Part of the fun of summer, besides the beaches and flip flops, is the abundance of fresh fruit, their vibrant colors, and cheap[er] prices.
These mini-tartlets of fruit and cream/custard are light, fresh, and good for parties, since they’re not super messy and can be easily eaten in 2-bites…or 1 if you’re like me and are too ravenous to look graceful while eating. This recipe has been in the family for years, on the Frenchie side again!
(Makes roughly 18 tartlets)
- Tartlet molds (these come in all shapes and sizes, so have fun and pick out some different ones. Also, don’t worry if they don’t have removable bottoms. The dough will come out easily, as it’s a harder kind of dough)
- Hand mixer
- Pastry brush
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 cups sifted (sift before measuring) flour
Cream filling and fruit:
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2 cups boiling milk (2% or whole)
- 1 Tbl. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 Tbls. vanilla extract
- Any kind of fruit you want in your tarts. Raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, mandarin orange slices, grapes, blueberries, strawberry slices, etc. Be sure that if the fruit is wet, it is well dried before use, otherwise your tart will be soggy!
- 1 cup any type of fruit jelly (can use 1/2 cup of a dark jelly for dark fruits and 1/2 cup of a light jelly for lighter-colored fruits–divide water/kirsch for this)
- 2 Tbls. water or kirsch
In a bowl, with a fork, blend butter, sugar, salt, and egg white until smooth and combined. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. For each tartlet, use about 2 tsp. of dough and with your fingers, press the dough into the tart molds. Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate 1/2 an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the shells for 12 min. until golden. Cool in the pans on a rack for a few min. and then unmold and cool on the rack.
Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks and continue beating for 2-3 min. until the mix is pale yellow and forms a ribbon. Beat in the flour. As you’re beating, gradually pour in the boiling milk in a thin stream of droplets (takes some time, but no lumps!).
Pour the mix into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over medium heat. With a whisk, stir the mix, covering the base of the saucepan. As it comes to a boil it will get lumpy, but smooth out as you beat. When boil is reached, reduce heat to low and beat another 2 min. to cook the flour. Don’t OVERCOOK the cream/custard at the bottom of the pan.
Remove from heat and beat in the butter, then the vanilla. Pour into a bowl and dot the top with softened butter to prevent a skin from forming over the surface. Refrigerate until ready to use, at LEAST 30 min. This will keep a week in the fridge.
Spoon a few tsps. of cream into each shell and top with well-drained, and different, fruit arrangements.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir the jelly until melted. Stir in as much kirsch or water as needed if the jelly is too thick. Remove from heat and let cool just a little. Using a pastry brush, brush the jelly onto the fruits. (If the jelly gets too cold and thick again, just re-warm.) Once finished, refrigerate.
Tartlets keep 2-3 days in the fridge.
*Note: tartlet shells and cream can be made a day before, then assembled before serving.