Mini Raspberry Tarts

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Photo: Mini Raspberry Tarts

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 30 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 30 min
Cook: 40 min
 
YIELD: 12 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

SWEET PIE DOUGH:
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt
  • 1 egg
PASTRY CREAM:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Butter, for greasing
  • 5 pints fresh raspberries, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry or strawberry jam
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Directions

Special equipment: Twelve 4-inch round tart tins

For the dough: Place the flour, powdered sugar, almond flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles sand. Add the vanilla extract and the salt. Then gently blend the eggs into the dough until just mixed, being careful to not over-mix.

Turn the dough out onto a piece plastic wrap. Wrap the dough lightly and flatten into a large pancake shape. Wrap dough tightly with another layer of plastic wrap and rest the dough in the fridge until ready to use, at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

Cut 12 rounds of parchment paper slightly larger than the tart molds. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick, and use a pastry cutter to cut out circles just bigger than the tart molds. You will need to re-roll the trimmings to make a total of 12 tarts.

Line twelve 4-inch round tart tins with the dough. Place a round of parchment on top of the dough. Fill the parchment-lined molds with dried beans, rice or pie weights.

Bake the tart shells for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and parchment rounds. Return the shells to the oven and cook until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Do not undercook. Then cool the shells to room temperature.

For the pastry cream: Pour the milk in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the tip of a paring knife to scrape the insides of the bean into the milk, as well as the bean itself.

Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the milk to a boil. Do not stir.

Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk in the sugar immediately to avoid the yolks becoming gritty. Add the cornstarch and flour to the yolks and whisk to blend. The mixture will be quite thick. Pour about 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the yolk mixture and whisk quickly to temper the cold yolks.

Add the rest of the milk slowly to the yolk mixture while whisking continually. Once blended and the flour dissolves, pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve back into the saucepan. Use a clean saucepan if the milk burned on the bottom of the original pot.

Place the saucepan over low heat and whisk continually until the mixture bubbles. At the first sign of bubbling, remove the saucepan from the burner and use a rubber spatula to move pastry cream from the pan to a clean bowl.

Butter a piece of plastic wrap the size of the bowl and place the plastic butter-side down onto the cream. Make sure to cover all surface of the cream, as this will prevent a skin from forming before it is ready to be used.

To assemble, fill the baked tart shells with pastry cream just below the top of the shell. Arrange fresh raspberries around the outer edge of shell. Make smaller circles of raspberries as you work towards the center of the tart.

Heat the jam and brush it on the tops of the raspberries. If the jam doesn't brush on easily, loosen it up with a little water.

To serve, display the tarts on multi-tiered stand.

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