combine until all ingredients are moistened but not yet a solid ball. Add milk, a teaspoon at a time, if mixture seems too dry. Lightly press into a ball, cover and chill 30 minutes.
- Pull off small amount of dough and press into molds with fingers, being careful to keep thickness consistent. Use a knife to trim off any extra at the top. Freeze for 30 minutes if you have time and want better results.
- Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes (mini muffin tins) or 20-25 min (individual tart pans). Watch carefully as the time can vary according to the thickness of the crust.
- Add milk/cream, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks, (in that order) to bowl. Whisk until blended and pour into 2-quart glass microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 6 minutes on HIGH, whisking until smooth after 3 minutes, then every minute thereafter. (At minute five, magic should start to happen)
- Add butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
- Dollop the filling into the pastry cups with a spoon. Top with sliced kiwi, strawberries, canned peaches, assorted berries, etc. Go wild!