This Fourth of July was the big unveiling of my boyfriend’s brand new backyard. It’s beautiful – a huge pool and jacuzzi, a seating area by the barbecue, a fire pit, and a gorgeous view. It looks like something out of HGTV. Anyway, I offered to make a dessert, and, always adventurous, I decided to take on a tart.
This tart was all drama. Well, not the tart, but the custard filling. The first recipe I tried was miserable – super chunky, and after I pushed it through a mesh sieve it was fine but there was hardly any of it! The second recipe was great, no chunks and more than enough. It was delicious but a little soupy, and the tart fell apart a bit when it was cut. Oh well, it tasted great. It also melted a little (I blame the heat) but it was fine after an hour in the freezer.
Another thing – I actually doubled the recipe for the crust because my pan is pretty huge compared to a normal tart pan. I made four mini tarts with the leftover dough.
For the crust (original here):
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C unsalted butter
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
For the custard (original here):
2 C milk
1/4 + 1/3 C granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1/4 C cornstarch
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping:
~1/3 C strawberry jelly – optional
~1/3 C Lemon curd (I used Trader Joe’s) – optional
2-3 C fresh fruit (I used strawberries and blueberries for Independence Day)
Tart pan with a removable bottom
I didn’t manage to get a picture of the ingredients on this one, sorry guys.
For the crust:
1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
2. Cut the butter into small cubes and mix in.
3. Slowly pour in the beaten egg while mixing, and continue to mix until a dough forms.
4. Roll out dough to desired thickness and press into tart pan. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F while dough chills.
5. Cover crust with foil and weigh down with pie weights, dry beans, uncooked rice, or raw nuts. (I used little glass marbles, but I’d like to try nuts – afterward they’ll be deliciously roasted!) Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, remove foil/weights, and bake for another 5 minutes.
For the custard (This is best done with a partner since there are multiple things happening at once, which is why I took so few pictures):
1. In a saucepan, boil milk and 1/4 C sugar over medium heat.
2. Meanwhile, sift together cornstarch and remaining sugar.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks. Mix in the cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring until the milk boils.
4. Once the milk boils, remove from heat. Slowly pour the liquid into the egg mixture, whisking constantly (this will prevent the egg from cooking).
5. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once boiling, remove from heat and continue to stir as the custard thickens.
6. Add the vanilla and butter.
7. If there are any little chunks of cooked egg in your custard, push it through a cheesecloth or mesh sieve.
8. Put the custard into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, putting the wrap directly onto the custard. This will prevent a film from forming on top. Put it into the fridge to chill for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
For the assembly (do this the same day you’ll be eating!):
1. If using, get out your jelly and lemon curd. Mine were both room temperature, but it might have been better if the lemon curd had been refrigerated.
2. Remove the crust from the pan.
3. Melt the jelly and a little bit of water in the microwave at 10 second intervals until liquid. Let cool for a few minutes, and, using a brush, coat the inside of the crust with the glaze. This will add a little bit of extra flavor and help prevent the crust from soaking up the custard and becoming soggy.
4. Chop your fruit as desired. I cut my strawberries into thin slices, but you could also just cut them in half.
5. Fill the crust almost completely with custard.
6. If using, spread a thin layer of lemon curd on top of the custard. Try not to let them mix, but it will be covered up with fruit and taste the same either way.
7. Arrange your fruit on top of the custard/curd, trying to cover up as much filling as possible. Brush a thin layer of the melted jelly on top to make it shiny.
8. Keep refrigerated until it’s time to eat! If it melts a little (like mine did, whoops) pop it in the freezer for an hour or so.