Why do I love France so much? There are many reasons one of them is the bakeries, selling fresh baguette and the delicious little treats, and I can never get enough of them. For the longest time now, I have been trying to recreate one of the favorites that I buy when I am in France; The tartelettes with fruit! I had a few failed attempts and was never happy with the results. It seems like the perfect tartelette is made with lot of patience, time, and attention to detail (patience being not my forte). I finally was sucssesful, and I can say I brought a little bit of France into my home.
1 1/3 cups flour
5 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder
5 Tbsp cold butter
2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
1 egg slightly beaten + 1 tsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
waxed paper or baking paper
(dry beans to weight down the crust while baking)
False bottom mini tart pan
Custard filling (Crème Pâtissière)
5 egg yolks
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of milk
1 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
- Place the flour, butter, sugar, shortening, baking powder in a large bowl.
- With your fingers, work the butter quickly into the flour until small oatmeal-like crumbs form.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and knead the dough rapidly into a ball. After this step, I turned to Julia Childs’s instructions: Place the dough onto a working surface. With the heel of your hand, rapidly press the pastry by two spoonful bits down on the board and away from you in a firm, quick smear.
- Refrigerate at least for an hour or overnight.
- Set the oven to 190ºC (375ºF)
- Roll out small pieces of dough (put the rest in the refrigerator) but big enough to overlap over the edge of the pan (see picture).
- Press the dough lightly into the bottom of the pan and on the sides. With a rolling pin roll over the top and remove excess, overlapping crust (see pictures).
- If you are making the full recipe (15 mini Tartelettes), place the pan with the crust in the refrigerator while you roll out the rest of the dough and until the next step. ( I usually bake mine in two badges as my oven isn’t big enough to bake 15 Tartelettes at a time.)
- When all crust is used, put baking paper on top of each tart and fill with beans (this prevents the crust from puffing up, see picture).
- Put Tartelettes in the oven and bake with weight on top for 8 minutes, remove the paper, prickle bottom of the tarts with a fork and bake for another 8-10 min.
- Take Tartelettes out of the oven and carefully remove the pan and let them cool.
Custard (Crème Pâtissière):
- Put the egg yolks in the bowl of your mixer and start beating. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture it is pale yellow.
- Add the flour while continuously beating until ingredients are combined.
- Bring the milk to a boil. While consistently beating the egg mixture, add the hot milk in a stream of droplets.
- When the ingredients are combined, transfer into a saucepan and set over moderately high heat, stir until it starts to boil. Turn down the heat to low and beat until it thickens about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat stir in the butter and the vanilla extract.
- Let the custard cool, or refrigerate if you aren’t using it right away. (It can be refrigerated for up to 1 week)
- Fill the crust with the vanilla custard and place the strawberries or raspberries on top.