Saturday, 22 September 2012

Better late than never Pie Day

We made fruit tarts.
We're on the mend and in the mood to bake so we thought we'd try another recipe from Ellie's Little Cooks magazine.
Then we remembered how those always turn out.
So we kept the pastry recipe, threw out the rest*, and invented our own filling.
These also work with double cream if you don't have the time or inclination to make creme patissiere.

Fruit Tarts (with Brown Sugar Creme Patissiere)

150g plain flour
75g butter
25g icing sugar
some cold water

4 Egg yolks (keep the whites, you can freeze them if you don't use them the same day)
100g Soft brown sugar
25g Plain flour
1/2 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
350ml Milk
Some soft fruit (we used strawberries and blueberries, but only because I couldn't get raspberries)

Cut the butter into cubes and rub it into the flour till it looks like breadcrumbs.

Add the icing sugar and stir it in well, then add the water (a couple of tablespoons or so), stir some more, and bring it all together with your hands to form a ball.

Put the ball on a floured surface, sprinkle with a little more flour and roll out.

Cut out with a large round cutter and put the rounds into tart cases.

Bake (with added baking parchment and dry beans if you want) in a low oven (180 is fine) for about fifteen minutes.
Take them out, remove any pieces of paper or other rubbish, leave to cool.

Meanwhile, get on with the creme patissiere.
Add the sugar to the eggs and beat gently together until light and moussey (or light and sticky to be honest).
Add the flour and beat some more till combined.
Put the milk into a pan and bring to the boil, then pour this into the egg mixture and beat it carefully together.

Put the whole thing back into the pan, return it to the heat and keep whisking**.
Bring it to the boil and keep whisking while it boils, let it keep boiling for about two minutes from the point that it begins to thicken.
Now take it off the heat and add the vanilla, whisk it up one more time, decant it to a bowl, cover and leave to cool.

The rest is just an assembly job: dollop creme patissiere into cases, taking care not to sneeze on any.
Remove the sneezed on tart: this is now property of the person who sneezed on it.
Yes, even if they wanted that other one over there.
No, two tarts are too much for one person.
Ok, maybe tomorrow.
 Arrange fruit on top, halving or slicing if necessary.

Put it into the fridge until needed, then consume while attempting to look dainty and refined.

*It involved pre-made custard and kiwi fruit.

**This bit really isn't for young children, let little people watch by all means, but even I'm not potty enough to let my three-year-old stand over a lit stove whisking a hot pan full of boiling milk and sugar.

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