Fruit Tartlets

The Fruit Tartlets Recipe any mix of fruits will look attractive; choose whatever is in season.

Chilling time:
1 hr
Special equipment:
8 x 4in (10cm) tartlet pans

1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
4 large egg yolks
1⁄3 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
6 tbsp unsalted butter, diced,
plus extra for greasing

For the filling:
1½ cups milk
1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1lb 2oz (500g) mixed fresh fruit, such as kiwi fruit,
raspberries, grapes, peaches
1⁄3 cup apricot jam or red currant jelly, for glazing

1 Sift the flour on to a work surface and make a well in the center. Add the egg yolks, sugar, salt, vanilla, and butter.

2 Work the ingredients in the well until thoroughly mixed, then draw in the flour until coarse crumbs form. Press the dough into a ball and knead for 2 minutes, until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

3 Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan with the split-open vanilla bean, if using. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let stand for 10-15 minutes.

4 In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and flour. Whisk in the hot milk. Return the mixture to the cleaned-out pan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the flour has cooked and the cream is thick. Simmer over low heat for 2 minutes.

5 Transfer the pastry cream to another bowl and remove the vanilla bean if using, or stir in the vanilla extract. Press plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool.

6 Grease the tartlet pans. Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to 1⁄8in (3mm) thick. Group the pans together, with their edges nearly touching.

7 Roll the dough loosely around the rolling pin and drape it over the pans so all are covered. Roll the rolling pin over the tops of the pans to remove excess dough. Press up the dough edges to form a deep shell. Set the tartlet pans on a baking sheet and prick the dough with the fork. Chill for 30 minutes.

8 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line each tartlet shell with a piece of foil, pressing it down well. Bake for 6-8 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. When cold, remove each shell from its pan.

9 Peel and slice the kiwi. Peel and slice the peaches. Melt the jam or jelly with 2–3 tablespoons water in a saucepan. Work it through a sieve. Brush the inside of each tartlet shell with the glaze.

10 Half fill each shell with the cooled pastry cream, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Arrange the fruit on top and brush with the jam glaze.

These will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Crème pâtissière is one of the most useful sweet recipes to master. Once you get the hang of it, it is very impressive to serve. For a lighter finish to the pastry cream, fold about 3½fl oz (100ml) whipped heavy cream into the cooled crème pâtissière.

Fruit Tartlets Recipe
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