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Prep 35 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
My daughter and I were watching the Barefoot Contessa make these and she said "you have to make those!" I haven't made them yet but I'm sure I'll have to soon :-) Cooking time includes 1 hour chilling for the pastry.
- 1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, diced
- 2 tablespoons shortening, cold (recommended ( Crisco)
- 1⁄4 cup ice water
- 2 cups pastry cream, recipe follows
- 2 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1⁄3 cup apricot jam
- 3 tablespoons pistachios, shelled & halved (optional)
- 5 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1⁄2 cups scalded milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cognac
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Put the flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and shortening and pulse about 10 times, or until the butter is in the size of peas. Add the ice water and process until the dough comes together. Dump on a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Roll out the dough and fit into 4 (4 1/2-inch) tart pans with removable sides. Don't stretch the dough when placing it in the pans or it will shrink during baking. Cut off the excess by rolling the pin across the top of each pan. Line the tart shells with a piece of buttered aluminum foil, butter side down, and fill them with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and foil, prick the bottom of the shells all over with a fork, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
- Before serving, fill the tart shells with the pastry cream. Arrange the berries decoratively on top of the cream. Melt the apricot jelly with 1 teaspoon of water and brush the top of the tarts. Sprinkle with pistachios, if using, and serve.
- Pastry Cream:.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.
- With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Don't be alarmed when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and beat vigorously. Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla, Cognac, butter, and heavy cream. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.
Completely amazing! I saw the same show and had to make it. I've made it twice, actually I did one big tart because I don't have individual tart pans. The crust didn't turn out fabulous for me... but I'm a very unreliable maker of crusts anyway. The second time I made it, I just used refrigerated crust (the kind you roll out) and it worked very well. Besides, the custard is what makes this so fabulous. It's actually quite simple to make, but does require patience while waiting for it to thicken up. I've used a variety of fresh fruit as the topping and the custard can be used for all sorts of stuff- filling between cake layers is one thing I am thinking of. I also think I may use the crust in mini muffin pans, which I do have, to make mini tarts. Sure to impress anyone you serve it to. Easy and elegant and I can't recommend it enough! Thanks so much for posting it for us. edit to add...I've also used reduced fat milk and omitted the cream and butter at the end. Also skipped the jam glaze and nuts... to try and feel less guilty about eating half the thing myself. It's not as rich obviously, but still very delicious. I also used regular brandy rather than cognac because that's what I have on hand. I've never left it out altogether though because it does add an incredible depth of flavor.