Monday, June 3, 2013

Strawberry Custard Tarts

Hello readers,

Hope your summer is swell. I've been taking Physics every night, which has put a damper on my break, but I think I need to be doing something relatively academic to keep my sanity. I can't be baking and blogging all day, errryday, so half of my day is spent on a college campus. When I'm not in class though, I've been trying to figure out something else I can do to pass my time. My newest pet project is to remodel my room, with new (or old) furniture and a fresh coat of paint. I've had mint green walls and Winnie the Pooh borders for far too long (12 years to be exact), and I think it's time for a change. So my new home, instead of blogger, is now Craigslist. I still haven't gotten the buying-selling strategy quite figured out though, but with my looming summer ahead, I think I have plenty of time. Let me know if anyone wants a set of furniture!

For now, another delicious recipe. 

At my house, nothing says summer like the smell of ripe strawberries with the sound of a summer rainstorm in the background. We were hit with multiple storms yesterday, and the thunder was oddly peaceful. I decided to make strawberry custard tarts with the ingredients I had on hand, and I thought it was pretty successful for my first go. 

Ingredients (for about 6 tarts)

For the crust
1/8 c. granulated sugar
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1/8 c. brown sugar
1/8 c. honey
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Mix it all together (I used a handmixer) and chill your dough so the butter doesn't melt. I put it in the freezer while I was making everything else, so about 30 minutes. 

For the custard:

3/4 c. milk, divided
1/4 c. granulated sugar, divided
3 large egg yolks
1/8 c. cornstarch
1/2 of a 8 oz package cream cheese, softened and cut into cubes (reduced-fat is ok)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

While the dough was chilling, I started on my filling. I combined half of my milk with half of my sugar, and brought it to a low simmer in a saucepan. In another bowl, I whisked together the egg yolks, cornstarch, remaining sugar, and remaining milk. Slowly add the hot mixture of milk into the cold mixture, while constantly stirring (be extra careful because you don't want to solidify your egg yolk). Pour your mixture back into the saucepan, and bring it to a slow boil. Once it's boiling, remove the mixture from heat immediately and add in your cream cheese and vanilla extract. Keep whisking until it starts to thicken, and let it cool down to room temperature. 

While it's cooling, begin baking your crust. Preheat the oven to 325. Since I didn't have tart tins, I used a wide rimmed cupcake tin. In fact to ensure that the crust wouldn't crumble on me, I used cupcake liners for each one. I packed each cupcake liner to the rim with dough (thickness depending on how you like it) and let it bake for about 40 minutes, or until brown. Because I was using cupcake tins instead of tart tins, the crust kept on rising and puffing up too much. Every so often, I used a fork to deflate the crust while in the oven. I suggest using less baking soda (already adjusted for in the ingredient section!). 

Now it's time to assemble! After the crust has fully cooled (and they must or they will fall apart), spoon your room temperature custard into each tart. Decorate with fresh strawberries, and chill for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

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