blueberry-mint tarts

© Lydia,

Sometimes you need a tart. This was one of those days. We has loads of blueberries to use up, and I thought they'd go well with mint. I was right.

Lydia's blueberry-mint tarts makes 10-12
© Lydia,
Pastry (Pate Sucree)
1 egg
210g (7½ oz) bread flour
90g (3 oz) icing sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
105g (3 3/4 oz) butter
32g (1 1/8 oz) ground almonds
½ vanilla bean (optional)

Blueberry mint filling
250g (just under 9 oz) blueberries
handful fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp sugar

Pastry cream filling
240ml (1 cup) milk
65g (2 1/4) oz sugar
2tbsp cornstarch
3 small egg yolks (to weigh 55g, 2 oz)
35g (1 1/4 oz) butter

A few small mint sprigs to decorate

For the pastry, sieve together the dry ingredients minus the almonds and cut in the butter either with a pastry cutter, a knife, of by pulsing in a food processor. When the mixture becomes mealy, add the egg and continue cutting in until the mix starts to come together, then cut in the almonds and vanilla. Once the dough has come together, wrap in cling film or in a sandwich bag and refrigerate for at least four hours.

Once the pastry dough is chilled, roll out thinly (~½ cm) and cut into circles (I used a 12.5 cm - 5 inch diameter bowl as a pastry cutter, to fit pastry moulds 8.5 cm - 3.5 inch in diameter - these were actually just egg rings. You can also use a cupcake pan as your pastry mould, cutting smaller circles to fit, approx 8 cm in diameter). At this stage, the rolled pastry will benefit from another 30 minutes in the fridge, this will make lining the tart pans with the pastry easier.
Once the tart pans are lined, cover with baking parchment and baking beans (or any dried beans) and bake at 175°C (350°F) for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack. It's not necessary to prick the pastry with a fork before baking, but it doesn't hurt.

You can make the fillings after the pastry has been chilling for about 3½ hours, but if they are left too long after preparation they will set before they are ready for use.

© Lydia,
For the blueberry mint filling, mix the corn starch with the sugar and set aside. Finely chop the mint leaves and in a food processor, process with 175g (6 1/8 oz) of the blueberries till liquid. Bring to the boil in a heavy pan, then add about 1/4 of the wet mix to the dry while stirring. Once all the dry mix is incorporated, return this blend to the pan and boil while stirring for about a minute to thicken. Cut the remaining blueberries in half or quarters depending on size and gently stir into the blueberry-mint gloop. Allow to cool at room temperature until required.

For the pastry cream, place the milk and 1-2 tsp of the sugar in a heavy saucepan and bring to the boil over a low-medium heat.
While waiting for the milk to boil, mix the remaining sugar with the cornstarch and stir in the egg yolks to make a paste.
Once the milk has boiled, add 1/4 of it to the egg mixture slowly, while stirring, then return this to the saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
Boil for 2 minutes, stirring throughout, then remove from the heat, stir in the butter until melted, transfer to a clean bowl and cover with cling film (saran wrap, rest it directly on the pastry cream) to prevent a skin from forming and keep at room temperature until use.

Once the pastry cases are cooled smooth just over a tablespoon of the blueberry-mint filling over the base. Top with the pastry cream and smooth with the back of a spoon. Allow to set in the fridge before serving, with a sprig of mint to garnish.

© Lydia,

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