End-of-the-world Fruit Tarts

This weekend, Mike and I decided to make fruit tarts for an end of the world barbecue.

Just in case you guys were unaware, we’re all still here, so it really just turned into an average weekend shindig. Which was just fine with me! I stole a recipe from Joy of Baking, and we whipped these up in no time at all! Well, they took several hours, but we were also making a batch of soap at the time. More on that later.

This recipe is incredibly simple, but there’s a lot of steps. First, you need to make the crust. Start by softening

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter

and mix in

  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg

Finally, add

  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

Flatten into a round shape, and store. I made mine the night before, and the next day it was just fine and flaky!

Next, place the dough into your pan, pastry ring, etc. We wanted to do minis, and we couldn’t find small rings anywhere, so we used a cupcake tin! Simply butter and flour your tins, roll the dough out, cut (we used a large coffee cup to make circles), and place in your tin. I will say, my biggest qualm was the thickness of our final tart, so if you roll yours try to get them nice and thin (but sturdy enough to hold the cream). This recipe yielded about 18 small tarts.

Cover the dough and let it chill in the fridge for 15 minutes, then prick the bottom(s) with a fork to keep it from puffing too much. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and let it bake for five minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake them for another 10-15 minutes. Make sure to keep your eye on them so they don’t burn! If you’re worried about time, these can be made a day or two in advance.

On the day you want to serve them, you’ll have to create your pastry cream. Mike took over this part, and it turned out wonderfully. To start, mix together

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 c. sugar

Sift together

  • 2 tbs. all purpose flour
  • 2 tbs. corn starch

and add to the egg mixture, stirring until you get a smooth paste.

Then you’ll want to heat up

  • 1 1/4 c. milk
  • approx. 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat until it just starts to boil, then combine slowly with your paste, whisking the entire time so the egg doesn’t curdle. Return it to the heat, and continue to whisk until it thickens. You can then add more vanilla if you want, or maybe a splash of liqueur (I’m honestly not sure what Mike added, but it was great. Have fun!).

Now you’re almost done! You’ll need to heat up

  • 1/2 c. apricot jam
  • 1 tb. water

Yes, I bought jam in the store for the first time in a long time. If you want to be really hardcore, make your own. That’s a whole separate blog post (oh, spiced apricot jam, how I miss you). Anyway… Heat those up, strain to get rid of any large fruit pieces (save those for munching!), and glaze the inside of your tarts. This’ll keep them from getting soggy.

Give them 2o minutes or so to dry, then fill with your pastry cream (easier said then done).

Finally, top with your favorite fruit (we used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries). Arrange them however suits your fancy. Once all your fruits on, finish off with a layer of glaze on top.

All in all, I don’t think these were bad for our first attempt. They really are the perfect treat for a picnic or barbecue: bite-sized, and topped with delicious seasonal fruit. And there was only one left over, so I think they turned out just fine!

We know that Jesus will return someday (and not on a day predicted by the Mayans or Harold Camping), but until then we’ll keep on creating and enjoying delicious things.