Strawberry Tartlets

DSC01454

Strawberries with pastry cream on a sweet shortcrust pastry crust are a classic. You could make a large tart, but it looks much better and is easier to serve when you make individual tartlets. There are some special techniques used in this recipe:

  • the strawberries are covered with a thin layer of apricot jam to make them shine, to prevent them from discoloring and from drying out
  • the shortcrust pastry is made with a different technique that yields flaky pastry that is easy to work with
  • the pastry cream is made in a way that makes it easier to avoid burning it

DSC01460

But of course the most important part is to get good strawberries, which should be sweet, aromatic, and soft. The combination of the fresh and aromatic strawberries with the velvety pastry cream and the crunchy pastry makes these into a wonderful treat. The recipe is for 16 tartlets, but of course you could scale it down to 4, 8 or 12, if you like.

Ingredients

DSC01411

For 16 tartlets

about 1.25 kilograms (3 lb) strawberries

2 Tbsp apricot jam

butter for greasing the pans

For the pastry crust

500 grams (3 1/3 cup) pastry flour

250 grams (17.5 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter

100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar

1 tsp salt

90 ml (6 Tbsp) cold water

1 egg white

For the pastry cream

500 ml (2 cups) whole milk

4 egg yolks

50 grams (1/3 cup) flour

100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

DSC01412

To make the pastry, combine 330 grams flour with 100 grams sugar and 1 tsp salt in the food processor, and process until mixed.

DSC01413

Add 250 grams of cold butter, cut into cubes.

DSC01414

Process until the dough comes together (unlike other recipes, that tell you to stop when you have pea sized pieces of dough).

DSC01415

Flatten the dough and put the remaining 170 grams of flour on top.

DSC01416

Pulse a few times until you see small clumps of dough that are covered in flour.

DSC01417

Transfer this mixture to a bowl, and drizzle with 6 Tbsp of cold water.

DSC01418

Use a spatula to fold the water into the dough; the dough should come together.

DSC01419

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

DSC01420

For the pastry cream, combine 4 egg yolks with 50 grams flour and a bit of the milk (taken from the total amount of 500 ml of milk).

DSC01421

Whisk to mix.

DSC01422

Bring the remaining milk almost to a boil in a saucepan, then turn off the heat.

DSC01424

Add the hot milk in a thin stream to the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time.

DSC01425

Keep going until all the milk has been incorporated.

DSC01427

Return the mixture to the saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook over low to medium heat until the cream becomes thick, about 3 minutes, stirring all the time.

DSC01428

When the cream has become very thick, turn off the heat and add 100 grams of sugar and 2 tsp of vanilla extract.

DSC01429

Whisk to incorporate. The residual heat will melt the sugar.

DSC01432

Transfer this mixture to a piping bag and allow to cool, first to room temperature and then in the refrigerator. The cream should be in the refrigerator at least for a couple of hours to firm up.

DSC01434

After the dough has rested in the fridge, roll it out to a thickness of about 3 mm (1/8 inch).

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F (fan forced).

DSC01435

Grease 16 tartlet pans with a size of 10 cm (4 inches) with butter.

DSC01436

Take a piece of the rolled out dough that is roughly a circle of about 13 cm (5 inches).

DSC01437

Line a buttered pan with the dough, starting with the bottom and then the edges.

DSC01438

Remove the excess dough with a rolling pin. Repeat until you have lined all 16 pans.

DSC01439

Prick the dough in each tartlet a couple of times with a fork.

DSC01442

Cover each tartlet with a piece of oven paper, then fill with baking weights (or dry beans).

Bake them for 20 minutes at 190C/375F (fan forced).

DSC01444

Allow them to cool then remove the oven paper and baking weights.

DSC01446

Lightly whisk an egg white, and brush the tarlets with the egg white.

DSC01447

Return the tartlets to the oven at 190C/375F (fan forced) until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Depending on your oven, some tartlets may take a little longer than others, so take them out when they are ready and the leave the others a bit longer. Allow them to cool to room temperature.

DSC01449

It is best to dress the tartlets right before serving, so the pastry will remain crispy. However, due to the blind baking and the egg white it should be okay to do this some hours before.

Cut the tip off the piping bag, and use it to fill the tartlets with pastry cream.

DSC01451

Divide the pastry cream amongst the tartlets.

DSC01452

Combine some apricot jam with some hot water in a small bowl, and stir well.

DSC01455

Brush the apricot mixture onto the strawberries. This technique is called abricoteren in Dutch.

DSC01454

The strawberry tartlets are now ready to serve.

Wine pairing

They are great with Moscato d’Asti.

Flashback

DSC03839

Caramelized red onions with balsamic vinegar are a great side for beef, in this case wagyu blade steak.

DSC01460

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Strawberry Tartlets

    1. Non so esattamente, perché ho fatto tante altre cose nello stesso giorno. Forse 10 minuti per la pasta frolla, 20 minuti per foderare gli stampini, 10 minuti per pulire le fragole, 10 minuti per farcire?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you grease the tins with butter? That ought to do the trick. My tins come with a separate bottom piece, which makes it even easier to get them out, but it wasn’t even necessary.

      Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s