Recipe for delicious Summer Berry Tarts with Crème Pâtissière
250g all-purpose cake flour
80g icing sugar
a pinch of salt
120g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
2-3 tablespoons ice water
500ml (2 cups) full cream milk
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
40g corn flour
4 egg yolks
80g castor sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups summer berries, to finish
To make the pastry, sift together the cake flour, icing sugar and salt. Transfer to a processor and add the butter. Blitz until breadcrumb texture. Add the egg and just enough water to bind the pastry.
Tip the dough onto a board and press together lightly. Flatten into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour to relax and firm up the dough.
For the pastry cream, place the milk and vanilla seeds in a saucepan. Heat slowly until just below boiling point.
In a separate bowl, using a balloon whisk, combine together the corn flour, egg yolks, castor sugar and salt until smooth.
Add a ¼ cup of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking to incorporate. Slowly add the balance of the milk.
Pour the milk mixture back into the saucepan. Heat the custard on a medium to low heat, whisking all the while to ensure a silky smooth texture and prevent scalding.
Once the custard starts to splutter, turn the heat right down and cook for 2-3 minutes to ensure that there’s no raw flour taste to the custard. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.
Transfer the custard to a heatproof bowl and press a sheet of cling film directly onto the surface to prevent a skin forming. Allow to cool before refrigerating.
Preheat the oven to 170º C.
On a lightly floured board, roll the pastry out to a 3mm thickness. Cut out rounds slightly bigger than the tart casings. Press gently into the corners and trim away excess dough. Dock the base with a fork. Chill for at least 30 minutes. (I pop them in the freezer to ensure no shrinkage when baking)
Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden and cooked through. Cool in the tart tins before un-moulding.
Once the tart cases are completely cool, fill with crème pâtissière and top with fresh seasonal berries. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.