Mini French tarts

Sources

Ingredients

  • Tart shells made from store-bought shortcrust pastry sheets.
  • Assorted sliced fresh fruit; such as strawberries, whole raspberries, kiwi fruit, blueberries, etc.
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) apricot jam

Crème patissiere

  • 435ml (1 3/4 cups) full-cream milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways, seeds separated (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 50g (1/3 cup) plain flour

Lemon curd

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • Zest and strained juice of 2 large or 3 small lemons (6-8 tsp zest and 125ml (1/2 cup) juice)
  • 90g unsalted butter

Method

Cut circles out of just-thawed pastry sheets using a 5cm round cutter, and place circles in a twelve-hole tartlet pan. Place a circle of baking paper big enough to fit into the base and up the sides of each tartlet. Fill with pastry weights or rice and blind bake at 200°C/392°F for 8-10 minutes or until golden and crisp. To make the lemon curd, lightly whisk egg yolks and sugar together in large clean bowl until pale and thick but not frothy. Melt butter, lemon juice and zest together in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add egg yolk and sugar mixture to saucepan and stir constantly over low-medium heat until in turns a deep yellow colour, and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (approx. 7-10 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Pour cooled curd into sterilised jar and keep in fridge. To make the crème patissiere (or vanilla French custard), warm milk and the vanilla seeds in a saucepan. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick. Whisk in flour, then milk mixture. Return to pan and cook, whisking, over low heat for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill. Slice the fruit into appropriate sized pieces and arrange on top of tartlets. Finally, if making apricot glaze, simply heat up the apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until bubbling vigorously, stirring occasionally. As soon as it hits this stage, brush glaze over fruit on just the custard tarts and serve. Makes 30.

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