Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blueberry Minted Custard Tart

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Blueberry Minted Custard Tart
From Inn on the Twenty Cookbook

Prep time: 1½-2 hours
Bake time: 20 minutes
Cooling time: 30 minutes
Fridge time: at least 1 hour for the dough, and then 1 hour after the tart has been assembled.

Serves 8-10

Sugar Pastry:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1” pieces
4 egg yolks

Pastry Cream:
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract or ½ vanilla bean (I wish I had one here)
4 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup whipping cream

1tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
2 cups fresh blueberries
2-3 tbsp apple jelly
Juice of ½ lemon

For pastry: (total time: under 2 hours (most of that is chilling. The shell can be made the day before serving)
1. Combine the flour, sugar & salt in a mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment if you have one.

2. Cut the cold butter into the flour until it takes on a golden color and forms pebbles. Add the egg yolks and blend just until the dough is an even texture.

3. Shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before using. You can do this ahead of time. Apparently you can freeze the dough, but I wouldn't. Up to 2 days in the fridge is the route I'd take.

4. Roll out dough between sheets of waxed paper to 11-inch round. Peel off top sheet of paper and invert dough over 9” tart pan with removable bottom. Peel off paper. Gently press dough into pan. Press dough overhang in to form double thick sides. Refrigerate 30 minutes before baking.

5. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C

6. Blind bake the crust (butter the shiny side of tin foil and place it over the bottom of the shell, cut larger than the bottom so you can remove the beans after without spilling them all over the shell. Place weights (I use 1lb/450g dried beans) on top of the foil for 15 minutes. This keeps the bottom from bubbling up. Remove the beans and foil (be careful the beans are incredibly hot) and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bottom is golden.

7. Allow the shell to cool completely on a rack before adding the filling. This too, can be done a day or two in advance.

For the custard: (1-2 hours)
1. Place the milk and vanilla in a stainless steel saucepan over medium heat.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. When the milk comes to a simmer (tiny bubbles around the edge of the pan and lots of steam rising), slowly whisk the milk into the egg mixture, a little at a time until all the milk is incorporated (too much too soon = scrambled eggs).

3. Return the mixture to the stove and using a whisk or wooden spoon, cook until the custard thickens (1-2 minutes) (The custard should coat the back of a spoon and leave a track when you run your finger down the center). Immediately remove it from the heat and stir in the butter.

4. Pour the custard into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap that directly clings to the surface (this eliminates any skin from forming). Chill.

5. Whip cream until soft peaks form, add the chopped mint and gently fold into the cold custard.

6. Spoon the custard over the shell and top with blueberries. I sprinkles more mint over the blueberries.

Finishing touch:
1. Melt the apple jelly in a small saucepan over medium heat, just until it melts and add the lemon juice.

2. Using a pastry brush (I use a silicone one), gently brush the jelly over the blueberries.

3. Return the tart to the fridge and let it chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

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