Fruit and Custard Tartlets

Just like those delicious tarts you buy in French patisseries. Delicious with soft fruits such as raspberries and blueberries

Fruit and Custard Tartlets
PREP TIME 30 mins to 1 hour COOK TIME 15 mins MAKES 12

Ingredients

For the rich shortcrust pastry

  • 300g plain flour
  • 150g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • zest of 1 untreated lemon

For the custard

  • 125g sugar
  • 500ml milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 fresh vanilla pod
  • 250ml whipping cream

For the topping

Fruit that won't go brown such as eg. raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, redcurrants, kiwi, figs etc.

Preparation method

For the rich shortcrust

  1. Butter your tartlet pans.
  2. In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar and butter, cut into little pieces. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar, until it is completely worked in. Work lightly so you don't overwork the flour and the butter doesn't melt.
  3. Make a well in the centre. Add the eggs yolks and lemon zest (be careful not to grate the bitter pith in too.)
  4. Work the ingredients together, first with a fork, then with your hands, until you have a smooth dough.
  5. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes (ideally 2 hours, especially in warm weather).
  6. Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.
  7. When the pastry has rested, roll it out and line your tartlet tins. Cover with baking paper or foil and weigh down with dry beans, rice, or another tartlet tin. This will prevent the pastry rising. You should try and achieve a 1cm thickness. If you have pastry left over, use to make delicious biscuits.
  8. Bake at 160°C/320°F for 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Remove the beans etc and baking paper and allow to cool.

For the custard

  1. Split open the vanilla pod and place in a saucepan with the milk. Bring to the boil gently.
  2. In a large bowl, vigorously beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the result is light in colour and frothy.
  3. Add the flour and beat well.
  4. Add the milk gradually (remove the vanilla pod, scraping the seeds back into the milk) beating constantly with a whisk.
  5. Slowly reheat, stirring constantly only in one direction until quite thick. The custard will thicken even more once it cools. Allow to cool, covering with clingfilm to avoid a skin forming.

To assemble

  1. Fold whipped cream into the cooled custard. Fill the cooked bases with this and decorate with fruit.
  2. These tartlets are best enjoyed at room temperature soon after they've been made, ie. not refrigerated.