The sweet pastry dough, also called Pate Sucree, can be made in advance and kept well wrapped in the fridge for several days or frozen for up to 3 weeks. It's less fragile and has a tinge of sweetness.
100g butter, cubes and slightly softened
100g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1. Put the flour in a mound on a work surface and make a well. Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt, mix these ingredients together with your fingertips.
2. Gradually draw the flour into the center and mix with you fingertips until the dough becomes slightly grainy.
3. Again, make a well and add the eggs. Work them into the flour, using your fingertips, until the dough begins to hold together.
4. When dough is well amalgamated, knead it a few times with the palm of your hands until smooth. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in cling wrap and rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours before using.
5. When dough is rested, roll out on a lightly floured surface to 2-3mm thickness and line pastry cups and bake blind for 20 mins at 180d C.
*Bake blind: Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and line parchment papers on top by filling it with beans or rice. Bake for 20 mins at 180d C and discard the parchment paper with the bean/rice in it. Bake for a further 5 mins for the color. Unmould the pastry and cool on wire rack.
One thing I love about fruit tarts is that you can use any fillings you like. Filling can be fresh fruits, lemon curd, chocolate mousse, cream cheese or even ice cream. Fill the tartlets just before serving to avoid the pastry from getting soggy. As for this particular recipe that I did, I used Creme Patissiere. Here's how you make it:
Filling: Creme Patissiere:
6 egg yolks
125g caster sugar
40g plain flour
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
a little icing sugar or butter
1. Whish the yolks and one-third of the sugar together in a bowl to a ribbon consistency. Whisk in the flour thoroughly.
2. In a saucepan, heat the milk with the rest of the sugar and vanilla pod.
3. As soon as it comes to boil, pour it into the egg yolk mixture, stirring as you go. Return it to the pan and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring continuously with the whisk.
4. Let bubble for 2 mins then pour into a bowl.
5. Dust the creme patissiere with a veil of icing sugar to prevent skin from forming as it cools, or dot small flakes of butter all over the surface.
6. Once cold, it can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Remove the vanilla pod before using.
To assemble: Spoon the filling into the pastry cups and top with your choice of fruits ie. peach in syrup, fruit cocktail, grapes, any type of berries etc.
See? It's so easy to make and make such a delicious treat for your family!
And here's my mini-me little apprentice!!