Mar 8, 2012

Fruit tarts with custard filling



                

                     Vibrant colours in food always make me craving for them. If they are natural, even better. When you eat something you seldom notice your eyes and nose are equally involved along with your tongue. So the look as well as smell of a food, together with its taste decides if it is a winner or fag. So I love to decorate, even play a bit with foods, to make them more attractive. I believe the more stunning they are, the more delicious they will be declared.

                             Being an English dessert, Tarts had been new to me. I would never have tried making them if they were not appealing to my eyes. Once I saw a fruit tart in one of those confectionery commercials and went totally gaga over it. It was a beautiful fruit tart with loads of fruits on top of it. Needless to say, I began to have a secret craving for fruit tarts. I could just tell they would be delicious. Many recipes I saw had cream cheese filling. As I am not a great fan of cream cheese, thought of filling it with home made custard. How shall I describe this combination very simply? 'A scoop of fruit salad in a shell of butter biscuits'! Now, does that sound yummy?

                              Strawberries have hit the market in bunches and boxes. Kiwis have always been my (and my son's) favourite fruit. I had a few mandarins too. So the tart was made chicky with dashes of red, green and orange. It looked too beautiful to eat.. Glazed it with apricot jam (again my son's favourite) and instantly it became his awaited dessert. The shells crunched, the strawberries nibbled, the custard dribbled all along the face. It was a tarty, fruity treat with a lot of cleaning up to do in the end...



Fruit tart recipe:
Things you need:
(makes about 12 tart lets)

To make the shell:

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tbsp cold shortening ( i used Crisco)
1/4 cup ice water

For the custard filling:

2 cups full fat milk
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
Sugar to taste

For topping and glazing:

Strawberries, cut lengthwise
Kiwis, skinned and sliced
Mandarins, skinned and separated
2 tbsp Apricot jam
3 tbsp water
2 tsp sugar



Method:

    Make the shell :
      Combine the flour sugar and salt in a bowl and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Put it in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and shortening. Pulse it in the food processor until the butter is in the size of peas. Add ice water and process until the dough comes together. Dump on a well floured board and form into a disk. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
      Preheat the oven to 375 degree F . Roll out the dough and fit into small tart pans, leaving half an inch over hanging from the brim. Line them with aluminium foil, fill with dried chick peas and bake for 1o minutes. This is to retain the shape of the tart shells. Remove the peas and foil, prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.Set aside to cool

Make the custard:
        Whisk together the egg yolks, corn flour and half cup of milk and set aside. Boil the rest of the milk and dissolve the sugar in it. Simmer the heat and slowly add the egg  milk mixture to it, stirring continuously. When the mixture starts to thicken, remove from heat and add vanilla essence.

Make the glaze:
        Heat the apricot jam with water and sugar until it forms a semi thick smooth syrup.Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Assembling:
     Fill the cooled tart shells with the custard while it is still hot. Allow it to cool slightly. Top it with fruits as you wish. Brush the fruits with the glaze using a pastry brush.
           Serve immediately or chilled.

11 comments:

  1. wowww It looks fantastic,love it!!

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  2. Beautiful tarts! Amazing colors!

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  3. beautiful tarts............your pics are simply amazing!!!!..thanks for the nice comment and joining my space.i love your blog...joined up through the gfc...am your happy follower now.

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  4. is it necessary to mix the ingredients for the shell in a food processor?will a blender do?

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  5. @Hanan,I think u can mix it in a blender(not in the grinder bowl) and if u have an electric whisk u can also do it with the paddle attachment.

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  6. is your shell the hard kind or the softer version??

    ReplyDelete

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