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Raspberry Tarts

I had procured a rather significant amount of raspberries, cherries and apricots whilst driving through the Okanagan Valley and these seemed like an excellent way to use up some of them. ‘Twas my first time making tarts and I haven’t quite sorted how to make them look as neat as I would like, but they were quite delicious. The buttery crust, rich-but-not-too-sweet crème mousseline and tart, fresh raspberries worked perfectly together!

Tart Dough

Makes 12 small tarts

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

6 tbsp. butter (at room temperature)

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 tbsp. lemon juice or water

1. Combine flour, sugar and salt. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work in the butter.

2. Make a well in the middle, and add the egg yolk, vanilla and lemon juice or water. Stir/knead with your fingers until the mixture becomes a cohesive ball.

3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min to a maximum of 12 hours.

4. Roll to 1/8″ thickness, and cut circles that will fit your greased tart/muffin pan. I used a very small bowl to trace circles, which was helpful. Use a fork to lightly prick the bottom of each tart, and optionally to press down the crust around the edges.

5. Bake at 400 F for 7-10 minutes.

Crème Mousseline

(essentially pastry cream with butter – one thing I learned in France is that you can’t go wrong with more butter)

2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks
5 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups butter (cubed, & not too warm)
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a pot, bring the milk and vanilla to a simmer.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, and egg yolks for about a minute, or until smooth and pale. Whisk in the cornstarch until smooth (If you don’t have any cornstarch, substitute 3 tbsp. or flour, but be sure to whisk it enough to get rid of any lumps).

3. Ladle about 1/3 – 1/2 of the hot milk into the egg mixture, while stirring constantly with a whisk (be careful not to let any of the egg cook). Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, place the saucepan over medium heat, and continue whisking until the mixture bubbles a little and thickens (this will take longer if you had to use flour instead of cornstarch). Pour into a bowl and let it cool a little

4. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the pastry cream on medium speed. Add the cubes of butter a couple at a time, waiting until each one is mostly incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla extra (or other flavouring of your choice). Beat on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

If you aren’t using it immediately, you can refrigerate it for a couple days or freeze it for a month or two, you may just have to re-whip it a bit.

I decided to pipe my pastry cream into the tarts, but it will taste equally delicious if you don’t. Unless perhaps you have coated the inside of your pastry bag with pure vanilla extract from Mexico or something, in which case I am wrong.

After filling all of your tart shells, place ~3 raspberries (or really, whatever fruit or other topping you feel like) on top of the tarts. Restrain yourself from eating every last one before taking a photograph, or sharing them with your family…or just pretend you did not in fact make tarts. You’ve no idea what happened to them, honestly…

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