The last few days here have been so. ridiculously. hot.
Over 40 C (104 F) everyday.
Kill me please.
The bakery doesn’t have air conditioning, so it’s been intense. The only escape is at home, where it’s cool. Or deep inside a pool. I don’t think I could even face a beach at this point.
In this kind of heat, you can’t go outside. You can’t move. You can’t breathe. And you certainly can’t eat.
Well, normally I can’t eat. But I can always make an exception for ice cream. Or berries. Or a cold, fresh, fruity tart like this one.
With crispy pastry, and cold custard topped with chilled, summer cherries, they’re little bites of pastry heaven in all this heat.
I hope it’s a little cooler wherever you are in the world! X
- FOR THE PASTRY:
- 90g unsalted butter (3 oz)
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup flour (150g)
- FOR THE CUSTARD:
- 1¼ cups milk (310ml, 11 oz)
- 1 vanilla bean
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 egg yolks
- TO TOP THE TARTS:
- ½ kilo cherries (1 pound)
- Icing (powdered) sugar, for dusting
- To make the tart pastry, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and get out a muffin pan.
- Place the butter, water, oil, sugar and salt in an overproof bowl.
- Put the bowl in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the butter is melted, bubbling, and just beginning to brown around the edges.
- Carefully remove the bowl from the oven and dump in the flour. Stir quickly, until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the dish.
- Put a tablespoon of dough into one muffin hole, and press it into the base and up the sides using your fingers. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
- Prick the dough with a fork once or twice.
- Bake for 8 – 12 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown all over.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- To make the custard, mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. This will prevent the cornstarch from going lumpy later.
- In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla. Whisk the flour mixture to the egg yolks slowly, one tablespoon at a time. It will be thick and pasty. Set aside.
- Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds, putting them into the milk. Throw in the vanilla pod, too.
- Place the pan over a high heat and scald the milk – heat it until bubbles appear around the edges, but it is not boiling.
- Once the milk is scalded, remove from the heat and slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
- When all the milk incorporated, pour the custard back into the saucepan and cook over a medium heat. Whisk continuously and vigorously until the mixture begins to thicken and comes to a boil.
- Once the mixture thickens and is just beginning to bubble, whisk vigorously (to prevent lumps from forming) for 10 seconds and then turn off the heat.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl (discarding the vanilla bean). Cover with plastic wrap, putting the plastic right onto the surface of the pastry cream. This will prevent a skin from forming.
- Refrigerate until cold.
- To assemble the tarts, fill the tart shells with cold pastry cream. Top with the cherries and dust with icing sugar just before serving.
- Makes 12 tarts.
- Happy baking!