Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vanilla Custard and Berry Tart

I am nearly ashamed at how long it has been since I posted last. I do have some pretty valid excuses (like spending the bulk of my summer in a kitchen-less cabin in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming).... but I won't bore you with the details! ;) 

The point is... I'm BACK! And, I will strive to post weekly or more if I am able. 

First up is a basic tart filled with a rich, vanilla custard and topped with fresh summer berries! I chose raspberries since I had so many to use up. But, this would actually taste so great with a berry combination, like raspberries, blackberries and blueberries (all fresh, of course) and skip the chocolate drizzle altogether. Honestly, I thought the chocolate ended up making it too sweet. But, do as you may!


Vanilla Custard:

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 T. + 1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup egg yolks (around 6 large egg yolks)
4 T. butter, room temperature
1 T. pure vanilla

Heat the milk in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-low heat until warm. Remove from the heat.

Mix together the sugar, flour and cornstarch. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and slowly whisk half of the warm milk into the yolks. Slowly whisk the dry mixture (sugar, flour, etc.) into the egg/milk mixture until combined. 

Pour the mixture into the saucepan with the remaining warm milk. Stirring constantly, cook the mixture over low heat until the mixture is thick like pudding. With a spatula, push the custard through a sieve to work all the clumps out of the custard. Place the bowl with the smooth custard in an ice water bath. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a film from forming. Once the custard is slightly cooled place in the refrigerator and chill for 2 or 3 hours. 

Shortbread Crust:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the dough forms a ball. Press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan. Bake at 350ºF until the crust is golden-brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let it cool completely.

Remove tart pan from baked tart and place the tart shell on a serving plate. Fill the bottom with the vanilla custard and arrange berries on top. Serve immediately or cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve (the tart will keep for 1 day). 

*Recipe adapted from Catherine and Cheryl Reinhart of Sweet Life Patisserie

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