Cherry and Custard Tarts

Cherry and Custard Tarts | Butter Baking

The last few days here have been so. ridiculously. hot.

Like, insane.

Cherry and Custard Tarts | Butter Baking

Over 40 C (104 F) everyday.

Kill me please.

Cherry and Custard Tarts | Butter Baking

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.

Cherry and Custard Tarts | Butter Baking

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.

Cherry and Custard Tarts | Butter Baking

I hope it’s a little cooler wherever you are in the world! X

Cherry and Custard Tarts | Butter Baking

CHERRY AND CUSTARD TARTS
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Method
  1. To make the tart pastry, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and get out a muffin pan.
  2. Place the butter, water, oil, sugar and salt in an overproof bowl.
  3. Put the bowl in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the butter is melted, bubbling, and just beginning to brown around the edges.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Prick the dough with a fork once or twice.
  7. Bake for 8 – 12 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown all over.
  8. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  9. To make the custard, mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. This will prevent the cornstarch from going lumpy later.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Place the pan over a high heat and scald the milk – heat it until bubbles appear around the edges, but it is not boiling.
  13. Once the milk is scalded, remove from the heat and slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Refrigerate until cold.
  18. To assemble the tarts, fill the tart shells with cold pastry cream. Top with the cherries and dust with icing sugar just before serving.
  19. Makes 12 tarts.
  20. Happy baking!

Pastry cream adapted from Joanne Chang’s Flour via my pastry cream recipe.
Tart dough adapted from David Leibovitz.

15 Thoughts on “Cherry and Custard Tarts

  1. Marco van den Hout on January 17, 2014 at 10:16 pm said:

    Dear Natasha,

    We live near Amsterdam and it is supposed to be winter time. But no snow or ice to skate on. Its to warm, but 40C pffff that’s hell. I would get rid of my food and go live in the refrigurator:) The high temperatures in Australië was a news item in The Netherlands.

    I really love youre recepis and the really beautiful photos, thank you.

    Marco

    • Hi Marco! Haha it is pretty hellish, and we had to do some of the pastry in the refrigerator!
      It’s funny that we were on the news! It was a pretty huge heatwave though.
      Thanks you so much, happy that you like it :-D

  2. Wow, these look absolutely divine! such beautiful photos!
    I have to say I am kind of jealous of the thought of 40 degrees right now, its about 5 degrees here today in Wales! brrrrr! xx

  3. These tarts look so lovely and cool and fresh, Natasha! I can’t even imagine baking with no air conditioning and temps that high! It has to be exhausting. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! One of the wonders of the internet is that you can post about alarming heat, days after I post about alarming cold. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all live in perpetual spring time?! :)

    • Hi Wendy! Thank you :-) Haha it was pretty intense – we had to roll croissants in the fridge!!
      It is pretty crazy isn’t it – I would love that so much, spring is my favourite season! :-D

  4. huntfortheverybest on January 18, 2014 at 10:46 am said:

    i love cherry desserts. these look great!

  5. I wish I could give you some of our New England weather! The photos are mouthwatering. :)

  6. My family isn’t really the biggest cherry fan, but this looks delicious! I wonder if raspberries or blueberries would go well with this, any ideas?

  7. YUM! These look so sweet & fruity & refreshing. Those cherries are beautiful! I wish for your temperature just so I could have some quality, ripe fruit right now, but I don’t really want that crazy heat, haha. Even though the temperature where I live has been -60F (-51C) lately with wind chill. Brrrr! Send a little warmth my way, but not too much. ;)

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