FRESH FRUIT TARTS
These tarts are the precious jewels of the bakery world. The bright, translucent colours of the fruit look so beautiful and they taste so fresh. People who say they don’t like cake like these tarts. So simple, so perfect.
flour a surface and roll out the pastry. Ensure it doesn’t stick by moving it around gently as you work and keeping the surface well floured. 7. Using a cutter slightly larger than your tart tins, cut out 12 suitably sized circles and gently press them into the bases and sides of the tins. Trim the top edges all the way around with a sharp knife and prick the bases with a fork. Blind bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden – you don’t want to overbake the edges, but nor do you want a soggy bottom. Leave to cool completely. 8. Fill the bottoms of the tart cases with the crème pâtissière. We usually make a lot, so we use a piping bag, but spreading with the back of a spoon works fine, too. 9. Go mad topping them with fresh berries, sliced fruit and mint leaves. 10. If you are serving the tarts immediately, they will be fine just as they are. If you want to serve them the next day or add a bit of gloss, you can glaze the tarts with some warmed apricot jam (add a teaspoon of boiling water if it seems overly thick).
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE 1. Put the milk in a saucepan, add the vanilla bean paste and bring to the boil. Leave to cool a little. 2. Put the egg yolks in a bowl (save the whites for making meringues) and whisk in the caster sugar. Add the cornflour and plain flour and mix to combine, then whisk in the warmmilk. 3. Clean the pan, then strain the crème pâtissière mixture back into it. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously until thickened. 4. Pour into a bowl and immediately cover the top with a piece of cling film – the cling film needs to be touching the surface of the crème pâtissière to stop a skin forming. Let it cool completely, then refrigerate. 5. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan). Grease and flour 12 small tart tins – or a muffin or cupcake tray, but these make smaller, deeper tarts, so less room for decoration. 6. Now make your tart cases. Remove the pastry from the fridge. If it’s been in there a long time, ie overnight, get it out half an hour before so that it comes to room temperature. Lightly
INGREDIENTS • 540g pre-made sweet pastry • Fresh strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, sliced peaches, cherries, mint leaves etc
FOR THE CRÈME PÂTISSIÈRE • 300ml full-fat milk • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste • 3 medium egg yolks
• 50g caster sugar • 2 tbsp cornflour • 2 tbsp plain flour
FOR THE TOPPING Apricot jam, for glazing (optional); butter or cooking oil, for greasing
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