DIY: Mini Fruit Tarts

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By: Caroline Drake; Adapted from Baking Illustrated
 
Fresh Fruit tarts are always a crown pleaser, as well as a show stopper.  With bright, beautiful fresh fruits atop luscious pastry cream and crust, they are as sweet as they are pretty! What a beautiful addition to a summer dessert table!

Pie Shell Ingredients: 1 large egg yolk, 1 tbsp. heavy cream, 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste, 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface, 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter: cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Step One: To make the tart shell, whisk together the egg yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside.  Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Process briefly to combine.  

Step Two: Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. 

Step Three: With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.  

Step Four: Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch dish.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours. 

Step Five: Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  (If refrigerated for more than an hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.)  Unwrap and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface.  

Step Six: Using a glass or another round object about the same size as your pie tin, carefully cut out circles of the dough, and place them into the individual tart tins. 

Step Seven: Set the dough-lined tart tins on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.  

Step Eight: Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position.  Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Set the dough-lined tart pans on a baking sheet, press a square of foil into the frozen shell and over the edge, and fill with pie weights, if you don't have pie weights, beans will work well, or rice.

Step Nine: Bake for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights.  Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 3-5 minutes longer.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

Pastry Cream Ingredients: 2 cups half-and-half milk, 1/2 cup sugar, Pinch salt, 6 large egg yolks, 4 tbsp. cornstarch, 4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

Step One: To make the pastry cream, heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.  Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.  Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

Step Two: When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.  Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla.  Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.  

Step Three: Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

Step Four: To assemble the tart, spread the cold pastry cream evenly over the bottom of the tart shell. 

Fruit Topping Ingredients: 1-2 Kiwis, peeled and sliced, 6-9 oz. raspberries, 1/2-1 cup blueberries , 1 mango: peeled and sliced, 1/2 cup Apple jelly for glazing

Step One: Arrange the fruit on top of the pastry cream as desired.  

Step Two: Heat the jelly in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, just until slightly melted and easy to stir.  

Step Three: Using a pastry brush, paint a light layer of jelly over the fresh fruit.  Let set in the fridge for 30 minutes then serve.

The recipe will make about 15 of the 4 inch individual tarts.
 
Adapted from Baking Illustrated.
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