Fruit Tartlets

I have always loved bite sized fruit tartlets.  Whenever they have them at events, that is my first stop.  The crisp crust, smooth pastry cream and a little piece of fruit on top.  I love fruit based desserts, and this is probably my favorite.  I wasn’t about to buy a new mini tartlet pan for this, 1- because I am not sure where I would get one, and 2- we already spent a ton of money on the party and Purim, so I figured that I would try and “MacGyver” something.  I had little 2 oz. ramekins so I figured that I would use them as a frame and make a tin foil form for the tart shells.

I made the dough for the crust with a pastry cutter – here you can see bits of margarine – all those areas that will turn out nice and flaky:

I rolled out the dough and carefully cute circles with my trusty dusty circle cookie cutter.

Check out my totally ghetto tartlet “pans”:

As you can see, the crusts themselves did not come out perfectly, they were a little thick for such small things, so I guess next time we will have to try another recipe, though they tasted delicious.

I wanted to have enough for all 20 people, and even for some to have two, in the end I got 36 nice looking crusts (and a few not so nice ones).  When I finally finished with them, I put them in a container and left them for the next few days until I was ready to bake them.

Meanwhile, I made the pastry cream that I would fill the crusts with.  Pastry cream is actually not that hard to make.  I was once daunted by it, but after making it a few times, I am no longer afraid.  The only tricky part is to make sure that the eggs don’t scramble, and all you have to do for that is slowly pour in only a little of the hot liquid while stirring.

Look at that thick vanilla-ey custard.  After putting it in the refrigerator for a couple of days it was really thick, but I just mixed it up really well and put it into a pastry bag.

Unfortunately I could not take a picture of the entire tray filled with little tartlets as I assembled them on the Sabbath and I can’t take pictures, but I did fill two beforehand so that I could post them.  I put little pieces of segmented oranges on top, though when I served them I put little slices of kiwi on each tart.  It looked and tasted delicious.

I found the recipe at http://www.joyofbaking.com.

Here is it:

Sweet Pastry Crust:

1 1/2 cups (200 grams) all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter (or margarine)

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) milk

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract)

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/8 cup (20 grams) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)

3/4 tablespoon (10 ml) liqueur (Grand Marnier, Brandy, Kirsch) (optional)

Apricot Glaze: (optional)

1/2 cup (125 grams) apricot jam or preserves

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or water or combination of the two (can also use other liqueurs)

Topping:

2 – 3 cups mixed fruit, such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, kiwifruit, bananas, plums, pineapple, melon, etc.

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