Archive | tarts RSS feed for this section

velvety smooth strawberry lemon curd tart

2 May

Since these past couple of weeks have been taunting and teasing us with wonderful spring/summer weather, only to literally rain on our happiness, I’ve decided that enough is enough. Let’s try to beckon and plead for summer to come – there is no need for pride anymore, because it’s May and there should be May weather! School’s out for me (only to have summer school start again in two days) and I’m itching to go buy summer dresses, a new bathing suit and start planning picnics by the lake.

Nothing spells summer to me more than the smell and taste of fresh strawberries while drinking a nice cold glass of lemonade. This strawberry coulis lemon curd tart is the perfect combination of sweet strawberries and tart lemons, all enveloped by a nice buttery tart shell. This dessert is really easy to put together, but it does require some assembly time because you need to wait for the coulis, the curd and the chocolate to cool down. I adapted a couple of recipes, but my most prominent influence was Donna Hay’s shortcrust recipe for the tart shells, and SophistiMom’s lemon curd recipe (which she adapted from Ina Garten). The coulis sauce (and the chocolate additions, of course) I winged myself, because I didn’t want it to be overwhelmingly sweet.

In the end, even if summer doesn’t come just yet,  I think I’m going to sit in front of my window, with a pot of flowers, a glass of lemonade and one of these tarts – in my bathing suit.

since strawberries are in season, why not take advantage and invite summer to come already?

since strawberries are in season, why not take advantage and invite summer to come already?

so pretty and simple, strawberries are one of my favourite fruits.

so pretty and simple, strawberries are one of my favourite fruits.

img_3295

cooking down the fresh berries to turn them into yummy strawberry coulis

shortcrust tart shells - home to the extreme yumminess

shortcrust tart shells - home to the extreme yumminess

shortcrust shells & strawberry coulis are a match made in heaven.

shortcrust shells & strawberry coulis are a match made in heaven.

...but don't forget about the lemon custard!

...but don't forget about the lemon curd!

nothing says love better than a strawberry heart on a tart.

nothing says love better than a strawberry heart on a tart.

what would a dessert be without at least a little chocolate?

what would a dessert be without at least a little chocolate?

did you know you can pretend to be artistic with coulis sauce? =P

did you know you can pretend to be artistic with coulis sauce? =P

strawberries, lemons, and chocolate. this is what life should be like!

strawberries, lemons, and chocolate. this is what life should be like!

this makes me smile =)

this makes me smile =)

getting ready for the first bite...

getting ready for the first bite...

....look at all that yummy goodness contained in that small tart!

....look at all that yummy goodness contained in that small tart!

....ready?

Ready?

Just make sure to wear a bib, because this could get messy!

Just make sure to wear a bib, because this could get messy!

Recipe

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2) – makes about 12 mini tarts or one 9inch tart

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp superfine caster sugar
  • 5 oz cold butter, chopped
  • 2 -3  tbsp iced water
  1. Whizz together the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until mixture looks like fine bread crumbs.
  2. While motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough, and process until just combined.
  3. Knead dough lightly, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
  5. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles to fit the tart tin(s) and press down, making sure to make them look pretty =)
  6. Place parchment paper over the crust, and fill with baking weights/uncooked rice/dried beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the weights, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until pastry is golden.

Strawberry Coulis

  • 1 cup strawberries, cut up in small pieces ( make sure to reserve some slices for decorations!)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cornstarch for thickening
  1. Melt butter and sugar in a pot until syrupy, but not browned.
  2. Add in strawberries and continue simmering for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Using an immersion blender, give the berries a good whirl until smooth.
  4. Dissolve cornstarch in some cold water, and mix it in with the strawberry sauce. Return to heat and cook until it starts to thicken.
  5. Pour into bowl and refrigerate until you’re ready for assembly.

Lemon Curd (adapted from Sophistimom)

  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • pinch of salt
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together zest, butter, and sugar.
  2. Incorporate eggs one at a time and mix until smooth.
  3. Add in lemon juice and salt.  Mixture will be curdled.
  4. Pour mixture into a large saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes.  Lemon curd will come together and thicken.
  5. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, remove from heat.  Strain into a glass bowl and allow to cool.  Refrigerate or freeze until you need it.

Final Assembly

  1. If you want to add chocolate, melt chocolate and just drizzle it in an abstract pattern on parchment paper or your silpad. Let cool, remove carefully and set aside.
  2. Spoon  a teaspoon-full of strawberry coulis into bottom of each tart shell. Top with a tablespoon of lemon curd.
  3. Top each tart with a slice of the reserved strawberries and your chocolate decorations. Let refrigerate for another hour so that curd will set.
  4. Mangia!

xo dessertchick

Advertisements

caitlin is my favourite tart

23 Apr

Okay, I’m not calling Caitlin a silly tart. However, I did promise her that I would make something especially for her so that the goodies cater to her exact taste and whim. Here, I present you with Caitlin’s Toffee Chocolate Ganache Custard Tart. Yep, a very long name, so I’m going to call these Caitlin’s Party Tarts. Because Caitlin is always the life of the party, and these are her tarts.

The tarts have a flaky, buttery crust. The custard isn’t too sweet, and goes well with the semi-sweet chocolate ganache. The homemade toffee adds a crunch and a nice sweetness to this bite-sized dessert.

They are very easy to make, and the longest process was just the assembly. Baking takes 10 minutes, and then it’s just a lot of chilling and taking pictures! Voila!

mini muffin pan = mini tarts

mini muffin pan = mini tarts

homemade toffee in three sizes: giant toffee pieces

homemade toffee in three sizes: giant toffee pieces

toffee chunks

toffee chunks

tiny toffee sprinkles

tiny toffee sprinkles

plain jane: naked custard tart

plain caitlin: naked custard tart

jane with her party hat: chocolate ganache custard tart

caitlin with her party hat: chocolate ganache custard tart

caitlin's the life of the party: toffee chocolate ganache custard tart

caitlin's the life of the party: toffee chocolate ganache custard tart

too many tarts, so little time

too many tarts, so little time

no matter how beautiful - it's the inside that counts

no matter how beautiful - it's the inside that counts

we may look different, but in the end, we're all the same: tasty

we may look different, but in the end, we're all the same: tasty

Recipe

Ingredients:

Toffee (or you can just buy toffee bits):

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Crust:

  • 1 can of Pillsbury Crescents or make your own puff pastry. I’ll post my own puff pastry recipe soon.

Custard:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder or vanilla pudding powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered confectioners or icing sugar

Ganache:

  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp milk

How-to:

Toffee (adapted from Scrumptious Photography):

  1. Melt the butter, sugar, water and salt together in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Continue heating and stirring until the mixture reaches 300F.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Pour hot mixture onto a sheet pan lined with parchment or a silpat.
  5. Let the toffee cool to room temperature and break apart into pieces as small and uniform as you can get them.

Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Unroll Pillsbury Crescent dough. You will have 8 large triangles initially. Cut each triangle into 4 smaller triangles so that you end up with 32 mini triangles. Stuff each one into a small mini muffin pan indent. Make sure that you press up on the sides, so that it’ll be able to cup the custard and chocolate.
  3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and don’t freak out when your cups look like little balloons instead. Using a spoon, just squish the dough puffs into the shape of a cup, and return to oven for another 2 minutes.
  4. Remove and let cool.

Custard (adapted from Dishing Up Delights):

  1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter. Beat in the remaining ingredients. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add a little more milk.
  2. Spoon the filling slowly into each cup, making sure not to overflow them. Let cool in fridge for 15 minutes.

Ganache:

  1. Combine chocolate and milk and microwave at 30 second intervals for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth, and top each custard tart with ganache. At this point, you should probably cover about two tarts at a time with ganache and then follow up immediately with toffee sprinkles, or else the chocolate will cool and the toffee won’t stick.
  2. Let assembled tarts cool in fridge for another 15 minutes, and the start chowing!

xo dessertchick