Makes 24 mini tarts
These look fantastic and taste fantastic and really are easy to make so don’t be put off by having to make the “crème pat”. This is tried and tested recipe – the only thing you have to do is make sure you take the pan off the heat when it really starts to thicken and carry on whisking vigorously before returning it to the heat to bubble for a minute.
For the Crème Patissière
50g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
½ vanilla pod
1 roll of store-bought pre-rolled shortcrust pastry
Icing sugar for dusting
- Heat your oven to 200˙C or use the top right of an Aga.
- Now make the crème pat: So weigh the butter into a small bowl. Keep until later.
- Now weigh the cornflour into a medium sized bowl.
- Weigh the milk into a small pan large enough to hold all the ingredients.
- Scoop out 3 tbsp of the measured milk and add to the cornflour.
- Mix together until smooth.
- Separate the eggs and put the yolks into the bowl with the cornflour and the milk. You wont use the egg whites in this recipe so keep them for omelettes or to add to scrambled eggs or to make meringues.
- Use a whisk to mix the egg yolks, milk and flour together to a smooth mixture.
- Weigh out the sugar and add to the pan with the milk.
- Split the half vanilla pod down the length and put into the pan with the milk and sugar.
- Put the pan with the milk, sugar and vanilla pod over a medium to high heat and bring to just simmering, whisking slowly to incorporate the sugar as it melts.
- When the milk is just about to simmer remove it from the heat and scoop out the vanilla pod.
- Scrape the seeds out of both sides of the pod and put into the hot milk. Discard the empty pod).
- Give the milk a stir.
- Now pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the bowl with the cornflour and egg yolks.
- Whisk to combine.
- Next pour this mixture into the pan. All the ingredients should now be in the pan!
- Put over a medium to low heat and whisk until you get a thick pastry cream. Pull off the heat as it begins to really thicken and continue to whisk.
- Return to the heat and allow to bubble for a minute. Keep on whisking all the time. This cooks the flour.
- When it is thick remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it has melted and been completely mixed in.
- Transfer to a bowl and immediately cover with baking paper. The paper must touch the crème pat so it doesn’t form a skin.
- Cool before use.
For the tart shells:
- Unroll the pastry.
- Use a 5cm round cookie cutter and a 24 hole muffin tray or a 6.5cm cookie cutter and a 12 hole muffin tray.
- Cut out the pastry into circles.
- Place the pastry into the muffin tray and press it down.
- Using a fork press lots of holes into the base of the pastry – this is so it doesn’t rise up!
- Put into the hot over for 5 minutes.
- Check and cook for a further 1-3 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and beginning to turn pale golden.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
- When almost ready to serve scoop up a spoonful of crème pat and place on top of the pastry.
- Top the crème pat with a raspberry.
- Put onto a plate large enough to hold them all.
- Put a little icing sugar into a small sieve.
- Shake lightly over the tarts.
The crème pat and the tart shells can be made a couple of days in advance but don’t put them together until an hour or two before you want to eat them. I like to serve them at room temperature.