Hosting a BBQ or dinner party, or simply looking for a fresh summer dessert? These delicious fruit tartlets are light and refreshing, perfect for a summer's evening.
Ingredients (serves 5)
Selection of fruit:
125g plain flour
50g diced room temperature butter
50g icing sugar
Small pinch salt
1 egg at room temperature
150ml whole milk
½ vanilla pod, seeded
30g egg yolks
25g caster sugar
8g plain flour
To make the shortcrust pastry
1. On a smooth work surface, form the flour into a mound and make a well in the centre. Place in the butter, icing sugar and salt, mixing everything together with your fingertips. Slowly work the flour into the centre, incorporating it gradually, and mix with your fingertips until the dough takes on a slightly grainy texture.
2. Make a well once again in the flour mixture, then place in the egg. Use your fingertips to work the egg into the flour, kneading until the dough begins to come together.
3. Knead the dough with the palm of your hand until smooth, then form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.
To make the crème pâtissière
1. To make the crème pâtissière, pour the milk into a pan. Split vanilla pod down its length using a small sharp knife (do not cut in half completely).
2. Twist tip of the knife inside the pod to open out like a book at one end, then run the knife down its length to scrape out seeds.
3. Put the seeds and empty pod in a medium-sized pan with the milk and bring slowly to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a couple of mins.
4. Put egg yolks, sugar and flour into a bowl. Whisk with a hand electric mixer until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy - it should leave a trail that stays on the surface momentarily when the whisk blades are lifted. This whisking will take about 2 mins.
5. Pour about a third of the hot milk into the bowl, whisking on a slow speed all the time until it has all been mixed in. Now whisk in the remaining milk, removing pod.
6. Return the mixture to the pan, scraping it out of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time, until the custard is thickened, smooth and glossy. At first, it will look a bit lumpy, but persevere - keep stirring and it will become smooth. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 mins, stirring.
7. Remove the crème pâtissière from the heat. Beat in the butter until it has melted, then scrape into a bowl. Cover the surface of the crème pâtissière directly with cling film (this will stop a skin forming). Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge until needed.
Making the Tartlets
1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Divide the pastry into 5 equal pieces. Roll out each one to line a 7-8cm tartlet tin, trim leaving a little pastry sticking up above the tin. Line each one with a paper cake case and add a layer of baking beans.
2. Put on a baking tray and bake for 10 mins, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden.
3. Trim any pastry edges that need it with a small sharp knife. Remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.
4. Once pastry cases are cooled fill with crème patissiere, top with the fruit.
Eat and enjoy!