October has started and the blogs are flooded with all the possible pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin curry, Pumpkin tart, Bundt Pumpkin Cake, and the list goes on and on. But, I had berries in my refrigerator and no pumpkin puree or a pumpkin altogether. Sunk in the thoughts of making a tart, and no pumpkin in October, I ask the husband if it is okay to keep the all-around season of berries alive and not the season favourite pumpkin? I cry to myself that I want to make a chocolate pumpkin tart, but I have no time to run to the grocery store. The guests are coming. The Red Berries Custard Tart it is, I decide. I tell myself I can bring the pumpkin season on my blog in the coming weeks.
Tarts in our family were quite like a tradition growing up. Rewinding back to being a kid, strolling around with a book and scratching something no one understands, I was well fed with different bakes. I am sure nobody remembers that phase of life… even I didn’t. My mom told me what I used to be/do as a kid. But, there is a thing I do remember, they are my Baa’s (Granny) Bakes. She used to make us her mini beautiful jam tarts all the time. Over the time, she has baked a lot of things for us but the mini tarts were my favourite. She used to make a shortbread pastry crust and fill them with homemade mixed fruit jams. I remember her telling me that I can fill these up with any filling I would like spicy or sweet anything and that will make me go gaga about the tarts. Probably that’s why my eyes still twinkle when I hear TARTS.
Back to my tart, I have had many different varieties of tarts but never baked one. This makes me super nervous. My skin feels the shiver of nervousness. I just want to get the tart right, because I want my granny to be proud of me. She is an exemplary cook and a baker. And I start my prep for the tarts, and as time goes I kept rolling with the art of making tarts engrossed checking one box after the other. Baking works like a therapy for me. It illuminates me with positivity, it fills me up with excitement and sheer joy. For me rolling the tart, folding it and placing it in the tart mould was the most difficult part. But, the most beautiful part of the story is when you place your part to bake.
Let’s start baking this beautiful Red Berries Custard Tart…
Tart Base / French Short Bread Pastry Dough:
- All-Purpose Flour- 1 1/4 cup
- Almond Flour – 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter- 1 stick (110gm) at Room Temperature
- Eggs – 1
- Confectioner/ Icing Sugar 1/4th cup
- Salt- 1/4 Tsp
- Milk- 1 Tbsp
Eazy Peezy Custard:
- Cream Cheese- 4 oz (115 gms) at Room Temperature
- Granulated Sugar- 1/2 cup
- Eggs- 2 at Room Temperature
- Half an Half/ Heavy Whipping Cream – 2/3 rd cup
- Pure Vanilla Extract- 1/2 Tsp
- Granulated lemon or orange zest – 1 Tsp
- Strawberries and Raspberries/ any fruit of your choice- 6 oz washed and patted dry
For the French Shortbread Pastry Crust:
- Take a mixing a bowl
- Add the unsalted butter stick, sugar and start whisking with a hand mixer until soft and fluffy
- Add the egg and milk. Whisk again
- In a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, almond flour and salt. Mix well.
- Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Fold the flour in the wet ingredients and make a crumbly dough
- Take a clingfilm (plastic wrap) and put the dough in it and wrap it.
- Chill the pastry dough for one hour.
(In the meantime, you can wash the berries or fruit of your choice and pat it dry)
- After an hour lay a baking paper on the kitchen counter.
- Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on the baking paper.
- Start rolling the pastry dough in the shape of your mould
- Once done put the mould on top of the pastry to get an estimate if the rolled dough will be sufficient to fit the mould.
- Once that is done, start by wrapping the dough lightly onto the rolling pin. Gently lift and place it in the mould
- Now start pressing the dough lightly in the mould from the bottom of the sides in an upward position
- Roll the rolling pin on top of the mould to remove the extra pastry dough
The pastry before the bake should look like this. Now place the mould to chill for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven at 400 F for 15 mins
For the Custard:
- In a food processor, (you can also use your hand mixer or beater) add the cream cheese. I have used 8 oz cream cheese because I wanted to make fruit custard bowls too.
- Start mixing it until the cream cheese is fluffy.
- Now add the eggs one by one and mix them.
- In goes the sugar and mix.
- Add vanilla essence, lemon or orange zest and mix well
- Once this is nice and fluffy add the cream.
- I am using half an half, but you can use anything cream you want, It depends how rich and creamy you want your custard to be
- Mix everything well.
Now my fruits and custard are ready. The oven is preheated at 400 F. And the pastry is chilled for half an hour.
It’s time to put the pastry in for the bake. Bake the Pastry at 400 F for 10 to 15 mins until golden brown.
The pastry should look like this.
- Let the tart cool down.
- Once it reaches room temperature, add the custard in the tart. I like to put my tart mould in a baking tray so it is easy to take the tart and place it in the oven without making a mess.
- Now top the tart with the berries.
In goes the Red Berries Custard Tart on 400 F for 25 mins. This will bake the pastry and set the custard.
After 25 mins lightly shake the tray to see if the custard shakes. If the custard doesn’t shake that means it is set and done right.
Let the tart cool down, serve as you prefer, warm, cool or chilled. All of them taste delicious.
Quickly, if you have more custard take the ramekins. and pour the custard in it. Let it set for 425 F for 25 mins.
The custard will set and top them with fruits of your choice and eat it as a custard bowl. or invert the ramekins and take the custard out. Top it with caramel and there you go… you can treat yourself with a beautiful custard flan.