She and my aunt make dinner. It is usually a big meal, typically Greek food (that’s the Greek side of my family) and always accompanied by a big salad, freshly baked bread and Greek pies, called pita.
My aunt, who has her own blog called Simplest Most Delicious Food, always makes something delicious for dessert. There has been things like coffee panna cotta, strawberry crumble, lemon tart and creme caramel.
I typically work all day on Saturdays and Sundays, and hardly ever have the time to bake something special to take (because although I’ve always got some
underbaked chewy cookies around, not everyone shares my love for them!). But finally, I had a Saturday off recently, and made these blueberry tartlets. I took my time making the pastry, resting it, chilling the pastry cream, and assembling the tarts. It was fun!
It was nice being able to take something for dessert, to say thank you for all those dinners, to share my food with my family too. Because that’s what baking is all about for me – sharing. If there’s no one to eat my baked goods, then what’s the fun in baking?
The tartlets were a hit. The pastry, even though I served them on the second day, stayed crisp, crumbly and short. The pastry cream was sweet and creamy, and a lovely balance to the tart blueberries. It was a nice, fresh, summery end to big, Greek Sunday dinner. You should totally try these.
For the pastry
Adapted from Ellie’s recipe for lemon tart in Masterchef magazine.
1/3 cup icing sugar (55g)
1 cup plain flour (150g)
100g cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
For the pastry cream
Adapted from Flour.
1 1/4 cups milk (300ml)
1/2 cup sugar (100g)
1/4 cup cake flour (30g)
OR 3 tbsp plain flour + 2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g fresh blueberries
To make the dough, process the icing sugar, flour and butter in a food processor or stand mixer until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolks and process until a dough forms. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, make your pastry cream.
To make the pastry cream, pour the milk into a medium saucepan and scald the milk – heat until bubbles appear around the edges, but it is not boiling.
While the milk is heating, mix together the sugar, flour and salt in a small bowl. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla. Whisk the flour mixture to the egg yolks slowly. It will be thick and pasty.
Once the milk is heated, slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Once it is all incorporated, pour it back into the saucepan and heat over a medium heat. Whisk continuously and vigorously until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
Once the mixture is thickened and just beginning to bubble, whisk vigorously for 10 seconds and then turn off the heat, This cooks out the taste of flour.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, putting the plastic right onto the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until cold.
Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 160 C and grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry to a 32cm round. Use a cookie cutter or upside down glass to cut 12 rounds out of the dough. You may need to gather together the excess and re-roll it.
Line your muffin holes with the pastry, pressing it into the corners and edges. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes to prevent pastry from shrinking in the oven.
Line your tart shells with baking paper by first scrunching it together and then unfolding it and lining the pastry. Fill with dried beans or rice and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove beans and baking paper and bake tart shells for a further 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing the tart shells.
To assemble the tart, evenly divide the pastry cream among the tart shells.
Arrange the blueberries on top of the pastry cream and dust with icing sugar to serve. Makes 12 little tarts.