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Monday, June 13, 2011

Blueberry tart

I almost thought I had baked a Portuguese Egg tart, had it not been for the blueberries.

The crust is fluffy and flaky and my real delight is derived from my pastry custard cream. This pleasure would not have been mine if I had used store bought custard powder that contains not a molecule of egg.
Ironically , out of  convenience, I opted to use the food processor instead of using the good ole' whisk to prepare the tart shells. It did not have the intended cookie type of tart shell that traditionally goes with fruit but it was an interesting combination : fresh tart berries sitting pretty on homemade custard that smells of homemade vanilla essence, all contained in a tiny flaky, buttery shell. Dust some icing sugar over a lone tart sitting on a pretty plate and it is good enough to be served in a café.

Makes 12 blueberry tarts.

Tart Shell:

190 g plain flour
1/8 t salt
115 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50 g cater  sugar
1  egg, lightly beaten
Egg wash

Custard :
200ml milk
2 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon plain flour
10g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tools :

Pastry scrapper
Pastry cutter
2 plastic sheets
Cupcake tray (12)
Whisk, sieve
Food processor

Method to make …

Tart shell :

In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt and sugar. Transfer to the mixer bowl of the food processor and blitz in butter until crumbly. Add egg, processing until dough comes to a ball. Add  1 t of cold milk if the dough has difficulty forming a ball. This process of blitzing the ingredients should not take more than 30 sec.

Transfer dough to a plastic bag. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes or chiller for 30 min.

Meanwhile, butter/oil a 12 hole cupcake tray thoroughly. Chill the tray until ready to use. I use the butter wrapper for this job before discarding it.

Custard :

Whisk egg and sugar until mixture turns pale and light.  Sieve corn and plain flour onto egg, whisk again until well combined. Do not over-whisk. Set aside.

Heat the milk over medium low flame until it comes to a boil, taking care not to curdle the milk by over boiling. Pour hot milk into egg-flour  mix, stirring vigorously.

Pour egg-flour-milk mix back to the pot, over a fine sieve. Bring to a  boil, whisking until mixture thickens to consistency of warm butter. Remove  custard from heat. Whisk in butter and vanilla extract.

Transfer custard to a very clean bowl, cover to prevent skinning and leave to cool. Take care of condensation that forms on the inside of the wrap. Chill until ready to use.

Bake tart shells :

Retrieve chilled dough and tray. Divide to 12 portions. Prepare 2  plastic sheets. Lightly flour your hands, roll each portion of the dough to a ball.

Place ball dough on the plastic sheet, top with another sheet and flatten evenly with the help of a big dough cutter . Transfer disc to the hollow of the chilled and oiled cupcake tray.

Do this for the rest of the cupcake hollows. Make holes on the bottom of the dough with a fork. Chill the dough on the cupcake tray for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 C.

Use egg wash and brush on the tart shells.  This will waterproof the  shell from moisture when filling up with custard.

Bake blind, for 12 - 14 minutes. Cool shells for 5 minutes ( for easy handling ) before removing shells to a cooling rack. This prevents moisture build-up between shells and tray.

Continue shells thoroughly before use.

Assembly :
When cooled, filled tart shells with custard and decorate with blueberries. Dust icing sugar over the tarts. Serve chilled.

Tarts keep for a day in the fridge.

Adapted from Happy Home Baking.

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