berry tart

blurry picture

I almost was NOT going to tell you about this recipe because of how sad I am about my blurry tart picture, but friends, that would be just mean.  To rob you of the opportunity to make this dessert, which was a big mouthful of summer perfect, would be unkind.  So just use the picture for general knowledge of assembly and make this immediately!

sweet pastry dough

Summer Berry Tarts

(makes twelve four inch tarts)

Sweet Tart Dough

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Lightly packed 1/2 cup ground blanched almonds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Place the butter in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and process to blend well. Add the ground almonds, salt, and vanilla and continue to process until smooth, scraping the bowl as necessary. Lightly stir the eggs together with a fork and, with the machine running, add them to the work bowl; process for a few seconds to blend. Finally, add the flour and pulse until the mixture just starts to come together. When the dough forms moist curds and clubs and then starts to form a ball, stop.  The dough will be very soft, and that’s just as it should be.  Divide dough into 12 balls and wrap each in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or for up to 2 days, before rolling and baking.  Butter 12 small tart pans.  Roll each ball out and press into tart pans.  Roll your rolling pin across the rim of the pan to cut off the excess.  Chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. (Repeat with remaining dough, if necessary.)

When you are ready to bake the crust(s), preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the crust with e circle of parchment paper or foil and fill with dried beans.

Bake the crusts for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Fill with pastry cream (below) and top with berries of your choice.  Wait to assemble the tarts until just before serving.

Pastry Cream

1 large box instant vanilla pudding

2 cups milk

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Mix pudding with two cups milk.  Beat for two minutes.  Refrigerate until pudding becomes firm.

In a separate bowl beat whipping cream and sugar until soft peaks form.  Fold whipping cream into pudding.  Gently stir in almond extract. Refrigerate until just before serving.

tart shells

Sweet Pastry Dough is from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking.  The ground almonds in it make it super yummy!  The pastry cream is something Anna and I have been making for years, but she perfected it in recent years by substituting real whipping cream for the cool whip we used to use!  For shame!