Monday, April 4, 2011
Sweet Tooth Strawberry Tarts
What do you do when you have that relentless sweet tooth? In our home we don't keep many store bought snacks, cookies, or pastries around. Too much temptation! But, sometimes you just have to surrender to that craving, right?
As a self-imposed recipe developer or "food stylist", I'm always looking for ways to switch up a recipe. I had bought some individual decorative tart molds and was itching to us them. I had also seen an episode of Samantha Brown's Europe on the Travel channel that featured Portugal. One of her stops was in a pasteleria (pastry shop) where she devoured a creamy custard tart laced with cinnamon. Since Portugal is not in my immediate travel plans, I chose to recreate these little melt in your mouth tartletts in my humble kitchen.
I used a guide recipe from Emeril Lagasse but "switched it up" and reduced the serving size to make only two servings. (I guess my math classes finally came in handy.) I admit that the following ingredients are estimates but I've found that custard is fairly forgiving. Next time my measurements will be more accurate. Sorry, I was in the experimental mode!
Strawberry Custard Tarts
Enough pie crust for 2 fluted metal tart cooking molds
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 c heavy cream (I used FF half & half)
1 T thickening flour or cornstarch
Sprinkle of cinnamon and fine sugar
Lay the crust into the tart shells while lightly pressing down and around the sides. Trim off the excess on top. In a preheated 350 degree oven cook shells on a baking sheet for approx. 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
To make the custard: In a bowl, whisk the egg, sugar and salt. In another bowl mix the cornstarch with half of the cream, mixing briskly. Then add the rest of the cream, stir and add to the egg mixture. Take the pie shells, (leaving them in the mold) and arrange strawberry slices on the bottom. Pour the custard mixture into the shells. You can sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or wait until they're done. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges are set and brown. The middle will still jiggle like jello. Remove and cool. Wonderful! Mission accomplished....sweet tooth satisfied...for now!