French Tarts

There are four parts, or layers, to tarts like this. The first is the crust. You want something that is delicate to eat but sturdy enough to hold together. It also has to taste good. And by good, I mean like butter. Second is the filling. I went with crème patisserie here with some of my own modifications I will go over in the actual recipe. Then you have your fruit on top. Anything really works. I had a few strawberries left in the fridge that were looking a little past their prime but still edible so I sliced them up with some blackberries I got on sale and then kiwi berries and mandarin oranges for color. And last but not least, the least obvious layer, the glaze. Fresh fruit starts to look a little wilty once it's been cut so to keep it fresh looking you can either brush the fruit with a lemon glaze, or in my case I melt a little jam and brush on top. Apricot is my favorite but anything works.

Crust recipe
Crème Patisserie (recipe to follow)
Assorted fruit, about 1 1/2 cups or 1/4 cup per tart
Apricot jam 

Once the crusts are completely cool fill them with the cream and arrange your fruit on top. Warm the jam slightly so it's thinner, and brush on the fruit, taking particular care to brush on any fruit that is cut. They can be served right away but chilling for 30 minutes will set up the jam. 

They will keep in the fridge up to 8 hours.

Crème Patisserie

3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. heavy cream
2 jumbo eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
Pinch salt
3 oz. white chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. butter

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and cornstarch and whisk to combine. This will help the cornstarch to incorporate and not lump up. Whisk in the eggs and salt and beat a bit until well combined. 

Whisk in the milk and cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick. With a traditional egg custard you have to temper the eggs to keep them from scrambling in the milk, the cornstarch makes that step no necessary. 

Once the mixture is very thick remove from the heat and immediately add the vanilla, white chocolate, and butter. Keep whisking until incorporated. 

Chill until cold throughout, at least two hours. 

Remove from the fridge and beat again until smooth. It's now ready to fill tarts with. 


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